Morning links: Bolts better than you think?

Good morning. Tom Krasovic of U-T San Diego pens an interesting take on the San Diego Chargers' 2013 season. While most NFL observers believe the team was not as good as their 9-7 record and postseason run indicated, Krasovic begs to differ.

And he points to San Diego's 5-2 record against playoff teams last season as evidence.


“San Diego in the 48-season Super Bowl Era has lost 72 percent of its in-season games against playoff-bound squads. And, it really didn’t matter who wore the headset. Each of the 14 coaches who preceded (Mike) McCoy lost more than 64 percent of his total games -- in that era -- against playoff-bound teams.

“Then McCoy shows up as a first-time head coach, hired by a rookie General Manager in (Tom) Telesco, each of them likely making a lot less money than Spanos paid off to Norv Turner and A.J. Smith last year after firing them, and the Chargers go 5-2.”

Bernie Wilson of Associated Press writes that the Chargers are optimistic that they can compete for a Super Bowl this season.

Ricky Henne of Chargers.com writes that linebacker Donald Butler is encouraged by the possibilities of an improved defense with a healthy Melvin Ingram and Dwight Freeney.

Kevin Acee of U-T San Diego is pleased that players, such as Philip Rivers, remembers the Chargers were 5-7 at one point last season.

Dan Sileo of The Mighty 1090 talks with Tony Boselli of CBS Sports about the importance of the Chargers returning all five starters on the offensive line in this audio link.

Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post reports the Chargers had a private workout with Marshall offensive lineman Garrett Scott.

New Oakland linebacker Lamarr Woodley believes the Raiders can reach the postseason in 2014.