Anyone get the feeling this season is just an extension of the horrible playoff loss to the Jets last season? The Chargers are 1-2 due to turnovers, poor special teams play and a couple breakdowns on defense. San Diego continues to look like a team with a great quarterback and genius offense coordinator, but falling short on the fundamentals(blocking, tackling, special teams...you know, FOOTBALL). I am not one of the sad folks who call for the return of Marty...but some sort of blend of Marty and Norv seems to be what this team needs.
Think about it. If it weren't for Rivers, this team might just be absolutely horrible. His ability to execute Norv's high flying offense makes the difference week in and week out. But who else is really stepping up and making great plays?
The coaches this week blamed the special teams failures on anonymous "new guys," but the blame really has to fall squarely one the coaches' shoulders. If those guys weren't ready, someone should have noticed and yanked them before San Diego lost to Kansas City and Seattle. Terrible. Or, short of yanking them, coaches should have been able to teach these guys how to play special teams. That's their job. What happened in those two losses weren't small problems needing adjustments, they were complete and utter failures. Special teams coach Steve Crosby and Norval should be ashamed.
The defense has looked good, but we all need to remember that they've looked good against three horrible quarterbacks. They'll get another bad QB this week, so the Chargers should be able to pull out a win, but I wonder if the Chargers are setting themselves up for a shock when they face a real NFL QB. The pass rush has not been all that strong. With English down and Merriman on the permanent post-steroidal gimp train, I'm worried this D may not look quite so good against the upper echelon offenses. The only hope is that Antwan Applewhite starts to do amazing things with regularity now that it appears he's the starter.
On offense this week, we'll get to see a healthy Ryan Mathews again, and we can only hope he has his head together after a devastating start in which he fumbled away two balls, one probably leading to the loss in the KC game. I think he's going to be great, but he's had some bad breaks so far.
The offensive line did not look as solid last week and they need to rebound to show they can be better than below average. With LT lighting it up in New York (5.6 YPC), the excuses for the pitiful run game are looking more and more tenuous. I'm tired of reading about how "determined" the line is this year. We need to see some consistency.
I'm hoping some of the turnovers have just been bad luck and bad bounces, and that the law of averages helps the Chargers actually catch a few breaks at home. They need this one.
Chargers 27, Cardinals 13