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BLOG: Chargers Named Threat for AFC West Crown
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NFL.com and NFL Network analyst Elliot Harrison took a look around the NFL on Tuesday, naming the teams that pose the biggest threat to last year’s division winners.
His pick for the AFC West?
That would be your San Diego Chargers.
Here is what he had to say:
“2012 champs: Denver Broncos
Likeliest threat in 2013: San Diego Chargers
Why San Diego?
The chic pick in the AFC West is the Kansas City Chiefs, mostly due to the trade for quarterback Alex Smith and the arrival of coach Andy Reid. It's interesting that no one is considering how much Smith struggled prior to Jim Harbaugh becoming his coach in San Francisco. Smith will have a new offensive coordinator in Kansas City -- and, if you remember, the constant changing of offensive coordinators was blamed for all of Smith's struggles over his first six years in the league. Here's a vote for Philip Rivers resuscitating his career in 2013. Bear in mind that the Chargers went 7-9 last season, whereas the Chiefs fell to 2-14. The Bolts also allowed nearly five fewer points per game.
How it can happen:
» Chargers head coach Mike McCoy needs to improve the passing game by creating higher-percentage shots on intermediate routes. Rivers averaged less than 7 yards per throw last year.
» Receiver Vincent Brown and running back Ryan Mathews MUST stay healthy.
» Manti Te'o has to show that his football IQ is as high as talent evaluators like Mike Mayock say it is. Not only must he anticipate what opposing offenses will do, he also must help get teammates in position to make the plays he doesn't.”