At the beginning of the 2009 season, many predicted the Chargers would lose at least one, and quite possibly two games before the bye week, so the Chargers 2-2 record should not be that much of a surprise. Three of their first four games were against 2008 playoff teams, and none of them were expected to simply roll over for the defending AFC West champs. What has Chargers fans in an uproar is the method in which the Chargers have won and lost their way to a .500 record.
(Photo Credit: Mike Nowak/San Diego Chargers)
Offensively, the Chargers have been the football version of Gotham City villain Two-Face, the equivalent of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The Chargers' offense has been a thing of beauty when passing the ball, and a pile of trash when trying to run it.
The Chargers rank 2nd in the league in passing offense averaging 295 yards per game. Philip Rivers and his giant receiving crew have been airing the ball out like their predecessors known as "Air Coryell". Rivers is on pace for just under 5,000 yards passing, and they have two players (Jackson and Gates) on pace for 80+ catches and over 1,400 yards receiving. Without this potent passing attack, the Chargers would likely be 0-4.
On the other hand, the Chargers rank last in the league in rushing offense averaging a measly 54 yards per game. Ready for more unbelievable stats? Their leading rusher (Sproles) has 90-yards TOTAL on 37 carries over the first four-games. LT is 2nd on the team with 70 yards TOTAL on 17-fewer carries. There is plenty of blame to throw around for the dismal ground game, including O-line injuries and inexperience, an injury to LT, inconsistent blocking by the fullbacks, and questionable play-calling by the coach. But simply put, the Chargers are losing the battle at the line of scrimmage, they are getting pushed around and physically dominated, and until they can toughen up and win their individual battles on the line more frequently, it's going to be a long, hard season for our running backs, whether it's LT or Sproles in the backfield.
One quick note on the running back situation: I'm very interested to find out your take on the starting running back position for the Bolts. I still vote for LT. He looked like he had some of his old moves back against the Steelers, but he never saw daylight running behind that line. What's your take? Should it be LT or Sproles?
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