Week 5 is in the books, and the authors here have done a great job in summarizing, recounting, analyzing, speculating, dissecting, and basically delivering the clear and proper view of the NFL thus far...
My addition to this today is mostly just a little venting. I could do this a number of places, but here amongst friends and the knowledgeable like-minded Charger fans seems most appropriate, and I'll explain why later.
A good friend of mine is a very smart guy, despite being a Giants fan. He's great with numbers and stats, and has devised an algorithm that ranks the NFL teams each week. It could be viewed kind of like the ESPN power rankings, except instead of an engine based on market biased columnists, it uses some secret mathematical formula based on stats. He sends out a weekly e-mail with the rankings, and some usually very funny narrative. This week's commentary was sarcastic and funny, as usual, but I did take exception (at first) to his jab at my Chargers... "Jim, in week 3, I wondered if the bolts could beat someone who wasn’t the Raiders. They answered. 'Nope'. The rebounded by beating the Champs, who are playing more like the Chumps. So the jury is still out."
WHAAAT? "The jury is still out!?!?" What kind of jury is this? I declare a mistrial. First of all, even though it's true that the Steelers have had a slow start, I didn’t hear much talk of them sucking going into Sunday's game against the Chargers. In the media, and from fans of other teams (yep, the Broncos), all I heard were things like "Should be a good game...", "This will be a good test", “another clash of good defenses”, etc. Then as soon as the Chargers DOMINATE them, everyone changes their tune to, "man, I guess the Steelers aren't any good." No, it's not "Wow, that Charger team is scary! Ravens got a luckily timed conservative coaching gift, but man, when they are in stride, they may be the best team in the NFL!" Ok, I guess I can't expect that from non-bolt fans, but I submit this, your honor:
After week 5: The Charger offense is averaging 350 yards, and 25.8 points per game. Yes, those numbers are better than Cincinnati, New England, Jacksonville, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh. Oh, and it's WAY better than Denver's anemic Offense. Denver is averaging 12 points per game. Gonna be hard to keep riding that wimpy output. Rivers has shown that he can flat PLAY. I can't imagine any more talent at Running Back on any team, the O-line is playing better than I expected, and then there are the big tall receivers who are young and getting better, along with our bad ass pro bowl tight end. That is offensive muscle. The kind that can take a 10 point deficit to the Super Bowl champs, and squish it by rattling off 23. Do you think Denver can do that?? They get down by 10 points at ANY point to ANY team, and I think they may be looking at a loss. Their answer is, "well, we’ll always stay in front, cuz our Defense is awesome!" I'll admit, their Defense does look good, but hoping to never fall behind may be asking too much from them. The Chargers can talk D too, by the way. In fact, the Chargers have the #1 defense in the NFL. Denver is allowing an average of 8.5 points, 300 yards. Bolts are allowing 9 points and 204 yards. We'll call you on D, and raise you on O.
I thought about writing some of these stats in a rebuttal to the rankings, but then I noticed... The Chargers were ranked #2 in the NFL, right behind Chicago, on HIS own rankings system. I figured my point was already made.
At the 1/4 mark, the Bolts have looked great in my opinion. Their stats and their talent are SCARY. An A- start (would have gotten an A if they'd have gone 4-0 like they should have). But still, outside of a few random flitting conjectures, I rarely hear them get the kind of respect and fear that they deserve. But I'm used to it- that's the norm for SD sports. So at this point, I don’t feel the need to try to convince these others that they should be afraid of this team. I think they are anyway and just don’t want to admit it. I say cheers to a good win against the super bowl champs, and let's let the team keep a little chip on their shoulder. Let them continue to feel like they have something to prove, and keep this rolling! Go Chargers!!!
Also, before finishing up, a nod to the Padres season- yes, it burns to get punked by the Cards again, but winning the division b2b is sweet. Playoffs is what it’s all about. Even with the wack East Coast scheduling, the boys managed to give me a weekend do-or-die playoff game that I could spend with friends in a local pub and cheer on a victory. That’s what I ask for, and I got a little of it, complete with a Hoffman save set to Hells Bells on the juke. I'll take it. Thanks to the team, and props to Trevor Hoffman as well. Enjoy the offseason Pads, and bring it again next year. Now we're in FULL football mode... so again, Go Chargers!!