This is the 2nd week in a row now I've watched where the once formidable San Diego offense has just looked lost, out of synch, and sloppy. Once upon a time I felt like no matter what the circumstances we were in the game because Rivers and this offense could score in bunches. This year just doesn't seem that way at all. I want to defend Rivers more than anyone because I've felt for the last 3 years he has been among the NFL elite, if not the very best, which makes his inconsistent and at times terrible play so strange. If he proved anything last year I thought it was that he was making the WRs around him better, not the other way around. I fully expected this year he might have one of his best years statistically and it has been the complete opposite.
I would say some of these picks are beginning to remind me a lot of Carson Palmer the last year he played in Cinci. Where there wouldn't be a lot of pressure and the reads and throws were just off. Sometimes so bad it looked like he was throwing right to the other team. Several of these picks have looked that way to me. The first interception last night was badly overthrown and the second was another tipped ball. But lets be honest, there was a deep ball to Jackson not long after the first pick that should have been intercepted but Flowers just couldn't hang on.
The turnovers are killing the team and Rivers is on pace to have more interceptions and fumbles lost by week 10 then he has in any full season the last 4 years. It seems like he throws at least 2 interceptions every game. And they're never 2nd and 2 from our own 25 going long and it's almost like a punt. They are drive killers, often after long drives down the field where we are sure to get 3 points and boom turnover. Not only is he throwing a lot of picks, but the timing seems like it just couldn't be worse.
So how does a guy who has historically been extraordinarily accurate, and amongst the best in the league by any statistical measure turn into one of the team's biggest liabilities? I have no idea!!!! He is adamant he isn't injured, so what is the problem?
Just a casual observation, but the offense seems totally incapable of stretching the field. There is just nothing happening downfield. I don't know if it's because they are running cover 2 type/ 2 deep safety defenses or if our WR's just aren't that fast but we have historically been able to take the top off a defense with some ease. That is not the case at all this year, so everything is 15 to 20 yards and in or yards after catch that make it seem like it was a longer pass play than it actually was. It just isn't explosive or dynamic in any way. It looks pretty vanilla and we do our best to just dink and dunk down the field.
Also, I heard John Gruden mention over and over these guys aren't practicing. Floyd/Jackson/Gates have all been knicked up and have sat out practices in order to play in games. This may have something to do with the apparent lack of chemistry/ timing / etc. I have no idea but the offense does not look precise or surgical in anything they're doing. I don't get to see every Chargers game, but I watched the New England game, the Jets game, this Monday night game, and I see most of the good stuff or epic screw ups on Red Zone. I'm at a loss for how a QB who was so good, so accurate, so sharp, can be playing this bad. We were winning games in spite of the Rivers turnovers but these last two weeks they have just been killers and it is so disappointing watching a perceived strength turn into a weakness.
Nick Novak - This guy has been awesome this year and has made the injury to Kaeding forgettable. He was 3 for 4 last night and probably would have been 4 for 4 if the offense hadn't gone backward 22 yards prior to being forced to try the FG.
Antwan Barnes - Looked really good rushing the passer and in run support. He seemed like he was all over the place. He had a big sack, and despite what I hear everyone say about him being bad against the run I thought he was a real bright spot.
Weddle - 2 INTs. And maybe they weren't ball hawking Ed Reed type picks, but he's always around or in the right area to make plays The Entire SD Defense - Despite injuries to both starting OLBs the team was able to generate pressure and forced 4 turnovers. Ususally getting all those extra possessions for the offense would be enough, but the offense turned it over 4 times as well. This was a unit with injuries and new starters and they played good enough to win. Maybe not perfect, but good enough to win and the offense let them down.
Brinkley - Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse and Matthews goes out with an injury Brinkley steps it up. A huge diving catch that set up his TD run, converting the 2 point, and grinding down the KC defense right up to the KC 15 yard line and 40 seconds left to play.
It would have been really nice to get this one from KC since we are destined to get crushed the way we're playing by GB next week. Does anyone else have any thoughts about Rivers or the state of the SD Offense?