This one's on me, people. 100%. No doubt about it, I take the blame for yesterday's loss to the Raiders. See, in jumping back on to the bandwagon, I felt it was a good time to redesign the site and make it more exciting and uplifting. Look at that sweet picture of Antonio Gates. You know he caught that ball for a big gain. Maybe even a TD. And look at the rack on that cheerleader to the right! Yes, please. Where I blew it, however, is that tag line. Let's read it together. "The playoffs are already here!" I thought it conveyed the message that the team was ready to buckle down. That each game going forward was important. A must win if you will. Imagine my surprise when I realized that obviously the actual Chargers read this blog, saw that tagline, assumed it really was the playoffs and immediately folded to the Raiders at home. Boy, do I have egg on my face. Sorry everybody. How's about some quick hits?
- Darren Sproles is dead to me. He is no longer competent at the one thing that secures his job for this team. Do I like Darren Sproles? Eh, he's okay. I certainly don't hate him, but I've been saying to anybody who'll listen for quite some time now that the guy is too small to play running back with any regularity and has had just three really good games (two of which came against a Colts team whose defense is almost as undersized as he is). Hardly makes for a $6million resume. But hey, the guy returns kicks and that job isn't going to do itself, right? That muffed punt yesterday was a heartbreaking gateway to horrible coaching and it sealed our fate early. Time to find someone else to take the returning reins for when Tiny Darren is gone. Maybe we could give the job to Tutu. That guy had one good game and everybody already calls him a superstar. The transition would be seemless.
- A lot of people want to rip the O line and the D line for yesterday. I'm not going to get too heavily into it, but I will ask if anyone knows which strip club all those guys were partying at Saturday night, because that place must rock.
- Going down 14 in the first quarter should not necessarily dictate the complete abandon of the running game. But it did yesterday. Here's a little coaching 101, Norv. When you telegraph to the opposition that you have already dropped into desperate catch-up mode and will no longer be utilizing the run, be prepared for the other team's defense to pin their ears back and come after your QB. I've mentioned quite a few times on here that guys like Brady and Manning look a lot more human when they see pressure. Well, it's only fair to say that our boy Rivers is not immune either. The other problem with this is that the defense spends about 2/3 of the game on the field, and that's a lot. This is why I don't put too much of the blame onto our lines.
- Either Kaeding is not healthy or he's is a tiny child to come up short on that 50 yarder. Either way, the coaching staff should have known about it and acted accordingly.
- With the departure of Merriman and the decline of Kaeding, that trade of Manning for Rivers way back when is looking like a straight up trade now. I still like Rivers waaay more as a QB, but the other guy already has his ring. Oh, and Eli is playing for a winning team right now and getting it done with a bunch of injured receivers as well. Just saying. That trade originally sealed AJ as a draft genius, but it's not as lopsided as it once appeared, which leads ot the following...
- Where was Ryan Mathews, Larry English or any other recent 1st round pick yesterday? Is AJ still a draft genius?*
Today, I've already seen and heard a bunch of people out there claiming that this was it. The season is over. Let's hold our horses, people. We're two down on the Chiefs, but we play them once, so assuming we must win out, let's call us one down with three to go. Not impossible. The Raiders own a tie-breaker after sweeping us in the regular season and right now we have an identical record. Not impossible to overcome that either. Certainly more possible than the time we made up 3 games on Denver with 4 to go. Or the time we won out our last six to take the division. Look, I hate it as much, if not more, than you do, but this is what this stupid disorganized, erratically coached, poorly run team does. I believed Oakland and KC would be better this season, but both teams are more than capable of dropping a game or two down the stretch. They are young and they haven't been here in a while. That's a stumble waiting to happen. And no team takes advantage of the mistakes of their less talented division mates than we do. So, keep the faith. This thing is far from over.
Although, seriously, if there's football next year, we really need to get our shit together. Go Bolts!!!
*The answer is no.