The Recap: Rivers Tanks
By Peter Thompson
Dec 14, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) comes off the field during the second quarter against the Denver Broncos at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Well, that wasn’t fun. I was hoping that the Chargers could upset the Broncos, and that didn’t happen. It’s time to move on to San Francisco. The Chargers defense made a valiant effort for a second straight week. Unfortunately, the offense stunk it up for the second straight week. Rivers continues to regress into his old ways, throwing bad interceptions in crucial moments. The offensive line played much better today, so there are no more excuses. The receivers didn’t get open, and Allen was out for the entire second half. But, good teams take advantage of opportunities, and the Chargers didn’t. Manning wasn’t even on the field at the end of the second half, and they STILL stalled.
Mathews didn’t play at all. Novak, uncharacteristically, missed two field goals. Reich’s playcalling continues to baffle. Wright was called for ANOTHER game-changing PI call. The Chargers just can’t get out of their own way, and it seems like the same guys screwing up each week. Add Fluker & Gilchrist to that mix.
Yet, the game was fairly close. It’s sad to see Rivers struggling like this. There was so much hope at the beginning of the season. He was on his way back to that elite level of play. But, except for the Ravens game… it appears that he is not going to be that guy this year, barring a monumental bounce-back.
The Broncos are a formidable team. They are a Super Bowl favorite. They have tons of talent on both sides of the ball, young players, veteran players, a great GM, a great coach, a great stadium, a QB who doesn’t crumble, a pass rush, a running game, a receiving corps that is unprecedented, and they dominate the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. The Chargers do not have most of that. So, keeping it close is sort of a victory, in itself.
Whatever “fixing” of Rivers they did last season has completely gone out the window… maybe with Whisenhunt. It was looking good for the first 3rd of the season, but it’s clear that this team still has a long way to go. I am OK with that. The Chargers need better players. They have some up and coming talent. The secondary still needs a solid strong safety, another good corner, a defensive end, a nose tackle, a couple offensive linemen, and a kick returner. They are not a finished product, whatsoever. They have a decent record. But, losing to the Broncos twice, the Chiefs, The Patriots, and The Cardinals should tell you everything that you need to know. They are struggling to beat good teams. The team is still up & down. Beat the Seahawks, but get shut out by The Dolphins.
So, there is still a chance that the Chargers could win out, and make the playoffs. They seem to like this scenario… not having their destiny in their hands. So, we’ll see. The AFC wild-card race is crowded, and they will need help. Perhaps a year on the couch is what McCoy & Company need. They certainly don’t seem to be getting the message.
Will The Chargers Still Make The Playoffs?