The San Diego Chargers host the Arizona Cardinals in week 4 of the 2010 NFL regular season.
When I first looked at the Chargers' schedule, the one thing I never imagined was this team getting off to such a bad start through three games.
They've beaten themselves, turned the ball over, and just played uninspired football. Is it coincidence that both losses came on the road and both in less than perfect weather? Is this only a perfect weather team?
Philip Rivers set a franchise record this past Sunday, but it ended up not meaning a thing.
Instead of going through every single player and every single thing that went wrong, or right, in the introduction, we're going to cover them one-by-one and look at what could change for this team.
If things don't change in a hurry, the Chargers could find themselves behind, gulp, the Kansas City Chiefs? I shudder at the thought.
Running back Ryan Mathews has had a tough start to his NFL career. Through just a game and a half, he's fumbled twice and has yet to find the end zone. Not to mention that a high ankle sprain kept him out of their game against Seattle.
He's going to need a big performance at home against Arizona if he's going to start earning fans' respect. I know a few who apparently have no faith in him after the aforementioned game and a half.
What some may not know, however, is that he has fewer fumbles than LaDainian Tomlinson did in his first two games as a Charger. In the same span, Mathews has a higher yard per carry average.
After Mathews went down with a sprained ankle against Jacksonville, backup Mike Tolbert came in and did an admirable job running the football.
With Mathews out against Seattle, Tolbert was once again asked to shoulder the load. That didn't go quite so well.
Tolbert, along with Darren Sproles, combined for two fumbles on the day, part of the five turnovers the Chargers had on Sunday.
So while people give Mathews grief about fumbling twice, Tolbert and Sproles matched him in one game.
Throwing for 455 yards is not an easy feat by any stretch of the imagination. However, throwing the ball 53 times to get there definitely puts a stress on the throwing arm.
Maybe Philip Rivers is trying to do too much? Maybe he's trying to put too much on himself to put his team in the end zone or forcing too many passes?
Whatever the case may be, the rest of the team needs to step up and take a little pressure off a still young quarterback. Not having Ryan Mathews on the field was tough because it made the Chargers more of a one-dimentional team.
You're not going to fool too many teams going that route.
What do the names Dexter McCluster and Leon Washington have in common when it comes to the San Diego Chargers? Anyone? Bueller...Bueller?
Both guys have single-handedly made the Chargers' special teams look anything but.
McCluster's 94-yard punt return for a touchdown ended up being the difference in the game. Final score: 21-14.
Washington took not one, but two, kick returns back for touchdowns for the Seahawks last Sunday. Final score: 27-20.
Blame who you want for their two losses, but you only need to look in one place. Not-so special teams.
Antonio Gates has 17 catches for 242 yards and four touchdowns. A 14.2 yards per catch average.
Not a bad start to his season.
Larry English will be going under the knife, Shawn Merriman was pulled from Sunday's game after his calf injury flared up, Ryan Mathews is not definitely a go, and the status of right guard Louis Vasquez won't be known until later this week.
Why am I getting images of the show M.A.S.H. playing in my head? I'm not sure even Hawkeye could help them at this point.
When Patrick Crayton was traded from Dallas to San Diego prior to the season starting, I think he had a better image of how his playing time would go than where it is at present time.
Through three games, Crayton has just four catches for 72 yards but did take over the kick returning duties from Darren Sproles.
I guess that's something.
One word. Better.
The Chargers are playing at home and the Cardinals have an offense that even the New Mexico Lobos wouldn't fear.
Chargers 31, Cardinals 14