With the Los Angeles Chargers probably finishing in last place within the AFC West, it’s easy to see why head coach Anthony Lynn would be on the hot seat. However, it would behoove management to keep their leader past this season.
Lynn, the former Super Bowl-winning running back for the Denver Broncos, found success with the Chargers from the outset. Unfortunately, he also came in the back end of a dying era in Los Angeles, the Philip Rivers-led Bolts. If you look at this year’s record exclusively, we wouldn’t blame you for wanting to see Lynn get canned. Nonetheless, keeping Lynn would establish continuity with the franchise as it transitions into a new era with quarterback Justin Herbert.
There was no way with a rookie quarterback in a division that saw every rival improve–also home to the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs–win more than six or seven games. If you look closely though, the offense showed many positive signs in 2020 that could possibly translate into success in 2021. Granted, this will depend on how free agency and the NFL draft go next year.
How Has The Chargers Offense Looked?
Offensively, the Chargers have had a promising passing offense with their rookie signal-caller. Herbert has thrown for 25 touchdowns in his 12 starts with pocket time averaging 2.4 seconds. He’s been sacked 26 times in his rookie campaign so no doubt the offensive line needs reinforcements. This issue can be mitigated under Lynn if Chargers brass uses its draft capital on a tackle, maybe two. In other words, there are positives here to build on that Lynn has seen through.
If the promising passing attack isn’t enough, there’s more. Lynn’s offense features one of the better wide receiver corps in the NFL. Led by the all-world and highly overlooked, Keenan Allen, they can be a force with Herbert under center.
Unfortunately, Lynn has also had to deal with a running back stable that’s been hindered by injury. Austin Ekeler in particular has seen his availability go down, having only played in seven games this year. In 2019, we saw what Lynn’s team can do with a healthier backfield when he had Melvin Gordon as well as Ekeler. Fans witnessed what Ekeler can bring to the table with nearly 1,000 yards receiving so Lynn’s offense isn’t the issue. As a whole, he has them playing disciplined football, the team had 109 penalties in 2019, and this year, they have 72.
If you combine a healthy running back group, a rebuilt offensive line, and the same receiver corps, then there’s no reason Lynn can’t get this team to at least 9 wins in 2021.