The Los Angeles Chargers lost out on their shot at Tom Brady in free agency and apparently will go forward with Tyrod Taylor as their starting QB this season – at least as of now. Here’s a look at the 2020 Bolts and their NFL odds as they move into a stellar new stadium with the Rams.
Los Angeles Chargers NFL Odds After Free Agency Week 1
Los Angeles didn’t win back-to-back games all season but had losing streaks of two, three, three, three and three. The team played its final game in that 27,000-seat soccer stadium in Carson, Calif., in Week 16, losing 24-17 to the Raiders. Philip Rivers was 27 of 39 for 279 yards in what would prove to be his final home game with the Chargers. The Bolts finished 11-11 over three seasons in the facility built for soccer and 2-5 in 2019. L.A. would finish last year at 5-11 with a 31-24 loss in Kansas City in what would be Rivers’ last-ever game with the Chargers.
Two L.A. wideouts finished the year with very good number. Mike Williams finished with 1,000 yards receiving to join Keenan Allen as the first duo of Chargers to reach that mark since 2009. Allen finished with 104 catches (team record) for 1,119 yards. Running back Austin Ekeler finished just seven yards short of 1,000 himself.
Los Angeles Chargers offseason moves
The team’s two best known offensive players, quarterback Philip Rivers and running back Melvin Gordon, moved on in free agency. Rivers signed with the Colts. While Rivers finished fourth in the NFL in passing yards in 2019, he finished third in the NFL with 20 interceptions and had an 88.5 passer rating. His touchdown percentage of 3.9 was his lowest since becoming the Chargers starting quarterback in 2006 and his adjusted net yards gained per pass attempt (7.1) was his lowest since 2012.
Still, Rivers has been one of the NFL’s great all-time ironmen; he has started 224 consecutive regular season games, which is the longest active streak in the NFL and the third longest since 1970. Rivers is currently sixth all-time with 59,271 passing yards and sixth in touchdowns (397).
Gordon signed with Denver, but the Chargers really had started phasing him out in favor of Austin Ekeler. He got a four-year extension worth nearly $25 million. Initially a special-teams standout, Ekeler developed into a proven playmaker for the Chargers in the passing game and running game. His 993 receiving yards last were the second most by a running back in a single season in team history. Ekeler finished tops in the NFL among running backs with eight receiving touchdowns and ranked second with 92 catches.
L.A. also upgraded the offensive line by trading for Trai Turner and signing free-agent Bryan Bulaga. While Bulaga has had some injury problems in the past and is now 31, he hasn’t shown any signs of regression with his play in recent years. He’s coming off playing all 16 games for the Packers en route to the NFC Championship game against the 49ers. For Bulaga, the transition to a new team will be helped by reuniting with offensive line coach James Campen, who joined Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn’s staff earlier this offseason. Campen was Bulaga’s line coach in Green Bay from his rookie season in 2010 through the 2018 season.
Turner, a former third-round pick out of LSU, turns 27 this offseason and has made five straight Pro Bowls. He has missed three games in each of the last three seasons due to injury, but he is one of the better interior linemen in the NFL.
Another solid move was signing tight end Donald Parham, formerly of the XFL’s Dallas Renegades, to a two-year contract. Parham, 22, went undrafted out of Stetson last April and latched on with the Redskins before failing to make it to final cuts. In the XFL, though, he had 24 catches for 307 yards and four touchdowns in the five games before the league shut down. He’ll compete for a job behind Hunter Henry for the Chargers.
Finally, the Chargers signed one of the NFL’s best cornerbacks in former Bronco Chris Harris. He joins a deep Chargers secondary that hosts Pro-Bowlers Derwin James and Casey Hayward. For his career, Harris has recorded 518 combined tackles, 23 tackles for loss, 86 pass deflections, 20 interceptions, 4.5 sacks, and six forced fumbles. Harris has made the Pro Bowl four times and earned three All-Pro honors, including First Team in 2016.
- Home: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Raiders, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots, New York Jets.
- Away: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Raiders, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Los Angeles Chargers odds to win Super Bowl 55
The Chargers are +4000 to win their first-ever Super Bowl title next February in Tampa.