Chargers collapse again under Norv Turner; time for Dean Spanos to get a backbone

Posted: 10/15/2012 in football
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Last week, it was Drew Brees rallying the New Orleans Saints past the collapsing San Diego Chargers. This time, it was Peyton Manning’s turn.

The franchise that has long lacked a killer instinct showed the entire nation it can collapse quicker than a deck of cards in a hurricane with an infamous meltdown during Monday’s 35-24 home loss to the Denver Broncos.

The Chargers had the least dominating 24-0 halftime lead in NFL history as two Denver special teams’ gaffes led to 10 points and Quentin Jammer’s interception return for touchdown made for a misleading advantage.

No problem for the Broncos because San Diego was in a really giving mood and committed six turnovers. Manning completed his first 13 pass attempts of the second half and threw three touchdowns while engineering a comeback that ties for the largest ever by a road team in NFL annals.

Philip Rivers played an atrocious second half and was personally responsible for all six turnovers on a career-worst four interceptions and two lost fumbles. Two of his turnovers were returned for touchdowns by Tony Carter (fumble return) and Chris Harris (interception).

With the Chargers (3-3) now heading into the bye week, there isn’t a single fan of the team who wants to see the face of coach Norv Turner on the sidelines again.

But general manager A.J. Smith is personally attached to Turner and club president Dean Spanos doesn’t have the backbone to go against Smith’s wishes and fire the person who is easily the most disliked person in San Diego County since quarterbrat Ryan Leaf was employed by the Chargers.

Turner did his usual play-dumb act when a reporter pointed out the bye week was coming up and fans of the team would prefer there be a different coach.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Turner said.

After the reporter explained the reasoning, Norval stammered and hemmed and hawed and blurted out a comment in his typical meek manner.

“I don’t think I’m going to respond to that,” Turner said.

Turner was more interested in dodging responsibility – a longstanding tact in which he has mastered – and talking about what it will take for the Chargers to get back on track.

“We’ve got to go play a complete game,” Turner said. “We’ve shown through periods of half a game and three quarters of a game that we are capable of doing it.”

That’s the problem, Norval. NFL games take 60 minutes and require teams to protect double-digit leads. Losing a 24-point lead is embarrassing and helps expose the leadership flaws of a head coach.

You can expect Turner to be on the sidelines the rest of the season because that’s how the Chargers do business. The leadership issues don’t end at the head-coaching level. They are present all the way to the highest level of the organization.

And that fact is partly why the Chargers never made it to the Super Bowl during the current seven-year period in which they have had as much talent as any team in the NFL.

And guess what – this team isn’t going to be breaking that drought, either. Not with Rivers digressing – he’s already thrown nine interceptions after tossing a career-worst 20 in 2011 – and certainly not with Norv Turner at the helm.

“There are a lot of people who are going to count us out,” Turner said.

Right you are, Norv. Count me as one who is doing just that.

  1. Kat says:

    I never understood the hiring of Norv. Hiring a coach with career losing record would suffice if somewhere in there that coach had won a super bowl. So I have been against Norv for years. Analysts on NFL Network, espn, at end of 2011 season, they all continued to speak highly of Norv, as do the players. So excuse me for being an outsider, but face facts already.
    As to QB – I have been appreciative of Rivers’ playing for years but have about had it with him also. Last night loss to Broncos was among the worst games in any sport I have ever watched.

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