Open Thread: San Diego Chargers at Pittsburgh Steelers, 1st Half

Stephen Dunn

Giving up half time leads hasn't been the fault of the defense. It's on the offensive line, the running game, and Antonio Gates.

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You're going to think I'm nuts, but the 2012 San Diego Chargers are beginning to remind me of the 2000 San Diego Chargers. Yes, that's the team that infamously went 1-15 and landed two Hall of Famers (Ladainiain Tomlinson and Drew Breed) with their first two picks the following year.

If I have a lasting memory from that season, it's that the Chargers should not have been a 1-15 team. It was essentially the same team that went 8-8 the year before and that's about where their talent level was. The problem was that the offense couldn't put together any long drives and the defense couldn't get itself off the field. So, even when they weren't giving up a lot of points early, the defense was completely out of gas for the fourth quarter of nearly every game.

Fans and the media pointed at Mike Riley and said that he was a bad coach. They said the Chargers could "find ways to lose". This is the same stuff that's being said about the team and its coach now. Last time it got the coach and the GM fired, and it sounds like that might happen again.

However, as you set your expectations for the remaining four games, remind yourself that the Chargers are not a terrible team. At least the defense isn't. I've seen the snap counts. San Diego's defense is playing a lot more snaps than it's offense, and that's been consistent almost all season. That was a losing formula for Mike Riley and it's been a losing formula for Norv Turner.

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