With Denver's victory over Carolina, the Chargers are now two games behind the Broncos with Denver holding the tiebreaker. A Chargers loss in Denver in Week 11 would all but guarantee an AFC West title to the Broncos, and just about eliminate the Chargers from postseason contention.
This would be the perfect way to end the Norv Turner/Philip Rivers-era in San Diego, but one question that must be asked is who is more to blame for the Chargers' woes this season?
Rivers has plenty of blame. The stats would indicate that Rivers has played decently, as Rivers has thrown for 2,170 yards and 15 touchdowns. But one stat indicates that Rivers hasn't done so well: his 12 interceptions.
To be fair to Rivers, though, one-third of those interceptions came during San Diego's hellish second half against the Denver Broncos in Week 6. But that wasn't his only multiple-pick game, as he had two interceptions against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 3 and two more against the Buccaneers in Week 10. When Rivers keeps his interceptions in check to one or none, the Chargers are 4-2.
But a lot of the interceptions come from terrible play-calling. Who calls the plays in San Diego? Who's the head coach with the most games coached with a losing record in NFL history?
Norv Turner. That's who should get the majority of the blame.
It's looking more like the Chargers will miss the postseason for the third consecutive season. This is a team that seems to lack discipline and loses games they have no business losing. In each season Norv has been in San Diego, the Chargers usually blow at least two games like this.
While they do seem to recover well every season (at least well enough for Norv to come back), that shouldn't save Turner's job. Not even a rare show of emotion that Turner shows here would be enough to do that.
Who's more to blame for San Diego's problems?
So, who's the problem in San Diego? It's easily Norv Turner. Philip Rivers makes the Chargers job an attractive one for any candidate, probably the most attractive job in the NFL. Finding a quarterback is a big challenge, but going to a team that already has a quarterback makes your job just a little bit easier, and will allow a new regime to build around him.
This is Norv's mess, and someone else has to clean it up. As Rivers, he will be fine despite his struggles in 2012.