Can San Diego Chargers Avoid Playing Down to Competition?

By Anthony Blake
Marcus Gilchrist - San Diego Chargers

It seems almost rhetorical to talk about the San Diego Chargers’ propensity to play down to their level of competition. That is especially true when the team is forced to go on the road and even more so when they travel across time zones. Given their track record, this game against the Cleveland Browns may look like a cupcake on the schedule, but it could be a dessert with some severe indigestion if the Bolts don’t buckle down and take care of business.

One area that could make this task difficult is the fact that the team’s morale may be at an all-time low at this point. The club has experienced some real lows in recent years including last season’s six consecutive losses from week seven through week twelve, but none of those dropped games were quite as demoralizing as the team’s back-to-back blown double-digit second half cushions against the New Orleans Saints and the Denver Broncos.

Losses like these ones allow doubt to creep into the minds of players and force them to ask the question of whether or not they should back the coaches giving them the gameplan from week to week. That type of distrust is the recipe for disaster.

Granted, Norv Turner has historically underwhelmed in the early portion of the season only to have this team rally and push into the playoffs after all, but this year has a different feel. Especially after what transpired a year ago and how both he and General Manager A.J. Smith narrowly escaped being canned, this season has a real doom and gloom vibe surrounding it.

While none of this may translate into difficulty on the field against the Browns this weekend, it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on. If the Bolts face some adversity, just how will the team respond? It will be interesting to see just how much fight they have for the current coaching staff if the Browns hang around for too long.

Follow Anthony Blake on Twitter @AnthonyMBlake or on Facebook at Anthony Mizarkus Blake

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