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San Diego Chargers News: Regular Season and Preseason Updates
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4/17/14: When a new head coach or offensive coordinator steps into a situation with an established and successful quarterback, he often times says that said QB is primed for the best year of his career. They even say that with mediocre QBs that they plan on dumping soon. That is typical coach-speak. But it is more pertinent when fellow players say it. And that is what Chargers' center Nick Hardwick is espousing these days. Rivers had a major revival last season in arguably his best year. If he takes another step forward, then the Chargers could go even deeper in the playoffs in the 2014-15 season.
4/10/14: The Chargers and the City of San Diego are taking the first step towards developing a new stadium. The team and representatives from the city are meeting for the first time, formally, to discuss the playing site for the city's NFL team. Nothing will be finalized in this meeting, and it is more likely that it will take several months (if not years) to get a deal done. Other cities, namely, St. Louis, Buffalo, and Oakland are looking on with interest. If San Diego gets a new stadium, then they are not a candidate to move to Los Angeles. If not deal can be made, then we may be watching the Los Angeles Chargers in a few years.
4/3/13: The San Diego Chargers have been looking for a new stadium for a while now. With a new mayor in office, they may just be able to get their wish soon. The former administration was terribly amenable to the idea of a new stadium. The Chargers would like a stadium downtown rather than in the outskirts of the city. The trick will be to get one built without raising taxes. A preliminary plan would help offset the cost of a new stadium by redeveloping Qualcomm Stadium into something else. If a deal cannot be done, then the Chargers may move up the road to Los Angeles sometime in future.
3/27/14: San Diego was the third best team in the AFC West last season, but they did earn a trip to the playoffs, and even got a playoff win. In many senses, they are similar to the Arizona Cardinals of the NFC West. A very good team with two powerhouses ahead of them. But that may be changing this season. The Chargers have not had major roster turnover, and still have one of the better QBs in the league. They will also get some receiving help as guys return to health. On top of that, San Diego may get better because the Chiefs may not be as strong this coming season. Put that together, and the Chargers are in good position to make a playoff run.
3/20/14: A few years ago, Dwight Freeney was on the Colts, who were an elite team in the AFC. Freeney was a big portion of their pass rush, in fact, he was among the best in the game. He was also paid as such. Time and injuries went by and Freeney found himself in San Diego last season as a free agent signing. He just took a massive pay cut to stay in San Diego. He is still a good defensive lineman and can contribute for a little while longer. But gone are the days of making $7 million or more a year, and it looks like Freeney is smart enough to know that a pay cut is the only way he stays put.
3/13/14: Quarterbacks, too often, are judged only on the Super Bowls they have won, rather than what they bring to the team. Phillip Rivers is a case study in this. No, he has never won the Super Bowl and he has not had a whole lot of postseason success. However, he brings confidence to the team and makes the players around him better. Just look at last season. The Chargers lost their top two WR early and relied on Keenan Allen. Allen does not have the monster rookie season he had without Rivers putting the ball in the right place. San Diego even went to the playoffs and scored an upset road win.
3/6/14: San Diego was another team that was able to lock up one of their own rather than lose a key player to free agency. The team, on Friday, reached an agreement with linebacker Donald Butler to a multi-year deal. According to the tweet Butler sent out, he is excited to stay with the Chargers. San Diego had an impressive turn around last season under first year head coach Mike McCoy and expects more success going forward. San Diego gave the Broncos all they could handle in the playoffs, and they should return a solid cast with another year of experience.
2/27/14: Do not shut the door on Nick Hardwick's career just yet. The veteran center has decided against retiring and informed the Chargers that he intends to come back for another season. He admits that he considered retiring after the Chargers loss to the Broncos in the playoffs several weeks ago, but is ready to give it another go. At 32 years old, he is entering his 11 season as a pro and the third year of a three year contract. Age wise, he still has some life left in him, despite having head and neck injuries last season. It is good news for San Diego, who will not have to find a replacement for a very important position.
2/20/14: San Diego running back Ryan Mathews is entering the final year of his rookie contract. He is 26 years old and is coming off of a great season where he rushed form 1.255 yards and played in all 16 regular season games. The knock on Mathews is that he is injury-prone, whether that is fair or unfair. Mathews has not given any indication that he will hold out for a new contract, but that is always a risk. Former Chargers' great LaDainian Tomlinson advises Mathews to go out and play well, and a new contract will take care of itself. Mathews could be a great running back in the NFL, he just needs to be consistently healthy to play.
2/13/14: The Chargers got wonderful production out of WR Keenan Allen last season. He was a rookie that was forced into action a bit early (and he responded very well). One of the reasons he became a top flight receiver so early was the season ending injury to Denario Alexander. The former MIzzou WR has elite skills, but has been devastated by injuries throughout his college and pro career. More bad new for DX - he underwent a seventh knee surgery and second on his ACL. There is little chance that anyone will want him after this last surgery, but here is hoping one of the most resilient guys gets one more chance.
2/6/14: Chargers' QB Philip Rivers has been voted the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year. He returned to top form under the guidance of head coach Mike McCoy and offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt. Rivers has, admittedly, had a few down years. But he was back with a vengeance in 2013 and led the Chargers to a playoff birth and a playoff win over the Bengals. Rivers threw for nearly 4,500 yards, 32 touchdowns and had just 11 interceptions. He is a franchise QB, and the Chargers could be a force to reckon with in the next few years.
1/30/14: San Diego had some holes to fill in their coaching staff, and these were some pretty big holes. Offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt left after a single season with the Chargers to become the head coach of the Tennessee Titans. Whisenhunt took with him tight ends coach Jason Michael, who will be the OC with the Titans. San Diego has since named Frank Riech as the new offensive coordinator and hired Pete Metzelaars as the new tight ends coach. Whisenhunt helped rebuild the Chargers offense and set QB Philip Rivers back on the right path, but it was only a matter of time before he got another head coaching job.
