Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Week One. The Wrap.
I'm not going to add anything to the conversation that Max already had with you. We discussed our thoughts about this game and as per usual we mostly agreed. Six years of Norv Turner at the helm will destroy the strongest of resolutions and the idea that we were never going to be in the game against Houston was widely accepted some time ago. Hell, we were just happy to be here and able to watch on a very large high definition television legally. See what escaping the Norvalvirus and a dose of real football can do to a fan?
We got off to a great and unexpected start to the season and showed at least to me that we are better than we were last year. A point that I had almost convinced myself of during the hell period between seasons. Unfortunately, a call didn't go our way and some weird things started happening and it slipped away. We all watched. We know what happened. I just had a couple of observations that I feel need to be pointed out.
Jaret Johnson and Dwight Freeney. I'm on board. I'm getting a jersey that says "FREEJOHNSON" on the back.
Ryan Mathews. Okay. I get it. He's either fumbling or he's hurt. You don't have to tell me 4,829 more times. I know it. I watch. Since he spells his name wrong they ought to just change it on the back of his jersey. Berman would call him MathLOSE the football or something rad like that. It been clearly ingrained in his head for a while. In space he runs hard and picks up yards in big chunks. In traffic? A strong breeze will drop him in his tracks because it's tough to pick up yards fighting off tacklers when you are literally hugging the football. It's a problem. I thought Ronnie Brown was getting the reps in the third quarter because he was a better pass blocker. In our hurry up it's tough to change personnel but not impossible. Part of me believes the new regime wasn't quite ready for a fumble at that point in the game. I don't want to believe that but it might be impossible to ignore. Thankfully Brown looked better than his preseason form and was relatively effective. Yet, we're accomplishing another dubious honor which is unlike us. No backs run for 100 yards in a game ever anymore. That's disappointing. It's also a problem when your offensive line doesn't pass block all that well just yet.
Philip Rivers. Yeah, I know, another pick six. If you don't see the brilliance in that play by both Wade Phillips and Brian Cushing then you can bolt right the fuck off because that wasn't all on Laserface. The throw was hurried and a bit behind Woodhead, but it's not like Cushing didn't make an excellent play. Forget the four touchdowns before the pick and be dumb about it if you want to but it makes you look stupid.
Lastly, is Ken Whisenhunt. I like the guy. I like our future with him. But in the moment last night, in the fourth quarter, after we had two three and outs, the pick six, needing a first down desperately for the defense, he shrunk in the moment. The Texans made no disguises of their intentions and they were bringing the house and the armadillos on every one of our offensive plays. What he did that puzzled me considerably, and forced me to swear at the television, a habit I'm hoping to break now that our Norvaltumor has been removed, he ran bunch formation after bunch formation forgoing wide receiver splits. This tight formation I suppose was to help in protection, but all it did was bring all the defenders for the Texans who were already all out blitzing closer to the line of scrimmage. Bad idea jeans man. I'm not going to crucify the guy for that, but a little space for our fast guys on hot routes might have been a good idea there. My two cents. Worth zero cents.
The takeaway? There were many more positives than negatives last night. If we'd gotten a couple of first downs, avoided being Hochuli'd (hat tip: Max) and gotten a few stops on third down, we'd be undefeated and this town would be insufferable with our Super Bowl delusions. But, right now, we're right where we thought we would be after week one, except we should be feeling overwhelmingly better than if the Texans came in to Awesomeland and kicked our ass 89- 2 like the talking heads said they would. Shit, people would have been asking to have Norv back. And you know that's some fucked up shit right there.
Chin up buttercup. We're fine. Off to Philly to play that seemingly scary ass team in 5 more days. Football is back. Norv Turner is gone. A.J. Smith is gone. We could go 0-16 and I'd still throw a huge fucking party. Ding dong the Norv is dead.