The San Diego Chargers had an overall disappointing season in 2010, as they failed to win their fifth straight division title, and they failed to make the playoffs. The team couldn’t overcome a very slow start, and they just couldn’t overcome the up and coming Kansas City Chiefs. Yet they finished number one overall on team offense and defense, so the future still looks bright in San Diego.
Phillip Rivers had the best season of his career in 2010, throwing for over 4700 yards and a 101.8 quarterback rating. With him at the helm, the Chargers will always have a chance to reach the Super Bowl, but he hasn’t taken them to one yet. Ryan Matthews didn’t have the impact expected of him last year, and the Chargers missed having LaDainian Tomlinson in the backfield. Mike Tolbert played pretty well, and the running back tandem of him and Matthews looks at least adequate moving forward.
Their top receivers missed a lot of time with injuries and suspensions in 2010, and I doubt that Malcolm Floyd will be back now that Vincent Jackson has been franchised. The rest of the receivers aren’t overly impressive, but if they can stay healthy they can provide decent depth. Antonio Gates is still one of the top tight ends in the game, and Randy McMichael is a solid backup.
The offensive line is pretty solid overall, with Marcus McNeil and Kris Dielman holding down the left side, and Nick Hardwick and Louis Vasquez providing stability at the center and left guard positions. The right tackle spot isn’t locked down, but Brandyn Dombrowski played solid there last year.
Luis Castillo is still a solid performer at defensive end, but the other end position is a giant question mark. Jacques Cesaire didn’t play well in 2010, and he most likely won’t be back next year, so an upgrade will be needed. Antonio Garay played pretty solid at the nose tackle position in 2010, and he may have the starting spot locked down heading into the 2011 season. Shaun Phillips is a pro bowl caliber linebacker on the outside, but Larry English hasn’t played up to expectations so the Chargers may look to bring in some competition for him.
Kevin Burnett and Stephen Cooper played well in 2010, but both of them are free agents, as is top backup Brandon Siler. This position is a question mark as of now, as nobody knows whether Burnett and/or Cooper will be back. The starting cornerbacks are solid with both Antoine Cason and Quentin Jammer.
The depth isn’t overly impressive anymore now that Antonio Cromartie is in New York. Eric Weddle played very well last season, and he will most likely be back even though he is a free agent. Paul Oliver, Steve Gregory, and Bob Sanders will battle for the other spot. Sanders is by far the most talented of the three, but it remains to be seen how long he can stay healthy.