The Detroit Lions will get to spend a portion of their Christmas Eve with the San Diego Chargers. It’s an important game for both teams; the Lions can wrap up a playoff berth with a win while the Chargers need a win to stay alive in the AFC West.
The Chargers have been a disappointment for much of the season but they’re putting together one of the late season runs they’ve become known for. It’s hard to know what to expect from this group so I sent a few questions over to someone that follows the Chargers more closely than me. My thanks to Ernie Padaon, Bolt Beat‘s editor, for taking the time to give us some insight into the Chargers.
Here we go…
ZS: What has been the difference in Philip Rivers now compared to his early season struggles?
Ernie Padaon: He has all his weapons available and he is getting time to throw. We had a lot of injuries to start the season. Malcom Floyd and Antonio Gates were both missing to start out the year and then we had injuries to our offensive line with Pro Bowlers Marcus McNeill and Kris Dielman. Malcom and Antonio are back and they are healthy, while we have found some players to fill in at o-line. The pickup of LT Jared Gaither has been HUGE for us.
ZS: How much hope do you still have that the Chargers can get into the playoffs?
EP: There is a lot of hope with everything that happened last weekend. The Jets dropped their game and are only lead us by a game for the wild card. We beat up on the Ravens and are making our signature run to the playoffs.
ZS: Is there any way Norv Turner survives this season?
EP: If we keep winning like this and are able to make it to the playoffs. We need to make some noise in the playoffs too. This latest run by the Bolts is definitely giving the owners second thoughts on a possible firing.
ZS: Are the Chargers in need of a complete tear down/rebuild or do you see a cleaner path back to the top of the AFC West?
EP: We have a good foundation of players on the roster and we just need better leadership. We get out of the starting gates slow and we suffer a lot of stupid errors early off in seasons. Fans feel it is a product of Norval Turner coached teams and we want to see a change in coaching.
ZS: What are your expectations for Saturday’s game? Give us a final score prediction.
EP: It is a must win game for us and it is late in the season. This is the time that we typically turn it on, so I see us making that push to the playoffs and making big things happen. Chargers 35 – Lions 13