By Mike Callaham
No team in the NFL is better at shooting themselves in the foot than the San Diego Chargers. Likewise, no coach is better at throwing his players under the bus and deflecting the blame away from himself than coach Norv Turner. Don't take my word for it, by all means, watch one of his postgame press conferences and see for yourself.
The personality this team has taken on over the last several years is that of the consummate underachiever, long on talent but lacking the sand and the leadership to do anything with it. That said, the Chargers will have to out do themselves to find a way to lose to the hobbled and haggard Kansas City Chiefs this week.
Jamaal Charles out for the season.
Has an NFL team ever seemed more doomed going into week 3 than the 2011 Chiefs? I think not. But injuries have taken a toll early on for Kansas City this year. So far the Chiefs have already lost Jamaal Charles, Eric Berry and tight end Tony Moeaki to the IR.
Even if the Chiefs could somehow manage to stumble and stagger their way into the bye at say 3-3, it's an uphill battle from there on out. Following the bye, the Chiefs begin an 11 game stretch in which they will face-off against five playoff teams from last year, sandwiched between five intra-divisional match-ups.
Not that it can't be done, mind you, but it certainly won't be the cakewalk it was in 2010 when Kansas City racked up wins against what was effectively a fifth-place schedule. No, for Kansas City, a repeat of last season's AFC West title performance seems about as likely as snow storm in Mission Beach.
Turner mistifies analysts with gameplan in New England
As bad as the Chiefs have looked having been outscored a combined 89-10, Norv Turner might be tempted to run one up the gut for a three yard loss and punt on second down all afternoon this Sunday.
Really? Are you (expletive) kidding me?
Perhaps the coaching staff thought too much time in the pocket might confuse Brady, you know, throw him off of his game somehow.
I suppose it's no more or less loony than running a max-protect on every offensive play with the No. 1 offense in the league from last year. For those Chargers fans who've been wondering why there's been so many check-downs to the running back during the first two weeks of this season, allow me to explain.
The max-protect only sends two receivers into the pattern keeping everyone else in to block. That means that two receivers have to beat five or six defenders to get open. If they fail, the tailback chips a rusher then sneaks out into the flat as a dump-off option. An excellent strategy for a rebuilding team, sure, but a championship contender? Every play? For an entire game? With the Chargers' personnel?
No wonder Rivers is forcing throws into a sea of defenders, and Tolbert is dancing around behind the line of scrimmage like a fat, intoxicated Barry Sanders. That's what happens when you hamstring a great player, they sometimes get caught trying to do too much.
Mike Tolbert expected to play against Chiefs on Sunday.
The truth is, though, that Norv Turner's game plans during the first eight weeks of any given NFL season only seem crazy if the goal is actually winning. Turner's tried and true (not) early season strategy makes a lot more sense within the context of protecting his playbook and his franchise quarterback for a late-season playoff run.
Does anyone actually believe it's a coincidence that Norv Turner is a career 26-6 in the second half of the season and 15-17 in the first? Nine slow starts in 13 seasons?
But in the end, we can only speculate as to what peculiarities wander aimlessly around the enigmatic mind of Norv Turner. No one really knows except, perhaps, Norv Turner.
Not to worry, though. If the last four NFL season's are any indication, Turner will open things up on offense, like clockwork, in about five more weeks from now. Hopefully, for Chargers fans, it wont be too late by then like it was last season.
Besides, not even Turner can prevent the Chargers from bludgeoning the beleaguered Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday afternoon (knock on wood).