Grade the 8-3 San Diego Chargers

The two-win Chargers of Week 5 had the look of a collapsing team that a majority of fans felt would miss the playoffs. But with their backs against the wall and the division quickly slipping out of grasp, the Chargers answered the call and reeled off six wins in a row, making them one of the NFL's hottest teams. Now at 8-3 and in the drivers seat for another AFC West title, the Chargers are looking like Super Bowl contenders. With 11 weeks into the books, how would you grade the San Diego Chargers?

Who deserves the credit for the Chargers turn-around? Has Norv Turner erased your doubts? Is Philip Rivers an MVP candidate? Is Antonio Gates clearly the most dominant tight end in the game? Is he already a Hall-of-Fame caliber player? How about the unheralded play of rookies like Kevin Ellison and Louis Vasquez - better than Clinton Hart and Mike Goff?

Vote in our poll and drop a comment below with your take!

November 30, 2009

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Chris said... Nov 30, 2009, 12:18:00 PM

Our chargers continue to get better every week and can only benefit from Hardwick and Runyan. My only concern is our defense. we have a lot of moving parts with our front 7 and Weddle is still inconsistent, but now he is gone for a few weeks. So our Depth at safety may finally show itself to be useful.

Rob Zepeda said... Nov 30, 2009, 1:39:00 PM

I agree with you Chris, the Chargers are actually in a nice place with so many capable defensive backs. Defensively I think we've been playing better, and Ron Rivera deserves credit for moving guys around and crediting specific packages so that guys can be successful.

Anonymous said... Nov 30, 2009, 2:49:00 PM

Yes, they're hot and winning 6 in a row is good but so did the Broncos, than what happened? The Broncos won 6 in a row against opponents that were not at their best. This is also what is going on with the Chargers. Who did they beat in this winning steak that isn't struggling or just isn't that good? The Chargers, in my opinion, can be a Super Bowl winning team, however, they always seem to have major injuries when they play teams with good defenses...Pittsburgh, New England (playoffs),and Baltimore. The Giants defense isn't good this year. What will happen this year in the playoffs? They're the guy that beats up the wimps but when a stronger, tougher guy comes around they they seem to cower a little...they just don't seem to be as assertive and confident against good defenses. The only elite team the Chargers beat are the Colts but the Colts are never known for being a great defensive team. The Chargers need to get to the Super Bowl at the least to show they're a legitimately good team. If the Steelers and Ravens do make it to the playoffs, which may not happen, will Ladanian be hurt again when it's time to face one of those defenses? LT never has done anything in the playoffs and I hope he plays at least two great games in the playoffs this year so no one criticizes him after he retires. Let's see what the Chargers are made of...can they be the top bully this year?

Nomad said... Nov 30, 2009, 2:51:00 PM

I graded them as a B right now. They are improving each week and I think by the end of the season they will even better.

Nahum said... Nov 30, 2009, 3:22:00 PM

i didnt read the entire novel that the anonymous guy said, but you're stupid. the chargers aren't the broncos. that's all that needs to be said. just 'cause the broncos was 6 straight and lost 4, doesnt mean the chargers are gonna go down the same path... that's just ridiculous. obviously the broncos dont have a QB like philip rivers. so i think we'll at least lose 1 more, if not 1, then 0.

Anonymous said... Nov 30, 2009, 5:00:00 PM

Grade B+, but if the current trend continues to the end of the season, an easy A. Next week against the Browns should be a walk but I'm glad the Donco's won so the pressure remains on our Chargers to keep up the intensity.
Rivers, under pressure and throwing the deep ball, best QB in the league. And if you need a leader who's going to play no matter what injury he may have when you need him and still perform, he's the guy you want.
Gates, is going to challenge Gonzalez as the best TE ever before he's done. Was KC's game plan to just not bother covering him or what?
Vasquez, I'm becoming more impressed with every game. Too bad he didn't have Hardwick next to him all year long so he could really learn the ropes.
Ellison still has a lot to learn, like when you come free on a blitz you don't need to continue full speed at a QB who doesn't move all that well and is looking for someplace to hide. Slow down a little to make the tackle instead of trying to blow him up and wiffing.
Clinton Hart? My dead grandmother plays a better safety.
Goff, great in his time, but that time was over at the start of last year. But I'm sure he was still an upgrade for the Chiefs.

Anonymous said... Nov 30, 2009, 7:51:00 PM

OK meatball. Denver lost 4 in a row because they are not that good. SD is a different team, that can score more then 14-17 points a game. They need an offense. The bolts have what it takes on both sides of the ball. The big difference is Phillip Rivers. Orton dose not compare.

Anonymous said... Dec 1, 2009, 3:53:00 AM

Great job. Credit goes to the coaching staff as well as the players.

Anonymous said... Dec 1, 2009, 5:31:00 PM

Also credit the O-line -- two games without a sack and the running game is actually productive on 1st down both early in the game and late in the game. I am impressed with what the Ski's have done and Dielman has come on strong and nasty these last few weeks.

I definitely give them a "B" -- they were a C to start and have been an A as of late.

Losing Weddle was big. He is a gamer. Need Oliver and Cason to step up bigtime. It looked like Gregory saw more time at Safety which means Cason is back as the Nickel back. Gregory had been flying to the ball as a nickelback so Cason's production will be key.

Looking forward to seeing the Bolts in the snow. Gates had a huge game against the Browns last time we played there in the snow and he is red hot right now.

GO BOLTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Juan Luken said... Dec 2, 2009, 7:35:00 AM

I don't know guys. I'm kinda scared about this upcoming stretch (let alone the prospect of facing Manning, Brees or Brady in the playoffs) because we are just too beat up on the O-line to play the great teams.
I hope I'm wrong, but you thinkg Dombrowsky is not going to be dominated come playoff time? Plus, what the heck is an Oliver or Gregory gonna do against aforementioned Qb's?? And I haven't even mentioned our shoddy play against the run. Yeah, we're 8-3, but let's beat some great teams first before we get all excited.

Anonymous said... Dec 19, 2009, 11:18:00 AM

Our Chargers are not only a mixed bag folks, but a WELL-mixed bag. So although I've bad-mouthed the coaching staff (and a few, select players)and then eaten copious amounts of "crow" predicting their failure, I'd now have to grade them a solid "A" to this point.
And while it's true the Bengals will represent a real challenge, it's also the time for our Bolts to begin a real run to not only GET to the Super Bowl, but WIN it. Yes, I said WIN it. They can do this.
My opinions as we approach the Bengal game:
(1) The platooning DEFENSE has been a godsend after the Steelers game. Plus relative newcomers like Siler, Dobbins, and (before he got hurt) Applewhite are quickly proving a "poser" starter or two are expendable (Hart was #1). Gregory has stepped it up too, and several of the young linemen (although I don't see any future All-Pro's..., yet) are still improving quickly. Others, not so much (Cason and English have yet to be obvious "impact" players despite being high draft choices, but Ellison is fairly steady), and Vaughn Martin has all but disappeared. But he still has a locker and may (?) still be a force. I hope so.
(2) On OFFENSE: Just enjoy it for what it is everyone. Beautious.
(3) On SPECIAL TEAMS the Chargers are, I think, just waiting to explode as we approach the play-offs. Hester, Binn, and Osgood have been strong in support, and the kickers themselves are awesome. A definite edge.
Yep, the Crowmeiter is saying it now; the Chargers own the Super Bowl.

Anonymous said... Dec 19, 2009, 11:20:00 AM

Ahem..., that is supposed to read "Crowmeister". Mea culpa.

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