Who Are The 2009 Chargers?

John C. PearsonContributor INovember 17, 2009

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 15:  Runningback LaDainian Tomlinson #21 of the San DIego Chargers runs for a gain during the game against the Philadelphia Eagles on November 15, 2009 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. Chargers won 31-23. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

If you have been following my articles during this NFL season, if you discovered that I have absolutely no clue what I am talking about.  With this as the backdrop, I will concede I have zero idea what I really think about this 2009 Charger team. 

They have won four straight games, and I don’t care if it was against four lousy teams, (they actually beat two pretty good teams) to win four straight games in the NFL is impressive. 

Are they team that put unbelievable pressure all day long on Eli Manning against the very strong New York Giants offensive line, or are they the team that let Donavon McNabb sit back in the pocket and order a sandwich while he was looking for an open receiver?

Are they the team that marches up and down the field on three of four straight possessions or are they the team that can’t get a first down after having second and one?

Is LT really past his prime or is it the case if the offensive line can give him a seam he can still take it to the house from anywhere on the field?

Is Merriman back or did he just feed off some lousy teams?

Who knows?

So here is what I think of the 2009 Chargers.

What I like…

Philip Rivers – he is a winner.  He can take the team down the field in the two minute drill to win the game (against Oakland and New York Giants) or he can take the team on a 5 minute drive at the end of the game and put the game away (Oakland and Philadelphia).  Rivers, after only 3 ½ years as a starter, was voted one of the four QB’s in 50 Year All Time Charger team (Hadl, Fouts, Humphries, and Rivers). Pretty impressive.

The receiving corps – Jackson, Gates, Floyd.  Who do you want to try to stop?  You want to stop Gates?  Rivers will throw it to Jackson.  You want to cover man to man? Floyd will out muscle any DB in the league. You want to stop Jackson? They will feed the ball to Gates all day long.  Not sure any team in the league can stop this receiving corp.

What I do not like…

They have an inconsistent running game.  I think the offensive line is doing a yeoman’s job in protecting Rivers, they just are not opening the holes for LT.  Clary and Vasquez are doing a nice job on the pass protection but they can’t run block to save their lives. 

They don’t get off the field on third down.  The Chargers on 27th in the league in getting off the field on third down.  This will not get it done. They have to get the ball back to their offense so they can put the games away.

Special team coverage – though improved, it cost them a couple of games this year. Games that might cost them making the playoffs or having a bye.

So how do I feel about the rest of the season?

Needless to say this game’s weekend in Denver is huge.  I think they win and if they do, they will go on and win the AFC West with a 10-6 or 11-5 record. 

This will most likely give them a home playoff game against the number 5 seed.  My guess that will be Pittsburgh.   Ouch.

Can the Chargers run the table and avoid this fate?  Perhaps.  

But as you can tell by my past assessments, I really don’t have a clue.

All I can say to my fellow Charger fans is to try enjoy the journey between now and mid January. The Chargers are a fun team to watch. (We could be Raider fans, God forbid) But I am not real confident the journey will end in Miami.