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Proof that the 2010 Chargers are insane

The Chargers are ranked first in offense (yards), first in defense, and yet they are 2-4.

This, clearly, is insane.  Not posting UFL scores at 5 AM insane, but close. 

In a article for the Wall St. Journal Friday, MDS puts the whole thing in perspective.  It’s even more rare and odder than you’d imagine.  Since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, there have been only eight teams that ranked first in offense and defense at the same time during any point of the season, for a total of 18 weeks of action.

The combined record of those eight teams at the time they were ranked first in offense and defense: 62-7.  I’m not sure what this all means exactly, other than San Diego’s special teams coach is lucky to still have a job.

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38 Responses to “Proof that the 2010 Chargers are insane”
  1. sportsdrenched says: Oct 22, 2010 10:19 AM

    or the Norval is good at doing the least with the most.

  2. dietrich43 says: Oct 22, 2010 10:22 AM

    No, San Diego’s head coach is lucky to still have a job.

  3. ttommytom says: Oct 22, 2010 10:24 AM

    Where does it say the Chargers are first in defense?
    If it said “ranked first in offense OR defense, then OK. But is says AND….thus…
    a totally out of context Post.
    You all need an editor…

  4. UMPhish41 says: Oct 22, 2010 10:29 AM

    It means all you needed to post was the last sentence.

  5. Electrogasm says: Oct 22, 2010 10:35 AM

    The reason that the Chargers’ O is #1 is because no one but themselves can stop them.
    The reason that the Chargers’ D is #1 is because the other teams are scoring on Special Teams returns for TDs, short fields due to long returns and Chargers’ turnovers in their half of the field.
    The reason that the Special Teams suck is A) Kassim Osgood is gone B) Tolbert is/was the primary RB in Mathews injury absence and C) LB injuries have forced first line Special Teams players on to the Defensive team creating a vacuum that has been filled with Practice Squad players.
    You don’t go from a top Special Teams coach to the bottom without an explanation. It’s a reason, not an excuse.

  6. football genius says: Oct 22, 2010 10:35 AM

    Special teams folks, that’s the third component and it counts too

  7. lanjoith says: Oct 22, 2010 10:36 AM

    You hit the nail on the head Gregg. You can make a great case that San Diego would be 6-0 if they had a Special Teams coach worth a damn. They can go toe-to-toe with any team in this league on offense and defense. Their special teams are atrocious and its killing them. Luckily they are playing in a horrid division and should he able to win it easily once they right the ship like they always do.

  8. pfii63 says: Oct 22, 2010 10:39 AM

    Norv should write a how-to book, “How I turned a Super Bowl contender into a mediocre 8-8 team.”

  9. Neverend says: Oct 22, 2010 10:41 AM

    the chargers are not a number one defense. that stat is skewed thanks to the teams they’ve been playing

  10. CT Pats Fan says: Oct 22, 2010 10:41 AM

    I think there’s some hidden stats at play here: The fact that opposing teams have racked up few yards against the Chargers D is because they’ve found ways to score on Special Teams. Also, special teams is so poor that teams have less distance to travel to score.
    The one defensive stat that matters is Points allowed, and NFL.com ranks the Charger at 19th.
    And to be fair, they haven’t really been tested. I know the Chiefs are resurgent right now, but they’ve played the Raiders, Jags, Cardinals, Seahawks and the Rams.
    If the chargers were putting up yards on the Pittsburgh D, and stopping the Colts passing attack, it’d be a little different. IMHO

  11. Mosi says: Oct 22, 2010 10:47 AM

    Spence and Brian from City Lights could go out there and tackle better than these guys.

  12. tooz56 says: Oct 22, 2010 10:53 AM

    Like I have been saying for years, STATS don’t matter !!!!!!

  13. Jay16 says: Oct 22, 2010 11:11 AM

    Chargers will make the playoffs. Their record is fools gold for other opponents, they start out slow every year. The Cowboys are in the same boat, both will still make the playoffs. Here are the teams that will falter down the stretch to make room for them both.
    Miami
    Kansas City
    Jacksonville
    Tenessee
    Chicago
    GreenBay
    Tampa Bay
    Washington
    Seattle
    Philly

