Everything seemed hunky dory for the San Diego Chargers when they went into the half up 24 zip. Well that feeling did not last for long, because over the next thirty minutes, they could not play or look any worse, especially Philip Rivers. Philip Rivers over the last year and a half has turned into an absolute bum. The current Philip Rivers can be described in two words, turnover machine.
You would not be able to tell by the scoreboard, but the Chargers really did not play that great in the first half either. Most of San Diego’s 24 unanswered points were scored on terrible misplays by Denver. Whether it was a muffed punt by newly signed returner Trindon Holliday, or a fumble on a kick return and a bunch of pass interference calls against Denver, the Chargers were catching a lot of breaks. But they did take advantage of those breaks, which you cannot fault them for doing. However, at some point the Chargers had to stop relying on the bounce of the ball and make some plays for themselves.
Photo by: Stan Liu/Icon SMI
San Diego’s first three scores were all done after a turnover. Two fumbles and an interception returned for a touchdown by Quentin Jammer. Those 17 points were some of the easiest scores you will get in a football game. Not to mention that the interception for a touchdown occurred just after Denver receiver Eric Decker caught a pass 20 yards down field from anyone on San Diego, but tripped up and was downed 30 yards short of the endzone. Decker is going to have to watch out for that turf monster the next time.
The old saying for luck is that “You make your own luck.” But it appeared to me that the Chargers were not necessarily making their own luck, but instead they were being granted it. Now had they just played better in the second half and won the game, it would not be fair to rip them for such an offense, but being that they did lose, those flaws became much more obvious.
To start the second half the San Diego defense allowed Peyton Manning to carve them up on the opening drive. And Manning capped the possession with a 29 yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas. At 24-7 the game was still well in hand for the Chargers, but little did they know that the turnover parade was about to begin.
On the ensuing drive, the Chargers were putting together what looked like a game sealing drive. Then Philip Rivers was sacked and fumbled the ball, which was returned 65 yards for a touchdown by defensive back Tony Carter. This touchdown completely turned the game around. Leading 24-14 the game had suddenly become close, and the Chargers players were tightening up.
San Diego punted on their next drive. And the Broncos drove the ball again, for another touchdown. Denver was only three points down and had all the momentum. Plus it is always good to have the opposing quarterback on your side as well.
Philip Rivers threw another interception, which was the first of three consecutive drives ending in an interception. Rivers made some terrible decisions on those drive and is starting to make you wonder if he is the right quarterback for the future. Including this season he has three years left on his contract. The key component is how much of that is guaranteed. I am not trying to say that it is time to show Rivers the door, but if he continues down the path that he paved last season, you have to start asking yourself that question.
Fortunately for San Diego they have a bye next week. They will need to regroup and prepare themselves for the lowly Cleveland Browns in two weeks.