1/23/14: We have reached the time of year where the typical six to eight teams that fired their head coach have him replaced. That is, of course, you are Cleveland and no decision has been made and many big name candidates do not want the job. That also means that it is time for coordinators to be replaced, and that is where the Chargers find themselves. San Diego had the benefit of Ken Whisenhunt's guidance in 2013, which helped revive QB Phillip Rivers' career. Whisenhunt, of course, is now the head coach of Tennessee, so the Chargers have to fill the OC position, meaning they will have their third different offensive scheme in the last three years.
1/16/14: San Diego deserves a lot of credit. They probably should not have made the playoffs to begin with, but took full advantage of the opportunity given to them. They knocked off the favored Bengals two weeks ago and gave Denver all they could handle last Sunday. In the end, the Chargers could not overcome their lousy first half. They played great in the third and fourth quarters, and really made a game of it, but the fact that they could barely move the ball in the first thirty minutes ended up dooming them. It is kind of sad to see it end now because OC Ken Whisenhunt has done a tremendous job this year but he is likely to be a head coach elsewhere very soon.
1/9/14: Round three coming up this weekend. San Diego advances to play the Broncos in Denver this weekend by beating the Bengals 27-10 in Cincinnati last Sunday. The Chargers played an efficient and conservative game and were rewarded when the Bengals panicked and unraveled in the second half. Cincy held a 10-7 lead at halftime, then simply imploded. Meanwhile, the Chargers scored 20 unanswered points - the last touchdown being a 58 yard run by veteran Ronnie Brown with just over two minutes remaining to seal the game. San Diego and Denver split the season series with a win apiece.
1/2/14: Going into Week 17, there were four AFC teams with a shot at the last playoff spot: San Diego, Baltimore, Miami, and Pittsburgh. The Ravens and Dolphins both lost their games, while the Steelers won. Pittsburgh would have been in the playoffs with a Charger loss. Lucky for San Diego that the refs missed an obvious formation penalty on a missed KC field goal, giving the Chargers the chance to win (and they did, and now they are in the playoffs). With the sixth seed, the Chargers will head to Cincinnati to face the Bengals at 1pm EST on Sunday.
12/26/13: San Diego kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a 26-13 win over the Oakland Raiders last Sunday. It was payback for an inexplicable loss earlier in the season to the lowly raiders, who fell to 4-11 and will have a top ten (five?) draft pick in April. The Chargers offense has been revived under offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt. Coach W took the Arizona Cardinals to the Super Bowl a few years ago and was really undone by not having a backup plan when Kurt Warner retired. There is a good chance that he will be a head coach somewhere else next season as he is high on many team's list.
12/19/13: The Chargers did a number on the Broncos last Thursday, winning on road in a short week and deflating the Denver offense. The Chargers' plan was pretty clear - keep Peyton Manning and the offense off the field. They did that with outstanding defense and a power rushing game that the Bronco's front seven had no answer for. They also limited Denver to just 18 yards rushing. San Diego is still in the mix for a playoff birth at 7-7, but two devastating losses are now weighing on them - losing both to Oakland and Houston earlier in the season.
12/12/13: The Chargers remain one of the more mysterious teams in the NFL as no one knows which Chargers team will show up on any given Sunday. The Good Chargers made themselves available last Sunday with a 37-14 beat down of the New York Giants at home. QB Phillip Rivers threw for about 250 yards and 3 touchdowns while rookie WR Keenan Allen had another remarkable game with two touchdowns. The Chargers may lose OC Ken Wisenhunt this offseason as head coaching jobs open up, and there is already speculation about him landing in Houston to replace Gary Kubiak.
12/5/13: San Diego just cannot seem to get out of their own way. The Chargers hosted the Bengals last Sunday with a chance to move up in the AFC Wild Card race. Clearly, either Denver or Kansas City (most likely KC) will get the first wild card spot, but the second is wide open with any number of middle of the road teams vying for the opportunity. By turning the ball over three times and not taking advantage of scoring chances, the Chargers may have lost their last opportunity of the season when they fell 17-10 to Cincinnati.
11/28/13: The Chargers took a big step towards making a playoff run by shocking the Kansas City Chiefs 41-38 last Sunday. This was one of the more exciting games of the season and did show that Alex Smith can lead an offense to big points. But it was Chargers QB Phillip Rivers who had the biggest day. Rivers threw for just under 400 yards and 3 touchdowns in the win. The Chargers improved to 5-6 on the season and has a very tough challenge this week when they head to Cincinnati to face the 7-4 Bengals who lead the AFC North.
11/21/13: San Diego squared off against Miami last Sunday in a game of two of the most confounding teams in the league. Common sense would indicate that this was the Chargers' game to lose, and they did just that - falling 20-16 to the dysfunctional Dolphins. Phillip Rivers threw for just under 300 yards and a touchdown, while Ryan Mathews ran for 127 yards. However, the Miami defense limited the Chargers to three fieldgoals over the last 45 minutes. The Chargers dropped to 4-6 on the strange season and now head to KC to face the Chiefs.
11/14/13: San Diego is a much improved team this season under new leadership and QB Phillip Rivers certainly looks much more like the quarterback we saw in his first several years in the league rather than the mess he was for the last two seasons. Unfortunately, the Chargers share a division with the two best teams in the AFC, the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos. Peyton Manning and the Broncos, coming off a bye week, were too much for the Chargers as they have some more work to do before they can contend in the division. San Diego (4-5) travels to South Beach to face the dysfunctional Miami Dolphins this Sunday.
11/7/13: This San Diego team still is an enigma. They have some impressive victories, but also have some questionable losses. A questionable loss could describe the game against Washington on Sunday. Washington scored on the first overtime possession, handing the Chargers a 30-24 loss. While Phillip Rivers had a fine day (29-46 for 341 yards and two TDs), the Chargers simply could not run the ball. They also could not stop Washington on the goalline, as Darrel Young scored three touchdowns on the day. Time for San Diego to get back on the horse though. The Chargers (4-4) host the Denver Broncos (7-1) on Sunday.
