Since the 2006 playoffs, the Chargers have developed a reputation that is not openly talked about, but that is apparent to most serious NFL observers. Are they the most talented team in the NFL? At one time they probably were, but not anymore. Are they one of the best offensive units in the NFL? They have been, but we haven’t seen a sign of that this season. The reputation that has most consistently defined the San Diego Chargers of recent years is this: the team plays dumb.
The dumb play of the Chargers used to be something that talent could conceal. When you have an incredibly talented roster, you can often compensate for stupid plays in the regular season. The Chargers of 2011 do not have an incredibly talented roster. Because of roster turnover and talent-zapping injuries, this iteration of the San Diego Chargers roster is a group of average performers in a league that is starting to pull away from them.
Horrific special teams, poor situational awareness, stupid penalties, and bad clock management are some of the many signs of a team playing dumb. One would think these are issues that a coaching staff would jump on correct. Unfortunately, these have been issues that have plagued the Chargers to varying degrees for years.
The Chargers are still able to beat bad teams. They are able to keep it close while losing to better teams. But they have been unable to play for four full quarters in any of their six games at this point in the season, while making too many mistakes to be considered a serious contender at this point.
The play of this team gives me no confidence in their ability to win in Kansas City next Monday, let alone against the Packers, Bills, or Lions later this season. There is plenty of time for them to pull it together, but they aren’t getting healthier. They aren’t playing better. And the competition is getting tougher.
Donald Butler- The second-year LB is looking like a smart performer who can start for the Chargers for many years to come. The team needs more guys like Butler.
BOLT-GRIPES (and where do you start?)
Philip Rivers- Something does not look right with the Chargers Pro Bowl QB. I can’t put my finger on it, but there is something going on in that offense that has the whole unit playing out of sync, starting with their QB.
Shonn Green- The Jets primary running back had a season-best 112-yards and averaged over 5-yards per carry. The Chargers run defense stinks.
Flag-Happy Officials- I would estimate that there were as many questionable penalties called against the Chargers as there were legitimate fouls. This officiating crew was known for being flag-happy, and they lived up to their reputation.
2-Minute Drill- Obviously…after the most pathetic 2-minute drill I have seen in a long time, you have to wonder what the heck this team is doing. Why are they jogging to the line in such confusion? Why is Rivers waiting so long for a play call from the coach? Shouldn’t he be running that show at this point?
I could go on and on. What are your gripes regarding the Chargers performance in their loss to the Jets?
Follow Jeff Williams on Twitter: @JSWilliams75
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