I can't take credit for the fake iPhone screens from the players to Norv. They were on Twitter last year, but the fact that they're still relevant is pretty telling. I don't feel like we're any better off right now than we were last December. That fucking sucks.
That translates into "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." It was referenced in the film JFK. I think I'm one of the few people who read Jim Garrison's book On The Trail Of The Assassins, on which the movie was based. I'm just trying to be topical, here. I have no idea whether the photo to your left was taken in 2007 or 2008. Edwards coached Kansas City for only those two seasons. But after Marty Schottenheimer decided to simply have LaDainian run up the middle three straight times to set up Nate Kaeding's 40-yard miss on 1/8/05, I'm not surprised Herm bowing to him. LT was on the radio this week saying that he thought Ryan Mathews would find more money outside of San Diego. He forgot to add that he'll also find someone who will use him a lot more effectively. Tomlinson told the Darren Smith show that he wished he could have mentored Mathews and have him phased in as LT moved towards retirement. Of course, he forgot to mention that there was no way he was taking a reduced role with the Chargers. It was only after going to Minnesota and eventually the Jets that Tomlinson saw the market for him as a featured back was nonexistent.
I haven't checked the spread with the good folks at Bet Fair, but the Bolts seem to be a 4 1/2 point underdog according to most. That's pretty generous given how shittily this team has played of late. The Bolts have the toughest schedule from here on in across the NFL. Yet, they could find themselves tied for the final Wild Card spot if they were to upset Kansas City and the Jets were to lose in Baltimore. Do I have any confidence in that happening? Absolutely not. Why would I? I am sure Mike McCoy will finally realize that it makes no sense to take Mathews out in the red zone and some other problem will rear its ugly head. This was the same field, after all, where Rivers fumbled the snap. After last week's loss, the reminders that his only come-from-behind comeback in the last five seasons was on 11/8/09 against the Giants. But if he hadn't lost the ball on Halloween, 2011 he'd have at least one more.
Rivers isn't entirely to blame, obviously. It's just that he's still doing (or not doing) those little things that are keeping us from winning. You could argue that in the beginning of the season he was carrying the team with an obviously depleted talent pool around him. But now that Keenan Allen has emerged and Green/Gates have proven reliable, it's not as if Rivers is making these guys look good all on his own. In Jacksonville, he ran for the goal line and came up short. Against Denver, he slid short of the first down. Last week in Miami, he started to run (and seemingly would have made it), but then decided to throw only after he had cleared the line of scrimmage.no comments
I'm not really a U2 fan, but the title seemed appropriate. However, I do love ZZ Top and think that the gatefold from the Tres Hombres album which you see to your left sums up their musical style to a "t." I'm not that into the Eliminator stuff, but they play the hell out of it live. I'm actually going to see them tonight and thanks to the flexing of the KC/Denver game will have a later kickoff on Sunday. However, the Chargers are still reeling from that Washington loss. If they're not, then I surely am. Even though it was to an extremely talented team that handed us our second defeat in a row for the first time all year, we still haven't won since the DC meltdown.
Shaun Phillips is such a massive pussy. Did you see him shoving Mathews on that one play? It wasn't even a play where Phillips did anything. If I'm not mistaken, it was one of those runs where the offensive line collapsed entirely. Kevin Acee was of course reminding us of Phillips' value, but I'm happy he;s gone. I've heard from people who would know that he's just as selfish as I have always assumed he was. The fact that he had Knighton doing his stupid fucking sack dance was even more sickening. I saw that Denver wanted to try to start Jammer against us. You're only hurting yourself with that. It's like Washtngton giving AJ Smith the game ball because we were too stupid to run at the end in or Rex Ryan starting LT in 2011 because of who his opponent was. Not every team change needs to be met with a symbolic gesture. Jammer still sucks, anyway. It was nice to see one more old PI from him for old times sake. Do you really think that keeping him, Phillips, or Vasquez would fix our team right now?no comments
Oh, Antonio, if I only knew when I took this that you would be on the receiving end of one of the two stupidest fucking playcalls I have ever seen in all my years of watching the Chargers. This link to Ken Wishenhunt's comments on Thursday may be dead by the time you read this, but I'm sure you heard them already. He said that he had no problems with Ryan Mathews on the goal line and couldn't imagine why anyone would. It reminded me of Martin Short as jittery yet defiant lawyer Nathan Thurm on Saturday Night Live.
