2011 San Diego Chargers NFL Expert Predictions, Picks, 2012 Vegas Super Bowl Odds and Schedule – San Diego Chargers NFL Football Season Preview: In what is becoming an annual tradition under Norv Turner, the San Diego Chargers got off to a slow start last season. Unlike in previous years, they were unable to recover. The Chargers did rally to finish 9-7, but they lost the AFC West to Kansas City and missed out on the playoffs. With a team that ranked among the best in the NFL on paper, Turner and the coaching staff will have to figure out why all the yards and points didn’t translate into more victories. If that happens, big things could be in store for San Diego this season.
Leading the Chargers potent offense will the underrated Philip Rivers. He rarely gets mentioned among the elite signal callers in the game, but he led the NFL in passing yards last season despite missing his top target Vincent Jackson for more than half the season. San Diego finished the 2010-11 campaign with the second-best passing attack and the second-best scoring offense. With Pro-Bowl tight end Antonio Gates, receiver Malcom Floyd, and Jackson at his disposal for an entire season, Rivers should have no problem replicating his impressive numbers this season.
Thanks in part to the prolific passing attack, San Diego also enjoyed one of its best seasons running the ball since the departure of LaDainian Tomlinson. Mike Tolbert and Ryan Matthews combined for 18 touchdowns and more than 1,400 yards last season. Considering Matthews missed several games and battled nagging injuries in the starts he did make, the numbers for the Chargers’ duo could easily increase this year. With a healthy Matthews, San Diego could end up being the top offense in the NFL.
Defensively, the Chargers were nearly as impressive. San Diego boasted the top-ranked unit against the pass, the fourth-best rushing defense, and the 10th-best scoring defense. The Chargers did lose linebacker Kevin Burnett and cornerback Donald Strickland, but the front office brought in plenty of new firepower. Rookie defensive end Corey Liuget is slated to start immediately after impressing in camp, and cornerback Marcus Gilchrist and linebacker Jonas Mouton were both added in the second round of the draft. Veteran linebacker Takeo Spikes and veteran safety Bob Sanders were brought in as free agents as well. Overall, this year’s is deeper, younger, and likely more talented.
Despite being loaded on both sides of the football, the Chargers still aren’t a sure thing. After all, they were loaded last season and barely finished above .500. A slow start seems like a given at this point, but this year’s team seems better equipped to rebound and compete for the division title. At the end of the day, San Diego is by far the most balanced team in the AFC West, and Rivers is by far the best quarterback. There is simply no excuse for the Chargers not to win the division title and make the playoffs, and Rivers will likely make sure that there won’t be a repeat of last year’s debacle.
Preseason 2011 San Diego Chargers NFL Odds:
Odds to Win 2012 Super Bowl: +850
Odds to Win 2011 AFC Championship: +525
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2011 San Diego Chargers NFL Football Schedule
1 Sunday Sep. 11 4:15 PM Vikings – – Tickets
2 Sunday Sep. 18 4:15 PM at Patriots – – Tickets
3 Sunday Sep. 25 4:05 PM Chiefs – – Tickets
4 Sunday Oct. 2 4:15 PM Dolphins – – Tickets
5 Sunday Oct. 9 4:15 PM at Broncos – – Tickets
6 Bye Week
7 Sunday Oct. 23 1:00 PM at Jets – – –
8 Monday Oct. 31 8:30 PM at Chiefs – – Tickets
9 Sunday Nov. 6 4:15 PM Packers – – Tickets
10 Thursday Nov. 10 8:20 PM Raiders – – Tickets
11 Sunday Nov. 20 4:15 PM at Bears – – Tickets
12 Sunday Nov. 27 4:15 PM Broncos – – Tickets
13 Monday Dec. 5 8:30 PM at Jaguars – – Tickets
14 Sunday Dec. 11 4:15 PM Bills – – Tickets
15 Sunday Dec. 18 8:20 PM Ravens – – Tickets
16 Saturday Dec. 24 4:05 PM at Lions – – Tickets
17 Sunday Jan. 1 4:15 PM at Raiders – – Tickets
Check out NSAwins.com’s official 2011 NFL Over Under Team Wins Odds and Predictions and 2011 AFC West Odds and Predictions articles.
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