San Diego Chargers off to Their Best Start Since 2006, Can They Keep Winning?
Slow start? What's that? The San Diego Chargers are off to their best start since 2006, when they also started the season 4-1 through the first five weeks of football.
Chargers' fans have endured the typical "slow starts" under head coach Norv Tuner's tenure for the last five seasons, as of right now that has all changed.
The last time the Chargers started a season 4-1 after five weeks of football...
- Marty Schottenheimer was still the head coach of the Chargers.
- The Chargers finished the season with a 14-2 record that was fueled by a 10-game win streak with an impressive 8-0 record at home.
- Running back LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for 1,815 yards and 28 touchdowns.
- Quarterback Philip Rivers threw for 3,388 yards and 22 touchdowns and finished the season with a 61.7 percent completion rate and a 92.0 quarterback rating.
- The Chargers received the No. 1 seed, a first-round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs only to lose at home to the New England Patriots, 21-24.
Exit Marty Schottenheimer, enter Norv Turner.
Chargers' fans were happy to see Schottenheimer leave, especially after his inability to get a team loaded with talented players out of the first round of the playoffs.
However, fans didn't greet Norv Turner with open arms.
Turner doesn't have an impressive resume as a head coach, but has an offensive coordinator resume that speaks volumes.
He led a Chargers' team that was loaded with talent to the AFC Championship game in 2007 despite starting the season at 2-3.
Turner would lead the Chargers to AFC West division titles in 2007, '08 and '09 on the backs of strong finishes (especially in the month of December) after starting each consecutive season at 2-3.
The Chargers started 2-3 in 2010, but missed the playoffs for the first time in four seasons.
So, the question remains: Can the Chargers finish strong after starting strong, or will they crumble under the pressure and miss the playoffs for the second consecutive year.
San Diego is on bye this week along with the Broncos and the Chiefs, but beyond the bye week the schedule does get more difficult.
Two weeks on the road against the New York Jets and the Kansas City Chiefs (Monday Night Football), then return home to face the defending world champion Green Bay Packers and an Oakland Raiders team (Thursday Night Football) that are now playing for something more than just a winning record.
The Chargers will find themselves (and possibly myself) heading to the Windy City and Solider Field to play the Chicago Bears.
Once again the Chargers will find themselves traveling to the East Coast to play the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday Night Football.
Another two game homestand against an upstart Buffalo Bills team and an always potent Baltimore Ravens team.
To finish out the final two weeks of 2011 season, the Chargers will play the Detroit Lions on Christmas Eve and the Oakland Raiders on New Year's Day.
As of right now, the combined record of the Chargers' opponents is 31-23 with six of those teams having winning records (the Lions and Packers are still undefeated) and five teams with losing records. Of those five teams with losing records, only two teams have won a single game.
The road to the playoffs and another AFC West division crown may prove to be difficult this season, however the Bolts have surprised us before.
While Chargers' wins to start the season have not been pretty, in the end a win is still a win. Chargers' fans can only hope that as the season continues those ugly wins will turn begin turning into solid, leave no doubt wins.
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