  14. Lucky5927 says: Oct 22, 2010 11:16 AM

    They may be first in offense and defense, according to the team rankings on NFL.com, but let’s be honest here. Their rushing ranks 13th, so their offense is generally one dimensional. Their strength of schedule is top 5 weakest. And they have been facing Matt Cassel, Matt Hassleback, David Garrard, Rookie Max Hall, and Rookie Sam Bradford. This is the first week they are facing a tough QB.
    Team Rankings offensively:
    Seattle – 27th
    Arizona – 31st
    Oakland – 21st
    St. Louis – 20th
    Jacksonville – 25th
    Kansas City – 18th
    Not exactly a group of powerful offenses to defend. So no wonder they are performing so well on defense.
    Team Rankings defensively:
    Seattle – 24th
    Arizona – 28th
    Oakland – 22nd
    St. Louis – 17th
    Jacksonville – 27th
    Kansas City – 20th.
    So even without a consistent running game and their top WR and Starting LT (for most of the season), they are still putting up good numbers because the defenses they are facing are either terrible or inexperienced.
    So anyone who wonders why they are struggling despite their rankings should looked past the rankings and see that this team is not as good as avertised. Coach Turner is not a great coach, but has succeeded with this team in the past. At least in the regular season. Outside of the specail teams blunders, I think the person who deserves some of the blame should be AJ Smith. His ego has already run out a good coach. Now he is souring the relationships with some of his best players nor has drafted very well recently.
    Ultimately, it is sad to see a team with so much potential a few years ago, slowly fade away. Next year will be worse as they won’t have the luxury of facing the NFC West again (yes I know they are already 1-2 against them this year) and Kansas City seems to be on the rise.

  15. Bill In DC says: Oct 22, 2010 11:18 AM

    What’s even more bizzare is the combination of SD & Dallas.
    Combined they have the #1 & #3 Offense, #1 & #4 Defense, and a combined record of 3-8. ST (and penalties) how often has that happened?
    Of Course, how often has the AFC West had only 1 team with a winning record, and that team being the Chiefs?

  16. CryptKeeper says: Oct 22, 2010 11:27 AM

    Hey lanjoith…WAKE UP. It’s mid-season and your Chokers are 2-4 against sub-par competition. Now they are getting to the meat of their schedule. No chance they dig out of this hole.
    Just to have a chance at the playoffs they need to go 8-2 the rest of the way. Not happening. Good luck watching the playoffs from the couch.

  17. edgy1957 says: Oct 22, 2010 11:28 AM

    First in defense? By your definition of yards, they’re 4th. Now, if you look at their two wins, they’re +5 in turnovers but -8 in their 4 losses. Not too much of a mystery there. They’ve only forced turnovers in 3 of their games: their two wins and their loss to Seattle, a game that they were -3 in turnovers and saw their special teams give up two long TDs. They’ve lost every game that they’ve lost the turnover battle, which isn’t surprising at all.

  18. edgy1957 says: Oct 22, 2010 11:37 AM

    Bill In DC says: October 22, 2010 11:18 AM
    What’s even more bizzare is the combination of SD & Dallas.
    ********************
    Their problem is the same as San Diego: turnovers. The Cowboys have won the only game that they won the battle of the turnovers and they’ve only had 2 games where they got any turnovers at all. They’re -8 in their 4 losses like San Diego and unless they start taking the ball away, it’s going to be a long season.

  19. riichiie says: Oct 22, 2010 11:44 AM

    # lanjoith says: October 22, 2010 10:36 AM
    You hit the nail on the head Gregg. You can make a great case that San Diego would be 6-0 if they had a Special Teams coach worth a damn. They can go toe-to-toe with any team in this league on offense and defense. Their special teams are atrocious and its killing them. Luckily they are playing in a horrid division and should he able to win it easily once they right the ship like they always do.
    —————————————————-
    Just like when they righted the ship when they went 1-15? Or the next year when they went 2-14? The chargers have not been a historically good team, so don’t say something stupid like “they right the ship like they always do”
    Stupid band wagon charger fans.

  20. BrianMD says: Oct 22, 2010 11:46 AM

    @Lucky5927 -
    How do you consider a team that has the #1 pass offense and the #13 run offense to be one dimensional?
    If the run game was in the bottom third, or hell, even the bottom half then you may have an argument.
    Otherwise, your post is spot-on.

  21. SoxNPatsFan says: Oct 22, 2010 11:47 AM

    Rosenthal nails it, the Chargers should be 6-0, but that doesn’t mean they are the #1 team in the league. The 6 teams they have played so far in 2010 are horrible. Lucky5927 nails it with the breakdown of the Charger’s opponents offensive and defensive ranks. Not exactly stellar competition.
    We’ll see what the Chargers are made of when they play a real team like the Patriots on Sunday.

  22. TylerRDunn says: Oct 22, 2010 11:50 AM

    This is quite possibly the worst post I’ve ever seen on PFT. And that’s really saying something.