It's almost a week later and I still haven't gotten over that game. As you can see from the Tweet below, I don't believe that not running from the one-yard line has anything to do with AJ Smith leaving us without depth or cap space. I don't think the new coaching staff deserves a pass, either. If you look at abandoning the run in the opener, ignoring the run in TN (Allen wouldn't be setting picks down there if you'd pitch it to Mathews), accepting a penalty to give the Traitors the chance to ice the game with a 3rd and long, and the shitstorm I witnessed last week, I think they've fucked up an awful lot thus far. McCoy deserves credit for working wonders with this patchwork line and getting Rivers to buy in to his offense. But you don't get too many opportunities like you did on Sunday. You can't play scared as they did. Check out this piece I wrote all the way back in 2005 before we all got hurt that first time. I still remember that New York Times article I've referred to before the day after we got stomped in the Super Bowl. "Don't worry, they're young, blah, blah..."
The fact that we are free of both Marty and Norv but still can't finish games no matter how golden the opportunity is what I can't get past. When I saw all the players last week at the hotel, I kept my mouth largely shut. They had just come back from a workout and many of them went up the stairs. I saw Rivers on the phone and was thinking about joking that it had better not be to Norv. But after he opted out of the run on second down to throw that fade to Gates, I wonder if The Pockmarked Pariah doesn't still have a hold on him. DJ Fluker is as enormous as you'd expect and he was many of the players who responded "Thanks, sir" when I wished him luck. At first I was taken aback, but I am 42 years old right now. I did see a woman ask for King Dunlap at the desk only to be told that he might be in the dining room. She didn't look too thrilled, so I wonder if there was a story there. I saw Novak, Troutman, Stuckey and Mathews twice. #24 was walking around with his Beats headphones and that goofy grin he usually has. When I wished him luck, he smiled but seemed nonchalant. Now I wonder if he's just aware of little this coaching staff believes in him.no comments
You scared frightened rabbits, you. You're sick people, do you know that? You're sick people, all of you. And you don't even know what you're starting here because let me tell you, let me tell you, you're starting something here that, that's what you should be frightened of. As God as my witness, you're letting something begin here that's a nightmare!
If you've seen the Twilight Zone episode in question, I think you'll agree that those words are pretty applicable here. The Chargers played scared after the touchdown was overturned. There is no excuse for the Chargers not trying a run on two consecutive plays when they had two timeouts. I thought for a moment from my perch in the upper deck that the Woodhead play might stand, but it doesn't matter. There isn't a team in the NFL that doesn't try to punch the ball in there. Mathews is only part of the problem. In Oakland, the Chargers tried to run the ball on 4th with Woodhead and it didn't work. But even in the opener, they made it clear that they weren't using the running game in the red zone. I Tweeted that they really should try it when they got down there and was told by other fans that since we were winning it didn't matter. But they got away from the run in that game and blew it. In Tennessee, they ran Ryan Mathews on a play that they couldn't possibly have thought he'd get a first down on and lost it. Earlier in that game, Keenan Allen caught some shit because of a pick that negated a TD. However, I'd assert that he caused the TD and when you are using so many passing plays down there you are asking for trouble. You are making it harder on yourself than it needs to be.
I know LT was on the radio saying that since we weren't controlling the line of scrimmage all day, it wasn't such a bad idea to throw. That's bullshit. When Rivers threw that second pick that was meant for Allen, I was saying how they should still be running. This game could have been like the Giants game of 2009. It would have brought momentum. Maybe I should have left early because Washington was there and you didn't have the balls to take the game. That's it.
I understand how fans like Jeff can be devestated and then say "well, we're not that good so what did we expect?" They dug themselves out of a hole and put themselves in a perfect position. They were so afraid to fuck up that they shat all over themselves--again.
There is no Norv or Marty for us to blame and yet we're still talking about this. Does Dean Spanos ask coaching candidates if their balls crawl up inside their scrotum when things get critical?