10/31/13: Seven games into the season and the Chargers sit at an impressive 4-3. That would look a lot better if they did not share a division with the Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chargers, of course, struggled for the past two years but look rejuvenated so far this season. Phillip Rivers is playing like his old self and already has over 2100 yards in the air with 15 touchdowns. San Diego is enjoying their bye week in Week 8. They return to action again in Week 9 for a road game at Washington.
10/17/13: San Diego has been wildly inconsistent this year, but that does not mean they are not a good team. They are and make no mistake about it. The Chargers have an impressive victory over Dallas under their belt and added another notch when they knocked off the Indianapolis Colts 19-9 in the Monday Night Game. Chargers fans should take notice - Philip Rivers is playing like Philip Rivers again after two years of struggling. This team may even be good enough to beat the Broncos later this year. That will have to wait a bit though, as the Chargers head to Florida to play the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-6) this Sunday.
10/10/13: The San Diego and Oakland game was pushed back to 8:30pm Pacific Time to accommodate the Oakland Athletics playoff baseball game. That meant that it started at 11:30pm on the east coast, so that audience was non-existent. Of course, the NFL may have just found another prime time slot for mid-level west coast games in the future. The Chargers (2-3) dropped the game 27-17. QB Phillip Rivers had another good game with 411 yards passing and two TDs, but could only muster another field goal in the loss. San Diego returns home to host the Colts (4-1) on the Monday Night Game.
10/3/13: In another game that featured an AFC West team hosting an NFC East team, the Chargers held off the Dallas Cowboys 30-21 last Sunday. Dallas held a 21-13 lead at halftime and looked like they were in control of the game. But San Diego's defense stopped Tony Romo and the Cowboys in the second half, while Phillip Rivers and the offense got down to business. Rivers threw for 401 yards and three touchdowns on the day. Antonio Gates looked like his 2008 self with 136 yards receiving on 10 catches, and one touchdown. The Chargers (2-2) face the host Raiders (1-3) this Sunday.
10/3/13: The most sought after player for the Padres all season has been Chase Headley. The Padres did not trade him at the trade deadline and pulled him off of waivers when he was claimed toward the end of the season. Now it comes out that Headley will have surgery on his knee to repair a torn meniscus. Headley said he injured it in spring training and it has bothered him all season. After the surgery, the Padres may try to extend his contract or see what they can get for him on the open trade market.
9/26/2013: San Diego is playing much better than expected this season. They gave the Texans a run in the opener. They beat the Eagles in Philadelphia in Week 2. They also lost a close one at Tennessee in Week 3, 20-17. San Diego gave up a late touchdown to Tennessee, but otherwise performed pretty well against the rebuilt Titan's defense. Philip Rivers was not as sharp as he was in Weeks 1 and 2. He only had 184 yards passing and one touchdown. But this is certainly improvement over last season. San Diego goes home this week to host the Dallas Cowboys (2-1).
9/19/13: The Chargers pulled off possibly the biggest upset of the Week 2 by going into Philadelphia and beating the Eagles. The Eagles' new offense under head coach Chip Kelly was all the talk after Week 1 when they dismantled Washington. San Diego showed they can play some offense as well and scored a late touchdown to win the game 33-30. The Chargers took advantage of Kelly's time management mistakes and showed that they are better than expected (and Washington is worse). The Chargers stay on the road this week to play the Titans (1-1) in Tennessee.
9/12/13: San Diego should petition the league to not play on Monday Nights. The last time we saw the Chargers on the Monday Night Game, they blew a 28 point lead to the Denver Broncos in the second half, lost the AFC West lead, and were dismal the rest of the season. This time, the Chargers built a 28-7 lead late in the third quarter, only to see the Houston Texans rally late and win 31-28. The team looked impressive in the first three quarters, but it takes four quarters to win in the NFL. The Chargers look to bounce back this Sunday at the 1-0 Philadelphia Eagles.
9/4/13: Wide receiver Robert Meachem made a name for himself in New Orleans as a guy who could stretch the field. He signed with the Chargers before the 2012 season for a big contract - as the Chargers were looking for a replacement for Vincent Jackson. Meachem never really did much in San Diego. He caught 14 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns in his first season, which is now his only season in San Diego. The Chargers cut the 28 year old WR, even though Denario Alexander is out for the season and they released him. Meachem still has $5 million guaranteed this season, so he should not be hurting too much.
8/29/13: Chargers' running back Ryan Mathews is apparently healthy again, but he needs to prove to his new coaches that he should be the primary back on the team. He did not do himself any favors against the Arizona Cardinals, in one of the more interesting plays of the preseason. Mathews fumbled on a goal line dive. It was recovered by Rashad Johnson of the Cardinals. Johnson tried to lateral the ball. It was dropped and slipped in the hands of Chargers' receiver John Phillips, who took two steps into the end zone. Maddening for the Chargers coaching staff, but sure to be replayed for years.
8/22/13: It is a tough time to be a wide receiver with the San Diego Chargers right now. Top WR Denario Alexander is out for the season with yet another knee injury. He has had five surgeries on his knees since college at Mizzou, and this torn ACL will make it six. The team also lost their other starting wide receiver, leaving the cabinet pretty bare at this point. It was not long ago that QB Phillip Rivers was on the verge of being an elite QB. Without weapons to throw to, though, it looks like the offense will suffer through another disappointing season and have to fight for second place in the AFC West.
8/15/13: Chargers' wide receiver Denario Alexander must be one of the most cursed players in the game. He oozes talent and dedication, but injuries have derailed both his college and pro career. He was teammates with Jeremy Maclin at Mizzou but kept hurting his knees. The Rams picked him up as an undrafted free agent and he showed great talent for a couple years, but again got injured. He was picked up by the Chargers in 2012 in mid-season and became the team's best WR. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL in training camp, so his 2013 season is over before it started. Don't count out DX yet though. He will heal and be back again.
