Throughout this week, we'll be checking in on the Chiefs division rivals int the AFC West to take stock of how each team is doing with a quick snapshot of questions and answers. The San Diego Chargers are up first, and they are currently leading the division. Yet even a quick perusal of the news shows a team that is frustrated on multiple sides.
The Chargers have been accused of using a banned sticky substance of some kind during their Monday Night football game against the Broncos. General manager A.J. Smith publicly acknowledged that things have to change if the team can't turn it around. The team might be in the division lead, but they're 3-3 and not looking the part of a first place team.
What's the morale for the Chargers coming out of the bye week?
Really, really terrible. As bad as it could be. In their last four games, the Chargers have gotten blown out by the Falcons, had Matt Cassel throw the game for them, gave up a huge lead to a bad Saints team and then gave up a historically huge lead to a mediocre Broncos team. There's no reason to believe that Philip Rivers can succeed behind this offensive line, and there's actual proof that you can't count on the team to hold a lead.
The team really wanted, and needed, another game instead of a bye week. They want to wash the stink of the Saints and Broncos losses off of them. They didn't get it and had to stew in it for a while. We'll see which team comes out against the Browns.
The banned substance investigation, the odd "chill pill" rant, recent quotes from A.J. Smith... it just feels like changes are coming this offseason from the outside. Is that the in-house feeling?
Yes. It has to be. It was last year, and then nothing changed because 1) There were no good options to replace Norv and AJ and 2) The team was riddled with injuries/bad luck. Unless things change in a big way, it's looking like reason #1 doesn't matter anymore. Everyone just needs a fresh start.
How do you feel about the Chargers' chances to take the West?
Norv's teams typically get off to rough starts before finding their groove in November and December. For that reason alone, I think the Chargers have a 50/50 shot. They have about as good of a chance as winning the West as the Broncos right now. However, those mid-winter games in Pittsburgh and New Jersey will make it tough.