After the Cincinnati Bengals won on Thursday night earlier in the week, the San Diego Chargers’ chances of making the playoffs dropped from 1.5 percent to a mere 0.6 percent heading into Sunday’s action. What transpired in the tilt against the Carolina Panthers took the probability down to exactly zero. Watching the lack of effort, interest, and motivation from the Chargers was nauseating and should expedite the process of cleaning house.
Down 21-0 after the first quarter, the Bolts never even sniffed Carolina in this game. The team actually failed to go over the 100 yard mark in total offense until the fourth quarter which shows just how ineffective Head Coach Norv Turner has been. Orchestrating an offense that can put points on the board is supposed to be his strong suit and this team could barely even make a first down on Sunday.
For the remainder of the season, the Chargers should seriously consider sitting quarterback Philip Rivers on the bench for his own protection. The offensive line has become a complete joke and not the funny kind; the kind that gets a quarterback killed. It has become hazardous to actually line up with Rivers under center as the Panthers sacked him five times producing fumbles on three occasions.
Mike Tolbert returned to San Diego and showed the Bolts just what they are missing this season as he came out of hiding for Carolina to score twice in the first quarter. There seemed to be an emphasis on Tolbert by the Panthers given his motivation to perform against his former team.
This beatdown should seal Turner’s fate as the coach of this team. His firing has been much anticipated by fans (especially myself) for the last three years, but it seems there is now no way of justifying his return next season.
Let the rebuild begin in San Diego and the franchise should get the coaching search started now. It would be wise to fire Turner soon and allow assistant head coach Rich Bisaccia to lead the club in the final two weeks. Many believe that he is in line to get serious consideration for the job this offseason and what better way to test his ability than on the job training?
In my opinion, the club should still seriously consider keeping General Manager A.J. Smith mainly because of what he has done as the architect of the defense. The amount of talent under the age of 26 on the Bolts D is astounding and just needs the proper coaching to continue growing together as a unit.
After this humiliating loss, the Bolts are one loss closer to a top 10 pick in April’s NFL Draft. There aren’t many positives to losing on a regular basis, but that is certainly one of the few perks. The other upbeat benefit is that Norv Turner will finally be gone in San Diego, and that will be the most necessary step toward rehabilitation that this franchise can possibly take.
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