Thus far, the Chargers season is a lot like last year's. I pointed this out already in my Bleacher Report piece. Look, I don't claim to have the answers for this most maddening of teams. But they still do things that any observer can see are stupid. My buddy Mike is one of the few people whose football knowledge (present company excluded) I have come to really respect. Even as a Jet fan, he had these words after last year's loss in the Meadowlands:
Yeah, I think both teams are mediocre at best; the difference is Turner got outcoached again. They came out for the second half and didn’t even try to run more on the Jets. The Jets just flooded the middle of the field and took away what Rivers likes to do – at that point Turner has to make an adjustment, but of course he is not capable of making those adjustments, he is the worst coach in football. Teams have been running over the Jets and David Harris (best run stopper) was out for most of the second half. I totally understand your frustration, Turner must, must be fired.
Now compare that to the e-mail he sent me after the loss in New Orleans:
I'm not sure what is worse, having Mark Sanchez at QB or Norv turner as coach. I know I'm not telling you something you don’t already know, but he is the absolute worst game coach ever. The Chargers were in control but every time the opponent makes an adjustment, it takes Turner forever to react. The Saints lose a cornerback, do the Chargers attack, no, not at all. Do they play action after being effective running the ball, no. Do they take out guys that are obviously hurt, no. Yes, the Chargers got jobbed by the refs last night, but I truly believe I could be a better in game coach…I can’t believe both Sanchez and Turner still have jobs, embarrassing…
These aren't just the words of an amazing friend trying to console me. These are observations that reaffirm what we have all been saying. I know Troy Aikman was Tweeting during the first half on Sunday Night that Norv is the best play caller in football. "It's not even close," he said. If that was the case, why did he throw on 3rd and 2 when the Saints clearly couldn't stop the run? I am sure Novak looked good in warmups and all, but Norval was once again outsmarting himself. Rivers apparently checked out of a run at the goal line according to Jim Trotter, who interviewed him for the SI profile that ran this week.
But there was no excuse for ignoring Mathews in the second half. This week, people are already speculating that he'll continue to forget about Mathews against Denver. We all remember that it was last year's Denver game that Norval didn't even know Mathews was out of the game at one point.
I have no problem with the way Mathews has been handled to this point. It's not as if Charger fans have been front runners by calling out Mathews. His fumbles have single handedly been that destructive. Of course, we could argue that Rivers, Cason and Kaeding have all lost games by their own actions as well. But Sunday Night it became clear that Ryan Mathews was taking over the game.
When he pulled that Gary Anderson move, I literally started laughing. I was so loud that I woke my daughter up. However, it was that cathartic to see him score in that fashion.
But, of course, the Chargers shat all over that. I know all about the bad calls. Antonio Gates was hit with a bullshit pass interference last year on Halloween that nullfied a touchdown. But the Bolts could have won that game and we all remember how and why they didn't.
The Chargers have no resiliency right now. As soon as the Ingram hit canceled out the pick six, we all worried that the Bolts wouldn't be able to recover. That's fucking pathetic. My buddy Tom Twomey texted me that "Frankstein Footed Philip" hadn't yet fumbled. Of course, Tom assumed that he would and he did. Eric Stangel emailed me that Rivers hadn't yet thrown his killer interception and of course our QB soon obliged.
Floyd was interfered on that play. There's no doubt. But Rivers had a shot to lead his team into the end zone and couldn't do it. Were there shitty calls on that drive as well? Absolutely. But until he can lead this team as he once did, alll the things people said about the Chargers this week will continute to be true. Nothing will suffice other than a win. If they lose, the AFC West will once again look like an awful division that the Bolts can't even control.
I know I'm not telling anything you didn't already know, FAITHFUL READER. But I think we are all desperately looking for some evidence that this year will be different from year's past. Just when it looked like they might be learning from the past, they cowered under the pressure on Sunday. What's that Einstein quote, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?
