This season will go down as a disappointment for the Chargers, but they showed resilience in Week 14, upsetting the Steelers in Pittsburgh, and the offense looks to finish the season on a high note, as that side of the ball has particularly failed to reach its potential.
Veteran WR Malcom Floyd, who assumed the No. 1 receiver role after the team did not re-sign Vincent Jackson, explained some of the struggles the offense was going through.
“As an offense, we can’t keep the defense on the field for long periods. They’ve been playing well, but we can’t go three and out,” Floyd told PFW. “We just have to make sure we’re in sync with Philip (Rivers).”
Being on the same page with Rivers is a key, and something that Floyd, in his seventh season, has down pat, but it apparently has been an issue for the offense at times. Free-agent WRs Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal have struggled to make contributions. Midseason pickup Danario Alexander, though, has been a major bright spot, and Floyd likens one of the league’s hottest receivers to himself.
“Danario has a knack for going up for the ball. He does a good job with running his routes well and attacking the ball. He’s like a younger twin of me,” Floyd joked.
Floyd said that he has seen more cover-2 defenses and deep safety looks to take away his deep routes now that Jackson is in Tampa Bay, but it hasn’t negatively affected his production, and a big reason for that is he has stayed injury-free.
“I think this is my best season by far, especially because I’ve been healthy and able to go full speed,” he said. “When you’re able to go at full speed, you can do anything you want to do. As long as I’m healthy, I can go out there and fulfill whatever the coaches want me to do and I try to carry it out at a high level.”
Floyd, who signed a four-year contract extension in September, has started every game this season and leads the team with 54 catches for 775 yards and five touchdowns. He has played only one full season in his career — 2009 — and hasn’t played more than 13 games in any other campaign.
For a team all but eliminated from the playoff hunt, the Chargers don't seem have the internal drama you see from other teams, and that is illustrated by Floyd's response about his goals in the final three games.
"I'm playing for my teammates, my coaches and the city. The main thing as a team, we’re playing for each other, not letting anyone down or giving up," he said. "That hasn’t been the culture of our team since I’ve been here, just to give up. We’re going to come out here, keep playing at a high level and keep making plays individually and as a team. I don’t see anything different, or any difference. Guys are coming out and doing their routine."