blew a 21-17 halftime lead against the Bucs. (Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE)
Norv Turner has long walked the tight rope in San Diego, so maybe his postgame press conference blowup Sunday, after a 34-24 loss to Tampa Bay, was a long time coming.
When he was asked if his team's effort against the Buccaneers was acceptable, Turner grew ornery. You can [si_launchNFLPopup video='27d95452f68040dcbad1d9b6b6408eb2']watch the video here[/si_launchNFLPopup].
"What do you think? What do you think the answer to that question is. Is it acceptable? No, it's not acceptable," Turner barked. "You know the answer to that.
"Is it acceptable having a blocked punt (and) ... interception return for a touchdown? No. That's not what we're trying to accomplish out there. We're trying to go win games and those things are keeping us from winning.
"No, it's not acceptable. It's not acceptable to play hard and not win. But that's what happened."
After starting this season 3-1, the Chargers have now lost four of their last five to fall two games back of Denver in the AFC West race. Now at 4-5, San Diego is in danger of missing the playoffs for the third consecutive season, which could signal the end of Turner's tenure with the team. There were rumors before the team's Thursday night game against the Chiefs in Week 9 that a loss there would result in Turner's firing.
Sunday's game had to be tough to swallow, too, because of those couple of plays Turner mentioned specifically. The first, a blocked punt returned for a score, gave the Buccaneers a 17-14 lead; the second, an atrocious Philip Rivers pick-6, helped Tampa Bay put the game away in the fourth quarter.
San Diego's season may hang in the balance next week, when Turner's team (if it is still his team by then) visits Denver. A loss there would all but end the Chargers' playoff hopes.