Sunday’s tilt with the Baltimore Ravens featured the entire rollercoaster that has been the San Diego Chargers’ 2012 season all in one afternoon. From the insanely awesome to the mind-numbingly terrible, the Bolts showed their fans just what they were made of in week 12.
Unfortunately that composition is exactly what most fans feared as the year has progressed. The team has failed to correct its bad habits throughout the course of the season and just continued to make inexplicable errors that should have been eliminated early in the process. This failure to eradicate these issues is what should ultimately cost Head Coach Norv Turner his job whenever 2012 finally comes to a close.
From being gashed in the running game or vulnerable on third down defensively, to the team’s lack of consistency and complete ineptitude along the offensive line on offensively, San Diego just doesn’t have the DNA on its roster to be competitive. That’s not to say that another coach couldn’t have possibly gotten more out of the talent assembled by General Manager A.J. Smith in recent years, but even if they could have, Smith’s undying loyalty to Turner should earn him a pink slip too.
Perhaps the final nail in the coffin for the game against the Ravens (an inexcusable fourth and 29 conversion by Ray Rice, the longest in the league in a dozen years) was merely a microcosm of all that has gone wrong during Turner’s tenure. Mismanagement of down and distance, poor planning, and equally poor execution all contributed to that ridiculous surrender by the Bolts.
Injuries to Donald Butler and Eric Weddle on defense exposed another area of this squad that is lacking which is depth. Clearly the wealth of talent that once littered this roster has been pilfered away by other teams across the league via free agency due to so-called shrewd negotiating tactics from GM Smith. This team has serious problems finding capable bodies beyond the first string and that is a sign that a roster has been badly mishandled.
The looming question following this game has to be just how many collapses does it take for Norv and A.J. to get the boot? This is the team’s third double-digit fourth quarter surrendered of the season and that just can’t be explained away as a pure fluke of circumstance. There are real issues with this franchise and they start at the top. Until this club has freed itself of the current regime, the perpetual downward trend is bound to continue.
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