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NFL San Diego Chargers

An off-season move set the San Diego Chargers up to be in this position

A.J. Smith San Diego Chargers

Christopher Hanewinckel-US Presswire

The San Diego Chargers have a 4-7 record which is two games behind the Pittsburgh Steelers for the final wild card spot.

If San Diego loses another game or the Denver Broncos win one more, the Chargers will be eliminated from contention for an AFC West title because they do not own the tiebreaker over Denver.

A move by Chargers general manager A.J. Smith is a big reason why they are in this position.  Smith chose to let Vincent Jackson go and he signed a five year deal worth $55.5 million with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Jackson led San Diego in receiving yards during his last three full seasons with the team in 2008, 2009 and 2011.  Jackson also led San Diego in touchdown receptions his last two full seasons with the team.

Jackson has 959 receiving yards while San Diego’s leader in this category has 704 receiving yards.  Jackson has seven TD receptions while San Diego has two guys tied for their team lead with four TD receptions.

Jackson ranks eighth in the NFL with 87.2 receiving yards per game and is tied for ninth in TD receptions.

The receiving game is taking a hit without Jackson.  San Diego ranked sixth in receptions and receiving yards last season, eighth in TD receptions and 10th in yards per reception.   San Diego ranks 11th, 18th, ninth and 28th in these categories this season.

San Diego had a 32-20 record with Jackson from 2008-2011 while they were 6-6 without him during this time.  San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers said that he wanted the front office to bring back Jackson.

San Diego’s defense is much improved this season, and one has to wonder what could have been if Jackson was still on the team.