Final Score: 7-6 Cleveland
The San Diego Chargers traveled east following their bye week for a game they should have won. Instead, the Chargers sputtered on offense and played lackluster defense in the half. The result: a 7-6 loss to the Cleveland Browns.
The Chargers are falling apart more as the season progresses. Changes need to be made now. It is inexcusable for the Chargers to play this poorly with the talent that is on the roster. The changes need to happen on offense, as the Chargers have failed to score a touchdown in the last five quarters.
Everyone who loves the Chargers are upset with how their favorite team is performing. The result of this frustration resulted in "#FireNorv" trending in the United States on Twitter.
Here are the final grades for the Chargers as they fall to 3-4 on the season.
Final Grade: C-
The Chargers played awful on offense in Cleveland. The weather was poor and the field conditions were not ideal, but the lack of creation and production that the Chargers showed starts with Philip Rivers' play. Rivers has struggled to settle into a groove, and he clearly misses having Vincent Jackson in his receiving corps.
The Chargers passing game is hard to watch, and changes need to be made. The Bolts will not win games when they cannot move the ball down the field through the air.
Final Stats: 18/34, 154 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT, 65.1 QB Rating.
Final Grade: D
The Chargers defense was terrible. Actually, they have been terrible for the last six quarters of football. I expected the Chargers to retool their offense coming off a bye week in order to get the unit firing on all cylinders. What happened instead was the same lackluster performance that we saw in the second half of the Denver Broncos game. The Chargers have failed to score a touchdown in the last five quarters that they have played.
The wide receivers are not getting open, and Philip Rivers has not been able to find them when they do get open. Robert Meachem has been a complete disaster, and his drop against the Browns cost them the game. Antonio Gates once again disappeared, and Ryan Mathews fumbled the ball away. These are the types of things holding the Chargers back. If they do not figure their issues out, they have a long season in front of them.
Final Game Grade: B+
The Chargers defense played well against the Browns. They struggled in the first half to contain Trent Richardson and the run game, but it was a much different story in the second half. The defense kept the Chargers in the game and really stepped their play up in the second half. Eric Weddle and Corey Liuget played extremely well.
John Pagano has done a great job at getting this defense to play as a solid unit. Pagano makes great in-game adjustments, and it kept the Chargers within striking distance against the Browns. The Chargers defense does not need to make many adjustments heading into the Chiefs on Thursday night.
Final Game Grade: B
Nick Novak converted both of his field goal attempts. He has been impressive this year, and the Chargers special team units performed well even though they were missing both Eddie Royal and Richard Goodman. Eric Weddle played well returning punts, and Mike Scifres kept the Chargers ahead in the field position battle. It did not matter though, because the Chargers offense performed so poorly.
Final Game Grade: F
That sound you hear is the time running out on Norv Turner. The Chargers have lost three straight games that they should have won, and they continue to underperform and underachieve. The Chargers are talented enough to win football games, but they are too busy being held back by the terrible decisions that Norv Turner makes. His play calling has been awful and predictable, and the Chargers have not scored a touchdown in five quarters.
For a team to come off a bye week and show up on the road and look uninspired and unprepared is inexcusable. This all falls on the shoulders of Turner, who has been walking on thin ice all year long. That ice might finally be cracking as the Chargers drop under .500 with their only three wins coming against the Raiders, Chiefs and Titans.
The Chargers need to make changes, and one change they should make is at head coach. It is clear that Norv Turner cannot get this team to bye in his system, and it is time for both parties to move on.