With Tuesday’s trade for Chris Chambers and their performance these last couple weeks, it seems that the San Diego Chargers are trying to get back on track…not that they’re back on track just yet. Let me preface this by saying that I agree 100% with Paul’s September post touching on how horrid the decision to send Marty Schottenheimer packing was. I’m also not at all sold on Norv Turner but perhaps the Chargers are ready to get their act together.
For starters, LT has catapulted to 2nd in the league in rushing (behind rookie-phenom Adrian Peterson who made a fool of the Bears last weekend) in just three weeks. After starting off the season with rushing performances of 25, 43 and 62 yards and 1 touchdown in those three games, he has essentially put the team on his back resulting in 2, one hundred yard rushing games in the last three weeks (with him having 73 receiving yards in that third game and 198 yards last week) and 5 touchdowns. Yes, I know that much of any running back’s performance must be accredited to his offensive line but when you rush for 198 yards and 4 touchdowns in one game you’re playing inspired football regardless of who is on that line (though LT does also have Lorenzo Neal blocking for him).
Having LT perform as he has these last couple weeks does go a long way towards helping the Bolts get to where they think they should be, but it’s not even going to come close to being enough by itself. With Antonio Gates being the only other player at an offensive skill position making a meaningful contribution; the team had a huge gap to fill at the wide receiver spot. Enter Chris Chambers, who has nearly as many yards and receptions this season as the top 3 San Diego receivers combined, and voila; the Chargers have added another dimension to their offensive game. He hasn’t gotten into the end zone yet but with the quarterback issues Miami has had this season that shouldn’t be a strike against him at all and I trust that he’ll end up being an asset for San Diego. That being said, regardless of how he performs a second round draft pick may be tough to justify with Randy Moss going to the Patriots for just a fourth round pick, and we’ve all seen how that’s turned out; but few teams tend to be as fortunate as the Pats.
So while Norv has a long, steep hill to climb in order win critics over; these recent performances and developments should have at least gotten you to hold off on lumping the Chargers into the same boat as the Saints and Bears.