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A Roundup of Chargers 2022 Season Predictions

season

The Chargers are just five days away from their 2022 season opener.

Here's a roundup of what national pundits are saying about the Bolts ahead of Week 1.

Record prediction: 12-5

I gave a slight edge to the Chargers because I think last year's offense, which was top 10 in most major EPA (expected points added) categories, will now be buoyed by a defense that will fare far better than the one Brandon Staley trotted out a year ago.

Record prediction: 11-6

After the Los Angeles Chargers missed the 2021 postseason in heartbreaking fashion, they're a strong favorite to earn a spot in 2022.

The offense has familiar names in quarterback Justin Herbert, running back Austin Ekeler and receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. And, yes, the unit's explosiveness is Los Angeles' main appeal.

But the Chargers bulked up the defense too. They acquired edge-rusher Khalil Mack in a trade and then picked up interior linemen Sebastian Joseph-Day and Austin Johnson, cornerback J.C. Jackson and nickelback Bryce Callahan in free agency.

Although they need to capitalize on a decently soft opening half of the schedule, they're an exciting team.

Record prediction: 11-6

Accomplishment of the year: Chargers going 4-2 in the toughest division since the 2002 realignment into eight divisions.

(Note: King has the Chargers advancing to the AFC Championship).

Record prediction: 12-5

The AFC West is so loaded this year that the entire division could end up making NFL history. Since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, there has NEVER been a season where every single team in a division finished with a winning record. There have been several seasons where the last place team finished 8-8 (most recently in 2008 NFC East), but there's never been an instance where every team finished ABOVE .500. With Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, Justin Herbert and Derek Carr at quarterback, it's hard to imagine any team in this division finishing the year with a losing record.

Record prediction: 12-5

The Chargers don't have real weaknesses around Justin Herbert, including the line, receivers and running backs. They also filled in some key gaps defensively, raising the playmaking to an incredible level with Khalil Mack helping Joey Bosa on the pass rush while J.C. Jackson joins Derwin James in the secondary. If somewhat healthy, this team should come through big-time for Brandon Staley in Year 2.

(Note: Iyer has the Chargers advancing to Super Bowl LVII).

Prediction: 2nd place in the AFC West

If they stay healthy and realize their potential, they'll be in the Super Bowl mix. With Herbert on one side and Khalil Mack added to that defense, that's an outstanding roster.

Record prediction: 10-7

The Chargers rank no lower than the top eight in terms of win-share units at QB, RB, WR, OL, pass rusher and DB. They had a 30.9 percent QB pressure rate in 2021 (fourth-highest in the NFL, per Next Gen Stats) but only a 5.9 sack rate (20th). With the addition of Khalil Mack to a unit that already featured Joey Bosa, look for an uptick in sack total, which will matter quite a bit in the extremely tough AFC West.

Five votes to win Super Bowl LVII (second-most among all teams)

Tom Blair: Chargers over Rams. Justin Herbert gives those gaudy early-career stats a championship shine with a starry performance in what will hopefully be called the Freeway Bowl, even if both Los Angeles teams share a home stadium and fly to play each other for this game in Arizona.

Kevin Patra: Chargers over Packers. The Lombardi Trophy remains in L.A. but changes SoFi locker rooms after Justin Herbert wills the Chargers to a comeback win over Aaron Rodgers and the Pack, keeping the four-time MVP from that elusive second Super Bowl.

Marc Sessler: Chargers over Eagles. In full bloom, Justin Herbert emerges as the league's prized treasure under center. His MVP campaign serves as a rousing jaunt through pro football's wilderness, capped in the Arizona desert with a 14-play, game-winning overtime drive -- its final note: Herbert scampering to paydirt -- to off the favored Eagles.

Matt "Money" Smith: Chargers over Packers. Aaron Rodgers finally gets back to the big game, only to have Derwin James wreck the afternoon in a brilliant Super Bowl MVP-winning performance.

LaDainian Tomlinson: Chargers over Packers. The Chargers have featured championship-caliber rosters many times before. How sweet it will be when this team finally gets it done, especially for those of us who were part of previous Bolts groups that fell short.

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