After last weeks win against the Steelers I can’t help wonder if the game ball Norv Turner was given was an olive branch or a parting gift? As you know I’m assuming it’s the second option and believe this weeks San Diego Chargers (5-8) game against the Carolina Panthers (4-9) will be the last straw. Sorry for the foreshadowing, but I’m going to write it like I feel it in my blue bones.
Let’s talk about offense. We all know that the Chargers Philip Rivers has been struggling all season. He had some decent games the first few weeks and there was last week at Pittsburgh, but even on his best day he is missing something. That something is the ability to run and the Panthers Cam Newton currently leads the Panthers in rushing with 640 yards, and could become just the third different quarterback to lead his team in rushing since 1970 (Randall Cunningham, Eagles from 1987-90; Bobby Douglass, Bears in 1972). He is also the first player in NFL history with 30-plus passing touchdowns (37) and 20-plus rushing touchdowns (21) in his first two seasons. Why the Panthers do not have a better record with this guy on board is strange.
This will be the first time this season (or ever really) that the Chargers defense has faced such a mobile quarterback. It will be interesting to see how they adjust to this because this is not really something they are used to defending in practice. To put in in perspective, Newtons 640 yards are only 45 yards less than Ryan Mathews season total. Jammer and Weddle have been having a great year and I have been happy to see the adjustments made by Pagano are working. But still, there is Cam.
I’m not calling this a win or a loss, it will most certainly be a fun game to watch as it means nothing to either team so should be lots of fun stuff like fake punts, going for it on 4th and 10 and receivers throwing the ball. Norv Turner may be able to pull out a win, but the Bolts are already out of the playoffs due to last nights win by the Bengals. Check back on BoltBeat often for Norv Watch and the status of his departure.
The game is blacked out, so if you are not going you can follow on twitter, watch the good parts on Red Zone, listen to the radio or use the cool nfl.com app for your phone.