Somewhere in the county of San Diego, there are San Diego Chargers fans who are very excited about the upcoming season. Some Chargers fans can’t wait for Monday Night Football on Sept. 10th against the Oakland Raiders. The Black Hole beckons as it does at least once a year for the Chargers, though San Diego fans are hopeful that this season-opening visit to Oakland will be a sign of great things to come.
Unfortunately the team on the field has given fans little more than hope, to work with this preseason.
Norv Turner’s troops are battered and bruised. With considerable issues on offensive line, and new skill position players still learning the system, San Diego is leaning on significant contributions from aging veterans and other less-than-favorable options.
Noteworthy injuries to major offensive role players like starting running back Ryan Matthews and starting left tackle Jared Gaither have dominated headlines this preseason. Mathews is attempting to defy logic, and doctors, with a week one comeback. Conversely, Gaither is continuing his repellent career trend of underwhelming his employer after signing a big contract, and will not play in the week one contest with back trouble.
On the bright side, Pro Bowl center Nick Hardwick will anchor the Offensive Line against the Raiders. Although it will be the play of the rookie LT Mike Harris which will determine how clean QB Philip Rivers will be at the end of Monday’s game.
Wide Receivers Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal will open the season in the starting lineup. Meachem, the projected No. 2 WR, and Rivers are still out of sync. Royal, San Diego’s, primary return-man/slot receiver, has been sidelined with a groin injury and his durability is a major concern headed in to Oakland. And Michael Spurlock was San Diego’s leading receiver in the preseason.
The fact is – this offense just doesn’t jump off the page the way it used.
Hope abounds in NFL cities across America this time of year. It’s a feeling much like Christmas Eve. That “There could be anything in those packages” type of anticipation is unwavering – From San Diego to Jacksonville – and every NFL city in between. All 32 teams have a winning record, even the Chargers.
Todd Coshow is a Chargers Columnist for rantsports.com. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow Todd on twitter @TC_Coshow