8/8/13: The Chargers were forced into signing defensive tackle Dwight Freeney out of necessity after Melgram Ingman went down for the season. Don't get Freeney wrong, he is happy to be in San Diego (who wouldn't be), but he is still angry about how the Colts cut him. Freeney is using his last days with Indy as motivation - he wants to prove that the 33 year old still has something left in the tank. He even suggested that he would have taken less money to stay in Indy. One day the two sides will have to make up, because he is the best defensive lineman in Colts history.
8/1/13: It is well known that the Chargers have not had a true number one running back since LaDanian Tomlinson left town about four years ago. Ryan Mathews was pegged as the LT's heir, but just cannot seem to stay healthy for more than a few minutes. This year, new head coach Mike McCoy is turning to his John Fox roots. He will play the hot hand and use multiple backs in his scheme. That may keep Mathews healthier, if for no other reason than he will not be on the field as much. But this is important information for fantasy football players - you may want to avoid Chargers' running backs until late in the draft.
7/25/13: The question that Charger fans want answered more than anything else is if new head coach Mike McCoy and new offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt can fix Philip Rivers. This, of course, assumes that Rivers is broken. True, he has struggled for the past two years. But also true is that the team has given him almost no support offensively. He was great with Jackson and Tomlinson and Gates (in his prime), but his best receiver now is Denario Alexander - a great talent but terrible knees. He also has no run support from the Glass Joes that pass as running backs in San Diego these days.
7/18/13: The St. Louis Rams are not the only ones with stadium troubles these days, the San Diego Chargers have a similar issue. The Chargers want a new stadium and are working the community to get support. However, the stadium they envision is about $1 billion. The Chargers believe that the NFL may follow precedent and pay $200 million and owner Dean Spanos may kick in $100 million his own. However, they still need another $700 million - and they want that from the taxpayers. Of course, California residents are not too keen on spending much more right now, so there is no telling where this could end up.
7/11/13: The Chargers took a huge hit when defensive lineman Melvin Ingram went down for the season. The team signed Dwight Freeney to replace him, which would have been an outstanding move in 2008. However, Freeney is a bit older and a bit slower, so the Chargers need others to step up. Rookie linebacker Manti Te'o may be one of those rising players. The Chargers have handled him perfectly. He is out of the spotlight and able to concentrate on just football right now. Apparently the team has taken to him, and we are not hearing endless Te'o girlfriend jokes from hack comedians and journalists right now.
7/4/13: While the time between OTAs and training camp can be the most stressful times for coaches, GMs, and the league in general, yet is the gravy train for high priced defense lawyers, at least one non-story is good news. Word came out that Chargers running back was involved in a fight outside a bar in the early morning weekend hours, and that he had been arrested. Ryan tweeted on Monday that nothing of the sort happened and that he does not know where the story came from. The NFL has had 27 active players arrested this offseason, so getting word that one story is completely unfounded has to be a bit of good news.
6/27/2013: All the attention, once the season starts, will be on Manti Te'o. While most people are well past the fake girlfriend story, the non-stop media cycle will not be for a long time. Te'o has been shielded from the media so far, and that has helped him. He is getting rave reviews from teammates and could be force at linebacker for years. Lost among the Te'o story has been D.J. Fluker. Fluker should improve protection for QB Phillip Rivers. Unfortunately, he can't catch the ball, and the Chargers' receiving group is suspect at best until they prove otherwise.
6/20/13: The Chargers are going to have a long way to go in order to compete in the AFC West. Denver is the reigning champ and looks like they got better. KC is on the rise with a new head coach, QB, and a healthy Jamaal Charles. San Diego - well San Diego looks the same or maybe worse than last year. The Monday Night game where they blew a three touchdown lead is the visible proof - really the turning point. The real concern is that Phillip Rivers is being wasted in San Diego. He needs talent around him for this team to improve.
6/13/13: Phillip Rivers has had a couple rough seasons. His completion percentage and TD have been down, while his interceptions increased. He is 24-24 over the past three seasons. A lot of people want to blame Rivers, but a lot of it is beyond his control. He has not had the skill players around him for awhile. Antonio Gates is still there, but he is not the same player from five years ago. A new offensive scheme, and some newly acquired talent should help Rivers. The big problem is that their window of opportunity may have closed while the Broncos rose to the class of the AFC West.
6/6/13: The Chargers are not letting newly drafted Manti Te'o speak to the press, but Dwight Freeney does not have those same restrictions. In a radio interview, Freeney said that he as dreamed of sacking Peyton Manning - his long time teammate in Indianapolis. Freeney was never allowed to lay a hand on Manning in practice. However, now they play on rival teams in the AFC West. To his credit, Freeney said he considers Peyton like family, but he wants to compete against one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. It will be fun to watch these two savvy veterans square off twice this season.
5/30/13: The Chargers were very predictable for years. They easily had the most talent in the AFC West, would win a lot of regular season games, win the division, then fall short in the playoffs. Those days are gone. They are now an average team, that hopefully has better front office leadership and coaching. Franchise QB Phillip Rivers has not been particularly strong the past two seasons, so there are many who think this may be a make or break year for him. He could use some help though, he needs receivers and a stronger running attack if this team is going to seriously improve.
5/23/13: San Diego signed veteran Dwight Freeny to a two year deal, apparently to replace 2012 first round Melvin Ingram for the season. Ingram tore his ACL and is out for the season - he was expected to make a big progression this season after a good rookie campaign. The Chargers were fortunate to have two veteran defensive ends available in Freeny and John Abraham. Freeny will give the Chargers experience and character on the defensive line, and may be a big benefit to several players as well as the team as a whole in his time in San Diego.
