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A win is a win, especially for a team ravaged with injuries. Four pro-bowlers were sidelined for week 3 but the Chargers were still able to defeat the Miami Dolphins 23-13. They now have their first 2-1 start under Norv Turner. Craig Elsten and Chris Ello with 619Sports.net discussed the Chargers victory.
“Once again the red zone offense sputters, the Chargers defense looks vulnerable, they wind up getting a break with Chad Pennington out of the game, it’s a win, but it’s not a win that shows a lot of dominance by the Chargers” Elsten said.
After three games, the health of the team and the health of their red zone offense is the main concern on the minds of Chargers fans. The team has only scored once in their last ten trips inside the 20-yard line.
Elsten said it’s no longer the red zone, “It’s the allergy zone, they start wheezing, their eyes water, their noses run and until Nate Kaeding comes out there, he’s kind of like their asthma inhaler, until he runs out there and kicks a field goal it seems like the Chargers offense is going to be sick” he said.
LaDainian Tomlinson’s ankle injury is a big part of the Charger’s redzone struggles since he has always had a nose for the endzone. They were also playing without pro-bowl players Nick Hardwick, Jamal Williams and Shawne Merriman.
“Those are four pro-bowl players and when you’re talking about the National Football League and how closely these teams are matched week in and week out, really to win any game without those four guys needs to be considered a feather in your cap.” Ello said.
In addition to winning without some key players, the Chargers have also started their season with a better record than the other three AFC division champions from last year with Miami at 0-3, Tennessee starting 0-3 and Pittsburg, the Chargers opponent for week four, starting their season 1-2.
However, Elsten and Ello both agree that the Chargers will have to tighten up their mistakes and score touchdowns in the red zone to beat the Steelers.