San Diego Chargers: Danario Alexander, a Bright Spot in a Bad Season

Travis WakemanCorrespondent IIDecember 14, 2012

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 11:  Receiver Danario Alexander #84 of the San Diego Chargers celebrates his first quarter touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the game at Raymond James Stadium on November 11, 2012 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

Despite a very impressive win over the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday, their first regular season victory ever in Pittsburgh, it has been an ugly year for the San Diego Chargers.

General manager AJ Smith and Norv Turner will be evaluated at season's end, with the expectation that neither will be back.

At 5-8, the only thing the Chargers have to play for is finishing at .500 by winning out.

So where has it gone wrong? The Chargers are currently ranked 27th offensively and just 19th in passing offense, two areas they are normally much higher in.

In the offseason, they brought in Eddie Royal and Robert Meachem as free-agent wide receivers. Those two players have combined for just 30 receptions this season. Meanwhile, Vincent Jackson, the man they were trying to replace, has flourished in Tampa Bay.

With their receiving unit underperforming, they brought in free agent Danario Alexander in October. So far, the move has paid off as Alexander has become a bigger part of the offense every week.

After spending the first two years of his career in St. Louis, Alexander has emerged as the top receiving threat for San Diego.

In just six games, Alexander, who is still just 24 years old, has caught 33 passes for 555 yards and five touchdowns. He has two 100-yard receiving performances as well as two games with two scores. He has more catches than Royal and Meachem combined and could be a big part of the team going forward.

The Chargers have greatly missed Jackson this season, but Alexander, a 6'5" receiver himself, is starting to fill the role that he once held. He gives Philip Rivers a big target, something he has had during his entire tenure in San Diego. He also can be a dangerous deep threat.

San Diego hasn't had much to cheer about this season, but if nothing else, they may have found their No. 1 wide receiver for the future. He may not be Jackson, but he has the ability to make Chargers fans forget him.