The story of the 2013 Chargers begins and ends with the resurrection of quarterback Philip Rivers. The former 2004 first round pick has amassed 2,473 yards and 17 touchdowns versus only seven interceptions. Rivers has been able to master Mike McCoy’s offense which is reliant on completions of any distance, registering a league-high 72.2 completion percentage.
Rivers has been helped out by having a healthy Antonio Gates. The college basketball player turned All-Pro tight end has been enjoying a terrific campaign, totaling 48 catches and 550 yards with a pair of touchdowns. On the outside, rookie Keenan Allen has emerged as a solid receiver with 527 yards and 15.5 yards per reception.
Unfortunately, the good news stops on offense. San Diego has struggled at just about everything defensively, giving up yards and points at a very high rate. With no true pass-rusher to speak of, the Chargers rank 27th against the pass. The rushing defense also has plenty of problems, giving up over 118 yards on average.
Doug Martin is reportedly feeling less pain from the torn labrum in his shoulder he suffered last month. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back now hopes to make a return this season.
Whether Martin will be allowed to come back remains to be seen. The Bucs’ season is circling the drain, so the training staff does not have much incentive to rush Martin back to the field. He is also in need of surgery, and the sooner he undergoes the procedure the sooner he can begin getting ready for the 2014 season. Also worth noting is that Mike James is running the ball well in Martin’s stead.
We may see Martin play again this season simply due to his own competitiveness. There is little practical reason for the running back to suit up again, however.