A City Without a Team Suddenly Gets Crowded
No longer just a bargaining chip for pouty billionaire owners, the city of Los Angeles will become a hive of NFL activity next fall. When the Los Angeles Chargers kick off the 2017-18 season at the StubHub Center, the city will be the proud home of not one, but two NFL franchises. They’ll join a Rams team that underperformed last season, but the NFL universe just seems a bit more glamorous with a presence in Los Angeles.
Here’s a look at what to expect from the Rams and the Chargers next year.
The Chargers Look to Reboot in Los Angeles
The Chargers’ time in San Diego ended with a whimper. Phillip Rivers and company seem eager to start over in Los Angeles, but the team enters this inaugural season with an aging offensive line and a dire need for an explosive wide receiver. The Bolts also need help on the defensive side of the ball, especially in the secondary.
Rivers is still a fierce competitor at 35, but he’ll need some help if he’s going to translate his fiery leadership into wins. He’s entering the twilight of an impressive career, but the clock is clearly winding down on his chances for a championship. Unfortunately, there just isn’t enough talent to get them there anytime soon. Seven wins would be acceptable progress next season.
The Rams Enter Their Second Season Back In LA with Low Expectations
The Rams will come into 2017-18 with a ton of uncertainty. After starting last season 3-1, they completely imploded, with losses in 10 of their final 11 games. This led to the firing of veteran head coach Jeff Fisher and signaled the start of a rebuilding mode.
Rookie coach Sean Mcvay has his work cut out for him. The roster has glaring holes at wide receiver, on the offensive line, and all over the defense. Despite a rough sophomore season, running back Todd Gurley still seems like a keeper, and rookie quarterback Jared Goff showed flashes toward the end of the season.
New defensive coordinator Wade Phillips should help, but he’ll need time and a couple of playmakers before he can put his stamp on the franchise. Look for the Rams to improve slightly on last season’s woeful record, but keep a close eye on Goff’s development to get a true glimpse of what the future holds.