Posted Tue Sep 22nd by Monty
San Diego Chargers Head Coach Norv Turner and I have never really seen eye-to-eye. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but perhaps it has something to do with him coaching two of my least favorite franchises in all of sports in this decade.
Let’s let bygones be bygones. After all, his comments on Monday make it clear that Norvy and I are finally on the same page:
“I don’t think right now we (the Chargers) are as good as you that cover us think or expect us to be; I don’t think we’re as good as what our fans want us to be,” Turner said Monday at the start of his weekly news conference. “But I believe we can get there. We’ve got a lot of work to get there.”
But-but-but… the Chargers are destined to “mop up the anemic AFC West” by Thanksgiving (according to that AP report)! They have the most talented roster in the NFL!
Another season, another premature crowning of the San Diego Chokers. No doubt they’ll come storming through December again, but when is the mainstream media going to learn that, under Norv Turner, the Bolts just aren’t that good?
And this might shock 90% of said mainstream media, but let me break the news anyway. Brace yourselves, media, are you ready?
The Chargers were 8-8 last season.
I know, I know, who wouldn’t panic when a team that finished .500 last season would be .500 through two weeks? Hey, sometimes the NFL is just funny like that.
My point isn’t to declare the Denver Broncos a playoff-caliber team; we just don’t know yet. But the Chargers certainly don’t look like one, either.
Apologists will point out their glut of injuries. It’s true that NT Jamal Williams, the anchor of their 3-4, was placed on injured reserve. RB Ladainian Tomlinson is screwing over everyone’s fantasy football teams again, while offensive line starters C Nick Hardwick and RG Louis Vasquez are also missing time.
The funny thing is, watching the tape, it’s clear none of those guys were playing at an elite level anymore anyway. Williams certainly isn’t the best nose tackle in the league anymore, and the offensive line was a sieve in Oakland, with and without Hardwick and Vasquez.
Meanwhile, LB Shawne Merriman, who was supposed to be kicking off Revenge Tour 2009, is invisible out there, failing to register a sack and only tallying six tackles in two games.
This All-Pro-infused roster, healthy or not, just doesn’t exist. They have the best quarterback in the division, hands down, and that will make them dangerous, but when the mainstreamers proclaim them “talented across the board” they should really be saying “overrated across the board.”
When you take a long, hard look (that’s what she said) at this Chargers team, there is certainly talent at different spots. But it’s not all-encompassing, and it certainly isn’t dominant. Frankly, the offensive and defensive lines are a weakness at this point, and should be ranked behind the units both in Oakland and Denver (again, through two weeks).
Jump off the bandwagon, everybody. The Chargers were an 8-8 team last year. Hell, they were 5-8 at one point last season. They’re just not that good.
And since we don’t know how good the completely overhauled Broncos are yet… Yes. This anemic division is up for grabs.
Turner: Bolts not as good as outsiders think [Associated Press]
Chargers DT Williams out for season with elbow injury [NFL.com]