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Chargers' Ship is Sinking Fast

If the Chargers don't get things fixed next week, their playoff hopes are toast

By Derek Togerson
|  Monday, Nov 21, 2011  |  Updated 1:23 PM PDT
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Chargers 2011-2012 Season in Images

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Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers talks with head coach Norv Turner during a game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.

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In Chicago, Ferris Bueller took a day off.

The Chargers' offense took the 4th quarter off.

In a game they had a couple of chances to win late (where have I heard that before?); San Diego once again fell short.

Their 31-20 loss to the Bears was their 5th straight loss. In all of them they had an opportunity to win. In all of them something disastrous happened to prevent that from happening. Now they're 4-6, two games behind the Raiders in the AFC West with six to play.

You'd think things can't get much worse.

But apparently they can.

In fact, they already have.

"I remember this from being 4-8," said Philip Rivers, who threw for 280 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, but did not complete a single pass in the 4th quarter. "We didn't lose five in a row but it felt a little worse then than it does now. When you look at the big picture, you can talk yourself into a tank. We play the Denver Broncos next week, it's a division game. We get to play an NFL football game and you've got to be excited."

Sure, they can be excited. But what about the Chargers fans? What assurances do they have that next week's game against the Denver Fightin' Tebows will be any different? And should they even show up to watch?

"We appreciate all the support we can get," said Vincent Jackson, who caught seven passes for 165 yards and a touchdown, one of the lone Chargers bright spots at Soldier Field. "We're going to keep doing our job, keep going out there and fighting every week. Hopefully we'll get all the support we've gotten in the past."

We now must look to Norv Turner, the captain who doesn't seem too willing to go down with his ship. Leadership comes in many forms. One of the traits of a good head coach is the ability to read his team and give them what they need in that moment. What was his message to the team after the loss to the Bears?

"There's a lot of messages I send to our team, and it's between me and them, in terms of what we have to do," said Turner. "I talked a lot this week about our best players having to play their best because we were short-handed in other areas. In some instances we were able to do that, in some we weren't."

Wow. That's awful.

I was hoping for a Jim Mora, Mike Ditka, Denny Green explosion to light a fire under his guys. It just seems like the passion is gone. When Ryan Mathews lost that fumble in the 3rd quarter, it was as if all the air was sucked out of the team. It seemed like they knew that was the blow they could not overcome, even though there was plenty of time left.

However, even though it seems like the season has been lost; some players are keeping hope alive.

"It's been an emotional roller coaster," said linebacker Takeo Spikes. "I love this game so much. I love it. I give it my all. It's the only thing that, I've felt like if you treat it right, it'll treat you right, and it's always truthful. That's what keeps me coming back. I want it, and I still believe in this team. I still believe in what we have. Because you never do know. You never do know when it's going to happen. The main thing is, you've just got to be ready when it happens."

Or, if it happens at all.

Let us know what you think. Comment below, send us your thoughts via Twitter @nbcsandiego or add your comment to our Facebook page.

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