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Chiefs vs. Chargers preview: Why is San Diego so bad this year?

We prepare for the Chiefs-Chargers game by talking with John Gennaro over at Bolts From The Blue. Thanks to John for answering our questions. See my answers to his questions here.

AP: Why are the Chargers so bad this year?

BFTB: How much time do you have?

The injuries have been hilariously catastrophic, both in terms of quality and quantity. The talent on the roster is awful, partially because the GM seems focused on spending money and draft picks where you're not supposed to spend money and draft picks (ILB, RB). The players on defense are so small that they can't tackle NFL players (literally!), the players on offense are so slow that they can't outrun NFL players (literally!), and any ray of sunshine is immediately crushed with a giant fist of doom by injury (like Malcom Floyd and Keenan Allen being out for the rest of the year with injuries).

Mostly, though, this boils down to the coaching staff. They're terrible. From the head coach down, almost every coach on this staff is hilariously overwhelmed while also incredibly stubborn and arrogant. It all starts with Mike McCoy, though, who has definitely lost the locker room (in addition to five consecutive games) and will definitely lose his job at the end of the season. A better head coach, and this team may not be 2-7.

(I'll add in here that the "Will this be the last Chargers season in San Diego?" has hovered over this team, the fanbase, and home games like a stink that just won't come out. If you asked whether or not is has led to some of these losses this year, my answer would be yes.)

AP: The Chiefs have two pretty good corners and two pretty good pass rushers. Will Rivers and the Chargers score anyway?

BFTB: Yes, probably. I can't explain Philip Rivers, except to say that I've lost the ability to doubt that he can move the ball and score at-will against just about any team in the NFL. At the same time, I've stopped being surprised when he comes out and has a real stinker, even against teams with poor defenses.

More often than not, we get the former Rivers. The "I'm throwing for 300-plus yards and a couple of TDs and I don't care who is catching the ball, who is blocking, or who the opposing defense is" Rivers. Don't be surprised if he shows up on Sunday. Also, don't be surprised if it doesn't matter because he is literally the only player doing anything successfully this season. Unfortunately, Rivers can't win games all by himself.

AP: The Chiefs o-line has been up and down. What can we expect from the Chargers pass rush?

BFTB: Up and down. It's actually been pretty good when the front-seven is able to stop the run and force third-and-long situations. In fact, Melvin Ingram is really only a net positive for the Chargers in third-and-long situations despite being an every-down OLB.

Outside of those obvious passing situations, though, expect Alex Smith to have as much time as he wants and plenty of opportunity to easily scamper for a first down if he wants to try again from 10 yards closer to the opposing end zone.

AP: How is Melvin Gordon's rookie year going?

BFTB: I wanted to just say "A dumpster fire" and leave it at that, but that would be lying. Dumpster fires are at least somewhat beneficial in that they are a way to get rid of garbage and possibly provide heat for hobos in the harsh winter. Also, if you're feeling adventurous, you can make s'mores with said dumpster fire!

No, no, a dumpster fire would be too kind to Melvin Gordon. A better comparison might be the molding in your home or apartment. You know, the stuff that runs along the floor that make the bottom of the wall look better. It looks really nice! It doesn't do anything, except provide something for you to occasionally stub your toe on so hard that you scream obscenities, but it looks nice.

That's Melvin Gordon. He looks good in a uniform. He's very athletic! He's got a big smile, seems to be a nice kid and all, but so far we've seen absolutely no proof that he's capable of being an NFL running back. For a while we were doing "rookie running back rankings" but the guy who wrote them has just stopped. I'm assuming because it was too depressing. I don't blame him.

So, if Gordon is so athletic, what's the problem .... right? That's what you're asking? Well, he's too indecisive. When Gordon is handed the ball, what he does can be categorized better as dancing than running. More often than not, instead of following where the play should go, Gordon ends up bouncing it outside in hopes that he's far and away the fastest guy on the field and can just run around the 11 guys trying to tackle him. It doesn't work very often. I've seen Gordon compared to "a more athletic Trent Richardson" and, to this point, it's hard to disagree with that. Don't be surprised if he ends up going the way of other famous Wisconsin RBs like Montee Ball and Ron Dayne.

AP: Your prediction for the game?

BFTB: The Chargers will keep it close, both offenses will look good and a bunch of guys who probably shouldn't be catching touchdown passes in the NFL will be catching touchdown passes in the NFL. In the end, the Chiefs will win, after mostly dominating the game, and Mike McCoy will start another press conference by saying that the Chargers are just one or two plays away from being a winning team (despite having lost their sixth consecutive game).

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