The San Diego Chargers are in the midst of a pivotal offseason, and they have a lot to prove going into the 2012 season.
The start of the offseason didn't go as fans had imagined it would. Rather than cleaning house, Dean Spanos decided to retain A.J. Smith and Norv Turner.
Following Spanos' decision, fans widely questioned the competency of the organization. However, the Chargers began to instill some confidence in their fans once free agency started.
Smith signed a number of productive players—Jarret Johnson and Robert Meachem being the biggest names. He also made sure that offensive linemen Nick Hardwick and Jared Gaither stayed in San Diego.
The vaunted general manager didn't stop there. Smith chose three talented defensive players—Melvin Ingram, Kendall Reyes and Brandon Taylor—with his first three selections in the draft.
Despite the great moves by Smith, the United States still has little confidence in the Chargers.
In this ESPN poll, approximately a quarter of the country believes that the Chargers will reach the playoffs.
Without further ado, let's delve into the reasons why the Chargers will surprise 75 percent of the country and reach the playoffs in 2012.