The anguish on the otherwise stern face of Philip Rivers as those words slunk off his lips and out onto the chilly October winds, said it all. On a Halloween night copious with sloppy play, including 8 total turnovers, all Rivers could say was “worst day ever” as if the football gods or fate had turned against him. And maybe they had. At the 15-yard line with 40 seconds to go and an eminent field-goal game-winner in the balance, it seemed maybe this Halloween, Philip Rivers and the Chargers would escape a scare . But with a crucial end-of-regulation botched snap, fumble recovery by the Chiefs, and Charger OT loss, the trick was on San Diego and the turnover and win was treated to Kansas City.
The Chargers simply haven’t proven themselves.
At nearly the halfway point of the season, San Diego’s 4-3 record is deceiving. All 4 wins came against teams riddled with vulnerability such as: the winless Miami Dolphins, lowly Denver Broncos and meager Minnesota Vikings. The other win, a 20-17 final, came in week three against the same Kansas City Chief team that slipped past them Monday night.
Even more indicative, all three Chargers’ losses have come against relevant and apparently more elite, rival AFC foes in New England, Kansas City and New York with the Jets; all of which were 2010 playoff contenders a year ago.
Despite a manageable second-half of the season in the wings (that is after a very tough matchup with defending-champion Green Bay Sunday), Charger Nation still hasn’t accomplished the goal the last head coach, Marty Schottenheimer, couldn’t reach and eventually was fired for. In contrast, they are suffering from symptoms similar to the last administration in that...
The San Diego Chargers can’t win meaningful games, especially when they count most.
To say the Chargers’ season is still successful now because they have a winning record would be the naïve equivalent to saying Tim Tebow’s unorthodox/ inefficient throwing style got him a win against the Dolphins, so he should be Denver’s franchise quarterback for the next five seasons. It just doesn’t add up.
The amount of talent residing in San Diego however is real and will never be taken lightly by any opponent. But until the Chargers can win against quality teams they’d face in the playoffs, they won’t garner full respect. Don’t be surprised to see Norv Turner’s or even more sobering, Philip Rivers’ head on the chopping block. I’ll put all my money on Norv and his staff packing their bags if there isn’t at least one or two postseason wins this year. I won't go into predicting his fate if the Chargers’ postseason appearance drought stretches to consecutive seasons. And don't forget about Philip Rivers, last in the NFL in interceptions thrown with 11 with just 7 passing touchdowns; even with all his passion and grit, he very well might not be the answer anymore either. The Chargers may need to clean shop.
Nevertheless, look for a win Sunday against the Pack to reboot life into the current stale state of the San Diego Chargers. This home game is a barometer that will no doubt forecast the rest of the season's chance at success. If the prediction post-Sunday is portentous, it could have Philip Rivers sinking his head in agony saying, “Worst season ever.”
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