I threw up a little in my mouth when I saw Norv's Monday comments that he would have run more if they had taken a 17-point lead like they did in Kansas City? Isn't that what adjustments are supposed to be for? What was Dean claiming that Norv needed help with? Was it just clock management, because that sucked too. Is it just Rivers' immobility that makes our hurry up offense slower than me trying to get two kids into the car? Is it a lack of urgency? It's like being the mom of Tommy, the protagonist of The Who's second best rock opera. I'm a Quadrophenia guy, obviously.
What is happening in his head
Ooooh I wish I knew, I wish I knew.
It's more like the lyrics to "The Punk Meets The Godfather," from the aforementioned 1973 double album:
I have to be careful not to preach
I can't pretend that I can teach,
And yet Ive lived your future out
By pounding stages like a clown.
If the Chargers actually let Mathews show his stuff tomorrow night and he fumbles or gets hurt again, I guess that would at least constitute something different. Or would it?
Oh well, you can't be half a Charger. And you can't be half a Charger fan. Talk to you tomorrow night.
"We have to give them something to believe in and get excited about. We are going to do that. We have to.” .....
A J Smith
Now I'm confident.
That was so fucking painful to watch. Even Canepa and Acee (who by the way defended Clary AGAIN yesterday) are ripping this team´s chances for anything.
True, the schedule is soft from here on out, only winning team is the Ravens and their defense is completely devastated by injuries, but can anyone truly believe that this team is going to do something with it?
They are just not good enough, Philip is not good enough and Norv is just the worst.
This was the pain we all knew we had to endure in order to get a new GM and coach. I think we all were more than patient with this regime. We hoped every year that this team would get better. It's a shame. The NFL for the most part is a bunch of 500 and below 500 teams. Only a couple of standouts this year. Too bad we are not good enough to capitalize. Look at the records of the teams we still have to play and everyone of them could be a W. Oh well, I'll watch it play out but not with much enthusiasm.
Well that's it. That does it. I am officially pulling for the Chargers to lose. Up 24-0 at HOME and you fuck the game away. Never mind adjustments. Philip Phuckup would have negated them all anyway with his idiotic turnovers. I see you didn't learn anything from last week's debacle Mr. Phuckup. Fuck this whole beshitted thing.
Could this loss even rid us of Norv? I will be in Cleveland for what I would hope would be throwing dirt on this team at this point. They proved us all right.
We've been over this so many times. If the Chargers got to the AFCCG and lost, would that make everybody happy? Not me. But that would allow Norv to keep his job and this circus would be allowed to continue for God know's how long. He should have been gone already. To use Ross' phrase, I "throw up a little bit in my mouth" at the sight of him. As for this game, once again it's a top shelf QB against our over-matched secondary, which is never a good thing for them, and if Gaither can't go it''s gonna be real long night for lead foot if they can't run the ball. And if there's adjustments to be made, count on them not being made. I'm sorry but I don't like our chances. Hope I'm wrong, sort of.
I have not been in love with the Chargers offensive line this year. I watched Seattles offensive line yesterday and saw what a good line can do for a rookie QB. Our line sucks.
On defense our problems lie with the secondary. Cason and Jammer suck and give up too many big plays. I know the pass rush is not that great either so they share some of the blame.
Nothing needs to be said about coaching that hasn't been said before. Win or lose your job.
From CBS' Dan McLellan's report card from last week:
Early on it looked as if coach Norv Turner had a winning game plan, but typical of a Turner-coached team, the Chargers were not able to right the ship when things went wrong. The last time the Chargers have won or tied a game with a last-possession TD was Week 9 of 2009 vs. the Giants at the Meadowlands. San Diego had an opportunity to go ahead or tie the game on their final two possessions, but an interception, three costly penalties and a sack fumble sealed their fate. It was a closing-minute performance that resembled many of the Chargers losses under Turner, which separates San Diego from the true contenders and is emblematic of why the Chargers may never reach a Super Bowl with Turner as their leader.
Bottom line: Turner has repeatedly said his team would be very good this season. The time for the excuses was over at the end of last season when owner/president Dean Spanos decided to retain Turner and general manager A.J. Smith. Both are on thin, cracking ice and the sun, as usual, is out in San Diego. The Chargers cannot afford to lose at home against the Broncos (2-3) next Monday. Now is the time to win.