San Diego Chargers: Will Norv Turner's Poor Playcalling End Up Hurting the Team?

Andre Khatchaturian@AndreKhatchCorrespondent IIISeptember 12, 2011

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 11:  San Diego Chargers head coach Norv Turner looks on from the sideline during the second half of the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Qualcomm Stadium on September 11, 2011 in San Diego, California. The Chargers defeated the Vikings 24-17.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images


A positive early season result for the San Diego Chargers. It wasn't pretty, but it was a win.

Philip Rivers was incredible in Week 1, throwing for 335 yards and having a 68.8 completion percentage. He also threw for two touchdowns and two interceptions, which kept the Vikings in the game.

But what's most glaring about Rivers' stat line is the fact that he threw the ball 48 times. In contrast, they ran the ball just 24 times. 

It's not like the Chargers didn't have a running game. In 12 carries, Ryan Mathews ran the ball for 48 yards averaging almost four yards per carry. Mike Tolbert also punched in a touchdown. 

This problem falls on the coaching staff.

Philip Rivers is one of the greatest quarterbacks in the league, but if the Chargers continue to sticking to the pass, their offense will become too predictable, especially against stingy defenses like the Jets, Ravens, Steelers, and Patriots

In games where Philip Rivers threw the ball 39 times or more, the Chargers are 4-13. In the last two years, they were 0-8 when Rivers had 39 or more passing attempts. 

This exemplifies the fact that the Chargers need to have a balanced mix of running and passing in order to win games.Turner needs to address this.

Turner needs to make sure more running plays are called so that the Chargers offense becomes more unpredictable. The Chargers actually have effective tailbacks that can help the team. They should use them. 

This wasn't the only head scratching move by Turner.

Another questionable came when Nate Kaeding was carted off the field and the Chargers were faced with a 4th-and-20 situation in field goal range. Rather than attempt to kick the field goal with their punter, Rivers threw an incompletion in a questionable call and it resulted in zero points.

The questionable decisions made by Norv Turner gave the Vikings chances they shouldn't have had. The Chargers got lucky they were playing against a weak Vikings team that really doesn't have any direction right now. They played a poor game and they should feel fortunate they came away with the win.

That being said, the Chargers are going to play against tougher teams this season and with Turner as head coach, it's tough to see them winning those games. He has failed to establish a balanced attack at times, his leadership is questionable, and he still hasn't solved the special teams problems which tainted them last year.

Last season everyone said that the Chargers special teams was a major problem. Who's fault is that? Of course it's the coaching. Solid coaching can get rid of simple flaws in the special teams and limit mistakes. 

It's a shame that so much talent has to be lead by an incompetent head coach.