Chargers Train Derailed

Dec 5, 2010; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers coach Norv Turner reacts during the game against the Oakland Raiders at Qualcomm Stadium. The Raiders defeated the Chargers 28-13. Photo via Newscom


The San Diego Chargers went into this game with a 4 game winning streak and also have won 18 straight games in the month of December. The Chargers were supposed to play the Kansas City Chiefs in a battle for first place in the AFC West. The San Diego Chargers were a streaking train that was looking to close out the season with their usual come from behind winning streak, but first they had to get through the Oakland Raiders. The same Oakland Raiders team that beat them earlier in the season.

During the Chargers winning streak, they solved the early season issues on special teams and stopped turning the ball over. The Chargers fell back on old habits against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. Early in the first quarter, the Chargers stopped the Raiders on offense and forced them to punt the ball. The punt was not fielded cleanly and the ball was recovered by the Oakland Raiders deep in Chargers territory. The Oakland Raiders were able to turn the possession into 7 points on a Jason Campbell scramble on fourth and 1.

On the next Chargers possession, Philip Rivers overthrew Malcom Floyd on a deep pass over the middle which was then intercepted by Safety Michael Huff. The Raiders then were able to turn that possession into 7 points with a pass to Jacoby Ford in the corner of the end zone. The Chargers quickly dug a deep hole putting themselves behind the Raiders 14-0.

The Chargers offense struggled the entire game. Philip Rivers was not able to hit his open receivers and the running game had to be abandoned early with the big deficit. The Raiders put a lot of pressure on Rivers and forced him to make poor passes.

The Chargers defense could not stop the Oakland running attack. Both Darren McFadden and Michael Bush rushed for over 95 yards and a TD EACH! The Chargers were out played and over muscled in the rushing game. Jason Campbell played a smart game at QB and just took what the Chargers gave him. If his receivers were covered, he tucked the ball down and scrambled for first down yardage.

The Chargers were not able to pull off late game heroics this time. Rivers was able to pass for one TD to Antonio Gates, but that was the only TD they were able to put on the board. The Chargers had to settle for field goal attempts and just could not keep pace with the Oakland Raiders ground game. The final score was 28-13 Raiders.

Earlier in the day, the Kansas City Chiefs did their job and won their game against the Denver Broncos. The Chargers will need a lot of help to make it into the playoffs now and they no longer control their own destiny to the playoffs. The Chargers cannot finish with the same record (like they have now) with the Oakland Raiders to end the season, because the Raiders would take the playoff spot, since they swept us in the regular season. They also will be looking for a collapse by the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs have a favorable schedule to end the season and we will need to beat them next week AND hope that other teams can help us out. The Kansas City Chiefs can end our season this week by leaving the game with a victory.

Next Chargers Game View full schedule »
Monday, Sep 88 Sep7:20at Arizona CardinalsBuy Tickets
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Tags: Antonio Gates Darren McFadden Jason Campbell Kansas City Chiefs Michael Bush Oakland Raiders Philip Rivers

  • Ch Fan

    I Wrote this in October after the slow start… namely that the rest of the season should determine whether the Chargers keep Norv. At this point, barring a 4 game win streak to end the season, AJ, Norv, and Crosby should all be gone. Hate to say that someone should get fired, but they will all get jobs somewhere else and this is sports.

    p.s. People who say that the last mini-win streak proves that AJ has hired the right people and the players are not performing, I think are wrong. AJ has created a culture of discontent and you can’t win in that environment. That may sound amorphous to some but any true sports fan knows that an organization must be smooth sailing from top to bottom in order to win.

    ChFan says:
    October 18, 2010 at 11:03 am

    I myself have watched the Chargers play for several seasons, and it is clear that some things fans do not fully understand. First, Norv DOES seem to motivate the team to play hard and well when it counts. Last season PROVED THAT, so you have to turn to other people in the front office first. If Norv hadn’t turned them around last season, then I would still be saying he should be fired- I mean, how many times can you run Sproles up the middle when you have Matthews waiting? That being said, I would only give Norv til the rest of this season to prove himself since the team failed so miserably in the playoffs last year.

    Second, the problems start with Spanos and AJ Smith. Spanos backs Smith, and at the end of the day, when an organization makes high profile fall on your face bad decisions you have to give lay the blame at the head guy. It is like the QB in football; Spanos is the QB of the organization and right now he’s playing like a washed up Vinny Testaverde or something.

    Third, AJ Smith needs to go. You do NOT battle your players over contracts the way this guy does. If you want to be greedy and not pay your players (PATRIOTS, ANYONE?), then you trade good players for high round draft picks and focus on improving the potential of the players you draft- LIKE THE PATRIOTS. You do NOT make your best OL sit out the beginning of the season just to prove that you have the power to do so. If you were going to sign players other than MacNeil or VJ then, sure, do it. But, treating 2 of your best players in such a way sends the WRONG MESSAGE TO THE OTHER PLAYERS. If I was Spanos, I would fire Smith. Since I am not, I say we need to fire them both somehow.

    • Ernie Padaon

      there last 4 games will determine a lot for the Chargers as we move forward. I still do not see AJ Smith being dismissed from his position though. He has put together a really good roster, but like you said, he also created a poor atmosphere and working environment for the team.

      I believe that the team will get into the playoffs still with a 4 game winning streak to finish out the season. Unfortunately, the other teams that make the playoffs play the same brand of football as the Raiders. Herd nosed smash mouth football and we might get trampled AGAIN.

      lets see how it plays out.

      • Ch Fan

        I agree… :)