The Chargers' Problem

In case you decided to turn off your TV after the first half

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    The Chargers defense was steam-rolled all night long

    The Pittsburgh Steelers destroyed the Chargers from the minute they stepped out of the locker room, but there was a little excitement for those who stuck around after the halftime show. This week did not go exactly as planned as the Chargers dropped to 2-2 after losing to the defending Super Bowl champions 38-28.

    Around San Diego, fans are discussing just what went wrong. Craig Elsten and Chris Ello with 619Sports.net are talking about it too.

    The Steelers were able to pile up 274 yards of first half offense and seemed to be putting up points faster than the defense and Chargers fans could blink. During a halftime podcast, Chris said it’s the Chargers biggest problem.

    “Once again the San Diego Chargers defense comes out and is just confused. Not ready to play. They don’t know who to cover. They’re making mistakes. They can’t tackle anybody,” Ello said.

    After going down 14-0 in the first quarter, defensive coordinator Ron Rivera rallied his defense on the sideline and chewed them out, but it didn’t seem to make a difference.  Craig said one play on the opening drive had already set the tone for the entire night.

    “It happened on play one, the Steelers targeting Antonio Cromartie, time after time, Santonio Holmes beating him in man-on-man coverage, then penalties, then getting run over by Mewelde Moore on the way to the end zone, just getting absolutely steam-rolled,” Elsten said.

    Ello and Elsten did not let the offense off the hook either. With Ladainian Tomlinson back from an ankle injury and Phillip Rivers coming in to the game one of the hottest quarterbacks in the league, the question was, what would be the Chargers’ game plan?

    “My judgment of the Chargers offensive game plan in the first half is that they came into the game without one, because they don’t even look like they know what they want to do,” Ello said.

    After going down 28-0 in the middle of the third quarter the Chargers mounted a comeback and at one point came within a touchdown of the Steelers. Ello and Elsten were not impressed by the late game surge and in their post game videocast pointed out that the injury to Jamal Williams creates a glaring weakness for the Chargers.

    “The reason I thought the Chargers would beat the Pittsburgh Steelers is because the Steelers don’t have a running game like they used to. Oops, I guess they do and again I guess everybody does when they’re facing the Chargers,” he said.

    After four games the Chargers are statistically the worse running defense in the league giving up over 130 rushing yards in each game.  They now have a bye week to regroup and rest up some of their injured players before taking on the now 4-0 Denver Broncos in week six.

    For more commentary on the Chargers loss, check out the 619Sports.net podcast or videocast.