Nuts & Bolts: No playoffs for the San Diego Chargers

The fat lady has sung. The Chargers were officially eliminated from the playoffs after a 31-7 loss to Carolina last Sunday at Qualcomm Stadium. This was a game where many so-called Charger fans were rooting for the team to lose to gain a higher position in next year’s draft. The Panthers dominated from the opening drive, a 13 play, 80 yard drive that resulted in a 1 yard run by ex-Charger Mike Tolbert. On the Chargers next possession, Philip Rivers fumbled the snap from the shotgun and the Panthers recovered at the SD 21 yard line. Less than 1 minute later, Tolbert again scored from the 1 yard line to put Carolina up 14-0 with 5 minutes left in the 1st. With only 54 seconds left in the quarter, the Panthers scored again when DeAngelo Williams scored on a 45 yard pass from Cam Newton. The result after one quarter of play: Carolina 21, San Diego 0.

In total, Rivers fumbled 4 times and lost 2, continuing a less than stellar season for him. This will be the first losing season that Rivers will have as a Charger, his 9th in the league and 7th as the starting quarterback.

The fans in San Diego repeatedly booed Rivers and the team all afternoon. The stadium was filled to well less than capacity, resulting in another TV blackout in San Diego – the 4th of the season to this point. There have been a total of 8 blackouts in the last 16 home day games in San Diego

After opening the season at 3-1, the Chargers have since gone 2-8 and will miss the playoffs for the 3rd time in 4 years. It seems to be a foregone conclusion that both Head Coach Norv Turner and General Manager AJ Smith will be fired at the end of the season.

Sunday’s game against the Jets at Met Life Stadium starts at 1:00P EST and Jets’ Coach Rex Ryan announced today that starting quarterback Mark Sanchez will be benched in favor of 3rd string quarterback, Greg McElroy. This leaves the future of both Sanchez and back-up quarterback Tim Tebow up in the air. Rumor has it that the Jets may go after Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles. Vick, 32, has missed the last month of the season with a concussion and will not start the remainder of the year.

The Jets and Chargers had high expectations entering the 2012 season and both teams have failed to play at a high level on a consistent basis. The Jets are currently 6-8 and the Chargers are 5-9. #sdchargers

Posted on December 21, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Written by

Suzie Engel

Born in Massachusetts, but moved to San Diego when I was 5. Split alliance between the Red Sox and Padres and Patriots and Chargers. Favorite Boston players were Carl Yastrzemski and John Havlicek. My grandparents lived in Worcester, MA next door to Bob Cousy. Favorite Padres were Kevin Brown and Steve Finley. College boyfriend at Penn was the school radio announcer for football and basketball games so I was his statistician and researcher and got in free for all games. E-mail questions to suzie.engel@gmail.com. Follow Suzie on twitter at @suzannebengel.
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