Chargers Season in a Snapshot
The game plan said run the ball with Branden Oliver, wear out the defense, so you won’t have to hope your pass blocking holds up. But the chunk yardage plays went away in the 2nd quarter, and it really became a one dimension game. Rivers drops to pass, gets hit, gets flushed, throws some, gets picked off some, gets sacked alot.
Kansas City’s conservative play calling robbed them of a bunch of points. They settled for field goal attempts after getting the ball to the Chargers 3-6-9-20-23, five trips in-no touchdowns. Andy Reid’s team won, but his play calling in the red zone left lots to be critiqued.
San Diego, in desperation mode got it to the Chiefs 3-10-21 late in the game, but drives died on 4th downs and interceptions.
Cairo Santos kicked four field goals in the win, Nick Novak missed another, especially important when points were so hard to come by. The kick cover units leaked oil too, allowing D’Anthony Thomas to take punts back 41 and 20-yards, and Matt McBriar hurt them with a short line drive punt.
The Chargers offensive line gave up sacks, two by journeyman backup Willie Smith, one each by DJ Fluker, the two rookies at center and guard, and a terrible one by veteran running back Ronnie Brown-who blew a blitz assignment.
Whatever big play possibilities existed, San Diego had 15-chunk plays in the game, were negated by the 7-sacks, penalties, incompletion, and the 3-turnovers. And of course it wouldn’t be a San Diego Sunday without guys getting hurt, Fluker, Marcus Gilchrist, Shareece Wright and more.
Coach Mike McCoy will hold his press conference today, and will utter the tired phrase, ‘we didn’t do a good enough job’. He’s right, the coaching staff (missing the no huddle attack and a flawed game plan), and the front office, for the inability to keep some key veterans, or find better backup players when the siege of injuries hit.
The Chargers lost 3-of their last four games; they went (3-7) vs teams with winning records; they finish (2-6) vs teams going to the post season. They finish with an empty (9-7) record against the second easiest schedule in the league. They didn’t punch their ticket to the post-season, they got punched out instead.
The truth is San Diego doesn’t have enough talent around the talents of Philip Rivers. Hard to believe this franchise will miss the playoffs for the 4th time in the last 5-years with that guy at quarterback.
It’s always easy to say Rivers isn’t the equal to the elite quarterbacks, the likes of Brady-Manning-Roethlisberger.
We must also say Tom Telesco, John Spanos, Mike McCoy, Frank Reich, the key decision makers, and others, aren’t equal either. A deficient roster. Losing to who you lost to, struggles against bad teams, losses to bad quarterbacks and non playoff teams, shows the franchise is a long way from being elite too.
An awful game finishes off another disappointing season.
Remember that snapshot of that 4th down play and of your quarterback. The offseason should be about fixing what the Chargers allowed to deteoriate. Just look at the photos will you.
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