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2013 San Diego Chargers
The San Diego Chargers have been one of the league's biggest underachievers over the past few years. The Chargers got off to a solid 3-1 start last season (both straight-up and against the spread), but they endured a mid-season collapse in which they dropped seven of eight (2-6 ATS). San Diego went go 3-1 in the last four games (2-2 ATS) to finish 7-9 overall, missing the playoffs for the third straight season and ultimately sealing the fate of head coach Norv Turner, who was fired.
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers was good, but not good enough as he failed to throw for 4,000+ yards like he had done in each of the previous four seasons. Rivers totaled 3,606 passing yards, 26 touchdowns and 15 interceptions and really seemed to miss having former wide receiver Vincent Jackson, who signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last offseason. Instead, it was WR Malcom Floyd who was the team's leader in receptions (56) and receiving yards (814) while perennial Pro Bowl tight end Antonio Gates had a down year with only 49 catches for 538 yards, his lowest numbers since his rookie year. Third-year running back Ryan Matthews underperformed yet again as well, failing to stay healthy and appearing in just 12 games with 707 rushing yards and one touchdown. The Chargers ranked 31st in the league in total yards (297.2 per contest) and 20th in points scored (20.9 per game).
After the team's first losing season since 2003, Turner and general manager A.J. Smith were let go. The Chargers hired Tom Telesco as their new GM, and he in turn brought former Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy in as the new head coach. So far this offseason, San Diego has lost linebacker Shaun Phillips and Antwan Barnes, cornerbacks Antoine Cason and Quentin Jammer , nose tackles Aubrayo Franklin and Antonio Garay, offensive linemen Louis Vasquez and Jared Gaither and defensive lineman Vaughn Martin through free agency. The Chargers also lost second-year LB Melvin Ingram for the season due to a torn ACL injury. The Chargers replaced some of their depleted talent by signing some key free agents as well, including offensive tackles Max Starks and King Dunlap, LB Dwight Freeney and RB Danny Woodhead. They also seemed to draft well with OT D.J. Fluker, LB Manti Te'o and WR Keenan Allen all expected to be immediate contributors this season.
The oddsmakers at 5Dimes have the Chargers listed at O/U 7.5 wins this year. San Diego will likely suffer through some growing pains as McCoy takes over, and there are simply too many holes both on offense and defense to avoid another losing season.
Recommended Play: UNDER 7.5
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