By Danny Cox
The San Diego Chargers started off the season with a 3-1 record, and looked as if they were going to be a force to be reckoned with. Then they lost to then winless New Orleans. Then there was the comeback debacle against the Denver Broncos. Next up was a 7-6 loss to Cleveland, and it only got worse from there.
Now, they are sitting at 4-6 and in second place in the AFC West.
Don’t let that sound any better than it is because they are only ahead of the lowly Oakland Raiders (3-7), and even lower Kansas City Chiefs (1-9). Second place in the AFC West looks great right now, but not good enough for the playoffs.
Into town now comes the Baltimore Ravens who are dealing with their own injury problems, but at least they aren’t the Chargers. Still, records shouldn’t be looked at as indicators in the NFL, and that especially holds true this season.
Last year, the Ravens were 10-3 and faced off with the 6-7 Chargers in mid-December. When all was said and done, Philip Rivers had led the Chargers to a dominating 34-14 victory. Rivers has had a good amount of success against the Ravens, but he’s going to need help this time around.
A number of big names did not even participate in practice on Wednesday for the Chargers, and they’ve got to hope that an extra day of rest could help them get back on the field.
Notable names include:
- WR Eddie Royal
- DT Aubrayo Franklin
- TE Dante Rosario
- LB Larry English
- OT Jared Gaither
Oh, there are a number of other names on the list, but those five players alone are enough to alter a team’s game plan.
Making matters worse is that Rivers, even with success against the Ravens in the past, could find this to be one long game. A rather shaky and weak offensive line has put a lot of pressure on the Chargers’ quarterback. Injuries have made the line a veritable grab bag of players, and it is obviously affecting Rivers’ abilities.
With a defensive-minded team like the Ravens, San Diego is going to have to work double-time to protect Rivers. Already this season, Rivers has thrown 14 interceptions, lost four fumbles, and been sacked 26 times in just 10 games.
That last stat includes four sacks this past Sunday alone against the Denver Broncos.
It is a common known fact in San Diego that if Rivers gets time to do his job right, then he does it very well. Without a strong offensive line though, there just isn’t a rhythm to be found and coach Norv Turner has gotten concerned about Rivers’ well-being.
“Yeah, I am (concerned for his health),” Turner said. “I think that in the quarterback position all you have to do is look at two weeks ago and there are three or four guys who are lying on the ground with concussions or separated shoulders or whatever.”
Injuries and poor play are continuing for the Chargers and if they’re not careful, their quarterback could be next.
For more Local Football Bloggers and the latest Chargers news, see CBS Sports Los Angeles.
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.