Last report, I started my quarterly report praising the offense. For my midseason report, credit is going to be given where credit is due. Derwin James and this defense is a bad group of dudes. From Derwin James patrolling the middle of the field, decleating everyone running drags across the field to Sevn Banks and Montae Nicholson clamping every receiver they have faced so far. The front seven has been one of the best in the league featuring Joey Bosa and Dante Fowler on the edges and Kenneth Murray Jr. at MLB. We have had a phenomenal defensive start against the run holding the league leading rush defense through 7 weeks this season. The pass defense has proved to be just as good being top 3 in Interceptions through 7 weeks and it’s tough to not fall in love with the speed on this team. 5 guys in the secondary have 4 or more INTs through the mid season start and winning the turnover battle seems to be the key to victory for these Chargers in 2023. With all the praise the defense is getting, the offense deserves praise as well. Justin Herbert has been quite reckless early on this season throwing only 8 TDs to 13 INTs to start this season, but the offense still proves to be quite balanced. Repping a top 10 passing and top 10 rushing offense, this team is staying balanced enough to keep defenses guessing. Rico Gafford and Reggie Davis have been great spreading out defenses. Austin Ekeler ‘s speed has added a separate playmaker to this offense, even though he has been suspended for being a jerk, the offense against the Chicago Bears did enough to move to 5-2 after a strong defensive performance. Even Hunter Henry has started heating up after a slow start becoming a versatile element of this pass game.
As we head into our week 8 bye week, our prediction for how this season would go has been correct so far. Optimistic about the Bills, as we did lead by 3 at half, we ultimately got blown out to a final of 49-30. Happy with the performance and a lot to learn, we beat all the teams we were supposed to beat and remain at first place in the AFC West. We’re 5-2 going into the bye week and in prime position to make a push for the playoffs. However, we can’t look to far ahead as we still have a lot of work to do in hopes that we don’t end up with the dreaded 4 seed in AFC (Wildcard game against Nat or KMFO most likely).
Looking ahead to the next 4 games we play following our bye, in week 9 we head back home to SoFi Stadium to play a divisional game against the 2nd place, Denver Broncos. While they sit at 1-5, and it would be easy to look past this team, they have played some tough competition in the Premier Madden League. Caden Sterns leads this Denver defense and has proven he can be quite a problem for offenses if they’re not careful. However, Spencer Rattler has thrown 23 INTs so this Chargers team will be salivating at an opportunity to increase that number and cause havoc on the defensive end for the entirety of the game.
(Prediction: Chargers 38 – Broncos 17)
Following the important divisional game, we travel to the cold like Minnesota, cold like Minnesota, cold like Minnesota. And while I’ve never met Lil Yachty, I have met this man in a previous tryout game that will not be talked about. In all seriousness though, this is going to be an incredibly tough matchup for our Los Angeles Chargers. After watching them hit the Packers over and over and over again, I think I know what my ball carrier adjustments will be heading into this game. Austin Ekeler will be coming back from suspension and he will be necessary. I think it will be a defensive rock fight and neither one of us are going to sleep well at the end of the night. Jamie Newman plays smart football and will be tough to force mistakes out of him while stopping the two headed monster backfield of Dalvin Cook and Chris Carson will be one of our toughest matchups of the year. I don’t know how good the other matchups of the week are, but this game deserves a GOTW if we both take care of business up until this point. Expect a lot of defense.
(Prediction: Chargers 20 – Vikings 17)
Following the bare knuckle boxing match that Week 10 will be, the Chargers stay in the North to face the 3-3 Green Bay Packers. I think this is a very winnable game for our team and would really propel us into the driving seat for a good playoff seeding. If we win in Minnesota, this must not be a let down game. Win or lose that week, it is essential to move on and come out hot in Green Bay. They currently hold the #2 rush defense in the league and #2 defense in terms of total yards. 3-3 may not look intimidating but this defense can play. Bryce Young has eerily similar stats to Justin Herbert and the core of WR Davante Adams, RB Aaron Jones, and TE Michael Mayer could spell trouble for this defense. While I think there is potential for an letdown game if the Chargers win week 10, I think their mental toughness prevails and they escape Lambeau Field with a Win.
(Prediction: Chargers 42 – Packers 28)
The last game of the quarter comes as a divisional rematch against the winless Kansas City Chiefs. After a dominant 49-13 win in week 5, The Chargers will come back home with supreme confidence. Once again, containing the speed of their offense is key here. After a lot of success in week 5, I believe we will show up at home, and be able to almost clinch the division with a win here. Expect the defense to stop the run and force Mahomes into situations he doesn’t want to be in. Chargers win big again in Sofi.
(Prediction: Chargers 45 – Chiefs 10)
There you have the midseason report for the 2023 Chargers. Not a perfect start, but as of now, we’re leading their division and beating the opponents we should be beating. Hope to see you all back here at the end of week 12 at 9-2. It’s optimistic, but doable if we stay focused.