For years it has felt that the Los Angeles Chargers were on the cusp of being Super Bowl contenders. But, something always seems to deter them from reaching their potential. Could that all change in 2022?
The Chargers, on paper, look like one of the best teams in the NFL. They have a burgeoning star at the quarterback position in Justin Herbert, who is entering his third season in the league. Still being on his rookie contract has enabled the team to spend money elsewhere on the roster and make some splash moves.
This offseason, they were able to acquire star pass rusher Khalil Mack from the Chicago Bears to help bolster their defense. Los Angeles also signed arguably the best defensive player available in free agency this year in cornerback J.C. Jackson, formerly of the New England Patriots.
The offensive line was also boosted by first-round pick Zion Johnson out of Boston College. He will help fill the void they have and keep Herbert standing upright in the pocket while creating running lanes for Austin Ekeler.
Everything you are looking for in a contender resides with the Chargers. Some people are high on their potential this season, including Connor Rogers of the NFL Stock Exchange on PFF.
People have made the mistake of thinking the Chargers were ready to make a jump in previous years but would end up with pie on their faces. They seem to be cursed, however, something feels different around the team heading into training camp.
They will be challenged playing in the AFC West, which may be the best division in sports. The Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs and Las Vegas Raiders all made major upgrades this offseason in a divisional arms race.
Facing off against that level of competition will have the Chargers ready for whatever they face in the postseason. With a superstar in Hebert leading the offense and Pro Bowlers littered around the roster, this looks like a team ready to make some noise once the 2022 regular season gets underway.