Despite the fact that most of the discussion about the San Diego Chargers has pertained to their presumed eventual dismissal of Head Coach Norv Turner and General Manager A.J. Smith, the team does still have a game to play this week against the Baltimore Ravens. This week’s tilt begins a three week stretch of games against the AFC North, a division known for its tough defense and black and blue mentality, for the Chargers. Even though most believe the Bolts playoff hopes have been shredded, the team will keep on fighting.
One of the best attitudes on the team belongs to one of the few bright spots on the roster in safety Eric Weddle. According to the Bolts’ defensive leader, the team still needs to put together a complete game free of problems. Weddle said: “That’s why we are where we are until we fix it. And until we overcome those flaws within ourselves, we’ll still be in those battles in the fourth quarter. That’s why you play the game. Everyone is human and everyone makes mistakes. That’s why you just try and eliminate as many mistakes as you can and try and play that perfect game, which is impossible, but you strive for it. We have a great group of guys on this team regardless of what the outside thinks. I still believe in us and what we’re trying to accomplish. We’ll go down fighting until all is said and done.”
Mathematically, the Bolts are still very much alive considering the opponents they face in the coming weeks. This game with Baltimore on Sunday is critical, but games with the Cincinnati Bengals (5-5) and Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4) are must-wins with teams just ahead of the 4-6 Chargers in the AFC playoff race.
After safety Ed Reed was suspended for Sunday’s game earlier in the week, the Chargers had to breathe a sigh of relief not having to face one of the league’s most feared defenders. Unfortunately for San Diego, Reed’s one-game suspension was later rescinded and reduced to a $50,000 fine for repeated blows to the head.
As if that wasn’t enough bad news for the Bolts, the club placed offensive tackle Jared Gaither on injured reserve earlier in the week as well ending his season. The team’s most-prized offseason signing barely saw the field in 2012 and really kept the offensive line scrambling from week to week. Just ask quarterback Philip Rivers how unsettled the line has been during Gaither’s absence.
Adversity is nothing new for this Chargers team. They have come from a 4-8 record to win the division before, they have closed out the season on a double-digit win streak to take the AFC West crown in the past, and there is no reason they can’t do the same again this season. As evidenced by the attitudes from the team’s leaders, this 2012 campaign is still far from over.
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