What We Learned and Game Rapid Reaction - San Diego Chargers vs Denver Broncos

Before I get started, I want to quickly apologize for the lack of articles recently. Extensive medical treatments can be a pain sometimes. But anyways, on with the good times!

Welcome, welcome, welcome ladies and gents, to the end of yet another disappointing week in the life of a San Diego Chargers fan. If you're still in disbelief a day later, let me assure you, the Chargers did in fact drop their Sunday afternoon contest to the Denver Donkeys (who shall now be referred to as the Denver Broncos after earning back my respect). So, without further delay, let's get into it:

What We Learned

1. It Ain't Happening this Year - I remember a time last May or June - I can't be sure - when I was sitting in my dorm room watching some post-draft video entertainment on NFL.com, when I stumbled across an early-early Super Bowl prediction video, and wouldn't you know it? Someone picked the San Diego Chargers.

I wonder what all those pundits like him are thinking right about now.

I know what I'm thinking: The Chargers couldn't get to the playoffs if they won out. The Raiders now have a three-game advantage, and Tebow-time and his merry band seem to be on a bit of a role themselves.

2. Philip Rivers is Missing Something - Well, several somethings I suppose. An offensive line? Yes. A solid one-two punch at wide receiver? Yes. A true backfield passing threat? Yes. A consistent running game? Yes. When I look at everything that is going wrong around Rivers, it's hard to imagine a world where he could be successful. Few quarterbacks can make something out of truly nothing.

3. San Diego is Embracing Vanilla Playcalling - I try not to criticize coaches often, because I have an appreciation for how difficult their jobs are and how difficult it can be when a city starts to turn against them. Right now, though, I'm having a hard time defending San Diego's Norv Turner. He had the Chargers' offense rolling in their first series (until they stalled for a field goal), but after that the playcalling became totally bland and predictable. The Broncos saw the runs coming, they knew where the passes were going, and they knew how to get into the backfield. Part of the issue is a lack of options (due to injury and free agency loss), but for a guy who has been held up as one of the greatest offensive minds in recent NFL history, he really hasn't shown much on that side of the ball.

4. Even Cory Liuget Can't Help - I'm genuinely confused as to how a defense that seemed to have it together at the beginning of the year has fallen so far. Sure, they only gave up 16 points on Sunday, but remember, that was against a Tim Tebow-led Denver Broncos team. Tebow threw the ball 18 times. The Broncos ran the ball 51 times. For 208 yards. You would think offensive predictability like that would be conducive to an easy game plan. O well.

5. Nowhere to go but Down - I don't know about you all, but I've looked at the Chargers remaining schedule, and I see maybe one or two winnable games left (next week @ Jax and the week after vs Buffalo). Do you know what six wins would earn the Chargers? An early ticket to the off-season and a draft pick somewhere in the 10-16 range. Well, I guess SOMETHING positive can come out of that.

Now for a couple of quick hit points from the game...

It was over when... The Broncos hit an easy field goal as the clock wound down in overtime to seal the game 16-13.

Star of the game... I'm going to give this one to Ryan Mathews. He didn't fumble the ball once, and 137 yards is a hell of a game for anyone. He was probably the only one who wanted to keep San Diego in the ball game.

Silver Lining... Chargers players can start booking trips in January, because I can't see a post-season trip this year (which, for those of you counting at home, makes two straight years of no playoffs). Also, can you say high draft pick?

Biggest Area to Fix... Fire. No one in San Diego could say with a clean conscious that they saw the Chargers play with any fire on Sunday. They just looked so defeated, and that has to come from the top. I don't care who steps up, whether it's Norv Turner or AJ Smith or just one of the players, but someone has to, or the Chargers won't break their current losing streak.

Number of the day... 6. Don't get too attached to this number, because another uninspired performance next week could change it to 7. Yes folks, this is the current losing streak that the San Diego Chargers have built for themselves. Hard to believe we were once 4-1, right?

Well, that's about all I have for you all right now. Join me later in the week when I'll discuss everything from what's eating Philip Rivers to how the Chargers can use the J-Ville Jags to snap the six game skid. 'Till then, try to enjoy your week.

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