San Diego Chargers need to hit the reset button

Chargers have underachieved in first half (0:59)

ESPN Chargers reporter Eric D. Williams says the team has higher expectations coming and gets a low grade for the for the first half. (0:59)

SAN DIEGO -- A look at the highs and lows in the first half of the season for the San Diego Chargers (2-7) and what to expect in the second half:

Midseason MVP: Along with receiver Keenan Allen, quarterback Philip Rivers shouldered the load for the Chargers on offense. He leads the NFL in completions (269), attempts (390) and passing yards (3,033). Rivers still has a chance to break Peyton Manning's single-season record for passing yards of 5,477 set in 2013.

Best moment: The Chargers trailed the Detroit Lions 21-3 in the season opener but rallied to defeat them, 33-28, at Qualcomm Stadium. San Diego’s defense had its best game of the season, holding the Lions to 302 total yards and intercepting Matthew Stafford twice.

Worst moment: Facing backup quarterback Mike Vick with a chance to have a winning record through five games, the Chargers could not hold onto a three-point lead, giving up a 1-yard rushing touchdown to Le’Veon Bell on fourth-and-goal on the last play of the game, losing to the Steelers. The setback was the start of a five-game losing streak for the Chargers.

One reason to be optimistic: While the Chargers have been hit hard by injuries, they’ve placed only four players on the season-ending injured reserve list since the start of the regular season in guard Johnnie Troutman (arm), receiver Keenan Allen (kidney), linebacker Tourek Williams (foot) and running back Branden Oliver (toe). That means key players that are dinged up such as left tackle King Dunlap (ankle), inside linebacker Manti Te’o (ankle), tight end Ladarius Green (ankle), defensive lineman Corey Liuget (foot) and guard Orlando Franklin (knee) have a chance to come back and make an impact during the second half of 2015.

Key to second half: While Rivers is on a historic pace passing the football, the Chargers still need to create some balance on offense to keep opposing defenses honest. And that means getting rookie running back Melvin Gordon more involved in the offense. Defensively, the Chargers have to eliminate the big play and do a better job of keeping teams out of the end zone. If San Diego can do those things and play more consistent football at the end of games, the Chargers have a chance to turn things around.