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AFC West: Who’s at fault in San Diego Rivers or Turner

The AFC West San Diego Chargers lost on Sunday to Tampa Bay 34-24. Some football experts, fans and writers are calling quarterback Philip Rivers a problem for the team. During the 2010 season, Rivers looked like he was moving up to elite quarterback status. It is certain he knows how to put points on the board, yet he continues to make mental errors that many say are costing the team wins.

In most games Rivers has the ability to dissect the defensive secondary at will, but then he seems to throw a pass directly at a defender and the resulting interceptions usually mean fewer Chargers’ offensive opportunities that result in fewer points for the team and possibly more points for the opposition.

Because of that, many are now questioning whether Rivers is the problem at San Diego. No one is saying that Rivers is not a big part of the solution, just that he cannot take it upon himself to hide the faults of the rest of the Chargers, since his own shortcomings tend to show up on occasion as well.

On Sunday, Rivers tore apart the secondary of Tampa Bay for 337 yards and three TDs. However, he threw two picks, with one being a pick six. That pick six took place when the Chargers were already in field position to kick a tying field goal. His second pick on the day resulted in the Chargers kicking a field goal putting them in front by 10, which was the eventual margin of victory.

The Rivers’ interceptions cost the Chargers 10 points and if you add to that the missed opportunity to boot a field goal then the net points were 13. As long as coaches on the Chargers allow Rivers to take unnecessary risks with the football, the Chargers will continue to stay in second or even possibly third place.

Rivers is close to Head Coach Norv Turner and even though that is a good thing in today’s football world, if could be detrimental to the team. Turner might not have it within him to change the way Rivers is playing.

With the loss on Sunday, the Chargers are two full games behind first place Denver in the division. This weekend they have to travel to Mile High Stadium and take on the surging Broncos. Denver has won four consecutive games and if the Chargers lose this weekend they will be a full three games behind with just six to play.

Before placing the blame all on Rivers, one must look at Turner as well. The Chargers most likely will not wind up in the postseason, which will be three straight seasons without a playoff berth.

The team does not seem to have the discipline to win and loses concentration for stretches at a time. A fine example is how the Broncos scored 35 consecutive points in the second half of their 35-24 win over Chargers when they could not muster a single point in the first half. That is all about the coach and nothing else.

If the team does not make the postseason you can be assured Turner will be fired and Rivers will continue at the helm of the offense. A number of coaches would love to take over a team with Rivers at quarterback and the talent on both sides of the ball.

However, for now it looks like the Chargers will move further down the standings instead of up the standings.

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