Of the many NFL head coaches on the hot seat this season, San Diego's Norv Turner and Philadelphia's Andy Reid appear to be among the most doomed. Both franchises entered this season with high expectations which have mostly gone unmet.
While Turner would be unlikely to find a new job quickly, Reid would instantly become the hottest prospect for any squad searching for a skipper. And he's from Southern California.
Reid-to-the Chargers rumors are nothing new. There's been speculation that both he and Norv would lose their jobs simultaneously for a couple of years now - and the common assumption is that Reid would take over in SD.
Only it may not be SD. It might be LA. Chargers fans seem to all but conceded their team to the City of Angels - which is part of the reason that ticket sales have been flat. Folks are in no rush to spend good money supporting an organization that has one foot out the door. Over the past year, the Saint Louis Rams have been associated with LA less and less - and the Chargers more and more. The more the rumors fly, the less likely Chargers owner Dean Spanos is to keep his team in San Diego.
If the Chargers have made their minds up to move, hiring Reid in advance of their relocation would up the level of optimism surrounding them. That would make the Chargers more marketable and more appealing to thier shiny new fans.
It could have been us, you know.
Tonight the Chargers will host the Chiefs in a contest between two teams condemned to irrelevance. They're both so lousy that it might end up being a fairly interesting game. Neither is likely to blow the other out, although San Diego is heavily favored.
The Chargers and the Chiefs have plenty in common besides both playing in the AFC West. "Chief" among the similarities is their struggles at the quarterback position. Matt Cassell has played very poorly, and been a turnover machine. Brady Quinn, who's head injury will keep him from participating for Kansas City tonight, has been too careful. Phil Rivers, who's run with San Diego has had its ups and downs, has looked "off" for at least two years now. If Norv Turner loses his job fans need look no further than Rivers' performances for the factor that pulled Turner under.
Thank goodness for Peyton Manning. Otherwise, the Broncos would be mired in much the same way. In today's high-flying NFL, a team simply must enjoy significant production from the quarterback position. Mistakes, of which the other AFC West signal-callers make many, are magnified 1000x.
John Elway's pulling out of the stops to attain Manning was motivated by this very knowledge. And, by adding him, Denver pulled immediately ahead of the rest of the division.
As you watch the Thursday night game (and you know you will) be grateful for what we have here in Denver. Keep in mind that both the Chiefs and the Chargers are only one player away from being as good as the Broncos - assuming that one player is Peyton.
Is the upcoming Monday nighter in San Diego a "must win" for the Denver Broncos?
You bet your sweet ass it is.
If it's not, then the term "must win" has no meaning.
Is that phrase to be held in reserve for the last three games of the season when teams are facing certain playoff elimination? I say "no way". Games in October have the same effect on a teams bottom line as games in January.
This may only be the sixth game of the 2012 / 2013 season, but the Denver Broncos have a golden opportunity to put their three early losses in the rear view mirror and go into their bye week favorites in the AFC West. All they have to do is win. And win they "must".
The alternative is to sink into a two-game hole in the division. They could eventually climb out of it, sure. But the odds of their taking the pennant would drop by as much as half. Why not take command now and never look back?
Both the Broncos and the Chargers hit their bye week after they clash Monday night. After that the Chargers face Cleveland, Kansas City and Tampa. They could easily win all three of those gimmies and be 6-3 after nine weeks - and that's assuming Denver beats them. The Broncos face the Saints, Benglas and Panthers. They, too, could easily be 6-3.
After those three match-ups, the Broncos and Chargers play each other again - in Denver. That'll be a "must-win" game, too. Am I throwing the term around too loosely? No. San Diego and Denver will be within a game of one another all season long - and only one of them can win the AFC West.
If anything, beating the Chargers will render two or three other games on the schedule NOT "must-win".
For Denver Broncos fans who tuned into the later of the two Monday Night Football games on ESPN last night (to see which AFC West team would end up tied with the Broncos atop the division), it was certainly strange to see Wide Reciever Eddie Royal toting the rock for San Diego.
Fortunately for us, he was the same old Eddie Royal - mostly innefective. Eddie did have one pretty super-duper punt return - but it was called back due to a penalty. He was otherwise predicatiblty pedestrian. Royal had 2 catches for 4 yards on the night and two punt returns, on which he averaged just 9 yards.
Eddie was a popular Bronco - and we will miss his easy smile (and his Taco Bell commercials). But we won't miss his performance. In fact, if there's one place Broncos fans should be thrilled that Eddie wound up, it's San Diego.
Maybe soon we can all laugh when we see Philip Rivers chewing Royal out after he throws one of his patented inteceptions.
The Broncos are painfully thin at the linebacker position. That's a well-known fact. And, with the Buffalo Bills having released veteran Shawne Merriman this morning, we can predict that there will plenty of speculation as to whether or not the Broncos will make a move to land him.
He's known for slapping around women. Worse, he's a former Charger.
Broncos fans have a ton invested in hating Merriman so let's all hope that the chatter we hear about his donning the orange and blue is just that - chatter - and that no serious consideration is given to bringing him here.
It's hard enough to root for DJ, Knowshon and Demaryius.