The 2022 NFL Season is nearly upon us. As part of the run up to the season, we’re preview all the teams, culminating with our picks for who makes the playoffs and who wins the awards this season. Check back each day through September 5. Let’s get ready for some football!
No one was closer to the playoffs but not in it than the 2021 Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers entered the final game of the regular season with the playoffs on the line, but the Raiders won the game and the Chargers finished 9-8, just out. That near miss in Brandon Staley’s first season as Head Coach seems to have fueled the Chargers’ fire as they head into the 2022 season.
The Chargers have spent the off-season loading up. The team traded for Khalil Mack, giving them, another pass rusher, while signing slot corner Bryce Callahan and outside corner J.C. Jackson, while also signing linebacker Kyle Van Noy. But defense isn’t the only place the Chargers have loaded up.
The team returns top receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, but the Chargers added a passing game weapon in tight end Gerald Everett. Everett started his career with the Rams and spent 2021 with the Seahawks. He has 175 receptions for 1,867 yards and 12 touchdowns in five seasons. He figures to offer the Chargers another weapon for third-year quarterback Justin Herbert.
In the backfield, the Chargers still have Austin Ekeler but they added some more firepower, drafting Texas A&M standout Isaiah Spiller. Spiller rushed for 2,993 yards and 25 touchdowns in three seasons. He also caught 74 passes for 585 yards. He figures to be a great option should Ekeler miss time and a player that can regularly contribute in his own right.
At quarterback, Herbert is a solid bet. He finished as QB2 in 2021 and should be a lock at Top 5 this season. In the backfield, Ekeler was RB2 in 2021. He has referenced wanting to pace himself in 2022, but I think he’s still a strong RB1 candidate. I like Spiller to also contribute, finishing as an RB3/4 but with the potential to go higher if Ekeler misses any time.
In the passing game, Allen and Williams are rock solid. Allen finished as WR11 and Williams as WR12. I like Allen to finish as a WR1 while Williams remains a high-end WR2 with WR1 upside. Everett is another solid weapon and should finish in the TE2 range. Other receivers will contribute here-and-there, but I don’t feel comfortable starting anyone on a regular basis.
The Chargers were a few plays away from the playoffs in 2021 and I think they only build on that in 2022. The AFC West is loaded and the AFC is very competitive but the Chargers have added great weapons on both sides of the ball. I think the Chargers will compete for the AFC West title and make the playoffs.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.