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By Danny Cox
The Houston Texans are coming off of a great 2012 season and impressive preseason, but this is a new year and they’ve got to be ready for their opening challenge. The thing here is that they may not get too much of a challenge from their first opponent, as the San Diego Chargers don’t look to have too much to offer.
In 2012, the Chargers finished with a 7-9 record, and honestly, some of that was by pure luck. Now they are heading into a new season and not a whole lot has changed for the team from the west.
Injuries decimated the Chargers last year, and they are already dealing with them to start off the new season. Unfortunately, the majority of them come on offense.
Wide receiver Danario Alexander is gone for the year. Malcom Floyd hasn’t ever played a full season during his nine-year career. Superstar Antonio Gates is tops in league when he’s healthy, but he hasn’t been that way since 2009, and it hinders his productivity and ability to bring more to the team.
Don’t forget that running back Ryan Mathews has already missed 10 games during his first three NFL seasons.
Philip Rivers used to be looked at as the future of the NFL, and was expected to become one of the “elite quarterbacks.” In reality, Rivers is the reason that Drew Brees was allowed to head out of town, and now the Chargers are looking at 55 turnovers from their quarterback in the past two seasons. He was also sacked 49 times in 2012 alone.
Rivers has the talent to be an elite QB, but his leadership skills have left a lot to be desired. He also doesn’t have the healthy talent around him to continue showing off his skills.
Defensively, the Chargers aren’t really dealing with many injuries just yet, but they don’t have the extreme talent to compete.
The biggest story for the San Diego Chargers in the offseason was drafting controversial linebacker Manti Te’o. He came into the team amid serious media circuses and it was thought that his presence would maybe help pick the team up, but that hasn’t happened either.
Te’o is already listed as “Questionable” for the season opener, but that could change.
San Diego does have a few other big names on defense in Eric Weddle, Donald Butler, and Dwight Freeney, but the Chargers need a lot more help than that. Houston has major offensive firepower and the Chargers don’t have nearly enough defensive weapons to keep up with them.
Unfortunately for the Chargers, the most impressive part of the squad is on special teams with punter Mike Scifres and kicker Nick Novak. They are the most consistent members of the team and are always ready to perform when called upon.
Punting and field goals won’t cut it against the Texans, though. Houston is going to run up the score with their offense and then bring forceful strength with their defense, and the Chargers may already be in over their heads.
For more news and updates, visit Houston Texans Central
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.