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How to be great and awful at the same time, by Norv Turner

MJD
Shutdown Corner

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It's not often that the same team has the league's best offense and the league's best defense. But, using total yards as our statistical guideline, the NFL currently has a team doing just that.

So who is this powerful juggernaut? Who's that lighting up the scoreboard, locking down opposing offenses and putting pants-wetting fear into the hearts of every overmatched team in the league?

Well, no one. Because the team that's dominating the statbook is the San Diego Chargers, and they're not very good. They scare no one, except for the guy in charge of counting how many times they fumble each week.

It's really quite amazing. The Chargers offense leads the NFL in yards per game, yards per play, first downs per game, passing yards, average yards per pass attempt, and passing first-down percentage.

Defensively, they're first in yards allowed per game, 20 yards better than anyone else. They give up 4.2 yards per play, also best in the league.

And here they sit at 2-5.

Why? Well, rather than tell you that they've lost 12 fumbles, their minus-7 turnover ratio is 31st in the league and that their special teams are broken in nearly every way, I think it's best if we highlight individual plays and instances from their season. Let's go through the list. I think you'll enjoy it if you hate the Chargers.

• Gave up a 94-yard punt return for a touchdown against Kansas City.

• Fumbled at their own 13-yard-line, resulting in a Kansas City touchdown three plays later.

• Gave up two kickoff returns for touchdowns in the same half, to the same guy, against Seattle.

• Turned the ball over five times against Seattle.

• Allowed the Raiders to block two of their punts, both in the first five minutes of the game, both resulting in Oakland scores.

• Fumbled at Oakland's 1-yard line.

• Fumbled again inside Oakland's red zone.

• Fumbled once again in Oakland territory, this one picked up by Oakland and returned for a touchdown.

• Had a field-goal attempt blocked against St. Louis. Kicker Nate Kaeding(notes) injured himself on the play.

• Turned the ball over against New England when receiver Richard Goodman(notes) caught a pass for a first down, set the ball on the ground and got up without having been touched by a defender.

• Turned the ball over again as Jacob Hester(notes) failed to pursue a backwards pass that was not completed.

• A potentially game-tying 45-yard field-goal attempt turned into a 50-yard field-goal attempt after a false start, which was then doinked off the upright.

And that's how you can dominate on both sides of the ball and still suck. This lesson has been brought to you by the 2010 San Diego Chargers.

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