5. Los Angeles Chargers What’s New in 2019: It’s more of the same from the coaching side, which is good news for what has been a successful team on an upward trend. On the personnel side, we saw a pretty good draft from TT again with Jerry Tillery and Nassir Adderley looking like excellent value at the spots they were taken. It was quiet on the free agent front, with long-term leader of the Panthers defense Thomas Davis coming in to help at linebacker and Tyrod Taylor joining to back up at quarterback after a spell as a league starter. Roster Strengths: Quarterback – Phillip Rivers was his reliable best last season, outside what seemed a notable drop in arm strength in the playoffs. I hope that isn’t a sign of things to come. Edge – Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram are primed to torment the league again in 2019 if both can stay healthy. That’s the premier pass-rushing duo in the league. Secondary – There’s a luxury of talent with Casey Heyward continuing to be one of the best free agent pick-ups in recent memory and Desmond King and Trevor Williams both having played at a high level at corner. At safety, Derwin James was every bit as advertised in rookie season and should be even better in year two. Adrian Phillips is a decent run filling third safety, but they will be hoping 2nd rounder Nasir Adderley can come in and be ready to play deep. Running Back – Melvin Gordon has missed 9 regular season games over his four seasons, including four last year which was heading for his best yet. If that continues into 2019, the Chargers continue to have one of the best 1-2 punches with Austin Ekeler who clocked up over a 1,000 yards for the first time last year. Elsewhere – Henry Hunter returns from an ACL which put him out of 2018 after a very promising rookie season, that could be huge. Keenan Allen is quietly and consistently one of the game’s hardest receivers to guard. Roster Weaknesses: Offensive Line – They had a problem on their right side all year in 2018 and that situation doesn’t look greatly improved, with only a 3rd round pick on a tiny school tackle prospect coming in via the off-season. Russell Okung has solidified the left tackle spot, but he’s dealing with an injury situation again right now and that could keep him out for training camp and beyond. Inside, Feeney and Schofield have been poor at guard and only a sudden flourish from the strangely absent Forrest Lamp seems likely to help turn this around. Breakout Player: Mike Williams – A 7th overall pick two seasons ago, a back injury pretty much wiped out his rookie season before he his red zone cameos last year where he caught a crazy ten touchdowns from just 43 catches (664 yards). He should have a much expanded role in year 3 with no Tyrell Williams in town, even if the number of touchdowns is unlikely to increase.  How they can win in 2019: There are most things in place for them to succeed on offense, a future HOF caliber quarterback, a dynamic running back duo, a tight end who is a stud in the making and a pair (a third would be nice) of wide receivers capable of outwitting and out muscling their opponents. What they don’t have is an offensive line that looks ready to pump out a league average return. That’s all they need to be, whether they get there with their returning five from last year, or Lamp and/or Pipkins and/or Trent Scott come up to shore things up. The Chargers were a top ten offense with the 31st pass blocking grade and the 30th run blocking grade according to PFF. Imagine if they were league average there.  On defense, the Chargers have Brandon Mebane turning 34 years old and rookie Jerry Tillery coming off shoulder surgery. That’s a pairing to watch with only role players behind them. Similarly, Bosa and Ingram need to stay healthy, because that unit will go as they do. They ran out of players at linebacker last year and anything they can get from an ageing Thomas Davis is huge. Jatavis Brown was poor in his second season and needs to bounce back from that and there are a few hybrid guys on the roster who might emerge there. Anything they can get from Denzel Perryman will be a bonus, a sustained run of health from him turns this around quickly. In the secondary, they should be looking to dominate from snap to snap.  Predicted record 2019: 12-4 – The Chargers have sought stability throughout an unstable period off the field and should be rewarded with an AFC West title if they can avoid the injury bug this year. This is a talented team who could absolutely make a Super Bowl push.