All this time, I thought Vincent Jackson (two DUIs) was the San Diego Chargers’ player with the drinking problem.

Judging from the comedy of errors associated with Sunday’s loss to the New England Patriots, perhaps there are dozens of tipsy players showing up for games.

Regardless, the Chargers need to sober up quickly if they are to save their season. The record is a miserable 2-5 after the mistake-filled 23-20 loss to New England.

Remember how Chargers coach Norv Turner said this Chargers’ squad was the best of his four seasons as coach? Either Pinocchio Norv doesn’t evaluate talent well or he’s a horrible coach because the winless Buffalo Bills are the only AFC team with fewer wins.

That folks is one embarrassing tidbit.

The Chargers committed four more turnovers on Sunday and two of them were highly embarrassing. San Diego has 18 turnovers in seven games after committing just 17 all last season.

One gaffe was by rookie receiver Richard Goodman, who is only on the roster because general manager A.J. Smith was more interested in teaching restricted free agent Jackson a lesson than putting the best talent possible on the field. Injuries to Malcom Floyd and Legedu Naanee meant an expanded role for Goodman.

Goodman made the first catch of his NFL career and inexplicably left the ball on the ground without being touched and New England safety James Sanders recovered the ball.

The other blunder was made by third-year running back Jacob Hester, who didn’t chase after a backward pass from Philip Rivers. New England linebacker Rob Ninkovich recovered the ball and ran 63 yards to set up a Patriots’ field goal.

Veteran tight end Kris Wilson, receiving more playing time because Antonio Gates was hampered with a toe injury, also lost a fumble that set up a New England touchdown. Rivers was intercepted once for the other turnover.

The Chargers have fumbled 15 times this season, losing 12 of them. Running backs Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert have been brutal at protecting the football – which is magnified by how seldom future Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson lost fumbles during his time with the team.

San Diego trailed 23-3 entering the final period before waking up from its inebriated state and scoring 17 final-quarter points. The Chargers had a chance to force overtime but Kris Brown’s 50-yard field goal attempt bounced off the right upright.

It certainly was a fitting conclusion for an afternoon of miscues.

The Chargers were able to recover from a deep hole in 2008 when the Denver Broncos collapsed and gave the AFC West title away. It is going to be hard-pressed for them to do it again this season since the talent level of the 2010 Chargers isn’t on par with the 2008 team and the Kansas City Chiefs have progressed to being a good team a year sooner than I was forecasting.

Also, remember this: the first six games were the easy part of the schedule. It is going to take a major turnaround for the Chargers to win the division this season.

San Diego faces a must-win game this Sunday against the Tennessee Titans (5-2). If the Chargers lose, things could get really ugly over the second half of the season.

Chargers fans didn’t respect Turner when the team was winning. They’ll see him as a Dan Henning-like pariah if his self-pronounced “best team” continues to underachieve like this.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s