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The 2023 Los Angeles Chargers Team Awards

A team full of turnover, turmoil, and disaster leads to an added layer of difficulty to look back fondly of. The 2023 Los Angeles Chargers Team Awards.

The Los Angeles Chargers have officially finished the season with an extremely disappointing 5-12. A team full of turnover, turmoil, and disaster leads to an added layer of difficulty to look back fondly on. That said, the Chargers had some great players this season, who deserve some recognition. Welcome to The 2023 Los Angeles Chargers Team Awards

The 2023 Los Angeles Chargers Team Awards

Most Valuable Player: Justin Herbert

It is pretty hard to look at this team before and after the injury that Justin Herbert suffered and say Herbert is not the MVP of this team. The former Oregon Duck gave the Chargers something worth watching this season, when he was healthy- which was not much of the season. After playing through a fractured finger in his left hand, Herbert suffered the same injury to his right hand, effectively ending his season.

In his time healthy, the 2020 offensive rookie of the year made this offense something of value. An awful run game with injuries piling up, the leader of this team did everything he could on the field, fighting valiantly practically by himself. With likely a new offensive scheme coming in once again for Herbert, and a new coaching staff fans hope that 2024 will be Herbert’s year to show the NFL he is still the same player.

2023 Stats:

Passing Yards: 3134

Passing Touchdowns: 20

Rushing Yards: 228

Rushing Touchdowns: 3

Offensive Player of The Year: Keenan Allen

A personal favorite of 2023, Keenan Allen showed that his age simply does not define his play. At the age of 31, the former third-round selection was pretty much the only weapon for Justin Herbert the entire season. While he missed four games due to a “tricky” heel injury he still solidified himself as one of the best wide receivers in football.

Without Keenan Allen this year, the Los Angeles Chargers would find themselves in an offense with literally zero playmakers. The offense was carried by Justin Herbert and Keenan Allen. Once both of those players missed the last stretch of the season, not one game was won. Pretty indicative of the season in general. With the Chargers being stuck in cap turmoil, and a new staff this team could look a lot different. The new regime must keep Keenan Allen for 2024 if they want any chance of turning this around quickly.

2023 Stats:

Receptions: 108

Receiving Yards: 1243

Receiving Touchdowns: 7

Defensive Player of The Year: Khalil Mack

Following the same path as Keenan Allen, Khalil Mack showed that his age at 32 does not mean one thing. The veteran at times single handily carried this defense. The season did not come easy for Mack either, as he lost his running mate early in the year in Joey Bosa. Bosa missed 8 games, and with the nine he did play being banged up. So that led offenses to focus on Mack and he saw an immense amount of chips, double teams, and quick throws.

The 2024 season for Mack is up in the air if he will spend it with the bolts. As mentioned before, the cap situation is extremely tough, and cutting Mack would get the Chargers close to where they need to be. That said, cutting Mack would be an idiotic move as he was the best defender on this team for all of 2023.

2023 Stats:

Sacks: 17 (18 PFF Sacks)

Pressures: 88

Tackles: 74

TFLs: 21

Forced Fumbles: 5

Rookie of The Year: Tuli Tuipulotu

The rookie of the year for the Chargers is not their first-round selection Quentin Johnston. Instead, it is their second-round selection, Tuli Tuipulotu from USC. Tuipulotu was drafted to be their EDGE3 but had to step in early as the EDGE2 with an injury to Joey Bosa. In week three, Tuipulotu played his T-2nd most snaps of the season, and the most he played til that point. On 64 snaps against the Vikings, the second-round selection dominated. A few career highs he recorded in this game are nine pressures, four stops, 3 sacks (PFF), and 3 QB hits.

With a dominant performance in his first game truly starting, he really did not let his foot off the gas. Tuli and Mack formed a strong duo and look to run it back in 2024, maybe with the addition of Joey Bosa and his health. An exciting first season for the barely 21-year-old edge rusher.

2023 Stats:

Sacks: 4.5 (8 PFF Sacks)

Pressures: 51

Tackles: 53

TFLs: 8

Forced Fumbles: 2

Most Improved/Breakout: Alohi Gilman

The competition for this award was slim to none, as there really just regression for most of the team in general. An argument can be made for Kenneth Murray and Joshua Palmer, but both either did not have the same jump Gilman did or did not really break out any further from where they were. Thus, Gilman is my selection for Most Improved in The 2023 Los Angeles Chargers Team Awards.

At the end of the 2022 season, Alohi Gilman earned his shot as a starter and the Chargers saw enough to warrant him the starting job in 2023. The 26-year-old missed some time with a heel injury, missing three games. However, Alohi had a great year, making splash plays in what seemed like every game he was healthy. Gilman turned himself from a sixth-round selection to a viable starter in the NFL and looks to come back in 2024 with the bolts.

2023 Stats:

Tackles: 73

TFLs: 2

Interceptions: 2

Forced Fumbles: 3

PFF Coverage Grade: 89.2 (5th)

Most Disappointing: Austin Ekeler

This award could go to the entire Los Angeles Chargers team. Some would argue Quentin Johnston for this “award” but he was drafted to be the fourth receiver, and was a project from the jump. The 2023 Los Angeles Chargers Team Awards presents Austin Ekeler as the Most Disappoint Charger. This is due to him coming off two 20-touchdown seasons, and the only sign of slowing down was age.

Ekeler has had a storied underdog career with the Chargers, but it is time for it to end. This season was atrocious. The run game for the Chargers was awful, and that responsibility lies on Ekeler. Though, Ekeler missed three games this season with an ankle injury that is no excuse for 3.5 yards per attempt on 179 carries. That ranks him T-LAST in the NFL for yards per attempt with individuals with the same or more amount of carries. Look for young players to get a chance in 2024.

Fun fact: Oral-B Glide Pro-Health Deep Clean Floss contains 43.7 yards of floss. Austin Ekeler had only 8 games where he ran for more yardage. Four of those games were within 10 yards of the Oral-B Floss as well (Fun Fact inspired by @4vertz_ on X). 

2023 Stats:

Attempts: 179

Rushing Yards: 628

Rushing Touchdowns: 5

Catches: 51

Receiving Yards: 436

Receiving Touchdowns:  1

Fumbles: 5!!

Main Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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