San Diego Chargers: Why Norv Turner Isn't The Bolts' Biggest Problem

Todd KaufmannSenior Writer IOctober 25, 2010

ST. LOUIS - OCTOBER 17: Head Coach Norv Turner of the San Diego Chargers looks on from the sideline against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on October 17, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Rams beat the Chargers 20-17.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

San Diego Chargers fans want someone to blame, and naturally, their fingers are pointed right at head coach Norv Turner.

But the problems for the Chargers go far beyond their head coach. Their problems go far beyond their offense or defense.

This won't be a popular opinion knowing what kind of love affair some of the fans, and the local media, have with him, but it's the same problem that the Dallas Cowboys won't deal with either.

Philip Rivers has led the San Diego Chargers to one playoff victory, yet there are some that won't admit he could very well be the problem. When you have a quarterback that can't do it all on his own, it's either time to replace him or give him a reason to trust the rest of his teammates instead of putting everything on his right arm.

Back in April, the Chargers drafted a running back by the name of Ryan Mathews. He came with a lot of national, and local, criticism, but they needed a solid running back behind Rivers, especially with the departure of longtime running back LaDainian Tomlinson.

In his first game, against the Kansas City Chiefs, Mathews fumbled the ball deep in Chargers territory, which resulted in a Chiefs touchdown.

After that play occurred, fans were all over him. I remember hearing one fan say he wasn't mentally or physically ready for the NFL. I've yet to hear that same line about Rivers.

Last season, the Chargers quarterback threw 28 touchdown passes and turned the ball over just 12 times, including nine interceptions.

So far this season, he's thrown just 13 touchdown passes and has turned the ball over nine times with six interceptions and three fumbles in seven games. So in nine fewer games, Rivers has just three fewer turnovers than he did all of last season.

As for Mathews, since they brought him on board, he's been a statue in the backfield because that's about all they're using him for. I guess you could call him a glorified blocker.

Through six games, Mathews has carried the ball 63 total times for a total average of 10.5 carries per game. They did draft him for a reason, right? They did draft him to be their newest "big thing," right? So why have they continued to not trust him?

In Tomlinson's first season with the Chargers, he was averaging over 20 carries per game (21.2).

Instead, they keep giving the ball to Darren Sproles and Mike Tolbert, who can't give the team anything near what Mathews can give them.

The Chargers can't continue to be a one-dimensional offense and think they're going to get back on track. When they run more pass than run plays, the Chargers are 0-5. When they do the opposite and actually let their running game set up the pass, the Chargers are unbeaten (2-0).

I'm not sure that's getting across to the coaching staff.

If they begin to trust their running game and guys like Ryan Mathews, they'll see just how easy the game will become for their quarterback.

But if they keep letting Rivers do everything himself, or at least attempt to, then the losses will continue to pile up.

The San Diego Chargers are much better than they're playing, but so are the Dallas Cowboys, and we all know how that's going.