Originally written on This Given Sunday  |  Last updated 11/15/12
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At 7th in the AFC, you would think the Chargers would be in the thick of the playoff race, but that's not the case. They're currently tied two other teams for the 7th position, and they're a full two games behind the Pittsburgh Steelers for the last playoff spot. The Chargers were supposed to raise their game this year. It was thought they would be in a three-way battle for the AFC West crown with the Broncos and the Chiefs, but this season never materialized for the Chargers, and once again, the team is underachieving. You could point to a number of problems the Chargers are having that's preventing them from winning games, but ultimately it falls on the shoulders of head coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith. A big problem with the Norv Turner era in San Diego has been the chronic underachievement of his teams. The Chargers may have had difficulty winning playoff games under Marty Schottenheimer, but at least they were in the playoffs in those days. Just a season ago, the Chargers were off to a quick 4-1 start. Then, inexplicably, they dropped six games in a row that took them out of the playoff race. To close the season, they went on another 4-1 run to finish 8-8. A.J. Smith hasn't done his share in building a championship team either. Under Schottenheimer, the Chargers were a rising team, but the roster has eroded through the Norv Turner era, and Smith hasn't replaced the lost talent quickly enough. San Diego needs to make a great run in the last seven weeks of the season. If they don't, look for owner Alex Spanos to blow it up and start over. That means players, coaches, and the entire personnel department are on notice. They have seven weeks to save their jobs. It's make or break time in San Diego. [follow]
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