Archive for the ‘San Diego Chargers’ Category

It’s over. It’s so close to being so over.

One of the worst quarterback-coach relationships will finally end when the 2012 NFL regular season concludes with a move that’s been expected for about two years, yet somehow Chargers head coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith have held on. But their employment will end in 25 days, according to a report from Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Acee’s sources tell him that team owner Dean Spanos made the decision to fire Turner and Smith about a month ago, but he’s choosing to wait until the regular season concludes, with both receiving their terminations on Black Monday.

From Acee:

Spanos, sources said, has more recently resigned himself to the fact that Smith can’t be kept in the current environment of plummeting performance and fan unrest.

And unlike last year, when Spanos found enough reason for clemency in a strong finish and past accomplishments, those with knowledge of plans that are already in motion said it seems certain there will be no last-minute change of heart this time.

Spanos is waiting until after the season, more because that is his preferred time to make such moves than due to any faith in the Chargers’ microscopic playoff chances.

It’s pretty easy to summarize why Norv Turner is who he is, and why he’s become the standard for the replacement-level head coach. Yet like most coaching discussions, it’s hard to quantify. Every position on the field has a vast minefield of stats we can poke and prod to make comparisons and use as the root of evaluations. Head coaches have one metric: wins.

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Owners of Chargers running back Ryan Mathews can start to worry about his chances of playing Sunday, after the third year back missed practice for the second consecutive day with a neck injury. Mathews suffered the injury after a helmet-to-helmet collision with Buccaneers linebacker Quincy Black last week. Black was hospitalized and later placed on injured reserve by Tampa Bay with a neck injury of his own.

The injury prone back hasn’t had a 100-yard game yet this season, after recording four last season alone. Mathews owners have been frustrated all season with his slow start – missed first two games due to injury – and his history of fumble problems – two lost on the year, seven lost in career – making him an early candidate for an early round bust.

If you need help at running back, you can go after Ronnie Brown (12 percent owned in Yahoo! / 7.8 percent owned in ESPN leagues) or Jackie Battle (12 percent owned in Yahoo! / 16.7 percent owned in ESPN leagues). Both will be in tough against a Broncos defense that allows 98.3 yards per game on the ground, good for 10th in the league.

San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is your player at the half after throwing three touchdown passes against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Rivers ended the half completing 16 passes on 18 attempts for 218 yards.

Rivers tossed TD passes to Malcom Floyd and Antonio Gates, and he chucked an 80-yard bomb to Danario Alexander in the first quarter. Coming into the game Alexander had just 202 receiving yards, so it’s unlikely you started him in any league today.

On the season Rivers has thrown 15 touchdown passes and ten interceptions.

Consensus line: Chargers -7.5, total 43.5
Current betting percentage: 72% on the Chargers and 52% on the OVER

Individual Team Trends:

  • Chiefs are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a losing home record.
  • Chiefs are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 vs. AFC opponents.
  • Chargers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game.
  • Chargers are 4-9-1 ATS in their last 14 games following a S.U. loss.
  • Under is 10-1 in Chiefs last 11 vs. AFC West opponents.
  • Under is 13-5 in Chiefs last 18 games overall.
  • Under is 12-3-1 in Chargers last 16 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
  • Over is 23-9 in Chargers last 32 games after allowing less than 150 yards passing in their previous game.

Head-to-Head Trends:

  • Under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.
  • Under is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings in San Diego.

Just when you thought that the Thursday Night Football game couldn’t possibly get any worse, the schedule makers treat us to a good old fashioned barn-burner between the Chargers and the Chiefs. I thought the Vikings and Buccaneers last week was bad, but now they’re just scraping the bottom of the barrel. Don’t worry, though, because Jaguars and Colts is on deck next week, and that should generate a ton of public interest (#sarcasm).

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That’s not entirely true. More than a few men have left San Diego pleased with the beach-side scenery, and the SoCal chillin’ city is warm all the time every time, has a world-famous zoo with really cool monkeys and tigers and lions and stuff, and it also hosts comic book heroes and the like for a massive nerd boy convention every year.

In so many ways, San Diego is a wondrous place where fantasies are born, live happily, and go out for hangover breakfasts together every morning. Just not football fantasies.

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There’s a certain kind of special insanity associated with doing the same action repeatedly, and expecting a different result. Example: I have some bad plumbing in my bathroom that I’m not bothering to fix because I’m moving soon anyway. I’m fully aware of the problem, yet nearly every morning, the following sequence of events happens: I begin a cozy, soothing warm shower, possibly singing a nursery rhyme of some kind while forgetting about the impending pain. Suddenly, the water turns to ice, and then it’s scalding, and then it’s back to ice again, with no warning whatsoever.

The Chargers have their own plumbing problems, except they’re not just willfully ignorant. They’re in denial, and have been for quite some time. Last night was the pinnacle of Norv Turner’s historic reign of gameplan stubbornness alongside his perpetually stumbling sidekick, Philip Rivers.

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Holy crap.

Ryan Mathews was subjugated to the gallows by Norv Turner and his staff after the running back’s red zone fumble in week three. It was thought the Chargers brain trust was only sending a message to Mathews and his banishment would be brief.

After the Chargers dismantled the Chiefs on Sunday cracks in the aforementioned theory began to emerge. Jackie Battle received the majority of the carries, a fact that shocked Battle himself. Mathews was mistake free but it appeared Turner was doing more than sending a message – the worst cliche in sports, I apologize.

Today the depth chart on drops the hammer. Battle is now listed as the number one running back, with Mathews assuming the back up role. Going forward this shouldn’t send Mathews owners to the nearest bridge – it will remain a by committee system for now – but for those who drafted the Fresno State product high, the news is grim.

Update: Via Rotoworld, Jackie Battle is ahead of Ryan Mathews on the team’s official depth chart because “he just started last week, so that’s why he’s there.” Makes sense.