  23. I didn't hear no bell. says: Oct 22, 2010 11:55 AM

    The only stat that matters is 2-4 leading up to NE. It’s very possible they are 2-5 this Monday.

  24. Lucky5927 says: Oct 22, 2010 12:00 PM

    lanjoith says:
    October 22, 2010 10:36 AM
    You hit the nail on the head Gregg. You can make a great case that San Diego would be 6-0 if they had a Special Teams coach worth a damn.
    ————————————————
    Maybe you don’t know as much as you think you do Lanjoith. Steve Crosby is a respected Special Teams Coach. He was special Teams Coach of the year two years ago. The Chargers have finished top 10 in Special teams for the last 5 years (including 7th a year ago). I am fairly certain he is still coaching the same way he did then. So whats the difference? Well, letting Osgood didn’t help. Neither has replacing some starters with back ups and thus taking away some of the depth that was used to fill out the special teams play. Everyone wants a fall guy, so I understand Crosby is the likely target. But the lack of depth is an AJ Smith problem, and Coach Turner oversees the ENTIRE team. Finally, I doubt coach Croby drew up the blocking scheme to allow the opponent to return kicks or block kicks. Players have to be held accountable and they apperently do not have the talent on the 2nd string to make the special teams work this year.

  25. Lucky5927 says: Oct 22, 2010 12:05 PM

    BrianMD… Thanks for the comment. Despite the 13th ranked, I made the claim they were one dimensional due to the level of defenses faced so far as well as being inconsistent. I hope this helps explain my thinking behind it.

  26. JSpicoli says: Oct 22, 2010 12:11 PM

    INSANE!!!!
    BIZZARE!!!!!
    I love how it rocks your world when you realize the fundamental truth that your beloved stats are not the end all be all. As a matter of fact situations and opponents matter most.
    Sports CPA’s go away. Let me watch a game and decide myself.

  27. jbwbubba says: Oct 22, 2010 12:12 PM

    I agree with some of the posters above, Chargers but for their Special Teams, they would be considered among the leagues elites. They lost to the Chiefs, Seahawks and Raiders because of Special Teams. They got beat by the Rams, because of injuries and good play by the Rams. But just average special teams play and the Chargers are 5-1 and considered a super bowl contender.

  28. goJags says: Oct 22, 2010 12:22 PM

    Any team that plays against the jags will get a better ranking on various stats that includes passing, offense ….

  29. 8ball says: Oct 22, 2010 12:34 PM

    .
    Q. How does one know that their gambling is a “problem” ?
    A. When you are counting on the Chargers to cover your losses in the early games.
    .

  30. buckup says: Oct 22, 2010 12:53 PM

    They are first as long as you just use YARDS. S.D. is #24 in points allowed. POINTS matter more than yards. So taking into account they are number 24 in points explains their record, even if the defense didn’t give up ALL those points.

  31. Electrogasm says: Oct 22, 2010 2:17 PM

    @ riichiie
    Just like when they righted the ship when they went 1-15? Or the next year when they went 2-14?
    Stupid band wagon charger fans.
    ***********
    The Chargers NEVER have had a 2-14 record in their history
    http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/sdg/
    Stupid people ripping on stupid band wagon Chargers fans!

  32. Steve W. says: Oct 22, 2010 3:55 PM

    Not all that insane when you consider the rankings in full, and not just look at offensive yards gained and defensive yards given up. Poor special teams play and turnover problems have ironically made the Chargers defense look better than it is at first glance. When the Chargers allow a special teams TD or a turnover that ends in a TD, it means their opponent gets fewer possessions in the game, hence fewer yards. Also, the short fields the Chargers have given their opponents with poor special teams play and turnovers means that they’ve had fewer yards to defend. When a team starts out of your 40 yd line, even if they score a TD, they’ve only gained 40 yards on your defense. Take a closer look at the stats. While the Chargers may be ranked number 1 in yards given up by the defense, their ranked 24th in points given up. End of story.

  33. Steve W. says: Oct 22, 2010 4:04 PM

    # Jay16 says: October 22, 2010 11:11 AM
    Chargers will make the playoffs. Their record is fools gold for other opponents, they start out slow every year. The Cowboys are in the same boat, both will still make the playoffs. Here are the teams that will falter down the stretch to make room for them both.
    Miami
    Kansas City
    Jacksonville
    Tenessee
    Chicago
    GreenBay
    Tampa Bay
    Washington
    Seattle
    Philly
    ________________________________
    You’re an absolute idiot. Chicago, GB, TB, Washington, Seattle, and Philly are all NFC teams. The Chargers are an AFC team. So, of the 10 teams you mentioned, the records of 6 of them have nothing to do with the Chargers making the playoffs. The only team that really matters in your list is the Chiefs. No AFC West team is getting a wild card spot. One will go to an AFC North team, and the other will go to an AFC East team. Maybe, just maybe the Titans will grab one of those wild card spots, but they’re the only team outside of the North and East with a shot at it.

