Pressure Apparently On Rivers In San Diego

The San Diego Chargers had to be happy that they beat the NFL odds and opened up their season with a 22-14 victory over the Oakland Raiders last week to move to 1-0 on the campaign. However, there is definitely some major cause for concern about an offense that just didn't look to be in sync for the mass majority of the game.

San Diego's rushing game was one of the worst in the NFL last week. The team amassed a total of just 32 yards on the ground, and only the Tennessee Titans and Carolina Panthers did worse. Of course, RB Ryan Mathews wasn't in the fold as he recovers from his fractured clavicle, but even if he does get back in the lineup this week, there is a real question about the offensive line and whether the holes are going to be there to open up or not.

And that's where QB Philip Rivers comes into play. Rivers threw for 231 yards and a TD last week to beat the Raiders, but he is going to probably need to do more than that on a weekly basis, starting this week against the Tennessee Titans. After watching San Diego average just 1.6 yards per carry, there might not be much of a choice.

The problem for Rivers is that he no longer has his top receiver from the last few years, WR Vincent Jackson. The combination of Malcom Floyd and Robert Meachem just doesn't seem to strike fear in opponents, and TE Antonio Gates has clearly lost a step. Running backs have been key to throw to in this San Diego offense as well, and though Curtis Brinkley, Le'Ron McClain, and Ronnie Brown combined for 12 receptions last week, the man that had the most catches out of the backfield last year, Mike Tolbert, is gone and now playing with Carolina.

The good news is that Rivers has now played in 97 consecutive games, and he has had four straight seasons with at least 4,000 yards passing. At least Head Coach Norv Turner has to have some confidence that his veteran quarterback can get the ball up and down the field.

Because if Rivers can't do it, no one may be there to save Turner's job or his Chargers' season.

September 15, 2012

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