5/16/13: Former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o may have landed in a perfect spot in San Diego. Of course he is out of the glare of the media from hurtful cities such as New York or Philadelphia, and of course San Diego is the nearest team to his native Hawaii, and of course he gets to go to a warm weather market. But just as importantly, Te'o gets to play middle linebacker in John Pagano's 3-4 defense. He will be able to focus on what he does best and play downhill - rather than cover tight ends or receivers.
5/9/13: The Chargers had to know what they are getting themselves into by drafting Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o - he of the famous fake girlfriend hoax. Veteran linebacker Donald Butler, who will start next to Te'o in the linebacking corps, says that Te'o will get some rookie teasing and jabs. But, Butler says, that comes with being a rookie. As guys know, this is more of a bonding experience than insults. Hopefully Te'o can cope with that and become the professional linebacker that the Chargers want him to be, and devolve into a long running punchline for NFL experts and talk show hosts.
5/2/13: As long as there are offseasons and the need to keep on the front page, the New York Jets will always win the press conference. However, the San Diego Chargers gave their best effort to upstage Gang Green by trading up to grab much maligned Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o with the sixth pick in the second round. They selected offensive tackle D.J. Fluker from Alabama with their first pick. Te'o was considered among the best linebackers in college football last season, but had a terrible game in the National Championship followed up by a poor combine. Oh, and there was that hoax girlfriend thing too.
4/25/13: The Chargers are such a difficult team to handicap. They have talent, but have under performed for years – long enough that they lost their window. Now the Broncos own the AFC West until further notice. So San Diego may be looking to build up their defense as their way to compete in the division. And the division will be better. Oakland is making good decisions under GM Reggie McKenzie, and the Chiefs have quickly rebuilt under Andy Reid. But the Chargers do need to rebuild their offensive line, and they should be able to get a cornerstone left tackle with the 11th overall pick.
4/18/13: The San Diego Chargers will have a new look on offense this year. The team has run the same offense for the past six years under former head coach Norv Turner. New head coach Mike McCoy and new offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt have developed new offense that takes multiple styles. McCoy believes that he will have his team run various styles in the offseason so they can figure out what they do well and what they do poorly. Of course, it would help to get a running back not made out of glass for the first time in a few years.
4/11/13: With the 11th pick in the April draft the San Diego Chargers select ??? The Chargers have a lot of holes to fill after the long reign of terror that former general manger A.J. Smith and head coach Norv Turner put the team through. But first and foremost must be the offensive line. San Diego has a good quarterback in Phillip Rivers. They have decent receivers and running backs. What they do not have is five men that can consistently protect Rivers and give him time to throw. The Chargers may end up trading up to get Johnson, the super athletic left tackle out of the University of Oklahoma.
4/4/13: Where are the Chargers in the AFC West? Denver seems to have complete control over the division now - especially after the Chargers surrendered 24 unanswered points in devastating Monday Night Game loss last October. The Chiefs are much improved in personnel and coaching. The Raiders...well the Raiders are still allowed to play in the NFL. But the Chargers are on a budget and need to have an outstanding draft to rebuild the team. Bolts fans understand this, and will be accepting - but only if the Chargers make some progress this season and stop regressing.
3/28/2013: When the Chargers make big moves, they make big moves. Of course, for the past few years those big moves have been moving big time players out of San Diego (see: LaDanian Tomlinson, Michael Turner, Shawn Merriman, Vincent Jackson for examples). But now they have Danny Woodhead - the scrappy little running back from New England. Many may wonder how much Woodhead's signing affects incumbent Ryan Matthews. Good question, but Matthews should still get the bulk of the carries, as this team tries to forge a new identity under a new coach, general manager and organizational attitude.
3/21/13: If you have not heard the big free agent signings out of San Diego, then do not worry. You have not missed anything, the team has been very quiet this offseason. Chargers fans may just be happy that A.J. Smith and Norv Turner are not in the building any more. However, the Broncos improved by signing Wes Welker, and Kansas City is doing a wonderful job (on paper) of rebuilding that franchise. The Raiders are still the Raiders - so no worries there. But with the Broncos having to cut Elvis Dumervil, could there be a place on the Bolts for him - and weaken a division rival?
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3/14/13: San Diego has been fairly active in free agency, though not signing any big name players. The Chargers have been hurt by big defections and trades in recent years - remnants of the previous regime who shall go nameless here out of respect for Chargers fans everywhere. But the Bolts have signed or are reported to sign Richard Goodman, Chad Reinhart, King Dunlap, and Louis Vasquez. These are the gritty guys that work in the trenches and provide the blocks. The Chargers released Randy McMichaels who never defined much of a role for himself, even with Antonio Gates numerous injuries.
3/7/13: San Diego fans may lament the past decade or so when they were at the top of the AFC West just about every year but never could make it all the way. In the past year, the Broncos leapfrogged the Chargers and are the undisputed kings of the division. With Alex Smith and Andy Ried arriving in KC, the Chiefs may be better prepared for the coming season as well. The Chargers have let a lot of talent walk out the door and are now essentially rebuilding. Many are even questioning keeping QB Phillip Rivers, who has regressed the past two seasons with mediocre talent around him.
2/14/13: The Chargers' reputation is much more vaunted than their actual team. Philip Rivers has had some great years, as has tight end Antonio Gates. But gone are the days of LaDanian Tomlinson and Vincent Jackson. In reality, San Diego's offense does not scare anyone anymore. Letting Jackson leave through free agency was a big blunder, so much so, that wide receiver may be the teams biggest need. Right now, the AFC West belongs to Denver, and the Chargers must revamp this offseason if they want to retake their crown, rather than live in mediocrity like the Chiefs and Raiders.
2/7/13: It is always interesting how the coaching wheels revolve in the NFL. Just a few years ago, Ken Whisenhunt was hired by the Arizona Cardinals to be the head coach after a successful stint as Pittsburghs offensive coordinator. In one magical year, he led the Cardinals to the Super Bowl and was among the top coaches in the league. After a dreadful 2012 campaign, he was fired and now finds himself as the OC for the Chargers. San Diego does not have the weapons of a few year ago, but still has a franchise QB and some skill players to contend for a wild card spot.
