Holy buckets, that was terrible. I think my favorite part was Philip Rivers intentionally grounding the ball with his left hand. I have no idea why he had to do that since all the local press is telling me that pass protection was very good last night, but he did. Of course, Rivers tried his damnedest to erase the memory of that foible by blasting yet another hideous INT into quadruple coverage on the ensuing 3rd and goal from the 21. Sorry Philip, you're going to have to do better than that because I am still laughing. But at least Rivers isn't afraid to take a chance in the "meaningless" preseason, unlike Norv, who punted the ball after a Harbaugh spot challenge put the Chargers at 4th and about a foot in the 4th quarter down by 1,000 points or so. It's the preseason, Norv, are you practicing giving up in the 4th quarter? I can only assume that after the game Harbaugh went to Norv's house and gave him a swirly in the toilet while Norv's wife made him a sandwich. God, if that wasn't a tale of two coaches! One squad looked like seasoned professionals with a brutal and unflinching gameplan and 16 starters on the bench (17, really, since Alex Smith handed the ball off 5 times and then took a nap). The other team was the Chargers. Mistake after mistake. Pure panic after dropping behind. Complete quit when the game got out of hand.
The local media is taking two angles on this. The first is the sad silver lining angle of, "Well, no one got hurt in the game." Inspiring. The second, emminently more laughable one, is that they at least got this out of their system in the preseason. Whew! They got rid of that finite amount of suck they were holding onto just in time! Everybody's going to play the preseason angle for the next ten days. They're going to tell you not to panic on account of this game because the preseason is a joke. But here's the thing. The preseason is not a joke all the time. Yes, the preseason is a joke when you win. Most teams are playing a dumbed down offense and defense, just trying to get their players into game shape and round out the rosters. Most teams don't expect to put together stellar performance after stellar performance in the preseason, but they expect to see where there strengths and weaknesses lay. When you're team is incapable of looking consistently good in any facet of the game throughout the preseason. When you sit your starters because you're afraid the other team might hurt them. When your QB continues to exhibit exactly the type of poor decision making that cost your team any hope of getting to the playoffs last year. When your brittle RB breaks his clavicle on his first carry. When the guy you paid to take over the most important spot on the Offensive Line refuses to take the field. When the guys you picked up to take the place of your most effective WR, who skipped town because he couldn't get along with your megalomaniacal GM, cannot get into the endzone. When all of those things are going on in the preseason, it is not a joke.
I think after last night a lot of people's eyes were opened to what's really going on here. It's only going to get worse, because after this the games matter. And that's when teams actually come to play. But not Norv's teams.
P.S. Billy Ray Smith is the absolute worst. Actually made me look forward to Berman.