2007 San Diego Chargers Preview

2007 San Diego Chargers preview from Maddux Sports. Looking for a winning season? NFL football picks from our handicappers will stuff your wallet if you are betting against NFL spreads this season.

Looking To Stay On Top
By Adam Barone

After finishing 14-2 last season, with the best record in the entire NFL, the San Diego Chargers made an unexpected coaching change. Marty Schottenheimer was fired and Norv Turner has taken over. Turner inherits the best player in the world in LaDainian Tomlinson and what is probably the best overall team in either conference. It won't matter what the team looks like on paper, however, because the Chargers' fan base will expect Turner to take the team to the Super Bowl. Last season was such a disappointment that this year will be seen as something of a mulligan, which, adding to the troubles of changing coaches, will make things more difficult for the team. So much pressure will make it extremely challenging to beat out the AFC's elite like New England, Baltimore, and Super Bowl Champion Indianapolis, not to mention division rivals Denver and Kansas City.

Obviously the offense still has LT, and obviously this gives them a huge advantage from the get-go. Tomlinson took 348 carries for 1815 yards for a ridiculous 28 TDs, and 56 receptions for 508 yards with 3 scores. A season like that will be difficult to duplicate, but if anyone can do it, it's LT. His backup, as if he needs one, RB Michael Turner, returns despite the fact that he could be a starter on probably 15 other teams. Clearing holes for these two men, and making a case for the scariest “mo-fo” in all of professional sports, is FB Lorenzo Neal. Don't get in his way; it'll hurt.

Quarterback Phillip Rivers had a productive first season as the full time starter, completing 61.7% of his tosses for 3388 yards and a Pro Bowl-worthy 22/9 TD/INT ratio. Aside from Tomlinson and all-world TE Antonio Gates, who was 76 yards away from 1000 in 2006, the receiving options for Rivers are somewhat limited. Eric Parker, Vincent Jackson, Keenan McCardell, 2007 1st round pick Craig Davis out of LSU and a group of relatively unknowns make up the list of outside route-runners, led in 2006 catches by Parker's 48. That shouldn't matter much in the coming season, as it didn't last season, because Tomlinson and Gates are the primary targets, with the actual wide receivers being typically used to stretch the field and give the two main playmakers space. Stretching the field was the primary reason for selecting Davis #30 overall.

LB Donnie Edwards is gone to the division rival Chiefs, but the Chargers have the personnel to make up for his loss. San Diego plays a 3-4 style defense, and has Shawne Merriman on the outside to bring it all together. Merriman accumulated 17 sacks last season, coming up just short in his bid for defensive player of the year. To add more versatility to the squad, the Chargers traded up in the second round to get the #37 pick and selected S Eric Weddle out of Utah. Weddle plays hard and is a fantastic athlete who had 19 interceptions in college, but can also rush the quarterback or stop the run from either the safety or cornerback position. He had 22 tackles for loss at Utah. Watch for third year DE Luis Castillo to have a big year, after only playing in 10 games in '06 and accumulating 7 sacks of his own. The D performed well as a unit under Schottenheimer last season, ranking 10th overall in the NFL (13th against the pass and 7th against the run), but with new head man Norv Turner coming in as a primarily offensive-minded head coach, it's hard to say whether or not the Lightning Bolts will be able to keep up the same intensity.

2007 San Diego Chargers Predictions

Easy NFL predictions include the Pats to win their division unless Tom Brady dies in a horrific water polo accident, the Raiders to be bad unless…yeah, they'll be bad, and LT to lead the Chargers back to the playoffs. But don't be so quick to bet that San Diego won't miss a beat even with a new head coach. The NFL is by far the toughest league to predict, and selling Denver and Kansas City short would be a serious mistake. Feel free to sell the Raiders short if you like.

If you enjoyed reading the San Diego Chargers preview read up on the rest of AFC West clubs like the Chiefs, Raiders, and Broncos team breakdowns from Maddux Sports.

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2007 NFL Team Previews

As usual Maddux presents its anual 2007 NFL preview sorted by divisions. From each division you can find our predictions as well an individual team report of each National League Football Team. Click here to return to the main NFL season preview page.

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