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Lack of AFC West powerhouse gives Chargers hope

San Diego’s loss to the Rams was different.  This time, they couldn’t blame special teams.

The offense struggled badly to pick up first downs, and the secondary gave up too many plays to St. Louis’ young receivers.   The running game has yet to be a difference maker this year, largely because the Chargers keep falling behind early in games.  The offensive line struggled against the Rams’ pressure packages. 

“We talk about special teams, but it’s moving around a bit — we’re not
making plays on offense or defense, either,” Chargers G.M. A.J. Smith told Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune.  “Eventually, you run out of
time
. It’s not the case yet, but it soon will be.”

This isn’t a normal 2-4 team.  The Chargers are first in the NFL in yards gained and yards allowed.  Yep, they are 2-4 despite averaging 177 more yards than their opponents.  Smith and coach Norv Turner took turns accepting full blame on Monday, but hope isn’t lost yet.

Just like the Cowboys, the Chargers are only two losses behind in their division.  Unlike the Cowboys, it’s hard to imagine a path to the playoffs going through the wild card for San Diego.  The AFC is too deep.

“We say we’re going to fix it, but we’ve been saying it for a while, and
meanwhile losses are piling up,” Smith said.  “If anybody else in our division was
breaking out, we’d be in serious, serious trouble — and it appears we
will be if we don’t straighten things out.”

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25 Responses to “Lack of AFC West powerhouse gives Chargers hope”
  1. carp killah says: Oct 19, 2010 12:22 PM

    So let’s cut our best defensive player and not sign or trade our holdout receiver.

  2. Tim says: Oct 19, 2010 12:22 PM

    Saying Dallas is even close to the same is ridiculous. SD plays in a much weaker division and two teams in the East already have 4 wins….

  3. Just Win Maybe says: Oct 19, 2010 12:27 PM

    And lack of coaching should give the Chargers concern….How can a perennial underachiever like Norv stay employed?
    The AFC West is in a sad state when everyone is is banking on the others suking worse than they are.
    Good thing my Silver and Black has the new “next Plunkett” waiting in the wings this weekend.
    The only team that’s represented each week is KC and they’re still a little ways out but you have to give them their dues.

  4. MercyMe says: Oct 19, 2010 12:30 PM

    The Chargers are in trouble….they just are not able to see it thanks to years of getting away with slow starts. The Chiefs are 3-2 with the two losses coming in close games against the Colts and the Texans (bad call at the end of the game). They already beat the Chargers once this year. They have the easiest schedule in the NFL from here on out. The Chiefs look to be rolling while the Chargers are still trying to get on track.

  5. thevirgin says: Oct 19, 2010 12:31 PM

    Another example of the problem that exists with the current playoff system. One of these AFC West teams will make it to the playoffs because they won a ridiculously poor division, and some very deserving quality football team will just miss making the wildcard because there are only 2 spots available for it. I bet that the worst wild card will have 2 wins more than the winner of the AFC West. Terrible.

  6. Common Sense says: Oct 19, 2010 12:32 PM

    It’s time for the melting candle to be fired.

  7. jbwbubba says: Oct 19, 2010 12:39 PM

    To be fair in that game, the chargers also lost Gates early who is their all everything. Also lost Malcolm Floyd the number one WR on the team early and the other starting WR was already out for the game. So they weren’t exactly at full strength for most of the game.

  8. gyldenlove says: Oct 19, 2010 12:41 PM

    Considering the Broncos have 2-4 and has not played any team that is below .500 right now, while the Chargers have had a much easier schedule to get to the same level and the Chiefs have found life, the Chargers will be lucky to just get 2nd place in the division this year.

  9. boltschick says: Oct 19, 2010 12:48 PM

    I heard that the Rams knew exactly when the ball would be snapped.
    That’s why Rivers was sacked 7 times, most he’s ever been sacked. Rams were in the backfield instantly. Team needs to disguise snaps a little better.

  10. Skummyone says: Oct 19, 2010 12:51 PM

    You know the Cowboys are 3 games back in their division, right?

  11. RFM says: Oct 19, 2010 12:53 PM

    The AFC West is so bad, all four teams have hope. The chiefs are a game and a half in front of the others and with no assurances of being able to hold on to it. Hell, 7-9 could win the division.

  12. JustDieBaby says: Oct 19, 2010 12:54 PM

    No AFC west powerhouse??? Guess you forgot about the 80 Raiders/Plunkett version 2.0.
    Just proves once again the “greatness” of Al Davis. What other team could get rid of Elway version 2.0/JaMarcus the “great playa” only to replace him with another Plunkett.
    Plunkett, Moss(DHB) Tatum(Mike Mitchell). Just wait until Al drafts the next Art Shell and Howie Long next year (ever without a no 1 pick). The Raiders are a powerhouse “Get ovah it”.
    Please someone just shoot me. Or better yet shoot Al.

  13. Dave says: Oct 19, 2010 12:57 PM

    The Broncos are in pretty good shape here, too…the hard part of thier schedule is pretty much done, 6 division games to go, they played the $hit out of the Jets on Sunday (and probably should have won)…beat the Titans…I like their chances in a very weak division.

