Los Angeles Chargers Week 1 Starting Quarterback - Odds & Predictions

Los Angeles Chargers Week 1 Starting Quarterback 2020

Our Pick: Tyrod Taylor (-335)

  • The 2020 NFL season will be the first time in 16 years that veteran Philip Rivers will not be under center for the Los Angeles Chargers, his production ranked 4th in the league last season but that was only good enough to help lead his team 5 wins total.
  • Rivers’ departure creates a huge hole at the quarterback position in LA, one that journeyman Tyrod Taylor hopes to fill, the Chargers being his fourth NFL franchise since he joined the league back in 2011 after being drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the sixth round.
  • Tough to start a rookie at quarterback, but Oregon’s star Justin Herbert, the Chargers’ first-round pick in the draft, might earn the spot, the 6’6”, 236-pound Rose Bowl MVP already with the 12th best-selling jersey to begin the 2020 season.
  • Third-stringer Easton Stick will be in his second season with the Chargers, and though he has yet to see any starting time in the NFL, the former North Dakota State quarterback will be competing in training camp to be the man in Los Angeles.
  • Despite not even being on the team (or any team) yet, star free agent quarterback Cam Newton has the third-best odds of calling plays for the Chargers in 2020, though at this point he is in no hurry to jump aboard anywhere, playing the waiting game to maximize his potential value.

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Despite starting the fourth most productive quarterback in the league last season, the Los Angeles Chargers could only manage 5 wins and a last-place finish in the AFC West, so the team canned veteran Philip Rivers and are now seeking help at that position.

The choices are last year’s backup, Tyrod Taylor, a rookie draft pick, Justin Herbert, a second-year third-stringer, Easton Stick, and veteran free agent (and officially healthy) Cam Newton, with none of these gentlemen considered a sure thing at this point.

The quarterback choice the 2020 Chargers decide to make could help determine whether their downward spiral will continue or if they find themselves battling for at least another Wild Card finish like in 2018, and here we examine the predictions and odds of their upcoming quarterback decision.

Los Angeles Chargers Week 1 Starting QuarterbackOdds
Tyrod Taylor-335
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Justin Herbert+300
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Cam Newton+2500
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Easton Stick+5000  
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Odds taken 9 June, 2020, from DraftKings

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Keep in mind the odds in these wagers will shift plenty of times before the actual games are played, so be sure to check back here often to get all the latest numbers.

Taylor Makes the Most Sense Given a New Offensive Coordinator

The clear favorite here is returning backup Tyrod Taylor and given that he already knows the Chargers’ general offensive system and has taken snaps with the team since last March, it seems to make total sense to give him the job.

Last October, the Chargers front office canned offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt after the team was 17th in total yards and 24th in points scored at that point in the season, and QB coach Shane Steichen was given the interim job to finish the season and now has its full time for 2020.

New OC means changes to the offensive game plan, so to have a guy like Taylor, who’s been there for a season already, installed as the quarterback makes the most sense if the team wants to hit the ground running with all those new pieces coming together. 

Chargers Drafted a Smart Leader in Herbert

At Oregon for his fourth and final season in 2019, quarterback Justin Herbert had himself a terrific year, completing 286-of-428 for 3,471 yards and 32 touchdowns with just 5 picks while rushing for 4 more scores.

That production earned Herbert the William V. Campbell Trophy, known as the “Academic Heisman” and given to players with “the best combination of academics, community service, and on-field performance.”

Those kinds of brains translate into a solid football IQ for Herbert, which should be an advantage for him as he shifts to the NFL level and competes in training camp for the starting position in Los Angeles against athletes who have already been in the league for a while.

Free Agent QB Cam Newton Will Play Somewhere in 2020, Why Not LA?

Ready for his tenth NFL season is star playmaker Cam Newton, former record-setter for the Carolina Panthers who lost almost a full season to injuries, along with his starting job and reputation as a dependable pass throwing scrambler.

Now medically cleared, Newton’s shoulder and foot both reportedly “checking out well,” it will be up to the 6’5”, 245-pound star quarterback to make his comeback with whatever team decides to play for in 2020, and the Los Angeles Chargers give him as good an opportunity to do that as any team that’s a QB shy out there right now.

Don’t Count Out Easton Stick Just Yet

Former North Dakota State quarterback Easton Stick’s rookie season was in 2019, and, though he took a few snaps during preseason, he spent most of the year watching starter Philip Rivers run the team, time wisely spend for the young play-caller.

Now that patience could pay off, the starting job under center in Los Angeles almost up for grabs right now, though his main competitor, Tyrod Taylor, has both the poise and NFL experience to earn the job outright against someone like Stick, who has clocked no starts under the big lights of the regular season.

But don’t count Easton out, the 6’1”, 224-pound 4x FCS Champion, who has been compared in ways to Carson Wentz, has a lot to prove in his second NFL season and he could position himself well if he has an impressive training camp. 

Our Pick

Pick: Take Tyrod Taylor for this bet – he’s got the experience, the talent, and the calm demeanor to step in during Week 1, and then after that, it will be up to him to keep the job by proving with team wins that he is indeed starting material.

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