For a team thought to have a weak defense and strong offense coming into the 2012 season, the San Diego Chargers wore quite a Halloween costume this past Sunday. Against the Cleveland Browns, the Bolts looked like the exact opposite as Head Coach Norv Turner, the supposed offensive guru, couldn’t get his team to move the ball out of their own shadows. This identity change brings on a number of questions about what direction the franchise is moving in and none of them are positive.
This side of the ball has to start with quarterback Philip Rivers and end with Turner who organizes the offense. Clearly it wasn’t a friendly environment for the Chargers with the wind whipping in the Dawg Pound, but the gameplan was quite possibly the most embarrassing element of this game for San Diego.
The Bolts were just humiliated in back-to-back weeks and had two weeks to prepare for a rookie-heavy Browns team with just one win. All signs pointed to a bounce back game for the Chargers, but Turner failed to inspire his team yet again and their whopping six point total was their second game in five weeks where they failed to find the end zone.
Those dissatisfied with General Manager A.J. Smith focus on his neglect of the offensive side of the ball, but for me it is Smith’s attention paid to the defensive side of the ball over the past five years that at least has this area of the team competitive. That defense gave up just 250 total yards in this game, but the problem was that the offense only gained 265 yards in comparison.
It is becoming more and more apparent that the Bolts’ shortcoming isn’t on the defensive side of the ball; it’s on offense. Rivers has been turnover-prone and Turner has owned up to being at fault for those issues. While the defense continues to put up solid efforts, this team keeps finding ways to lose games.
And that brings us full circle in the blame game right back to Turner and his failed tactics with this football team. His lack of a voice in the locker room and his apparent shortage of knowledge on how to coordinate a team effort is what has led this club astray. Fans could see this meltdown coming with the decreased win total during Turner’s five seasons prior to 2012 with the team. It’s difficult to fathom, but that win number could get even lower if the Chargers’ organization doesn’t make a move and find a new voice to lead this club sooner rather than later.
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