The Chargers Fall To 2-3 With Another Early Season Implosion


Tell me if you've heard this one before, because I know that I have. Like a team stuck on permanent rerun, the Nick At Night inspired Chargers have started yet another season with a 2-3 record by playing uninspired, mistake filled football. And for yet another season, there is no reason why the Chargers can't pull it together and win the division in the end. Could this be the year that the Chargers fail to recover from their sub-500 record?

Unfortunately that feeling of deja vu is not a figment of your imagination. The Chargers really have continued their early season mediocrity against the easiest schedule I've seen since the Harlem Globetrotters planned another road trip with the Washington Generals. Sure, anything can happen on the football field, but it's hard to label the Chargers inept play on the road as the result of domination by their opponents.

Strangely enough, for the fourth year in a row I feel like I'm writing the exact same column. In fact, looking back to last year's column following a similarly dreadful 2-3 start, most of what I wrote about the beginning of the 2009 season seems to apply to this 2010 season as well. Here are a few nuggets that I wrote around the same time last year (you can read the entire column from last year here- 4th And Goal With Jeff Williams):

"The most popular reason for the Chargers' downfall starts with Norv and ends with Turner."

The annual fire Norv chants always seem strongest this time of year, at least until the annual playoff implosion. Here is another strangely applicable quote from last year:

"The players share a lot of the blame for their poor play and lack of consistency, but the one thing you can't blame them for is injuries."

Injury issues are not quite as serious as they were last year (when the Chargers lost Jamal Williams and Nick Hardwick) but the Chargers have still lost key players for parts of this season (Stephen Cooper, Louis Vasquez, Ryan Mathews to name a few). Injuries effect the Chargers roster depth and roster depth effects the Chargers performance, or lack thereof, on special teams.

Lastly, my favorite quote from my 2009 post-Week 5 column:

"Norv and his players share their part in the problems with this team, but it all starts with AJ (Smith). Instead of addressing needs through free agency and the draft he ignores most free agents and consistently reaches for guys in the draft who aren't contributing. Regardless of the outcome of this season, he has to have a HUGE off-season or we will stand the chance of falling behind the Broncos AND the Chiefs in the coming years."

Ouch...perhaps I should have included Oakland in that last statement. The AFC West is still not a dominant division, but you can't deny that the Bolts' division opponents have improved. The Chargers continue to lack major contributions from recent high draft picks, and eventually the talent of the competition will pass them by.

As good as the offense and defense have been at times against average opponents, the Chargers lack of depth hurts the team and this is most visible on special teams. But depth aside, overall you have to wonder what the team is doing between games to get better. Are the Chargers coaches demanding enough from their players in practice? Are the Chargers players believing that they can ride their reputation into another post-season appearance? If previous seasons are any indication, any answer will likely lead to another division championship and an embarrassing loss in the playoffs.

October 12, 2010

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8 comments:

Anonymous said... Oct 12, 2010, 8:43:00 AM

disastrous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i cant believe that the special teams coach hasn´t been fired!!! 3 losses 3 special teams mistakes!! i cant take it anymore, its frustrating to watch the chargers every weekend make stupid mistakes and complicate themselves every year! i hope we will have another great turnaround but they cant keep doing this.

some words for AJ, WITH ALL DUE RESPECT WE WAISTED AROUND 7.5 MILLION DOLLARS WITH DARREN SPROLES! HE´S AN AVERAGE RETURNER, A BAD RUNNING BACK AND HE IS TO SMALL TO TAKE THE BLITZ THAT THE TEAMS ARE THROWING! HE WAS THE ONE THAT COULD PICK UP THE BLITZ AND THEN WE ALL KNOW THE STORY.

I DONT GIVE UP ON THIS TEAM BUT WITH AJ AND NORV IS COMPLICATED NOT TO THINK THAT WE ARENT READY FOR THE BIG GAME THE WORST COACH AND AN ARROGANT SON OF A B***H TAKING BIG DECISIONS!!! I HOPE SOME DAY THE SPANOS COULD READ AND CHAT WITH THE FANS, SO HE COULD UNDESTAND WHAT ARE OUR FEELINGS TOWARDS THIS GUY, BAD DRAFT PICKS BAD MANAGMENT BAD IMAGE THE WORST RELATION WITH THE PLAYERS!! WHAT ELSE DO WE NEED IN ORDER FOR THIS GUYS TO GET IT!!!

