When you think of the San Diego Chargers, much of their success over the past decade has been derived from a potent offense with plenty of weapons through the air and on the ground. Unfortunately that offensive weaponry is no longer present for the team and that is one of the primary reasons that the offense struggled so mightily at times in 2012. Let’s take a look at just what the Bolts can do to change their current course and get back to giving opposing defensive coordinators nightmares during the week leading up to facing the team.
This season, the Chargers were one of just four teams to average less than 300 total yards of offense per game. That is a far cry from the output that this club had sustained for the better part of quarterback Philip Rivers’ career up until this season. Of course injuries are partly at fault for their slide, but the fact that so much talent has left this team and never been replaced shoulders the bulk of the blame.
Much of the attention in the draft and free agency was focused on finding ways to improve defensively in recent years, but the offense has lost so much. Running back Ryan Mathews may have been more successful over the past few seasons had the two Pro Bowlers starting on the left side of the offensive line not retired due to injuries. It isn’t only Mathews who has suffered from the loss of left tackle Marcus McNeill and left guard Kris Dielman however. Rivers has been relentlessly harassed in the pocket and just hasn’t looked comfortable over the past two seasons mostly due to those departures.
For a team that finished first in the league in total offense just two years ago, finishing second to last in 2012 is quite a precipitous fall. Maybe Norv Turner’s play-calling got stale or maybe the players just stopped buying into the system, but more likely than anything, this team just doesn’t have the talent it once did offensively. That needs to be the primary focus this offseason if the Chargers want to again become a competitive club because they have clearly fallen behind in the race for a Lombardi trophy.
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