Saturday, December 24, 2011
Wrap-up: Lions 38, Chargers 10
By Bill Williamson
What it means: The Chargers will not make the playoffs for the second consecutive season. San Diego is 7-8 and has been eliminated from the race. The Chargers were smoked after coming into this game on a three-game roll in which they outscored their opponents by a combined 109-38. San Diego was never in this game as Detroit lead 24-0 at the half.
Are Turner and Smith gone? There was a report in the San Diego Union-Tribune on Saturday that ownership was impressed by the Chargers’ turnaround in December and it was reconsidering whether to fire coach Norv Turner. General manager A.J. Smith is also on the hot seat. But after this poor performance, I think the plans for Turner to be fired are probably back on. Smith could also be entering his final week in San Diego. I think the only way Turner would have been safe, if San Diego didn’t make the playoffs, was if the Chargers could have finished 9-7.
Rivers slips: After not throwing an interception in the past four games, Philip Rivers threw two interceptions Sunday. He has thrown 19 picks this season.
Defense slides: Detroit moved the ball at will and ran away from the Chargers. The San Diego defense never challenged the Lions.
Gates sets record: San Diego tight end Antonio Gates had four catches and became the Chargers’ all-time leading receiver, moving ahead of Hall of Famer and current San Diego assistant coach Charlie Joiner.
What is next: The Chargers can play spoiler next Sunday in Oakland, where the Raiders are trying to make the playoffs as either the AFC West champion or as a wild card. Oakland is looking to sweep the Chargers for the second consecutive season.