IM VERY PISSED OFF!!

Anonymous said... Oct 12, 2010, 8:44:00 AM

I just DON'T UNDERSTAND! LOL, Marty got fired after a 14-2 season and we have this dude coaching our team. Like I said before Einstein's definition of Insanity was to do the same thing over and over again but expect different results. Doesn't this sound familiar? I have grown dull to the fact of let down in order to sustain my health and quality of life. Also, God is the ONLY one that remains true and faithful in everything. "We" put our faith and hope in things of this world and just receive let down and pain.

I know we'll probably go undefeated from here on out receive a second round by then lose to the last place seed at home. I guess we have a good 12 weeks left (17wks in nfl season).

Reporting Live from my house,

ManiCanToo

arnie said... Oct 12, 2010, 1:36:00 PM

I'll be more brief.
once is a fluke.
twice is cause for concern.
three times, it's a pattern.
so what is four times...?

I'm not going to get on the "Fire Norv" bandwagon. He's here to stay. But the "Chickens are Coming Home to Roost". What made the organization, look past his HC resume (under .500 winning percentage) and think this team is going to win a championship?

IMHO, Norv inherited a playoff team, that wins, despite him. Now that we have a body of work to look at we can clearly see that this team isn't as good on talent as we thought it was. and they are "consistently" under prepared for the beginning of the season.

If all this were fluke circumstances then i could see a silver lining, " we'll be okay" attitude. but this is a consistant pattern going on four seasons now. And in this league in normal circumstances this would be a sign to move on. Not give out contract extensions.

peace out

Anonymous said... Oct 12, 2010, 2:53:00 PM

Can we have either Chucky or Cower save us from this idiocy? Please. . .

Anonymous said... Oct 12, 2010, 5:15:00 PM

CHUCKY CHUCKY CHUCKY ! ! !
A field goal wins the game. Dam Norv tortilla chip Turner.

Lighting 72.

Anonymous said... Oct 12, 2010, 8:14:00 PM

Norv did not inherit a playoff team (at least not a consistent one or one that could win in the playoffs).

Of course the chargers made the playoffs the year before he came, but they did NOT make it the year before that, and they did the year before that. Who cares? Marty got them into the playoffs - then didn't - then did. Every year is different.

One thing Norv can say is that he has won more playoff games than Marty ever did/will. And postseason is more important. Quit looking back to Marty. I remember the majority of us calling for his head! Norv will get this thing righted - though I do agree that Sproles is killing us.

Anonymous said... Oct 12, 2010, 9:03:00 PM

I can't believe anybody expected different results with A.J. and Norv leading this team. Your pride is getting the best of you A.J. you've lost your touch, and Norv is just A.J.'s puppet. I've seen high school coach's with better plays.

arnie said... Oct 21, 2010, 9:16:00 PM

I hate to disagree, but yes they were a playoff team. Marty developed a buch of young players into a winning team. and the results of that hard work was a playoff appearance, two to be precise.

But please read the entire context of my post.
THEY DID NOT GET TO THE PLAYOFFS, WITH NORV AS THE OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR, UNTIL AFTER HE LEFT AND CAM CAMERON TOOK OVER. this is not a "bring back Marty comment", far from it. The facts are no matter where he has been as a HC he has not won. Anywhere. correction he got the Redskins to ONE play off appearance.

Which brings us back to my point, Norv took over a 14-2 team which makes it easier to see him as a winner in the playoffs. because the team was already good enough to make the playoffs before he took over. My comments are only concerned with the last three seasons Norv has been here. YOU CAN'T GET TO THE PLAYOFFS, UNLESS YOU WIN IN THE REGULAR SEASON.

2-4 start and expecting this team to miraculously go on ten game wining streak, and to expect the other teams in our division to stay bad, forever is not something you can count on season after season.

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