The San Diego Chargers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday Night Football with a strong performance by the defense. While the offense was a bit shaky at times, the win may have once again postponed the possible firing of head coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith.
Just when they seem to be out, something pulls them right back in again.
It shouldn’t, but it does.
Last night’s AFC West victory likely saved both men’s jobs’ for at least another week. Then again, we have seen the Chargers put themselves in an unenviable position by losing early in the season, only to make a late season surge that usually starts around this time.
Could they be in for another November and December run that leads them back into the NFL Playoffs?
You may want to pump the brakes on that one, at least a little bit.
Yes, the Chargers beat the Chiefs. But who hasn’t?
Oh, that’s right. Sorry, New Orleans Saints. You were the only team to fall to the Chiefs, who still have not held a lead during any game this entire season.
So, while San Diego picked up a much needed win, it may not be enough to turn their disappointing season around entirely. This is only the Chiefs that we are talking about, after all. They are 1-7 and could very well be waiting to draft either Matt Barkley or Collin Klein or Geno Smith with the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Philip Rivers was quite sharp last night, but he still threw an interception in the end zone. Ryan Mathews still did not look like a player who the Chargers can trust going forward, for so many reasons. Antonio Gates was targeted just three time. Michael Floyd is good, but he has little help. The defense played very well again, but it was against the lowly Chiefs. Expectations going forward should be slightly tapered, as while they may have allowed an average of just 10 points per game on defense over the last two games, they gave up 33 per game the two games before that.
Shutting down the Chiefs and Cleveland Browns is one thing. Do it against the Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers, and then I may be ready to give them a bit more credit.
I will say this much for San Diego’s chances going forward. Their schedule works out rather favorably.
Yes, the Chargers have another game with the Broncos, as well as contests against the Steelers and Baltimore Ravens, plus the newly explosive offense of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week. But they also have many games against other teams who are equally if not more disappointing than they have been in 2012. Those matchups include the Cincinnati Bengals, Carolina Panthers, New York Jets and Oakland Raiders.
The Chargers are far from a lock for the NFL Playoffs. They lack consistency and, have basically done so under Turner and Smith for many seasons now.
But to write them off would also be narrow minded. They have done this before and, even at just 4-4, there is no reason to think they cannot finish the 2012 NFL season with a 9-7 record if things go their way.
That may be enough to sneak into the postseason this year, wit so many teams are bunched up around the middle of the pack.