1/31/13: It will be very interesting to see how new GM Tom Telesco and new head coach Mike McCoy view the draft. After former GM A.J. Smith and former head coach Norv Turner slowly destroyed a championship contending roster with bad personnel moves, lousy coaching, and generally poor management, the team is in need of a massive rebuild. Will they address problem areas? Will they trade up to get some one they really want? Will they follow the Jeff Fisher model and trade down and collect draft picks? The team is not tipping its hand yet, but it is certain that this is a crucial draft for the franchise.
1/24/13: Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers needs fixing. The early years of his career were filled with highlight reel plays and big stats. The last two years, however, have been miserable with Rives throwing 50 interceptions and being simply mediocre. The Chargers hope new head coach Mike McCoy can fix Rivers. McCoy is best known for flexibility. He catered an offense to Tim Tebow and even won a playoff game. Then he readjusted with Peyton Manning to earn the best record in the AFC. It may be a bit of a gamble, but McCoy may be the right man for the Chargers job.
1/17/13: The search to replace fired general manager A.J. Smith and head coach Norv Turner continues in San Diego. Both were given their walking papers after the Chargers again underachieved and failed to make the playoffs. Much of the blame has to go to Smith, who's hardline stance has driven off several skilled players, including wide receiver Vincent Jackson. Norv Turner will reportedly be named the new offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns. Meanwhile, the Chargers appear interested in former Bears coach Lovie Smith, former Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhut, and Colts offensive coordinator/interim head coach Bruce Arians.
1/10/13: San Diego just finished their first week in the post A.J. Smith and Norv Turner eras, likely to the delight of many of their fans. While AFC West Rival Kansas City opted to hire a coach (Andy Reid) first, the Chargers want to secure their GM before the coach. Regardless, the rumor mill surrounding the new coach is in full swing and names like Doug Marrone, Mike Holmgren, Jim Mora, and Lovie Smith are being thrown about. Who will end up being the coach is anyone's guess, but there are worse things than being highly paid in San Diego.
1/3/13: San Diego sent Norv Turner out with a victory in his final game as head coach. The Chargers held on to for a 24-21 win over the Oakland Raiders. The Chargers took a 24-7 lead into the fourth quarter, but Terrelle Prior, in his first ever start, led Oakland to two late scores - making the game somewhat interesting. Phillip Rivers continued his mediocre play, throwing for only 151 yards and two TDs. Both Turner and GM A.J. Smith - literally answering the prayers of many Chargers fans. No replacements have been named, but Andy Reid may be on the short list.
12/27/12: For those that did not see it, the Chargers punished Jets QB Greg McElroy repeatedly in a 27-17 win. San Diego's defense recorded 11 sacks, including 3.5 by Kendall Reyes. It would have been a great time to have San Diego as your defense in your fantasy league. Tight end Antonio Gates caught his 82nd touchdown catch, earning the franchise lead over Lance Alworth. Phillip Rivers was not particularly strong, completing only 11 of 22 for 165 yards, fortunately he did not need to be. The Chargers finish their season hosting the Oakland Raiders this coming Sunday.
12/20/12: San Diego had aspirations of contending this season. But that is all it was, aspirations. The Chargers are now a deflated team and mailed in a weak effort at home, losing 31-7 to the Carolina Panthers last Sunday. Philip Rivers was limited to just 121 yards and one score, and the running game and defense could not hold up. Fans are calling for the head of Head Coach Norv Turner, and they may well get their wish. Now there is speculation that the Chargers may cut ties with Philip Rivers as well. The team has a shot at some redemption this Sunday when they travel to New York to face the disfunctional Jets.
12/13/12: The San Diego Chargers have certainly underachieved this season, and have struggled mightily since choking away a large second half lead to the Denver Broncos several weeks ago. So the offensive outburst at Pittsburgh against a rejuvenated Steelers team was more than shocking. Quarterback Phillip Rivers only threw for 200 yards, but did toss three touchdowns. Wide receiver Danario Alexander continues his strong play, scoring two more touchdowns and looking like a real threat when healthy. The win put the Chargers at 5-8 on the season. Next up is the equally disappointing Panthers at back at home.
12/6/12: San Diego hosted the Chargers this past Sunday, but unfortunately continued to struggle and lost 20-13. The Chargers have not been the same team as they were in September ever since they blew a large lead at home to Denver over a month ago. The offense, which still has a lot of talent at the skill positions is underachieving as the howls for coach Norv Turner's dismissal continue to rise. San Diego now sits at 4-8 and the Denver Broncos have secured the AFC West title for the season. There may not be too much left to play for, but the Chargers do travel to Pittsburgh this coming Sunday.
11/29/12: A very tough loss for a team that has suffered repeated disappointments this season. San Diego, playing at home against the Ravens, took a 10-0 lead into the half, but allowed Baltimore to come back and force overtime. The Ravens ended up winning 16-13 and dropped the Chargers to 4-7 on the year. The AFC West crown is likely out of reach barring a monumental collapse, and San Diego will probably be on the outside looking in for a wild card spot. The disappointing season may be the last for head coach Norv Turner, which would make many Chargers fans happy.
11/22/12: San Diego hosts Baltimore this week, but even an upset win may be a case of too little, too late. The Chargers suffered a devastating loss to Denver last Sunday, which pretty much assures the Broncos of the AFC West crown. It also left the Chargers at 4-6, and only a puncher's chance of earning a wild card birth. The calls to fire head coach Norv Turner are growing in Southern California, as many fans cannot understand why the team consistently underachieves, despite having a relatively strong roster. This may be the year Bolts fans get their wish, as missing the playoffs may be the final straw for coach Turner.
