Gee, Frisco. Why even bother showing up? How was this team favored to win even that horrendous disvison? You know, that God awful division that we just secured a 2-2 record against on the season. Okay, okay, no need to poo poo last night's victory.
Another solid showing by the Bolts, followed I'm sure by a sweet after party throwdown at Bar West. As a younger man, I would have headed down there to party with the team. One has so few chances as the years advance to get throttled by professional athletes, after all.
Alright, I'm sorry. Enough jabs! Let's talk talking points!
Vincent Jackson is back. Now that's the kind of performance that should wake up fans to the great talent we are about to lose. Once again, the airwaves and the fanwaves are clammoring for a deal to be done. And to listen to Jackson talk, one might believe the possibility exists. Not at all sorry to burst your bubble here, but Jackson is saying what Jackson is supposed to say. Every TD is another $million and every contrite statement is a promise to a future employer to be an upstanding locker room presence. Let me point something out to those of you that believe he might stay. AJ essentially fined him no less than $3+million dollars this year for having the audacity to expect the team to reward his performance. If your boss did that to you, and there were other companies out there willing to reward you handsomely for your services, would you stick around?
There is also a lot of talk about franchising VJ. This option is far more likely due only to the fact that AJ would probably get off on keeping VJ from realizing a true value contract for as long as possible. However, there are so many Chargers hurtling towards free agency at the end of this year that I find it more likely we spend that tag making somebody else's life miserable for a while. And speaking of guys on the brink of free agency...
Y'know Floyd, I've been singing your praises for a while now. "Malcolm Floyd has the best hands on the team..." "Malcolm Floyd is our most exciting big play receiver..." "Malcolm Floyd is every bit as good if not better than Vinny Jack..." Every time, though, the declaration is immediately followed by the same caveat. "...if he can stay healthy." Well, Floyd, you can't. Every game is important right now. If you can walk, you should be out there. But you can't walk, can you? It's getting old. I'm over you. You are glass.
Next year's receiving corps will be Crayton, Naanee, Ajiratoutou[sp? WTF?] and Washington.
Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert
It's apparent that the coaching staff has little to no faith in Ryan Mathews at this point. He didn't even see the field until the game was already in hand. Actually, I'm okay with this. Tolbert has shown enough to convince me and pretty much everyone else he deserves to be the go-to guy right now, and this is no time for experimentation. What does bother me is, as I've mentioned before, that the staff was unable to recognize Tolbert's potential before this season. Why was this guy languishing at the bottom of the depth chart while our running game sputtered the last two years? Why did we have to move up to grab Mathews when the heir apparent was warming the bench all along? Look, I still like Mathews, but we are now rapidly approaching a crossroads. When Tolbert hits free agency, he will command money from somewhere. And this team is unlikely to spend big money on two running backs again anytime soon after Tomlinson/Sproles failed to produce anything from this backfield (Call it the Ryan Leaf effect). Who's it going to be when the time comes to make a decision, Chargers?
Ultimately, this regular season is going to end up one of two ways. Either A) We win the division for the fifth straight year and AJ and Norv sweep another slow start under the rug until it happens again next year, or B) We miss the playoffs, lose our best receiver and go into the offseason bitter and unsure of whether the window has closed completely. There may be some minor variations, but those are your two basic outcomes and neither one is ideal, really. Personally, I think we win the division again, and I still can't tell if that's good or bad in the long run. But hey, who doesn't like an extra game?
Oh, well. We won last night and it was pretty glorious. Let's bask in the glow of that for a while now. Talk amongst yourselves. Go Bolts!!!