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The Marty Lounge>Your annual Chargers hype article
Danguardace 01:17 PM 03-31-2021
Here we go

Originally Posted by :
Justin Herbert, Chargers ready to be West Coast's next Cinderella squad
Published: Mar 31, 2021 at 01:38 PM
Headshot_Author_Adam Schein_2019_png
Adam Schein
NFL.com Contributing Columnist



The streak is over.

This is the spot in my annual column announcing my choice for the upcoming season's Cinderella team where I normally recount my string of past successes. The 2017 Jaguars reached the AFC title game. The 2018 Bears captured their first division title in eight years. The 2019 Bills won double-digit games for the first time since 1999.

And the 2020 Cardinals ... well, the 2020 Cardinals lost to two backup quarterbacks in the final two weeks of the season, falling out of the playoff race and finishing 8-8. For the first time in four years, my Cinderella team missed the postseason.

I'm still annoyed, even if this isn't technically supposed to be a playoff pick. Nevertheless, I remain undaunted in my search for a sleeper who can capture the hearts and minds of a nation. And unlike last year, when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the sports world, I can seek inspiration from what has arguably been the best NCAA men's basketball tournament ever.

Thinking about the way Pac-12 teams have repeatedly shocked the experts, with 11th-seeded UCLA's stunning win over top-seeded Michigan in the Elite Eight capping a record-setting run of upsets by the Bruins, 12th-seeded Oregon State, seventh-seeded Oregon and sixth-seeded USC, I found myself channeling the words of the great Coolio:

Ain't no party like a West Coast party, 'cause a West Coast party don't stop!

He's right. And the party baton is about to be carried into the NFL season by my 2021 Cinderella team: the Los Angeles Chargers.


The key in this exercise is identifying a team that did not make the playoffs last season and that is not on the radar of most people (which rules out teams like the Cowboys, who should be favorites in the NFC East with Dak Prescott returning). I know the Chargers seem to attract offseason buzz like it's their business, but they also have regularly failed to make good on it -- meaning they are, in a way, an ideal post-hype-ish choice.

Plus, like Cinderella's slipper, the Bolts just feel right.

It starts with the quarterback. Regular readers (and listeners and viewers) know I've been obsessed with Justin Herbert since long before Los Angeles' brilliant decision to draft him sixth overall last year. I was enamored with Herbert's arm, athleticism, accuracy, smarts, leadership and poise, and how it could translate into instant NFL stardom. It all came to fruition in a debut season for the ages, with the former Oregon Duck throwing for 4,336 yards and 31 TDs (against just 10 picks) before capturing the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. He developed a tremendous rapport with underrated star receiver Keenan Allen while showing he's the kind of special player who elevates everyone around him. The kid has it.


Justin Herbert highlights | 2020 season
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And that's just what we saw last year, when he started off as a backup who had to adjust to the NFL during a COVID-limited offseason. Think of what Herbert will be able to do in 2021, entering as an entrenched starter.

Think of what he'll be able to do with a new coach.

I love ex-Chargers coach Anthony Lynn, who earned my vote for Coach of the Year in 2018, when he helped the team to a 12-4 record and playoff berth. He's a great person. But the team was dropping too many close games, racking up more defeats by seven points or less (15) in the past two seasons than any other NFL team in that span, and Lynn's game-management was a significant problem. Losing was becoming too normal. A change was needed.

Brandon Staley is the right guy at the right time. While there is always an unknown surrounding first-year coaches, Staley represents a calculated upgrade. The well-respected defensive whiz, whose players seemed to loved playing for him in previous stops with the Rams, Broncos and Bears, will end the run of "you can't make 'em up" losses that has been dogging the Chargers.

Yes, what really gets me excited about this team is thinking about all the additions that were made to help Herbert, from Staley to Corey Linsley, who will be worth every single penny of his five-year, $62.5 million deal as the new leader of the offensive line. I raved about the fit and contract in this space last week -- he's the best center in football. Tight end Jared Cook, filling in for the departed Hunter Henry on a one-year deal, is a great replacement who will be able to groove with the QB.


Corey Linsley: 'I'm excited' to get to work with Justin Herbert
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And I cannot wait to see what general manager Tom Telesco does with the 13th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Telesco is a huge part of this. He's a brilliant talent evaluator, and he's loaded the roster with promising players who haven't even reached their peak yet. Think of their overlooked depth and ability at running back (2020 fourth-rounder Joshua Kelley) and receiver (former undrafted players Jalen Guyton and Tyron Johnson).

