The San Diego Chargers are lucky to be sitting at 4-4 with half the season to go. Amazingly, the Chargers sit in the second position in the weaker AFC West behind the 5-3 Broncos, but a lot must change if they want to sniff the playoffs. The offense has been stagnating in all facets.
The run, ranking 20th in the league with 105.9 YPG must improve. The team’s confidence in running back, Ryan Matthews is curious at best. The expectation after the announcement for Matthews’ starting position was a return to the Chargers’ electric ground game. Unfortunately, injuries and a suspect offensive line has limited Matthews as nothing more than a spectator.
The passing game also needs a little work. With just an average of 217.2 YPG, ranking 22th in the league, the bulk of the blame is on the degenerating progress of QB Philip Rivers. With just a 12-10 TD/INT, disappointing is an understatement. The most frustrating thing to see for Charger fans is the red zone turnovers. As a result, the team’s 23.1 PPG, ranking 16th, is off the expectations of the team.
After an expected drubbing of the Chiefs last Thursday, 31-13, the team’s identity is still in flux. The recovery will fall under the arm of Rivers and the stable hands of Antonio Gates. The fact that Gates only has 24 catches this year is questionable. The wide receiver corp of Robert Meachem and Malcolm Floyd provides hope that the air attack can spur on an offensive revival, but it comes down to the most successful QB/TE tandem first. Involve Gates and the ground game can open up.
There’s plenty to hope for this season’s Chargers, but it starts with the involvement of the establish norm – Rivers to Gates. Next week’s matchup with the red-hot Buccaneers is as good a time as any.