Who is to blame for Chargers loss?

It was nothing new as the San Diego Chargers made the trip to Tampa to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and  former Charger Vincent Jackson.

This was set up to be a crucial midseason matchup with both squads entering the game 4-4 for the season with the Chargers coming off a big win and the Bucs looking for their third straight victory. It's unfortunate that the anticipation of this battle was marred by just more of the same from the Chargers. In what's become a staple for this team, there would be problems all over the field. In examining the latest failings, the spotlight has moved from individual mistakes to the team struggling to execute basic plays, calling into question leadership and overall play calling.
It was inspirational to see the team dominate the Kansas City Chiefs last week and give a moment of hope that perhaps the team was back into the groove of things. It was uninspiring; however, to see a team that was so successful on the field the week before unable again to maintain it's halftime lead. In lieu of a victory, fans were left with the disappointing feeling of Deja Vu.

The game began with the scoring excitement that has become a Chargers trademark (Cleveland's loss notwithstanding). The team flexed it's offensive muscle early, beginning with a Philip Rivers pass to Danario Alexander who scored on an 80-yard reception. The wide receiver spun out of the grasp of Leonard Johnson on San Diego's opening possession. It was a catch that Chargers Nation could be happy with and Alexander has become a huge part of the Chargers offensive arsenals. The promising receiver would end the game with 134 receiving yards to go along with that touchdown. Rivers capped off the first quarter as he threw a 13-yard TD pass to tight end Antonio Gates for a 14-7 1st quarter lead.

The special teams unit again played a crucial role in a Chargers game and not for the better.
They were not able to hold the Buccaneers at bay, as Bucs linebacker Adam Hayward would block a Mike Scifres punt and return it 29 yards for a score. That gave the Bucs a 17-14 lead that they would not relinquish.

It was a long day for Rivers. With the game still in reach in the fourth quarter, he had a pass intercepted by cornerback by Leonard Johnson. As Johnson headed down the sideline, Offensive lineman Jeromey Clary seemed powerless to stop him as he went on an 83 yard touchdown run. In what had to make Chargers fans wince, the pass was thrown as the scampering Rivers tried to go out of bounds to avoid being sacked. Of course, when you're sixth in the league in getting sacks, you can understand his need to run. Rivers would end with 2 interceptions for the game and 12 for the season, tied with Matt Cassel and rookie Brandon Weeden for second highest in the league.

It seems the only person more shocked by the pick-six pass landing in his lap was Johnson himself. How surprised you may ask? Let's just put it this way: Johnson was so surprised about the pass to him that all he could say was "It caught me by surprise."

During Norv Turners' post-game press conference with the media, the usually calm Turner had finally had enough. The question that brought Turner to a boiling point was asked by a San Diego TV reporter Turner was asked if the Chargers' 34-24 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was
unacceptable. Turner responded with  snarkily “"What do you think?" said Turner, "You answer that question."

Fans would like to answer that question and more such as: "Norv, what will you do about the defense allowing Rivers to constantly run for his life?" "How do you plan on fixing the embarrassing special teams effort?" and "When you saw Vincent Jackson run for 31 yards on us, did you ask AJ what other brilliant moves he has planned?" All those questions and more had better be answered soon, because the Chargers next opponent is their arch-rival, the AFC West leading Denver Broncos.  Tebow may be gone, but the team still seems to be running on divine intervention.  These are the same Broncos (6-3) that just beat the Carolina Panthers 36-14 on their way  to a four game win streak. Don't expect to be given any favors by the reinvigorated  Peyton Manning, who is courting both MVP and Comeback player of the year mentions.

Who do you blame for the latest loss, Rivers, the team defense, the punter or just an overall better team in the Buccaneers. Let your voice be heard. Sound off  in the comments below. 

