The San Diego Chargers are reeling right now, but September and mediocrity go together like sun and surf. The Chargers are 6-8 in September with head coach Norv Turner at the helm, yet they have gone on to win three division titles in four years.
The Chargers were victims of their own ineptitude on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks, losing three fumbles and giving up two kickoff returns for scores by Leon Washington. Oh, 83 yards in penalties helped seal their fate.
The good news for the Chargers is that they will face the Arizona Cardinals next, and it's... October. With quarterback Philip Rivers putting up MVP type numbers so far, there's a good chance that the Chargers will follow their own script once again and snap out of their malaise.
Rivers passed for a team record 455 yards passing on Sunday and leads the league in passing yardage. With a notoriously soft Arizona defense coming up, Rivers should have another banner day.
Running backs Mike Tolbert and Darren Sproles should keep the weak Arizona rushing defense busy, opening up the field even more for Rivers. For the Chargers though, a win will be much more important than any individual stats. Of course, the Chargers are favored to beat the Cardinals, at least on paper. This game should be seen as a start.
The Chargers need to string together some wins. Already two games back in the AFC West to the surprising Kansas City Chiefs, another loss, coupled with a Kansas City win, would put the Chargers in a critical situation after only five games. To compound their woes, the Chargers have already lost to the Chiefs and stand to lose any chance at a tie breaker at the end of the season if they lose to them again in December.
The Chargers have put themselves each of the last four years. Three of the four times they have gone on to win the division. It remains to be seen if they can pull the rabbit out of the proverbial hat one more time, but they certainly have the tools to do it.
Philip Rivers is likely to continue his high level of play, and if they can get the ball into the end zone at least one more time per game the odds are pretty good that they take the division once again. The Chargers are solid enough on defense, but it is the special teams where they have a concern. With two kickoff returns for touchdowns last week along with one allowed against Kansas City on week one, the downfall for the Chargers could be special teams personnel. Look for Norv Turner to do some shuffling if special teams play continues to lag.
With the emergence of the Chiefs the already moderately tough schedule of the Chargers becomes even more so. Can the Bolts rise from the ashes? They've done it before, and they have the personnel to do it again.