No words in the English language can describe the performance of the Chargers (5-9) as they had one of the most embarrassing losses this season at Qualcomm stadium against the Carolina Panthers (5-9) on Sunday. The 31-7 drubbing by the Panthers was another in a long line of disappointment this season, culminating in the mathematical elimination from any prayer of playoff contention. The irony was not lost that the playoff hopes were crushed by another team that had high hopes and failed to live up to them.
QB Philip Rivers completed 12 of 23 attempts for 121 yards. He also had four fumbles, two of which led to turnovers.The total yards on offense was an awful 164 yards. Antonio Gates had an 8-yard TD reception at the start of the fourth quarter, the 81st of his career and tied a team record, but it was all for naught. The newly resigned RB Curtis Brinkley led the team's rushing attack with 42 yards on six carries. Nick Canepa of UT San Diego summed it up best “This is the incognito line, but these guys got themselves swamped. At least act as though you’ve blocked before, even if you obviously haven’t.” By the way, Rivers was sacked 6 times! Rivers hit the turf more than Peyton Manning and Tom Brady...combined. Guess which team should really be drafting a new offensive line?
The Chargers defense has been the best part of the team's performance this season and that's not saying a lot. Some called it the bright spot on the team; however, it all ended with a huge thud this week as the Panthers got 155 yards on the ground. Running back Mike Tolbert, a former member of the Chargers last year, stuck it to his former team scoring two touchdowns and giving the Panthers the lead. Cam Newton was on fire the entire game and the defense clearly had no answer for him. He completed 19 of 33 passes for 231 yards and two TDs for a 99.4 passer rating that is very disappointing for a team like the Chargers.
Special Teams: D
Special teams...ah I'm speechless and as you know, I am never speechless. Special Teams were anything but special as Punter Mike Scifres had only one of six punts end up inside the 20. Special teams captain Darrell Stuckey is currently injured with a hamstring injury and he is being missed. On the bright side, they did not let the Panthers return any punts for a score. But their ineptitude showed itself when they were called
for a roughing penalty that left fans and coaches scratching their heads. Congrats guys, you earned a "D".
Coach Norv Turner has not improved his GPA at all this season. What else can you say about this performance, except that his game plan did not work and he did not have the skills to change the game plan. Bad play calling, an unstable offense that couldn't protect it's franchise QB and a Defense that couldn't stop a 5-9 Carolina Panthers. We've all heard it before and all we need to know is when are you leaving?
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