11/15/12: Now it may be time to panic. The Chargers had hoped to fly under the radar in the AFC West while the rest of the league monitored Peyton Manning and the Broncos. But a 34-24 loss to Tampa (who has suddenly become an offensive juggernaut) leaves the team at 4-6, two games behind the Broncos. San Diego has a chance to get back to one game down on Sunday when they travel to Denver. Another loss, though, would essentially give the Broncos the division and the Chargers will have to get a lot of wins and a few breaks to make the playoffs.
11/8/12: The San Diego Chargers finally got a much needed win in the Thursday Night game, this time against Kansas City. While the Chiefs may be the worst team in the NFL this year, their defense managed to keep Phillip Rivers and company in check for most of the night. The final score was 31-13, but two of the Chargers' touchdowns were interceptions returned for score. Rivers and Gates finally connected for a touchdown, but it is more of relief for a team that had not scored a TD in six quarters. Some Charger fans showed up with signs begging ownership to fire Norv Turner, but he seems to have a reprieve for at least another 10 days.
11/1/12: The Chargers are struggling and fans have to hope that they are not witnessing the beginning of a free fall. San Diego could only muster two field goals at Cleveland, before falling 7-6. Many good teams have a week where they inexplicably fall to a far inferior opponent. But the Chargers have not looked the same since the second half of the Monday Night loss to the Broncos, when they surrendered a 24 point lead in the final 30 minutes. At 3-4, they are not out of the playoff hunt, and have a chance to get back to 500 when they host the Chiefs this weekend.
10/18/12: San Diego had a chance to open up some breathing room between themselves and the Denver Broncos on Monday Night, and even staked themselves a 24-0 halftime lead. But the team disintegrated in the second half as the Chargers offense turned the ball over six times. Instead of heading into the bye week at 4-2 with a two game lead in the division, the Chargers are tied with the Broncos at 3-3, and now the Broncos have the edge in head-to-head matchups. They can right the ship after the bye with games against Cleveland, KC, and Tampa before a week 11 rematch at Denver.
10/4/12: For all the talk that the Chargers always take off September, the team is 3-1 and leading the AFC West. The lone loss was a home tilt against the Atlanta Falcons, who may well be the best team in the NFC this year. But otherwise, the Chargers have won the games they should win - most recently a 37-20 beatdown of the division rival Kansas City Chiefs. Quarterback Phillip Rivers has looked good so far, but, aside from Atlanta, has not faced a great defense. He should have another week to pile on stats, as the Bolts head to the bayou to face the aimless New Orleans Sants.
8/16/12: Minnesota's best player, Adrian Peterson, was removed from the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list this week, so naturally the media blew it out of proportion. The Vikings had to make the move to get AP in practice. Had he started the regular season on the PUP list, he would have been ineligible for the first six weeks. Then he may have missed another three weeks, or even the entire season. That is not really an option for a team in need of playmakers. Toby Gerhart has been taking first team snaps, and has shown he can handle the job well, at least in the near term.
8/2/12: With the Broncos rise last year, and San Diego both underachieving last season and losing some key players this offseason, the Chargers are really flying under the radar for the first time in years. While many fans call for a replacement for head coach Norv Turner, he is, in fact 49-31 in the regular season over five years. Playoff letdowns are still a sore point, and the team missed the postseason the past two years. But the Chargers may finally be healthy, particularly in the offensive line and star tight end Antonio Gates. Denver will remain the favorite to win the AFC West, but the Chargers still could surprise either for the division or a wild-card spot.
7/26/12: After missing the playoffs for the past two seasons, losing some key players in the offseason (such as Vincent Jackson and Mike Tolbert) and being considered the underdog in the division for the first time in years, the Chargers are trying to get back to their winning ways from a few years ago. Philip Rivers seems to be taking a stronger leadership position and is more focused than in the past. Antonio Gates is finally healthy and looking to return to the form that made him the top tight end in the league. And a lot of draft help on defense should provide some improvement over last year's underachieving squad.
This week, former San Diego Chargers All-Pro running back LaDainian Tomlinson announced his retirement from the NFL after 11 seasons. Tomlinson retired as a member of the San Diego Chargers, the team that drafted him with the 5th pick out of TCU in 2001 and the team that he played 9 of his 11 seasons for. Tomlinson remarked that he would rather make the Hall of Fame than win a Super Bowl, and that statement has been debated quite a bit this week. His numbers certainly do support his future placement in the Hall of Fame, as he amassed over 13,000 yards to go along with 145 touchdowns over the course of his illustrious career.
5/23/12: The Chargers announced they will formally retire Junior Seau's #55 jersey this season, joining only Dan Fouts (#14) and Lance Alworth (#19) in that honor. Players and fans alike continue to honor and respect Seau's memory. Even longtime Charger LaDanian Thomlinson shared how much Junior inspired him with his constant community service. Additionally, running back Curtis Brinkley was awarded the team's Ed Block Courage Award. Brinkley survived a gunshot before entering the NFL, and had to sit out a season. He was undrafted, but made the team and played in 13 games in two seasons, and now has a chance to be Ryan Matthews number one backup.
5/15/12: Its been a tearful few weeks in San Diego, as the team and city have mourned the death of Junior Seau with several events highlighting his life and achievements. An estimated 20,000 attended a public memorial at Qualcomm Stadium, many wearing Seau's #55 jerseys from his time in San Diego. On the football field, the Chargers have a great chance to sneak up on the rest of the division this year. With so many paying attention to the Broncos and Raiders, the Chargers seem to have slipped under the radar, but still posses one of the most potent offenses in the league.
5/11/12: The San Diego Chargers have been crowned AFC West champs for the last several preseasons, and with good reason - the the rest of the division was a mess. The year, however, they have the good fortune of being an underdog. The Broncos are the consensus favorite after signing Payton Manning, while the Chargers lost #1 wide receiver Vincent Jackson (signed with Tampa as a free agent). However, Jackson missed a lot of games over the last few years, yet the offense was just fine. Defense was a bigger issue, and the Chargers drafter Melvin Ingram and Kendall Reyes to help out.
