Blog Entry

Turner is the reason for SD's turnaround

Posted on: November 23, 2010 12:43 am
Edited on: November 23, 2010 8:16 am
M. Tolbert had a big game for San Diego as it defeated Denver 35-14 (Getty).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The San Diego Chargers are going to win the AFC West again.

That much seems clear after watching San Diego dominate the Broncos 35-14 tonight. Although Denver scored on what was an easy game-opening drive, this game was almost never in doubt. For a team that lost five of its first seven games this year, the Chargers once again are the class of the division.

And it’s not like other teams haven’t had a chance to bury the Chargers early in the season.

The Chiefs played well early, starting out 5-2, but they’ve lost two of their last three – including a 49-29 decision defeat to Denver – and are barely hanging onto first place (the Chargers and Chiefs will play again Dec. 12). The Raiders have exceeded expectations while shuffling two quarterbacks in and out of the game seemingly every week, but they’re still only 5-5 (and tied with San Diego for second place in the West). And Denver … well, you can forget about the Broncos.

So, what’s changed?

Philip Rivers has been fantastic all season – he’s now thrown for 3,177 yards (and he’s still on pace to break the season mark for passing yards), 23 touchdowns and just eight interceptions – and he’s perhaps the No. 1 MVP candidate at this point in the season.

But first-round pick RB Ryan Mathews still hasn’t played that much. The special teams have been downright awful. And the underachieving Norv Turner is still the head coach of the club.

Yet, in place of Mathews, Mike Tolbert has been more than solid as the No. 1 RB (tonight, he rushed for 111 yards and a score). Though the Chargers have played without top-flight WR Vincent Jackson – who will return next week – all season and TE extraordinaire Antonio Gates the past two games, Patrick Crayton has been productive (105 receiving yards and a TD tonight) and RB Darren Sproles has done well catching passes out of the backfield.

And the defense, mind you, has been really good, leading the NFL by allowing 270.7 total yards per game and recording a league-high 32 sacks (coming into tonight's game).

But perhaps the biggest reason for the turnaround? Turner himself. As you might be aware, Turner isn’t exactly the fiery, motivating-type coach. But when San Diego fell behind 19-14 to Tennessee at halftime in Week 8, Turner gave a teary-eyed halftime speech that inspired San Diego to turn that five-point halftime deficit into a 33-25 victory.

That carryover has led to a three-game winning streak, including the Chargers’ most complete game of the season tonight.

“When I saw Norv crying, I knew it was real,” Gates told a radio station after the Chargers beat the Titans. “This means the world to him. That spoke volumes and it worked. Not to say that guys didn’t believe up to that point, but I think he made himself clear.”

Now, the Chargers are making it clear to everybody else in the division. The AFC West title is for San Diego, and nobody else will take it from the suddenly-resurgent Chargers.

And yeah, Turner, once again, will be on the hot seat if the Chargers don’t make a playoff run, but still, he deserves plenty of credit for his team’s turnaround.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 5:38 am

Turner is the reason for SD's turnaround

Stunning ! very good details. retain this.Hey in that respect there. Really good position. I didn't prepare this in turn towards the Thursday daytime. It is a great impressive guide. Appreciate it!

Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: November 23, 2010 11:51 am

Turner is the reason for SD's turnaround

The Chargers haven't won in the playoffs lately because all of their players are hurt come playoff time.  If the Chargers are healthy come playoff time... watch out.

Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: November 23, 2010 11:24 am

Turner is the reason for SD's turnaround

Sealing the deal in the playoffs is overrated.  I'd rather have a team that is consistently challenging for the playoffs, than a team that wins occasionally, gets far in the playoffs, then is non-contender for 2 - 4 years a la the Falcons, Broncos, or Buccaneers.  If your team is in the chase most of the year, then you get several months of compelling games each weekend.  Whereas pinning all your hopes on a playoff run is more of a chancy effort.  It's wonderful when it works out that year (Cardinals), but I'd prefer the consistency of the Chargers, Colts, or Eagles.

Since: Oct 17, 2006
Posted on: November 23, 2010 9:06 am

Turner is the reason for SD's turnaround

Unfortunately for Charger's fans, he can't seal the deal in the playoffs

Since: Sep 21, 2010
Posted on: November 23, 2010 8:50 am

Turner is the reason for SD's turnaround

As the saying goes...cream always rises to the top.  The Chargers are the cream of the AFC West. This article highlights Norv Turner's leadership, and he's at the top of the list for head coaches in this Division. There's no comparing Haley, Cable or McDaniels to Turner. QB position is next. Rivers is also at the top of this Division...and arguably tops in the league. There's no comparing Orton, Cassel, Campbell or Gradkowski to him. There's a valid reason for their year-after-year slow start: team chemistry is usually compromised by new player rotations, injuries, hold-outs, and sometimes off the field distractions. But this team is resilient. They find a way to get it done. They possess a winner's heart - what a lot of people refer to as the "IT" factor.  This is what separates a contender from a pretender, and the Chargers are truly a contender.  This is why a season is 16 games long. You don't crown a champion after the first three or four games into a season, and you don't discount a team after the during that many games. The pot is boiling and the cream is rising!  

Since: Oct 27, 2010
Posted on: November 23, 2010 2:56 am

Turner is the reason for SD's turnaround

As a Charger fan, I'm just grateful we play in this god awful division that has been left for the taking these past few years. We will more than likely either run the table or go 5-1 leaving us with a 10-6 record which should be good enough to take the division. I really wish we didn't have to be the cardiac kids every season though, since we always end up short in the playoffs after we've used up all our mojo during the regular season. Who knows maybe this season is different and a very well rested Vincent Jackson could make a real difference for us down the stretch - If he's motivated. At least we'll have the opportunity to find out, I was actually worried this was finally the season we wouldn't pull it together down the stretch.

Philip Rivers for MVP. He won't be denied.

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