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One of these days, either Philip Rivers or Eric Weddle are going to rip off their helmets, grab a microphone, and ask the 50,000 or 60,000 in attendance, “Were you not entertained?”

My prediction would be Weddle considering his look is more in line with what the gladiators of yore looked like back then.  Of course, I doubt either player would do such a thing.  After all, it’s the NFL and not WWE.

However, I wonder sometimes if such a thought ever went through the minds of players for the San Diego Chargers.  After starting the season 5-1 they’ve dropped two straight.  Now, some members of the media are wondering if the impressive start was really that impressive.  Sounds like fans are reliving 2011 all over again.  Would you like me to remind you how that season ended?  I didn’t think so.

After the Denver loss, the Chargers are past the halfway point in the 2014 season.  So, what do you think?

The good:

  1. Philip Rivers is everything we imagined an elite quarterback would be.
  2. Antonio Gates has found the fountain of youth and has been born again.  He is a record-breaking tight end who is reliable to catch much-needed touchdown passes.
  3. Nick Novak can’t miss.  Well, he hasn’t missed when he needs to put points on the board.
  4. Malcom Floyd, Keenan Allen, and Eddie Royal remind me of Wes Chandler, Charlie Joiner, and John Jefferson.
  5. Eric Weddle is the straw that stirs the drink called defense.

The bad:

  1. Just when we all thought the offensive line problems were addressed, apparently the line still can’t block a speedy defense.
  2. When that line can’t block, the run game fails to move the ball.  Thus, ball control can’t get established.
  3. Injuries will catch up with a team, no matter how much the reserves play above their heads.
  4. When the front-seven doesn’t get into the quarterback’s face, the opponent controls the ball and the defense gets winded quickly.
  5. I wouldn’t want John Pagano’s job if it was offered to me.

In my opinion, it would be so easy to blame the past two losses on the secondary, yet it sounds like I’m repeating myself.  In the past few years, it seems like the front office of the Chargers addressed a weak secondary through the draft and/or free agency only to have them underachieve or miss time due to injury. This season, so far, one would have to give the team an incomplete because injuries have made it difficult to really see the potential of the starters.

On the other side of the ball, the offense (before the losing streak), looked great even without starter Ryan Mathews.  Due to injuries, we saw the potential running threat that was Brandon Oliver.  With Mathews’ return imminent (and this season being a contract year), the seven games after the bye week are going to be interesting.

Before the season started, I attended an open training camp and declared on social media that I thought the team was dangerous.  I was reminded that had been the analysis of all 32 teams up to the that point.  As the season started and Chargers were winning, I stopped short of patting myself on the back.  I probably should’ve clarified my statement and said the team is dangerous for your liver.  Yes, a fan can be driven to drink.

Six games into the season, while some were getting sized for their rings, I reminded people to not forget the past, because people are condemned to repeat the past if they forget it.  I was called a Nancy Negative.  The Chargers have a two-game losing streak.

One thing is for sure:  I can’t help but admire the San Diego Chargers.  When playing in the dilapidated Qualcomm Stadium, with half the crowd against you (sometimes), it would be so easy to just go through the motions and mail it in.  The team has been attached to so much speculation about relocation.  They were getting no respect from the experts, who disregarded their prior achievements, before beating the Raiders.  These days, the media (in their own city) is wondering if their wins were really that impressive (thanks, Seattle).

Eight games into the season, I can only say that I have been entertained.

So, what do you think of the Chargers through the first eight games?  As always, your questions and comments are welcomed.  Please submit them below.

 

David Parada

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