5/3/12: San Diego drafted defense with their first three picks, highlighted by selecting defensive end Melvin Ingram from South Carolina with the 18th overall pick. Ingram is considered tremendously versitile and can play linebacker as well. Sadder news from May 2, however, as former long-time Charger great Junior Seau was found dead of a gunshot wound to his chest in his Oceanside home. Seau played in the NFL for 20 years with the Chargers, Dolphins, and Patriots. He was drafted by his hometown Chargers in 1990 and amassed 545 tackles, 56.5 sacks, and 18 interceptions in his career - and is considered one of the best linebackers to ever play.
5/2/12 - Junior Seau, a former star NFL Linebacker, died early Wednesday May 2nd, at the age of 43. Seau was found in his bedroom by his girlfriend. He was discovered with a gunshot wound to the chest and a revolver was found near his body. The police are investigating Seau's death as a suicide. The police added the investigation is not expected to be finished until next week. Seau played 20 seasons in the NFL for the Chargers, Dolphins, and Patriots, made 12 Pro Bowls and was named to the 1990s All-Decade Team by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
4/25/12: San Diego has the tools to win the AFC West, after letting the Broncos claim the division last year. The Chargers seemed to lack any sense of urgency and are widely considered to have underachieved throughout Norv Turner's tenure as head coach. The team lost number one wideout Vincent Jackson in free agency to Tampa, and replaced him with Robert Meecham, formerly of the New Orleans Saints. Draft needs include cornerback, linebacker, as well as the defensive and offensives lines. San Diego addressed the D-Line in the first round by selecting Melvin Ingram from South Carolina with the 18th overall pick.
4/17/12: A couple of years ago, the Chargers could get off to slow start and easily rally to win the AFC West crown. But the rest of the division has caught up with San Diego and the Chargers now have a very challenging schedule, including five games east of the Mississippi River. On the positive side, however is the fact that they do have five primetime games: Week 1 Monday Night at Oakland, Week 5 Sunday Night at New Orleans, Week 6 Monday Night vs. Denver, Week 9 Thursday Night vs. Kansas City, and Week 16 Sunday Night at the Jets.
San Diego Chargers Tickets - Team History
Though they play their home games in the beautiful San Diego climate, the Chargers and their fans take their football very seriously. They've called Qualcomm Stadium home since 1967, recently winning four straight AFC West titles from 2006-2009. The 'lights out' era popularized by electric linebacker Shawne Merriman may be over, but the Chargers still possess an elite quarterback, very possibly the best tight end to ever play the game, a defense whose statistics look tremendous on paper, and the second-best passing attack in the league. Now it's just a matter of turning those numbers into a record that properly reflects their talent.
San Diego Chargers Tickets - 2011 Season Info
Their 9-7 2010 was certainly deceiving. Notorious for starting slow and finishing strong, San Diego began the year 2-5, and even a very solid 7-2 final 9 games could not spare the team from missing the playoffs. On offense, quarterback Philip Rivers has proven himself to be a true competitor and, in Tom Brady fashion, capable of making his teammates play at a higher level. Vincent Jackson's return to full-time duty gives the team a bona fide number one option at wideout, though the Chargers may be one of the rare teams that doesn't require such a player. Tight end Antonio Gates certainly draws plenty of attention from opposing defenses, and spark plug Darren Sproles is good for a handful of highlight reel plays every season. The team selected running back Ryan Mathews very highly in 2010, and while it is certainly not appropriate to call Mathews a bust, he did not quite play up to expectations last season. A lot of that was health-related, and Mike Tolbert filled in extremely well, but a healthy Mathews with a year under his belt is a better long term option for the team.
San Diego Chargers Tickets - 2011 Schedule
Week 3 gives San Diego its first crack at a division rival, as they play host to a Kansas City Chiefs team that dethroned the Chargers in the division in 2010 and ended their 4-year run as champs. If the Chargers can make it to Week 12 without playing themselves out of contention, they have a great shot of winning the division in 2011. Already known for their ability to end seasons playing their best football, the Chargers have, at the moment, only one team (the Baltimore Ravens) over their final six games considered to be a clear-cut playoff contender. Of course, in the NFL, that's always subject to change.
San Diego Chargers Tickets - The Players
The Chargers have one of the most effective offenses in the league. Philip Rivers is one of the best QBs in the league wins any way possible. Their receivers have been scarce and plagued with injuries over the year. This year Vincent Jackson plans to come back full force. Patrick Crayton also has been an asset to the team. However, Antonio Gates has been Rivers go to when he goes out for a pass. He's a big target with a great pair of hands. Ryan Matthews and Mike Tolbert weren't as productive as LT was but they definitely were able to establish a run game. The Defense doesn't have any big names but they work as a unit rarely letting up big plays. In 2010-2011 they were 1st in yards, 1st in pass yards, 4th in rush yards and 10th in points. The Chargers need a few more pieces to the puzzel and they will definitely be fighting for a championship soon.
San Diego Chargers Schedule & Key Dates
Opening Day / San Diego Chargers First Game 2013
San Diego Chargers Preseason Beginning 2013
Dec 8, 2013 New York Giants 14 - 37 San Diego Chargers Dec 1, 2013 Cincinnati Bengals 17 - 10 San Diego Chargers Nov 24, 2013 San Diego Chargers 41 - 38 Kansas City Chiefs Nov 10, 2013 Denver Broncos 28 - 20 San Diego Chargers Nov 3, 2013 San Diego Chargers 24 - 30 Washington Redskins Sep 29, 2013 Dallas Cowboys 21 - 30 San Diego Chargers Sep 22, 2013 San Diego Chargers 17 - 20 Tennessee Titans Sep 15, 2013 San Diego Chargers 33 - 30 Philadelphia Eagles
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