After facing criticism for their one-dimensional offense in recent seasons, the Chargers have embraced a new approach in 2023, prioritizing a balanced attack. Under the guidance of their new offensive coordinator, Kellen Moore, the team’s rushing game is off to a strong start, aiming to maintain its momentum.
In previous seasons, the Chargers heavily relied on Austin Ekeler as their primary running back. However, this year, they’ve expanded their strategy by involving Joshua Kelley, their second back, who has already contributed over 200 rushing yards.
This shift marks a significant change from last year when the Chargers struggled to reach even 90 rushing yards per game. This forced quarterback Justin Herbert to pass frequently, even with a rib injury. Although Ekeler’s recent ankle injury may sideline him, Kelley’s performance, with over 100 yards and a touchdown, indicates the success of the new system. Requiring Herbert to throw only around 230 yards, this offensive change could alleviate the pressure on his arm and potentially open up the passing game further, especially if defenses focus on stopping the run.
Despite the Chargers’ inability to secure a win in their Week 1 matchup against the Dolphins, the offensive performance was not the issue. They scored an impressive 34 points, often a winning figure in football. The blame falls squarely on the defense, which failed to sack Tua Tagovailoa and allowed a staggering 500 total yards.
Moving forward, the Chargers’ fortunes hinge on both their offense and defense. While the offense appears to be clicking, the defense must step up to secure victories in the future.