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November 13, 2012

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edschargersto said... Nov 13, 2012, 10:56:00 PM

J. Smith in his off seasons move to let good players go and bring in less talent

RaiderHater said... Nov 14, 2012, 2:37:00 PM

> > > All of the above and more!! Rivers is making bad calls and we all know he is better than this. Norv is well...lost in space and playing kinda like an employee who gave notice he is leaving but still working his obligated 2 weeks, or an employee who knows he is being let go due to cut backs or whatever but that day just hasn't happened yet. I am not so much on the anti AJ group...yeap some poor calls on trading players but we also SHOULD have improved with the talent we again brought in...but so far not much to chat about...WHY is this, coaching period! If your coach never yells at you or holds you accountable for your performance, you take the easy way and play uhhhh fair to poorly. The Offense so far has been as creative as the famous 1999 Patriots - NOPE not the pro Team but the Pop Warner Team here in my town!!! :) Come on Norv, 4 good to Pro Bowl level TE and you got nothing in the playbook (3-4 TE backfield/wide out??) you got 3 solid RB and never all 3 in the back field?? You had and now have back plenty of talent in WR and never 4-5 wide outs?? Always plain jane old plays from again 1999 Pop Warner level play books. The Defense, well at times good, and at times mistakes are made. I think overall, they are much improved from last year and have a ways to go, but the Offense (or lack thereof) and turnovers are again killing us. The half time coach reviews in the locker room must be something like "well guys we are ahead at the half, so lets just go out and play uhhh like we forgot about the first half, oh and Defense, don't worry I doubt they will change a thing so just to stay in the same coverage...no need to adjust now". Well, it is Denver week...Manning will be ready and if we lose we are no doubt out of it again circa 2011 season!!! Right now, we are lucky if we accidently land in a wild card position and that is only IF we can actually win some games and other Teams fall apart. So win this week and we live to see another day...lose and WTF fire Norv and start the interviews ASAP!
Oh and Pete...your wife laughing as you told her what was coming near the end of last week...Damn Funny...but sadly True!!

Jeremy Meyer said... Nov 14, 2012, 6:58:00 PM

Raiderhater, I must say your making some very good points about the status of the Chargers and not blaming it all on the organizations management. I do agree with you about the play calling done by Norv and the two weeks notice is funny and probably accurate.

Pete Spinning said... Nov 15, 2012, 12:56:00 PM

You know how it goes, being a Charger fan... once behind, there is no comeback these days. If we can get four quarters of the team that plays in the first half, we would be best in the league.. but, we've been saying that for over a month now. I'll still post up on Sunday, and watch the game. I have low expectations, and I will warn my wife that she might want to go shopping for a few hours... lol.
Go Chargers?

Pete Spinning said... Nov 15, 2012, 1:23:00 PM

The Chargers o-line is awful. I will also throw in that Gaither constantly sitting on the sideline with an injury is destroying our passing game. There are a lot of things that contribute to a team loss, but our main problem coming down the stretch in games, seems to be a combination of poor pass protection... which forces poor decisions from Rivers... and bad run blocking... which stalls our running game. We either get a bunch of three & outs, which tires out our defenses already weak pass coverage, allowing QB's to pick us apart... or we take sacks, a forced fumble, or Philip throws the "bad decision" ball under pressure. He could definitely throw the ball away, and improve his footwork (and not all of his throws have been under pressure).. but, the majority of them are when he doesn't have time. They need to give him a cleaner pocket regularly, and more time to throw the ball. It's tough when you have an undrafted rookie free agent blocking the blindside, and always having to use a TE to help block, instead of running a route. This slims down Philip's options, slims down the playbook, and leads to better coverage on our receivers. That, and the other teams defense figures out how to adjust to it by halftime, and there isn't a whole lot more you can fool them with after that point.
We have both Harris getting manhandled on the left, and Clary getting manhandled on the right, and the middle starts to collapse from the extra pressure being generated up the middle. If Gaither could finally fuckin' get healthy, it would solve a lot of this... however, if we lose in Denver, it won't matter. If he gets healthy after that, I wouldn't even bother putting him in. I would cut my losses, put Whitehurst in, and give Harris more experience. Maybe sitting Rivers, after we are out of playoff contention, would make him realize how much standing up for Norv in the offseason really hurt this team. Love #17, but he will have to play a LOT better to live that one down with me. Sitting him might give him time to absorb the gravity of what he did by helping Norv keep his job another year.