One year ago, a few months after Telesco picked linebacker Kenneth Murray with a second first-rounder, I made the case that the Chargers' defense was the best in the NFL. While Murray was terrific as a tackling machine, logging 107 total tackles (second-most among rookies last season), I had to back off that bold claim when safety Derwin James was lost for the 2020 season. James will be back, and he will thrive in Staley's dynamic and diverse scheme. Joey Bosa is a flat-out monster at defensive end, one of the best defensive players in the sport. He's a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks -- and I think Staley can make him even better. That's scary.

Obviously, it will be tough to win the AFC West, where Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs loom. But I love this Chargers group, which is just silly with upside. The right people are in place -- and they will get me back on track after the Cardinals let me down last year.

The slipper will go back on that foot. And somewhere, Coolio will be smiling. Because this West Coast party is going to roll long past midnight.
I guess they'll get right some time.
[Reply]
ROYC75 03:29 PM 03-31-2021
Somethings never change!
[Reply]
Dunerdr 01:59 AM 04-01-2021
Heres to 10-7 and somehow missing a wild card!
[Reply]
Deberg_1990 05:54 AM 04-01-2021
Keep doubting Brandon Staley.....
[Reply]
Dunerdr 06:00 AM 04-01-2021
Maybe this was a just a poorly timed april fools?
[Reply]
loochy 06:15 AM 04-01-2021
The article in the OP seems like like an April Fool's joke....but it's not. :-)
edit: damnit Dunerdr
[Reply]
TEX 06:44 AM 04-01-2021
April Fools, right?
[Reply]
RunKC 09:03 AM 04-06-2021
:-)

It's a good thing for the Chiefs these GMs are just spreading jive about the perceived shortcomings of Justin Fields b/c if Fields actually fell to the 9th pick for the Broncos KC might be looking at 3rd place in the West this yr.
(ps - the Chargers are still winning the div)

— Dave Dameshek (@Dameshek) April 4, 2021

[Reply]
AdolfOliverBush 09:12 AM 04-06-2021
Originally Posted by RunKC:
:-)

I hope Fields falls to 9, so the Broncos can add to their list of failed-to-middling quarterbacks.
[Reply]
CasselGotPeedOn 09:17 AM 04-06-2021
Originally Posted by RunKC:
:-)

Inject it into my veins
[Reply]
duncan_idaho 09:24 AM 04-06-2021
Originally Posted by RunKC:
:-)


Hawt taek
[Reply]
dlphg9 12:33 PM 04-06-2021
Originally Posted by RunKC:
:-)

This is what happens when media members aren't held accountable for their shitty, terrible, stupid fucking predictions. These guys go on Twitter and post some butt fucking dumb hot take and act like they are smarter than everyone else and when they're wrong they don't get called out or shot in the head, but if for some reason they hit the prediction lottery, then they will never shut the fuck up about it.

Start killing idiots for these stupid ass predictions, so I never have to read them again.
[Reply]
Chieftain 12:54 PM 04-06-2021
Elway is a Mac Jones type of guy. Tall and very white.
[Reply]
Rainbarrel 07:45 AM 04-07-2021
Originally Posted by RunKC:
:-)

David Carr is slacking in his prediction of Derek's 2021 league MVP campaign.
[Reply]
duncan_idaho 08:10 AM 04-07-2021
One of my favorite summations of Fields lists his weaknesses as:

Undeveloped field visionlocks onto his preferred read and doesn’t consistently find his second and third options (sometimes by design)…needs to be quicker eliminating things post-snap…stares down reads and doesn’t play with a consistent sense of urgency…needs to be better taking what the defense gives him instead of forcing throws…his passes lose life when attempting to throw off-balance…ball security needs work: holds the ball loose in the pocket and as a runner (12 fumbles over the last two seasons)…needs to do a better job of avoiding hits…benefited from an all-star cast around him (both players and play-calling).

BOLDED remind me of a QB who already plays in the AFC West. A lot. His name rhymes with Shrew Cock.
[Reply]
crayzkirk 07:07 PM 04-07-2021
The Chargers always have a great cast of players and play the Chiefs well. They also seem to be able to shoot themselves in the foot year after year with injuries and timely losses. I wouldn't sell them short because if they can stay healthy, will be a tough out for a lot of teams. Herbert is going to be an issue in the AFC West for years, he doesn't have the ability of Mahomes to make insane throws under pressure however I believe he's going to be a top QB in the league. Playing the Chiefs twice a year will make him sink or swim pretty quickly.
[Reply]
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