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NFL Preseason Preview Capsules: AFC

15 of 16

AFC West: San Diego Chargers

OPEN CAMP: July 24, San Diego.

LAST YEAR: Under new coach Mike McCoy, Chargers recovered from midseason slump to win final four games to end three-year playoff drought. Bolts lost at Denver in divisional round after beating Bengals in wild-card game. QB Philip Rivers had big bounce-back season to win Comeback Player award, RB Ryan Mathews had career year.

IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: CBs Brandon Flowers, Jason Verrett and Brandon Ghee; RB Donald Brown.

IMPORTANT LOSSES: QB Charlie Whitehurst.

CAMP NEEDS: Improving pass defense, among worst in NFL in 2013. Biggest competition should be at cornerback, where free agents Flowers and Ghee will compete with Shareece Wright and top draft pick Verrett. Bolts also looking to sort out depth chart at OLB, where Dwight Freeney returns from injury-shortened season and Jerry Attaochu joins team as second-round draft pick. Chargers eager to see how rookie NT Ryan Carethers does. At RB, Brown and rookie Marion Grice join mix with Mathews and Danny Woodhead.

EXPECTATIONS: Chargers should return to playoffs, although they'll again be chasing Peyton Manning and Denver in division. That's why they loaded up on defensive players in draft. Plus, they play the tough NFC West. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)



The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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