With the free agency/draft section of the off-season past and mandatory minicamps starting to get underway, it’s time to take a look at the faces of each NFL team – the players who have the most impact on their team, some of the general leaders, and just generally who people think of first when they think of an individual team. We’ll be looking at the three most prominent “faces” of each team – and these are the faces in question for the 2021 Los Angeles Chargers.
2021 Los Angeles Chargers: Faces of the Team
Last year the Chargers went into the season without a clear figurehead at quarterback – Herbert was the guy they were building around, but we didn’t know for sure yet if he’d live up to his top ten draft pick status. That question only took about one game to answer – and Herbert only built upon it, going on to have the best statistical rookie quarterback season in NFL history (31 touchdown passes and ten interceptions), being named Offensive Rookie of the Year as a result, and making himself the new face of the franchise as a result.
It’s a good situation for the Chargers to be in – they know they’ve got their guy at quarterback for the foreseeable future already, and all they had to do now was protect him and switch up the coaching staff, which arguably held him back last year (certainly in the win-loss column, anyway). With Herbert’s physical abilities – both his arm strength and his accuracy, as well as the ability to extend the play – the sky is the limit for him.
It probably helps that Allen’s the longest-tenured player on the Chargers right now, but this is almost certainly the other player that comes to mind most easily on the offense besides Herbert himself. After a dazzling rookie season of his own, Allen struggled with injuries for the next few years before finally righting the ship in 2017, and has since been easily the best non-quarterback player on the Chargers offense, as well as establishing himself as arguably a top ten receiver in the league.
Allen had virtually no adjustment period with Herbert when he became the starter, quickly becoming his favorite target – to the point where he caught more third-down passes for first downs than anyone else in the league, and also had his third 100+ catch season in the last four years. Herbert may be spreading the ball around a little more this year, but it’s hard not to see Allen still being his favorite.
When it comes to most prolific players on the defense, it comes down pretty easily to either Joey Bosa or Derwin James. The issue with James is that he has scarcely seen the field the last two years due to injuries. In the meantime, Bosa has continued being one of the more dominant pass-rushers in the league. Even with missing four games and also his pass-rushing counterpart Melvin Ingram for most of the season, he still brought in another 7.5 sacks, bringing his career tally to 47.5 in five years.
The Chargers locked down Bosa with a mega-extension last off-season to keep him around for the foreseeable future. Bosa is definitely the sort of defensive player you want to keep around – despite occasional injury-proneness, he is a nightmare for quarterbacks.
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