There is a lot more to criticize about the game. Garcon and Morris aren't ever going to be as good as they were against us. Cox got benched like Cason did against the Jets. But it didn't matter. Just as Gilchrist was no better in 2011, we don't have a savior on the roster now. Like the fumbled snap at Arrowhead, there was a sketchy offensive pass interference call. The 2011 call was on Gates, as you recall. But it all came down to the end. I understand why McCoy or Wisenhunt would be wary of Mathews. After his fumble in Philly, I thought there was no way he or the team would have recovered. But there is nothing that Ryan Mathews could have done at the end of the game that would be worse than what we saw.
Darren Smith alluded to the second down call where it seemed like Rivers may have changed the call. If you listen to McCoy, it was a "run-pass option." If Rivers was told to do anything but hand off, I have put some blame on PR. But he showed some balls in the fourth quarter driving the team down. I was saying in my seat that you don't deserve to be in the playoffs if you fold in spots like that. I actually saw none of the Jets/Saints game, but at least the Jets don't choke. They get blown out, but they at least dare to fail. We fail to dare. I can't believe they still haven't learned their lesson. I wonder if Washington was watching us with these words from the aforementioned Twilight Zone episode in their heads.
They pick the most dangerous enemy they can find, and it's themselves. All we need do is sit back and watch.
They might come back against Denver, but I'm not sure I can rebound. I'll watch, but I can't imagine getting past that last 22 seconds.
Oh yeah, I met my boyhood idol.
I don't know if I'll be dancing in the streets on Sunday, but all I can do is go and hope. I will talk to you when I get back from DC.
The combination of Sarah's birthday being on Monday and all the celebrations being this weekend, I had to resort to video. I will be watching the game, but possibly with my son in tow. Tweets may be limited. Enjoy, however.
January, 2008. Every time someone mentions that the 2006 team was our best shot to win it all, I remind them of how soft that team was in the head. They were far from poised and resilient and it showed. Of course, if they had just kept feeding LaDainian on 1/14/07 maybe things would have turned out differently. One of the many cruel ironies of the San Diego Chargers is that the two times they beat the Colts in the postseason, they lost the very next week. The two times that they would have faced Indianapolis for the AFC title game, they shat all over themselves in the first round.
But of course, these Colts have a different quarterback. We haven't been able to beat their old QB since he left and I'm not real keen on facing their new one. It's safe to say that I haven't recovered from last week. I knew that there was a chance that we'd lose at Oakland. You can't be a Chargers fan and not worry about that. But Oakland isn't that good. Pryor gives them some life, but there is no way they should put us in a 17-0 hole like that. Our defense, which somehow held itself together against Dallas, looked abysmal once again. Derek Cox is horrendous. I don't know how he looked somewhat decent in the Cowboy game.
I didn't even know that Gates was wide open on that first Rivers pick. Dan Fouts telling me through the TV that our QB had too much time, didn't make me feel any better. The absence of a running game really puts Rivers right back in the Norv Turner "chuck and suck" offense. I know Mathews will most likely play, but I can't put any faith in him.
Even when it seemed like the offense was really taking it to Oakland in the fourth quarter, I just couldn't allow myself to believe they had a chance. McCoy should have declined that penalty instead of giving Oakland another shot on 3rd down, but the defense was so shitty that it didn't matter. The fact that it was Larry English trying to put Pryor down made it all the more sad.
The game Monday Night officially won't be blacked out, not that it would have effected me. I'm not too psyched to be up by myself once again, especially with the Bolts' recent record on evening television. But I'll be watching, as I'm sure you will. I don't know how good the Colts are, but they look to be a hell of a lot better than us. They beat Seattle last week, which is pretty impressive. I wasn't really kidding when I Tweeted that I could see the Chargers winning this week and then losing to Jacksonville.
But they would need first to win on Monday Night in order to disappoint us so colossallly the following week. If they lose, then my hopes for a WildCard berth would seem pretty bleak. The schedule gets a hell of a lot more difficult after the bye. But I won't get into my "what does it all mean" space just yet. Despite Kevin Acee's article this week, I can't get excited about DJ Fluker's future if we begin our annual late season swoon early this year.
Of course, the U-T also ran a piece about the Chargers leaving San Diego. You will notice, FAITHFUL READER, that I don't really comment publicly on the possibility of the team relocating. Having never been a San Diegan, I don't really think it's my place to write about it. But there's no question that for better or worse, the Chargers' identify is deeply embedded in the city in which they've always played. It definitely makes fan even more pissed when the team plays as badly as it too often does.no comments