I'm going to get to the ass whuppin' the Raiders put on the terrible Broncos, the season-ending collarbone injury to Cowboys QB Tony Romo, the soon-to-become bitter end for Brett Farve after Sunday night's loss to Green Bay, and otehr topics from week 7, but i'm going to get right down to the Chargers latest 23-20 loss to the New England Patriots, and who is the true culprit in thisl latest state of affairs.
I don't get how a talented, Super Bowl calliber team like San Diego is now staring at 2-5 record, and on pace to go 4-12 this year. You could point the blame at A.J. Smith for, once again, releasing a veteran player, who is now having the last laugh - Smith did it to Junior Seau and Rodney Harrison, and while the soon-to-be HOF OLB made it to the Super Bowl in 2008, Harrison has 2 with the Patriots - this time, it's LaDamian Tomlinson who's lighting it up with Rex Ryan and the Jets. You can also question the draft picks that have make little impact on the Chargers roster, from WR Buster Davis (who can't catch a pass to save his life) to LB Larry English, who hasn't proven anything since he stepped foot in SD. And you could say that, once again, Smith let his ego hurt his team back in the offseason when he decided to play hardball with Pro-Bowl players like LT Marcus McNeill, and WR Vincent Jackson when it came to renewing their contracts.
You can point the blame on Norv Turner for, once again, coming out unprepared and not executing the game plan, thus making the case for why he should stick to being an Offensive Coordinator, not the head coach of the Chargers - or, for that matter, any team in the NFL. His former HC tenures in Washington and Oakland should have been all the more reason to say no, but A.J., like Dubya, looked at him and must have seen his soul (or someone who won't but heads with him) and presto! He's the new Head Coach of a 14-2 team with a MVP and soon-to-be HOF Running Back.
You can certainy blame Steve Crosby, who's Special Teams unit is a bloody mess and should do us all of us a favor and just resign before he makes our situation much worse.
You could steer your anger toward Defensive Coordinator Ron Rivera for having his Defense go into "bend but don't break" mode in the second half while the Wide Outs aren't catching passes and the running game is nowhere to be found, but in seven weeks his group are just giving up 23.5 points a game and his ranked 3rd in overall Defense, so I can't blame him for losing games when he's had his guys keep the Bolts in them.
You could go on and on about the players themselves for making stupid, careless, and costly mental mistakes, like neutral zone infractions, moving before the ump blows the whistle, and pass interference, and the injuries to guys like Antino Gates, Malcom Floyd, Nate Kaeding, Larry English, Jyles Tucker, and Legadue Nannee.
All of these are contributing elements to the Chargers 2-5 record, but truth be told, if you want to find the real culprit behind all of this, then look no further than Chargers owner Dean Spanos, and his lack of action over the last several years. When A.J. and Marty were butting heads, and it was coming to a head, Dean didn't step in and demad those two find a way to work it out, lest poth parties would be canned. When Drew Brees injured his shoulder the final day of the 05-06 season, Dean didn't stop Smith from shipping him out to New Orleans, where he now has a Super Bowl Ring to his name. Dean isn't doing what an owner should be doing: not putting up with a talented football team losing their shit. Putting everyone on blast and putting those responsible on the chopping block if they don't turn it around. Just simply showing the fans that he's just as furious as the rest of us are. And I don't see ownership or the players digging their way out of their new hole this time.
In years past, they've been able to walk away clean from slow starts thanks to a weak division in the West, coupled with a Denver Broncos collapse at the end of the year. Now with a revived and surprising Kansas City team, and a hot-cold Oakland Raiders team with promising draft picks, San Diego won't be so lucky this year or in future years. But in 2010, the Chargers are out of luck. If management can't get their act together and make the necessary chages to keep the Bolts a dominant force in the AFC West and an elite football team in the NFL, they'll be out of time.