Although the San Diego Chargers improved their 2012 regular-season record to 3-1 and 2-0 in the AFC West with a 37-20 road victory over the Kansas City Chiefs this past Sunday, the Lightning Bolts still have much to improve on if they want to become a serious contender.
The Chargers basically went back to San Diego triumphant because the Chiefs handed them the win by making boneheaded mistakes throughout the division battle. If Kansas City’s offense hadn’t turned over the ball six times, chances are Norv Turner’s squad would have lost another heartbreaker at Arrowhead Stadium. When a team gives you the ball six times, winning by 17 points isn’t much of an accomplishment, especially if the outcome of the game is still in doubt in the middle of the fourth quarter.
Even with the return of left tackle Jared Gaither, San Diego’s franchise quarterback, Philip Rivers, took far too many hits from the Chiefs’ defense. Rivers was sacked three times Sunday, and he’s now been sacked nine times for the season. Nine sacks over four games equate to a little over two sacks suffered a contest. That’s not good.
Additionally, the ground attack didn’t exactly dominate, as the running backs gained 104 yards on 31 carries for a 3.35 average. Clearly, the Chargers’ offensive line needs to do a much better job of pushing the defenders back and opening holes for Ryan Mathews, Jackie Battle, and company. Us Chargers fans have been waiting on that happening for years, though, so it’s not recommended to hold your breath for any considerable improvement in that area.
Cornerback Antoine Cason, the team’s 2008 first-round pick, once again failed to impress. Although he recorded an interception, he was also burned by Dwayne Bowe for a long touchdown. San Diego signed Chris Carr to add depth to the cornerback position, but someone, anyone, needs to step up and make an impact as a cover man in this defense.
With another road game this coming Sunday, against the New Orleans Saints, the Chargers still have a lot to prove as a team. While the Saints are going into this game with an 0-4 record, Drew Brees can still throw with the best of them, and he must be licking his chops in anticipation of facing the Chargers’ defense.
Let’s hope San Diego is up for the challenge and improves to 4-1.