The simple way to describe the 2010 season for the San Diego Chargers is Disappointment. ..."/> The simple way to describe the 2010 season for the San Diego Chargers is Disappointment. ..."/>

Chargers season wrap-up


The simple way to describe the 2010 season for the San Diego Chargers is Disappointment.

Ranked as high as eight in the power rankings during the pre-season, combinations of special teams failures and poor game-planning resulted in heart breaking loss after loss until they succumbed to the surprise team of 2010; the Kansas City Chiefs.

The following is a breakdown by position and their outlook for the 2011 season.

Quarterback: Rivers’ performance this season was astounding, and if the Chargers had made it to the playoffs, the case could be made that he deserves the NFL MVP. Outlook for 2011: Could be the reason why San Diego makes it back to the playoffs.

Running Backs: Tolbert stepped into the space created by an ankle injury to rookie Ryan Mathews and performed so well that even a healthy Mathews couldn’t win the spot back. Because of injuries, Mathews had a short time on the field to prove himself,  but played better and better with each snap, culminating in a three touchdonw performace in the last game of the season. Sproles is a valuable special teams player and a good insurance policy in case of injuries. However, locking Tolbert up in a long-term contract won’t leave the money on the table to pay three Backs the money they want, and will probably result in Sproles leaving in Free Agency. Outlook: a great duo to build a solid run game around, with Mathews becoming the Feature Back.

Receivers: big question is whether Vincent Jackson will be back or not. The offense can move the ball without him, but becomes decisively dangerous with him. Floyd is a solid number two man who goes deep with the best of them. Naanee plays the slot well and is very versatile. Crayton can be a game-changer and is a great insurance policy. Outlook: With VJ, they are a top 5 team at receiver. Without VJ, average.

O-line: one of the most consistent offensive lines in the NFL. Though not the most dominant, they are reliable game-in and game-out. Solid backups in Dombrowski and Mruczkowski keep injuries from casuing too much damage. Outlook: Count on them to not lose the game, but don’t count on them to win it either.

D-line: Antonio Garay was one of the better performing DT’s in the NFL this year, a shining star in the lack-luster defensive front. Castillo and Cesaire are competent but not game-breakers. Outlook: unless the line is improved, look for opposing offenses to chew up yardage on the ground.

Linebackers: a strong core of Phillips, Siler, Cooper, and Burnett kept the defense ranked at the top almost the whole year. Solid backups in Applewhite and Tucker helped with injuries, but ended up injured themselves which had a ripple effect that helped cause the Special Teams issues. Outlook: Look for the Bolts add depth in the offseason, they were just a linebacker or two away from doing something special this year.

Secondary: Jammer and Cason were dependable. Weddle is one of the better safeties in the league. Gregory, Oliver, and Stuckey had a few good games but one of them needs to seperate themselves and become a force on the field. Until the Chargers develope a solid strong safety they will be vulnerable next year. Outlook: the secondary will comback stronger than ever next year and be the new backbone of the defense.

Special Teams: Firing the ST coach was a good start, and will help change the culture of that unit. Major changes must continue to be made if the Chargers want to go deep in the playoffs. Outlook: not good. Coach Crosby coached many dominant ST squads over the years, which makes me think the problems go deeper.

Coaching: the biggest problem the Bolts will face next year is preparation and game-planning. blame the ST all you want, but when a team always starts the season slow, the game slow, and plays from behind as much as the Chargers did this year, it comes back to the coaching. Outlook: Norv isn’t the head coach that the organization needs right now, and Rivera might leave the defense for a HC job elsewhere. This could be the reason why San Diego misses the playoffs two years in a row.

9-7 is a ok to good record, but the AFC West has changed. It’ll take a great team to make it to January next year, and the Chargers have the talent to go there, but will we look back at 2010 and think “that was the year all the bad stuff started”