San Diego Chargers 2009 NFL Projection:
Last season the Chargers snuck into the playoffs at (8-8), where they dealt the Colts another playoff loss, but
then fell @Pittsburgh in the Divisional Playoffs.
Coming into 2009, San Diego needs OLB Shawne Merriman to come close to regaining his old form off
ligament damage in his left knee. Otherwise the Chargers' pass rush could once again leave their
secondary hung out to dry like last season.
The addition of first round draft pick OLB Larry English also should help the Chargers to recapture
a strong pass rush, although he is currently hampered by hamstring woes.
Inside linebacker Kevin Burnett formerly of the Cowboys is having a solid
preseason and looks to start.
With a solid linebacking group the Chargers should be able to improve their
pass rush which should result in a drastic
improvement upon their 31st ranked pass defense a season ago.
In the secondary,
San Diego returns Quentin Jammer and Antonio Cromartie at the corner spots.
Cromartie played last season with a fractured hip. One would think his effectiveness
will increase dramatically year over year.
Safety is a position of weakness which could be masked by a strong pass rush.
Another weakness in the Chargers' defense is upfront where
the unit lives and dies with the play and the health of Jamal Williams.
But the unit lacks depth.
On the other side of the ball the Chargers bring a potent passing attack led by Philip Rivers. The passing
game showed huge gains year over year. However, it should be noted the AFC West was
full of poor defense in '08.
San Diego is deep at receiver with Jackson, Chambers, of course TE Gates, Malcom Floyd has shown
flashes when given the opportunity, and Legedu Naanee is having a great preseason.
At running back, Tomlinson's toe has healed, and Sproles is a true bolt of lightening.
However, fullback is a position of weakness.
San Diego's offensive line is good in the middle with Hardwick, as well as on the left side with Dielman and McNeil...
Opposing defenses will look to exploit the right side of the line.
This could be a trouble spot as the Chargers find several teams with top notch defenses
on their schedule in 2009.
The Chargers play in the defensively challenged AFC West. That makes for several light contests on paper
with two games each against the
and reeling Broncos.
Of course the Chargers also have to face the difficult NFC East, as well as strong AFC teams including
San Diego has 7 extremely tough games on their schedule overall,
thanks to facing the NFC East in 2009. But the Chargers also play in a weak division.
As long as the Chargers take care of business against the teams they are supposed to beat,
they should be able to hit double digit wins in '09.
Overall we now forecast a record of (11-5), a slight upgrade from our opening projection which might even have some upside if
the Bolts stay healthy at linebacker.
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Free 2009 NFL Predictions Note:
Remember these now archived 2009 NFL forecasts were made
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