San Diego Chargers Defense Far Superior to the Offense Last Season

Ian PhilipAnalyst IIIJuly 6, 2011

In a rare 2010 appearance, Vincent Jackson flies across the goal line for a touchdown.
In a rare 2010 appearance, Vincent Jackson flies across the goal line for a touchdown.Harry How/Getty Images

After reading yet another stupid comment, this time on CBS Sports, I just have to say it.

I hate to do it, but...

If you believe that the San Diego Chargers offense carried the team last season, you are an idiot. A fool. No common sense, or your sense is a little too common. People act like the Chargers' front office has them under mind control. 

A certain Chargers beat writer repeatedly tossed the defense under the bus last season as not being a legit No. 1 defense, while praising Norv Turner's widely inconsistent "legit" No. 1 offense.

Did you know that in five of the Chargers losses last season the great Charger offense was held to three points or less in the first half? They also turned the ball over a mind-boggling 18 times in those seven defeats.

The defense was the illegitimate No. 1 unit? 

The defense was not without fault. They had trouble stopping large running backs like Steven Jackson of the St. Louis Rams. And they didn't intercept nearly the number of passes they should have with that many quarterback sacks (second in the league).

Yet at the end of the game, the defense stepped up gave the offense a chance to win it in at least five out of the seven losses. Philip Rivers and company responded by turning the ball over on downs and taking their place on the sideline while the other team went into victory formation.

I am well aware that at one point of the season the Bolts were without Vincent Jackson, Malcom Floyd, Craig Davis, Antonio Gates and Patrick Crayton and still were able to score nearly 28 points per game. 

The thing I'm not aware of is how the defense caused San Diego to lose seven games last season.

Blame Game

Loss 1: Kansas City 21-14

The offense can't score in the first half after rain causes the receivers to fall down on nearly every route. Rain was predicted a week in advance and the team didn't bring the proper cleats. Whose fault is that?

Loss 2: Seattle 27-20

The offense goes scoreless in the first half while turning the ball over an amazing five times. Not to be out done, the special teams unit allows two touchdown returns and nearly allowed a third.

Loss 3: Oakland 35-27

The special teams unit continues its role by handing the Raiders nine points, before the fans can even sit down, via blocked punts. Had the offense not started so slow, the Raiders wouldn't have had an opportunity to block the kicks in the first place. Still, the defense blew a huge second-half lead by allowing back-to-back long touchdown drives. In the end, the offense allowed a touchdown return when they were already in game-winning field-goal position. All units were to blame in this debacle.

Loss 4: St. Louis 20-17

The offensive line was totally disrupted by the return of Marcus McNeil as Rivers was sacked seemingly every time he dropped back to pass. The offense scored a whopping three points, turning the ball over in scoring position for the fourth week in a row. In the end, the defense couldn't stop the hard-charging Jackson from converting the first down. But if the offense hadn't blown (at least) two easy touchdowns, they would have blown the Rams out.

Loss 5: New England 23-20

In yet another one-score loss, the Chargers offense does nothing as it is held to few points through three quarters. The defense totally dominates Tom Brady and the Patriots offense, but the effort is wasted by several unforced errors committed by the bungling offense who turned the ball over a preposterous four times. Yet, they still nearly tied the game at the end, but the kicker hooked the kick wide right.

Loss 6: Oakland 28-13

After stopping the Raiders offense and having a prime opportunity to put them in the hole, right on cue, offensive star Darren Sproles muffed yet another punt and basically handed the Raiders a touchdown (which they needed a fourth down conversion to score). With their top five receivers out of the game, the Chargers inability to pass allowed the Raiders to crowd the line of scrimmage. Sproles was knocked out of the game with a helmet-to-helmet cheap shot as his reward for bungling again (okay, I just threw that in there to tease Raider fans). 

Loss 7: Cincinnati 34-20

The offense once again did squat as they came out of the gate fumbling the ball. They handed the Bengals an easy touchdown and took their nickname as the Bungles. After another pathetic turnover-filled three-point first-half performance, the defense joined in the fun. Antoine Cason allowed Norv Turner fans a scapegoat as he was caught slipping and gave up a long touchdown—which Norv missed. I will never get over Norv's reaction. "Duuuurrr, what happened? What happened?"