  34. Steve W. says: Oct 22, 2010 4:16 PM

    # jbwbubba says: October 22, 2010 12:12 PM
    I agree with some of the posters above, Chargers but for their Special Teams, they would be considered among the leagues elites. They lost to the Chiefs, Seahawks and Raiders because of Special Teams. They got beat by the Rams, because of injuries and good play by the Rams. But just average special teams play and the Chargers are 5-1 and considered a super bowl contender.
    _____________________________
    Sorry, but you can’t be considered amongst the league elites with a negative turnover ratio generated while playing an incredibly weak schedule. Their special teams have been horrible, but they’re far from the only problem this team has. The defense is horrible. They’ve given up the fewest ypg, but they’ve been in a position where their opponents are starting out with short fields, or losing possessions because they score on ST or Def. The Chargers are 24th in points allowed, which is also far from elite. Finally, Rivers can have all the numbers he wants. In two of the losses I saw, the Chargers were in the red zone down by a TD or less at the end of the game. Both times the Chargers failed to score. So, the offense can put up all the numbers it wants, but if it can’t score from the red zone with the game on the line, I find it hard to call that elite either. All of these issues, and they’ve played one of the weakest schedules in the league. Now, down some key players (with others questionable, meaning they’re likely less effective if active), they face the Pats, Titans, and the Texans in their next three games. Not looking good for a comeback this year.

  35. Electrogasm says: Oct 22, 2010 5:22 PM

    @ Steve W
    Take a closer look at the stats. While the Chargers may be ranked number 1 in yards given up by the defense, their ranked 24th in points given up. End of story.
    *******
    Correction: If you factor in the woes of the Special Teams unit and how they’ve given away points (30 and counting…) the actual Defensive unit has only given up only 96 points, which would slot them between the Ravens and the Bears – not bad company.
    Then again, you can’t use this as a practical measurement for several reasons. Let’s halve the difference of points given up on ST and allowed by the D and you find them ranked around 11th, which seems about right. And that’s against teams that they should have beaten easily.
    They’re sleeping through their alarm again this year. And some good teams are coming in to turn down the lights and tuck them in.

  36. Kylos says: Oct 22, 2010 8:02 PM

    @Lucky592 – You ever think of the fact that their offensive ratings are so low because they had a game where they could only get 180 yards. Or that their defensive rankings are so low because the Chargers put up 500 yards on them.
    Teams have only played 5-6 games so far this season, one game can skew stats. Sure the Seahawks & the Cardinals may not be Pittsburgh or Baltimore on defence but they are still NFL defences and we still lit them up.

  37. Stuart Scotts left eye says: Oct 23, 2010 10:10 AM

    it’s funny how other posters are saying that yards don’t matter only ppg matters. Well, ppg is skewed because of our st play. They’ve given up points in every loss we’ve played except the rams but sparked the rams offense with the near punt return. The Charger d is playing great but gives up plays at the wrong time. they’ve been consistently good but it’s just so hard to measure them because of the special teams play. The next few games will tell a lot.

  38. Lucky5927 says: Oct 23, 2010 1:43 PM

    Kylos,
    First of all, Defense has an “S” in it… not a C. Secondly, teams don’t usually rank in the bottom 3rd of the standings due to one game’s results this far into the season. Third point of emphasis, the Chargers scored 20 points against the Seahawks, 17 against the Rams, and 14 against the Chiefs! So who exactly are they lighting it up against? A Revamped Cardinals defense? A terrible Jaguars defense? Sure, Rivers had his fair share of passing yards, but last time I checked “Lighting it up” was a scoreboard reference. Not a stat book reference. Next, EVERY defense in the league is an NFL defense. We all know that is where the comparisons stop as not EVERY defense in the NFL is the same. So, I’m not sure what that point has to do with anything. Finally, it requires a subjective look to analyze the problems of the San Diego Chargers. As a devoted Chargers fan, I doubt you have that capability. So feel free to defend your team as they waste away another season.
    Stuart Scott’s left eye…
    Wouldn’t your statement of “The Chargers D is playing great, but gives up plays at the wrong time” apply to most any team in the NFL?? S
    Seriously boys… bring the big guns next time you want to wage a battle.

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