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1 Surprising X-Factor to emerge for Chargers in 2022 NFL season

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The Los Angeles Chargers have built a roster that many believe is ready to play for a Super Bowl. General manager Tom Telesco and head coach Brandon Staley had the best offseason in football, adding key pieces at positions of weakness. Names like Khalil Mack, JC Jackson, and Sebastian Joseph-Day stand out as some of the best acquisitions in all of football. Despite all of those additions, the Chargers will need some of their lower-level players to step up if they want to win at the highest level. There are plenty of guys capable of having a breakout season, but none are more likely to succeed than wide receiver Joshua Palmer.

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Chargers X-Factor To Emerge In 2022 NFL Season

Joshua Palmer

Physically, there’s no doubt that Palmer can handle the role of starting wide receiver. The Tennessee product is 6’1″ and 210 pounds, giving him the frame necessary to win on the outside. The biggest knocks on him coming out of the 2021 NFL Draft were that his footwork and route running weren’t quite NFL-caliber. However, Palmer has had a full offseason under two of the better wide receivers in the league to fix that. Playing with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams will allow for rapid development that Palmer should show off in his first season as a starter.

Palmer is set to absolutely dominate the snap count for the third wide receiver spot. The only real competition for his spot is Jalen Guyton. Guyton was the starting third receiver last season, and he put up 448 yards and three scores while playing 50 percent of the Chargers’ offensive snaps. Palmer played 30 percent of the offensive snaps, and put up 353 yards and four touchdowns. Palmer was clearly the more productive of the two, and the Los Angeles coaching staff realized that. By the end of the year, Guyton barely saw the field. Palmer won the competition for this spot last year, and he won’t relinquish it in 2022.

Palmer is in the perfect offense to allow him huge statistical production. The Chargers threw the ball at the third-highest rate last season, racking up a whopping 674 passing attempts. Quarterback Justin Herbert is one of the best deep passers in the NFL, which fits right in with Palmer’s skillset. Overall, this Los Angeles offense is the best fit in the league for Palmer. With so many passing attempts, there’s no worries about a lack of targets going his way, and many of those targets will be deep shots, an area in which Palmer excels.

Los Angeles has one of the best schedules in the league for wide receivers. They play in the AFC West, which means two matchups with both the Kansas City Chiefs and the Las Vegas Raiders. Those games are almost guaranteed to be shootouts, as neither the Chiefs or the Raiders possess a strong secondary. The Chargers also face the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Houston Texans, the Seattle Seahawks, and the Atlanta Falcons. All four of those teams are among the worst in the NFL when it comes to defending against the pass. That’s eight games against teams that are below-average against opposing passing attacks. That should allow Palmer and the Chargers to rack up the aerial yardage and scoring, which will lead to Palmer’s big breakout season.