AFC West: Charlie Batch

San Diego Chargers: Moving On

December, 3, 2012
12/03/12
1:00
PM ET
Here are some areas the San Diego Chargers need to focus on after a 20-13 home loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday:

Recap: This terrible season continues to get away from the Chargers. They are now 4-8 and are in danger of their first losing season in nine years. San Diego blew yet another fourth-quarter lead as the Bengals outscored the Chargers 10-0 in the final quarter. San Diego has lost seven of its last eight games. The Chargers are currently on pace to have the No. 6 pick in the draft. The A.J. Smith-Norv Turner era appears weeks away from being over.

Biggest area to fix: Running game. The Chargers ran the ball just 11 times. I know the run game is struggling, but the Chargers have to run the ball more than 11 times. That’s no way to win a game.

Biggest area to build on: Philip Rivers. He wasn’t perfect, but he wasn’t awful, either. He tried to keep his team in this game. Give him some help and he will be fine.

What to watch for: The Chargers stagger into Pittsburgh on Sunday. Perhaps Ben Roethlisberger awaits or perhaps it will still be Charlie Batch. Either way, can you see the Chargers winning a game right now?
With Peyton Manning coming and Tim Tebow going out, the Broncos still are not settled at the quarterback position.

Who is going to be Manning's backup?

Denver could always opt to keep Tebow, but ESPN has reported the team will try to trade him. They may even release him if they don’t find a trade partner.

The matter of Manning’s backup is significant. Manning passed the Broncos’ physical and he has been cleared to play in 2012 after missing all of last season with a neck injury. But there has to be a backup plan.

There aren’t too many great options out there. The top backup options are Byron Leftwich, Matt Leinart, Charlie Batch Donovan McNabb, Vince Young, Billy Volek, Josh Johnson and Dennis Dixon. Of that group, I think Volek -- who was released by the Chargers last week -- could be the best option. He is a serviceable player in a pinch.

Denver could always draft a quarterback to groom behind Manning. Manning, who turns 36 Saturday, probably has at least three solid seasons remaining in him if his neck holds up.

It might be a little early to draft a quarterback in the early rounds and I think Denver is now out of the Brandon Weeden mix. Denver has closely scouted him, but he will be 29 during the season. There is little chance Denver will take a quarterback who may not be in the position to start until he is well in his 30s.

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