  14. joetoronto says: Oct 19, 2010 12:59 PM

    jbwbubba:
    Injuries happen to all teams, not just the Chargers.

  15. Yamchargers says: Oct 19, 2010 1:08 PM

    hey gyldenlove
    I would take that bet. You think that the Bolts will finish 3rd or 4th?

  16. Levito says: Oct 19, 2010 1:09 PM

    # carp killah says: October 19, 2010 12:22 PM
    So let’s cut our best defensive player and not sign or trade our holdout receiver.

  17. Murphspeak says: Oct 19, 2010 1:13 PM

    AJ is building a perfect replica of the Marino – era Dolphins, save the Super Bowl appearance. The Dolphins behind Marino could demolish statistics and dominate in yards gained and comebacks and had all the stats on their side, without the wins and most importantly, without The Win.
    Look for Philip Rivers to become a Dan Marino doppelganger, a fierce and accomplished competitor, shattering records, red faced and frustrated at the inability of his organization to correctly assemble and then execute important wins with the necessary pieces when it really matters.

  18. BrianMD says: Oct 19, 2010 1:14 PM

    thevirgin says:
    Another example of the problem that exists with the current playoff system. One of these AFC West teams will make it to the playoffs because they won a ridiculously poor division, and some very deserving quality football team will just miss making the wildcard because there are only 2 spots available for it. I bet that the worst wild card will have 2 wins more than the winner of the AFC West. Terrible.
    ——————————————————————
    And in five-ten years some other division will be weak.
    Every sport has a weak division. That’s just the way it is. What are you gonna do? Change the play-off rules?
    Never gonna happen. Accept it.

  19. BrianMD says: Oct 19, 2010 1:16 PM

    gyldenlove says:
    Considering the Broncos have 2-4 and has not played any team that is below .500 right now, while the Chargers have had a much easier schedule to get to the same level and the Chiefs have found life, the Chargers will be lucky to just get 2nd place in the division this year.
    —————————————————
    That’s a little naive. Anything can happen. That’s what’s so great about football.
    For example, Denver was 8-4 and San Diego was 4-8 with 4 games left 2 years ago and how did that turn out.
    Quit predicting the season before it’s half over.

  20. sportsdrenched says: Oct 19, 2010 1:24 PM

    Another example of the problem that exists with the current playoff system.
    XXXXXXXXXXX
    That problem isn’t unique to the NFL. In fact any league anywhere where they have play-off has this problem.

  21. FireJerryJones says: Oct 19, 2010 2:01 PM

    No Jackson, No Gates… No Kaeding… No Problem.
    How do you lose to the teams these guys have played? You can’t look at the yards gained seriously.
    KC, Seattle, Rams, Oakland? Of course you gain a lot of yards here.

  22. OntBoltFan says: Oct 19, 2010 2:19 PM

    I am not too worried. 3 of the losses have been uncharacterisitic. Special teams errors. I could see the losses to SEA and KC. SEA can beat anyone at home. KC couldn’t do anything on O but had 14 st points. KC is about = to SD talent wise.
    OAK had 12 pts from blocked punts.
    STL is = talent wise as well so no mystery they win at home. Also didn’t have Gates and #2 WR. Haven’t had #1 WR all year. Also missed starting OT and OG in most of the losses.
    Merriman may return to being an avg player but he isn’t a force anymore. The guy has like 5 tackles this year as he is always hurt so someone else can pick up his $3+M contract.

  23. Electrogasm says: Oct 19, 2010 2:29 PM

    The reason that the Chargers have gained a lot of yards is because they HAVE TO since they’re playing from way behind every week.
    The reason they give up so few yards is because the other teams are scoring on Special Teams and Turnovers on a short field.
    Statistics matter only when it’s about Ws and Ls.

  24. edgy1957 says: Oct 19, 2010 2:48 PM

    The AFC might be deep but let’s not forget that these guys have put up LONG winning streaks to close out the seasons several times and that may be enough to get them either the division or a wild card spot. This isn’t the strongest division in football and 3 of their last 4 division games are at home and I can see them winning 6 of their last 7 games after the bye.

  25. CapsLockKey says: Oct 19, 2010 3:14 PM

    Chiefs are in the drivers seat. They already have a win over SD and just got past the two hardest games they’ll play all year, Indy and Houston on the road (and should have won). KC now has a 2 game home stand against the spirally downward Jags and the worst team in the league Bills. Follow that up with a road game in Oakland, it’s almost a month before KC sees a legitimate team again.
    Meanwhile, a game and a half behind (not including the tiebreaking loss to the Chiefs) all SD has to do is play the gauntlet of the Patriots, Titans, Texans, Broncos and Colts. Good luck with that Chargers. Dropping 2 out of 3 to NFC West teams all but killed any chance of winning the division. They better hope the Chiefs completely fall on their face, and after seeing what they did the last two weeks even in losing efforts, I don’t see that happening.

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