I hate calling for coaches to be fired; let’s get that out of the way first. It’s the go-to topic that sports writers and fans can utilize when they have nothing left to discuss. There are probably less than 100 people per NFL head coach who are actually in a position to analyze performance—and they’re almost all part of a coach’s respective organization.
But we predict and lambaste because it's fun and because it would be nice to think that all of a team’s problems can be traced back to a single individual.
Then, like everything else in life, there is the exception to the rule.
I have absolutely no clue how Norv Turner has managed to remain a part of the San Diego organization for this long. His play-calling at the end of the game against Cincinnati was the kind you’d expect to see from a 12-year-old playing Madden.
With the game on the line, the Chargers had the ball with a 1st-and-10 from Cincinnati’s 17-yard line. San Diego had two timeouts with more than a minute on the clock, essentially eliminating the variable of time from the equation.
First down? Pass to the end zone.
Second down? Pass to the end zone.
Third down? Pass to the end zone.
Fourth down? You guessed it—pass to the end zone.
There were no slants, hitches, curls or screens. San Diego could have even run it on first or second down and they almost certainly could have picked up five-plus yards, considering that Cincinnati needed to defend the deep ball (which further highlights just how much Turner’s play-calling worked into the hands of the Bengals).
I was truly baffled. When you consider the track record of the Turner-led Bolts, that really says a lot.