Chargers Need To Return to The GOLD Zone

Ian PhilipAnalyst IIINovember 9, 2008

If there is one thing that is glaring in this slow start for the San Diego Chargers, it's Norv Turner's lack of focus on scoring touchdowns in the red zone. 

In 2001, the Chargers were second only to the Saint Louis Rams' legendary "Greatest Show on Turf" offense in trips inside the opponent's red zone.  However, they were one of the worst teams in the NFL at converting those trips to touchdowns—unlike the Rams.

2001 just happened to be the year Norv Turner took over as the Chargers' offensive coordinator.

After Marty Schottenheimer and Cam Cameron took over the offense in 2002, Schottenheimer declared the opponent's red zone the Gold Zone because that's where games are won and lost.  It was this focus that took Norv Turner's mediocre offense to one of the elite offenses in NFL history - scoring over 400 points for four seasons in a row.

After Norv retook the reigns last season, the offense's precision in the Gold Zone disappeared once again.

As bad as the defense has been, the Chargers could be undefeated right now and possibly would have won the Super Bowl last season if Norv had continued to focus on the Gold Zone as Schottenheimer did.