Los Angeles Chargers History
The Los Angeles Chargers were one of the original eight AFL teams. Even though they have moved twice in their history, they did begin as the Los Angeles Chargers. The team played its inaugural season at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, sharing a home stadium with the Rams (history repeats itself).
Attendance wasn’t great as they played second fiddle to the Rams. Therefore, owner Baron Hilton decided to move the team to San Diego and become the only pro sports team in town.
The move proved to be fruitful, both in attendance and on the field. Here the Chargers made the AFL Championship Game in five of the first six years of the new league – winning the title in 1963 with a 51-10 romp of the Patriots.
Downfall of the Las Angeles Chargers
But little would anyone guess that after that win in ‘63, and after winning the Western Division again in 1964 and 1965, that the Chargers would never win another championship. Not in the AFL, and not after the AFL-NFL merger and the beginning of the Super Bowl era. And not since moving back to Los Angeles in 2017.
The Chargers have won the AFC West 10 times in the Super Bowl era, and they’ve been in the playoffs 14 times. They even made it to the Super Bowl once, a 49-26 loss to Steve Young and the 49ers. But they remain one of the 12 NFL teams to have never lifted the Lombardi Trophy.
It’s not because of a lack of great players or Hall of Famers.
Lance Alworth had an NFL-record five 200-yard receiving games. Kellen Winslow was one of the greatest tight ends in NFL history. Dan Fouts was the first quarterback in NFL history to have consecutive 4,000-yard seasons. Junior Seau was a 12-time Pro Bowl linebacker. Ladanian Tomlinson was an NFL MVP in 2006 when he scored an NFL-record 31 touchdowns, and he finished his career with more than 18,000 yards from scrimmage.
NFL Big Changes from Last Season – Los Angeles Chargers
When the Chargers hit the offseason after another disappointing end to a season, the task at hand was clear. The offense was great, and could be strengthened, but none of that would matter if the defense didn’t get better.
Los Angeles scored the fifth most points in 2021, gained the sixth most total yards, and they had the second most passing yards of any team in the NFL. But they also ranked 29th in points allowed, 23rd in total yards allowed, and 30th in rush yards allowed. The Chargers finished with a rush yards differential of -527 yards.
Justin Herbert is a joy to watch, and as he begins his third NFL season he is only becoming an even better quarterback. Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are excellent wide receivers, and Austin Ekeler is a great multi-purpose back. But that defense, in getting hammered by the Houston Texans of all teams, as well as giving up 35 points to the Raiders in the final game of the season, kept them out of the playoffs.
In comes Khalil Mack. He’s made his name as a former Defensive Player of Year sack machine, but the Chargers also believe that his ability to set the edge will make the rest of the line better run defenders.
L.A. also signed two new big bodies at defensive tackle through free agency, signing Austin Johnson from the Giants and Sebastian Joseph-Day from the Rams. Kyle Van Noy and Troy Reeder are new depth pieces at linebacker.
Head coach Brandon Staley cut his teeth on the defensive side of the ball, and with an offense that can take care of itself, he’s now solely focused on turning L.A. into a championship defense.
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