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Do the San Diego Chargers Miss Vincent Jackson?

Norv Turner can't seem to get the offense to perform the way it has in the past. Maybe he needs Jackson back?

Donald Miralle - Getty Images

The title of this post needs more space. In reality, the San Diego Chargers are struggling on offense because they're trying to replace Vincent Jackson, Marcus McNeill and Kris Dielman. You can throw Darren Sproles' name in there too, if you wish.

This is certainly one of the best defenses Norv Turner has ever had as Head Coach of the Chargers. Statistically, the 2010 group was better, but that was mostly because Special Teams were so bad that the defense had less yards to give up (and teams were playing more ball-control, run-the-clock offense rather than real offense). In 2012, the Chargers are 11th in points allowed (their best mark since 2007) and 11th in yards allowed (2010 was the only year that they were better).

According to Football Outsides' DVOA, the defensive rank of Norv's teams go like this:

  • 2010 (-10.0%)
  • 2007 (-8.5%)
  • 2012 (-0.1%)
  • 2008 (5.3%)
  • 2009 (6.5%)
  • 2011 (10.8%)
That would be great news, except that the offense has been terrible in comparison to most Norv Turner offenses. Let's look at how the Norv Charger offenses rank by DVOA.
  • 2009 (19.7%)
  • 2008 (18.8%)
  • 2010 (15.5%)
  • 2011 (13.0%)
  • 2007 (4.6%)
  • 2012 (-6.1%)
Yikes. That is a really, really poor showing for this Chargers offense, and it's because they've replaced Pro Bowl offensive linemen with guys like Mike Harris (who is technically the starter since he's played more games at LT than Jared Gaither) and Tyronne Green. They've replaced Vincent Jackson as a deep threat and his strength on short passes with Robert Meachem, who is maybe a deep threat and that's all.

This is an odd thing to say, but the 2012 San Diego Chargers' fatal flaw might be their offense. An offense that has been ranked in the top 5 in points scored every season since 2004 is in serious danger of having that streak broken, and if it it they'll probably miss the playoffs as well.