SAN DIEGO -- Good morning. In this ESPN Insider piece, Khaled Elsayed of Pro Football Focus places San Diego cornerbacks Derek Cox and Shareece Wright in his top 10 list of players that must be replaced if teams want to improve during the offseason. San Diego coach Mike McCoy already has opened up the competition for starting jobs in the secondary this week. Elsayed: “Time to double up for the final two spots, and it starts in San Diego, where moves to rebuild the secondary haven't worked. Both free-agent pickup Cox and Wright have struggled, and it's no surprise they're both in the bottom 10 when it comes to yards allowed in their coverage per snap (Wright with the third-worst score and Cox with the eighth). Each man has also been beaten for four touchdowns, with just one pick between them. It's time to rethink this area of the team.”
Kyle Posey writing for Bolts from the Blue offers a nice breakdown on some of the reasons for Cox’s struggles this season.
ESPN’s Greg Easterbrook wonders if the pendulum has swung back to an emphasis on pocket passers like San Diego’s Philip Rivers with zone-read signal-callers Robert Griffin III and Colin Kaepernick struggling. Maybe he should watch some tape on Russell Wilson, Cam Newton and Nick Foles this year. Those players are capable of doing both.
ESPN’s Kevin Seifert has Philip Rivers where he belongs, near the top of his weekly QB report. Seifert: “Sunday brought Rivers' first winning touchdown pass with under one minute remaining in the fourth quarter/overtime since 2009. He has tied the NFL record for the most games (four) with at least 390 passing yards.”
Tom Krasovic writing for U-T San Diego says that Keenan Allen belongs in the conversation for the rookie of the year. Agreed.
Don Banks of Sports Illustrated ranks the six teams at 5-6 competing for the final AFC wild-card spot by mojo with five games left. Banks gives the Chargers the second-best chance to sneak into the postseason behind Pittsburgh. Banks: “San Diego is just 1-2 in its division and 3-5 in the AFC, but the Chargers do have a league-high four home games remaining in the coming five weeks (talk about your back-loaded schedules). It's not an easy closing run, with home games against Cincinnati, Kansas City and a trip to Denver mixed in, but it gives San Diego hope and something to build on. It's crucial that San Diego gets to break even this week with a win over the Bengals, who are 7-4 overall and in first place in the AFC North, but just 2-4 away from Paul Brown Stadium.”
Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report gives the Chargers an A grade for their performance in a win over Kansas City. Freeman: “That game-winning TD throw Philip Rivers made: deep ball, just inches past the outstretched arm of cornerback Sean Smith. This is why Rivers can at times be the best quarterback in football.”
San Diego offensive lineman Jeromey Clary and defensive lineman Kendall Reyes were "miked" up for the Kansas City game. Check out the video.