Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to bury the Chargers, not to praise them.* Even the most optimistic fans should have seen this coming. A streaking Broncos team, focused on emphasizing their strengths. A fading Chargers team, barely able to get of its own way. Can anyone say they were surprised by Sunday’s loss to Tim Tebow and friends?
This has nothing to do with the Broncos being that good, although their defense has come together quite well. This has everything to do with the Chargers being that bad, and they are getting worse.
The injured offensive line, using 4th and 5th string players to poorly fill in, got worse as the game went along. Philip Rivers, with 188 yards and more badly thrown passes than I could count on one hand, had arguably his worst game of the season. The kicker, who was previously cheered as a permanent replacement for the injured Nate Kaeding, missed two field goals, either of which would have won the game. The defense, as a whole, once able to get a key turnover or make a key stop to save a game, now can’t capitalize on a single mistake.
This team has been regressing for a few years. In fact, I wrote the obituary for the Chargers' championship opportunities after last season (check it out here), so their failures this season are hardly surprising. And now more than ever it can be said that the Chargers just aren't good enough.
Where do the Chargers go from here? Their next opponent is the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday night. The Jaguars may be the Bolts’ only legitimate opportunity to win another game this season. Regardless, Norv Turner’s fate is all but sealed and serious questions need to be asked about the ability of AJ Smith to fix this broken roster.
The evil that men do lives after them; the good is often interred with their bones.*
CBS Broadcast Cameras: Following the game, Nick Novak was known as much for missing two game-winning field goals as for peeing on the sideline, because CBS cameras caught him at just the right (or wrong) time. Hey, peeing is funny, right guys?
Questionable Coaching Decisions: It’s not like this is anything new. Turner challenged a call that was never in question (we should be happy it only cost one timeout, not two), and then gave up on trying to score points at the end of the first half and at the end of the 4th quarter. Why did they give up in regulation to take their chances in overtime? Said Norv, “I was more concerned about Philip and taking a big hit.” And that, as much as anything, will seal Norv’s fate.
Shaun Phillips: He didn’t do anything spectacular in this game, was seen celebrating a Quentin Jammer tackle rather than attempting to provide support, and worst of all, trash-talked his own team after the game. When he called his team “dumb,” I hope he included himself in that description.
Non-turnover: In the 2nd quarter, Denver fumbled the ball around a crowd of Chargers defenders. Instead of falling on the ball, Chargers players tried to pick it up, knocking the ball around until a Denver offensive lineman (Orlando Franklin) jumped on it. Two plays later, Tebow threw their only touchdown of the game.
At no point in yesterday’s loss did I have confidence that the Chargers would win that game, or that the Chargers players and coaches thought they would win that game. What are your hypes and gripes regarding the Chargers’ sixth-straight loss? Sound off!
Follow Jeff Williams on Twitter: @JSWilliams75
Follow BOLTHYPE on Twitter: @BOLTHYPE
*Special thanks to Bill Shakespeare
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