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Five questions on the Chargers with Bolts From The Blue

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We spoke with John Gennaro from Bolts From The Blue to talk about the Chargers 2015 season and to preview Sunday's game against the Loins.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

To prepare for Sunday's game between the Detroit Lions and the San Diego Chargers, I asked John Gennaro from Bolts From The Blue five questions about the Chargers and the game on Sunday.

1) The San Diego Chargers went 2-2 in the preseason, but failed to score more than 22 points in a game. What, if anything, did you learn about the team in the preseason?

That, for the first time in about a decade, the Chargers defense has a chance to be really, really good. Just about every position on the field is manned by an incredible talent and there's good depth all over the place.

The offense basically disappears when Philip Rivers isn't in the game, but we knew that already. The offense may have scored 22 points or less in each game, but here's how every drive with Rivers in the game ended:

TOUCHDOWN (vs. DAL)
FG (vs. SEA)
PUNT (vs. SEA)
PUNT (vs. SEA)
PUNT (vs. SEA)
FG (vs. SEA)

Three scoring drives out of six, most of which against the best defense in the league? Yeah, Chargers fans are okay with that. However, it's worth noting that Antonio Gates was in on those drives as well.

2) With Antonio Gates sitting out the first four games because of a suspension, who do you see Phillip Rivers relying on early in the season?

His second favorite target: Danny Woodhead! Either that, or his new favorite toy, Stevie Johnson out of the slot. Expect one or both of those guys to get some increased targets with Gates out. Ladarius Green, who will be filling in at Tight End, is talented but never seems to get the opportunities, so I don't expect him to now. He did next to nothing in the preseason.

3) What are your early thoughts on Melvin Gordon? Will he make an immediate impact for the Chargers?

My early thoughts on Melvin Gordon are the same as my pre-draft thoughts about whatever RB the Chargers were going to draft: He'll go as the offensive line goes. At the present time, the Chargers offensive line is still a bit of a project, so Gordon has looked like a bit of a project.

"Immediate" is no really defined here, so I'll answer both ways. I think Melvin Gordon will make an impact for the Chargers this season. As for whether he'll make a (positive) impact against the Lions in Week 1? Probably not, although he will get his touches.

4) The Chargers focused this offseason on bolstering the offensive line, but who should teams be looking out for on the defensive side of the ball?

Melvin Ingram looks like he's ready to break out. After a few injury-plagued seasons, the former first-round pick has been unstoppable in the preseason when trying to get to the opposing QB.

However, it's hard to not mention Jason Verrett here. The Chargers #2 CB looked great through the first half of last season before getting knocked out for the year with a shoulder injury. He came to camp this year looking even better. There have been comparisons to Darrelle Revis that don't look to be exaggerations. Opposing QBs already look scared of throwing his way in the preseason, and I don't blame them.

5) What are your overall thoughts for the Chargers this season? Will they finally dethrone the Broncos atop the AFC West?

That all depends on Peyton Manning. I could tell you that this Chargers team looks ready to win 12+ games and be in the playoffs if they stay healthy (and they do look exactly like that), but that doesn't mean that Manning won't lead the Broncos to a 14-2 season and still end up on top. I don't think that would happen, but I've been burned by doubting Peyton in the past, and I won't do it again.

The season ends with a Week 17 game in Denver between the two teams, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if that game ended up being for the division title.