|Catches like this, which produced a touchdown in a win over the Chiefs last week, have made WR Malcom Floyd the most valuable player on the Chargers' offense. (US Presswire)
The Chargers claim they are happy with being 4-4 at midseason because they are in the thick of the race in the AFC West. However, the Bolts' performance over the first eight games leaves little to celebrate and San Diego could easily fall short of the playoffs for the third consecutive season.
Offensive MVP -- WR Malcom Floyd: Floyd, a nine-year vet, has been plagued by injuries throughout his career. The only season Floyd has played in all 16 games was in 2009 when he had 45 receptions for 776 yards. Floyd’s most productive season was in 2011 when he caught 43 passes for 856 yards in 12 games. This season, Floyd has stayed healthy and leads the receiving corps with 33 receptions for 509 yards and two TDs to put him on pace for his first 1,000-yard season.
Defensive MVP -- OLB Shaun Phillips: Phillips has five of the 13 sacks (ranked 25th) San Diego has recorded this season. Philips also has 27 tackles (18 solo and nine assists), one pass-defensed, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
Rookie MVP -- No one: Once again, general manager A.J. Smith failed to provide a rookie class ready to make an immediate impact. The offseason focus was to improve the pass rush with the selections of OLB Melvin Ingram (first round, 18th overall) and DE Kendall Reyes (second round, 49th overall). Neither has recorded a sack (Ingram has one-half sack). TE Ladarius Green (fourth round, 110th overall) has played in one game and has one catch for 31 yards. SS Brandon Taylor (third round, 73rd overall), G Johnnie Troutman (fifth round, 149th overall) and C David Molk (seventh round, 226th overall) have yet to play. RB Edwin Baker (seventh round, 250th overall) was released.
Top assistant coach -- Rich Bisaccia: The special teams was the Achilles' heel in 2010. Bisaccia took over last season and now the special teams is the only unit that consistently plays at a high level. San Diego has made 15 of 16 field goals attempted with two kickers: Nate Kaeding (Weeks 1-3, seven for seven) and Nick Novak (Weeks 4-9, eight of nine). P Mike Scifres has averaged 48.3 yards per punt and 14 of his 32 punts have landed inside the 20. S Darrell Stuckey has recovered two fumbles on kicks and his outstanding performance as a gunner may be worthy of the Pro Bowl.
Biggest disappointment -- WR Robert Meachem: Meachem (free agent, Saints) was signed to replace WR Vincent Jackson, who departed as a free agent to the Buccaneers. Meachem has only 12 receptions for 189 yards and two TDs. Meanwhile, Jackson has 31 receptions for 710 yards and six TDs. Meachem missed last week with a hamstring injury and could miss some additional playing time.
Biggest strength -- Run defense (ranked 4th): The Chargers have faced an elite rusher nearly every week of the season and the defense has repeatedly passed the test. Opponents have averaged only 3.7 yards per carry and 87 yards per game on the ground.
Biggest weakness -- Pass offense (ranked 21st): San Diego's offense is no longer dynamic. The Chargers have averaged only 217.2 yards per game. QB Philip Rivers has thrown 10 more interceptions to put him on pace to tie his career high of 20 picks (2011). Rivers is ranked 13th among all quarterbacks with a disappointing 86.5 passer rating.
Projected final record -- 7-9
Playoffs? Not likely. The AFC West is not a good division, but the Chargers have already played the easier part of their schedule while the Broncos (5-3) are playing better and have one of the easiest schedules in the NFL for their final eight games.
Want to know who CBSSports.com says the MVP is? Check out our Midseason Awards.