It was a simple scenario for the San Diego Chargers on Sunday. Win a game on the road against a team starting its backup quarterback and you’re in the playoffs. Granted, winning on the road in the NFL is a difficult proposition – and the Chiefs had already beaten San Diego once this season – but after the dramatic rally against San Francisco last week I was certain this one was in the bag. Somebody forgot to tell the Chiefs. The KC defense forced three Chargers turnovers, and the Chief offense under second-stringer Chase Daniel didn’t turn it over once.
With this season in the books two things have become very clear – the Chargers need to draft a running back and offensive lineman in the upcoming draft.
Look, I love Ryan Mathews, but the guy played only six games this season because of injuries. He did play all 16 last year, but missed four the year before that, two in 2011, and four more in 2010. Brendan Oliver did his best to fill in the hole left by Mathews, but averaging 3.5 a carry isn’t going to cut it. It puts way too much pressure on Phillip Rivers.
I know there were a lot of injuries on the offensive line, but I think the staff has to take a hard look at the quality of the depth chart and make some improvements. Rivers got sacked seven times on Sunday, making it 36 for the season – the third highest total in his career.
I’m sad I won’t have a dog in the fight as the playoffs start. The good news is that baseball spring training starts in less than two months!