The San Diego Chargers, a team with a loaded offense with quarterback Phillip Rivers, running backs Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert, wide receivers Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd, and last but not least tight end Antonio Gates. Don’t forget a mediocre defense to go with that. However the San Diego Chargers usually Super Bowl favorites every year to win it are 4-6 and tied for last in the AFC West.
Though who would’ve thought that in week 11 of this NFL season that the Chargers would be in this situation; 4-6 and tied for dead last in the AFC West? No one would, especially after starting off 4-1 with that only loss coming to them by the New England Patriots. However after having that tremendous 4-1 start they headed into the bye week and came back out a different team as they have now lost five straight.
Losing to the New York Jets 27-21, the Kansas City Chiefs 23-20 in overtime in a game that should’ve been won but because of a fumbled snap between Rivers and center Nick Hardwick, the Chargers lost. Then losing to the Green Bay Packers in a game that appeared to be over but a late comeback by the Chargers wasn’t enough to pull off the upset (45-38, Green Bay). Then in week 10 they would lose to the Oakland Raiders 24-17 and then this week in a game that they really needed a win, they would lose to the Chicago Bears 31-20.
So at 4-6 and tied for last in the AFC West the San Diego Chargers in pretty much a must win situation face divisional opponent and second place Denver who has been 4-1 since switching to quarterback Tim Tebow.
Which brings up the question; what’s wrong with this San Diego Chargers team? For starters; injuries, Gates missed three games, Mathews one game (resulted in a loss), Tolbert one game (resulted in a loss), and Malcom Floyd three games (all resulted in losses). Next up; turnovers, Rivers has thrown a career high 17 interceptions and has tied a career high six fumbles. Though he’s not the only one as Mathews tied his career high in fumbles as well. Lastly is the loss of running back Darren Sproles. Sproles rushed for 267 yards off of 50 carries last year but that wasn’t all as he played a key factor in the passing game as he caught 59 passes for 520 yards and two touchdowns. Another key note was that Sproles only fumbled the ball once.
So if the Chargers expect to turn this season around they’ll need to get control of those three things. Now obviously injuries aren’t really avoidable but preventing turnovers and finding another Sproles can be done. For instance running back Jacob Hester could be that “Sproles” type guy IF he can catch the ball.
The Chargers have six games left in the 2011 regular season against the Denver Broncos (5-5), the Jacksonville Jaguars (3-7), the Buffalo Bills (5-5), the Baltimore Ravens (7-3), the Detroit Lions (7-3), and the Oakland Raiders (6-4). They’re two games back out of first place and in a situation where they could most likely win at least four out of their last six games; their chances of making the playoffs looks slightly good.