Injuries, Expectations, And Cause For Hope

Being a fan of an NFL team challenges all the rational thought you try to practice in every other area of your life. Sometimes it's easy to react emotionally instead of looking at what's really happening. Here, we'll look at some interesting nuggets about the San Diego Chargers season up to this point.

The 2010 San Diego Chargers are awful. This team has no chance of making it to the playoffs this year. Even if they were able to sneak in because they’re in a terrible division, they’d get shellacked in the first round.

The Chargers are one of the best teams in the NFL. The losses have been flukes. The league is ripe for the taking this year and they have as good a chance as any to be Super Bowl Champions!

Both statements could be said and defended with the same veracity. I can build a convincing argument for both. This is the NFL world we’re living in. The Chargers are 1-2 and are poised to finish off the rest of the season undefeated. Scratch that. I mean, they're poised to make us continue to agonize and wince every time they kick off and punt.

Forget it. Let’s just try to take the emotion out of it.

Here are some interesting nuggets to consider about our beloved Chargers:

* This is an uncapped year in the NFL. The Chargers are spending $108 Million, 8th lowest in the league. The league average is $122.5 Million. Take that as you wish.

* Only four former Coastal Carolina Chanticleers have ever played in the NFL. Two are currently on the Chargers’ roster. (Mike Tolbert and the recently signed, Quinton Teal)

* A chanticleer is a rooster. (You learn something every day.)

* Suddenly, being the Long Snapper for the San Diego Chargers has become one of the riskiest professions in the world. Head Writer and Producer of the Late Show With David Letterman, Eric Stangel, tweeted, “Bad sign for my Chargers. This season, they’ve had 4 times as many long snappers as wins.” The # of long-snappers-on-your-roster-in-one-season to wins ratio is the new standard for judging an NFL team's success.

* Team stats from show the Chargers as 1st in total offense and 4th in total defense. No matter how you figure it, the team is dead last in Special Teams. Winning percentage is 33.3%. Who ever thought that whole “three phases” thing mattered anyway?

* Winning the AFC West is shaping up to be quite difficult. How about this gem from Football Outsiders: “According to our playoff odds report, the Chiefs now have the best chance to make the postseason of any team in the league: 93.9 percent of all simulations.”

* Leon Washington’s response when asked about the second kickoff return: "I'm like, Wow, I can't believe this, they're still kicking it to me."

* A combined eight kickoffs and punts have been returned for touchdowns across the NFL this season. One team has allowed three and the other 31 teams in the league combined have allowed five.

* This week, the Chargers get to cover Arizona Cardinals' speedster LaRod Stephens-Howling, who last week returned a kickoff 102 yards.

* According to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Chargers players are volunteering to help out on Special Teams. I like that attitude. It sounds like the type of desperation the situation deserves.

* 3 of the top 4 leaders in passing yards are on 1-2 teams (K. Orton, P. Rivers, T. Romo). We hope Philip Rivers falls off this list soon.


* "We have issues to address in our coverage teams. We have enough good players. We have a good enough scheme that we can address those issues...As I said, I believe we have the guys in our building that can go do what we need to do."

The Chargers signed two players on Tuesday to help out on Special Teams, Safety Quinton Teal and Corner Dante Hughes.

* "The two guys that ran down the hash a week ago were Larry English and Jyles Tucker and we thought they gave us an improved look and a more physical presence against Jacksonville. Neither one of those guys was available for this game, so all of the sudden we’re plugging some other guys in there."

And now Larry English is out 4-6 weeks with knee surgery. (Correction (9/30/10): foot surgery)

* When asked about not kicking to Leon Washington the second time, Norv said, "We didn’t get the kicks exactly the way we wanted. We did have a couple kicks up. The one was going to be a pooch kick and I think it got away from Nate, so there was some things we wanted to do in that area also."

I would now like to publicly issue myself a one-month moratorium on the use of the term Special Teams, or any terms similar. I encourage you all to join me. Let's hope there's nothing worth talking about. When I don't notice _______ _____ is when I like it the most.

September 29, 2010

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Anonymous said... Sep 29, 2010, 9:12:00 AM

Sorry Mr. Hill, but what kind of analyst are you? Do you really admire the Bolts and pay attention to things such that English isn't out with "Knee Surgery" rather than FOOT SURGERY.... (No coffee I assume...) It's ok because your human right? We all make mistakes. But isn't this paying attention to detail? The very thing that plagues the Chargers?

I like your post, it makes a good read. I do also enjoy the quote from Kevin Acee "Chargers players are volunteering to help out on Special Teams" I do believe this sense of urgency has been lack there of in past years. I'm willing to bet V.J. and ROID Merriman would never have that specific mindset. Please forgive the calamity between myself and Merriman, I feel he is free loading and isn't committed to our dearly beloved Chargers.

I'm Optomistic in regards to Chargers making the playoffs yet I still wonder what the products shall be of that. I hope these mistakes draw players to be more keen to attention to detail which has plagued them in the playoffs. I really do think if you can't do the simple things right what is to say you'll be disciplined enough come playoff time. EX. we should have destroyed the Jets last year, but the little mistakes led to great mistakes as is the case this year thus far.

Please don't feel any amosity towards my comments, I just try to be as direct as possible. The very thing that the world lacks today.


Anonymous said... Sep 29, 2010, 11:29:00 AM

You can be direct, just don't be anal as well. It just makes you come off as a real jerk. Oops, too late.

Dani and Carson said... Oct 1, 2010, 2:55:00 PM

Fact. The Chargers will go 8-8 this season, destroying every team at home and losing every game on the road. They will still win the AFC West.

Anonymous said... Oct 1, 2010, 11:37:00 PM

Mr. Hill, you are right on the money with your comments and wicked funny. I look forward to the rest of your posts!

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