Nick in PB said... Nov 16, 2012, 7:56:00 AM

RH, Pete, I'm right with you on these points. The O-Line is horrendous. PR can be one of the best in the league with protection. The problem is, so can most QB's. There are only a few in the league that are hard to rattle with pressure.

Coaching, as RH said, is a big problem. Norv is a big problem. My feelings is that he's more of a buddy to everyone instead of being the General in charge. Of course the players love Norv. But the longer this team has Norv as a coach, the worse they get. The "you screwed up but you can get em the next play" mentality may work in Pop Werner but not so much at the professional level.

I really thought we brought in some pretty good free agents in the off-season and my feelings were that we would be a better team. So I am not going to be an AJ hater here. But we are not playing better. We are worse. We get beaten by teams with less talent but far better leadership. And it's a constant. The players can't see it because they all like Norv. Norv is a great guy. They can't see the forest through the trees. Norv is like the teacher that turns his back on the bully in the class. Makes excuses instead of finding solutions.

One more point, Philip Rivers has to stop playing for Norv's job. I think he's trying too hard to make plays and he goes beyond his capabilities, and that's where he implodes. Those too are too close. Hell, Norv is probably the Godfather of Philips last 3 children! Philip needs to start playing for himself and stop playing to "save Norv"!!! They don't have a player-coach relationship. They have more of a buddy-buddy relationship and it's hurting the team.

Nick in PB said... Nov 16, 2012, 7:57:00 AM

Right on Jeremy and RH... I couldn't have said it better!!!

Nick in PB said... Nov 16, 2012, 8:03:00 AM

I personally thought that letting VJ go and bringing in Royal and Meachum was going to work out, at the time we did that. VJ wanted more than we could pay for one player. A LOT of deals would not have been done if we signed him. For instance, it was a priority to resign Gaither. At the time, I thought it was the right move. It hasn't worked out that way, but I'm not going to fault AJ for that. WE ended up with the Gaither that gave other teams headaches instead of the one that almost saved our season last year! Not to mention bringing in the other players we brought in. I totally think that with better direction from the coaching staff, this team is a 9 or more win team. As a whole, we are not playing up to our ability and that's on Norv.

Pete Spinning said... Nov 16, 2012, 11:01:00 AM

Great insight Nick! Very well said.
All of the problems seem relatively small / correctable on their own.. but, when you add them all together, it's one BIG mess. Whether it's Norv & PR's relationship, the o-line bordering on criminal, or Philip playing to "save Norv's job"... it all comes back to one common factor. Lack of leadership. If they can't turn it around in Denver this weekend, and capture some consistency. It's time to part ways with the "usual way of doing things".

RaiderHater said... Nov 16, 2012, 11:57:00 AM

Damn fine comments Nick...you are spot on and the Godfather comment...sooooooo funny! Huh, I should look into that, could be a controversy brewing - - Ha Ha!
Go Bolts - Donkeys leave Piles on the Fields :)

Jeremy Meyer said... Nov 16, 2012, 12:10:00 PM

I am sorry to say this about a player but Gaither has been giving us more headaches then should be allowed for a player that was high on the list of players that AJ wanted to resign. The Chargers have the talent, but they need more talent in specific areas. They can have a great QB, great WR, TE, RB's etc but if they do not have the protection to allow those players to succeed it does not matter. That is the problem the Chargers currently have and that needs to change before they can talk about division championships and the goal of reaching a Super Bowl. I am not, going to say win, because they need to get past round 1 before we should discuss getting to the big game.

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