Tuesday, November 05, 2013
We can rehash what happened on the final series of downs inside the one yard line all we want and second guess the play calling and the offensive approach, but that doesn't change the result. Should we have gone power formation and slammed the ball in on first down? Yes. Did we? No. Why? No one knows and Mike McCoy isn't tipping his hand either. Criticism was heaped upon him and the staff from all pundits and angles and while I'm sure that McCoy isn't pleased about the end result, hopefully this is a teaching moment and that sort of conservative approach is ushered out of the play book with extreme haste.
Many are blaming the refereeing for some atrocious calls, namely the phantom pass interference call, the phantom unnecessary roughness call, and yes the atrocious spot on the Woodhead non touchdown call. However, let's not lose sight of the Woodhead fumble that clearly went in our favor. Now, as much as I want to pile on the refs and blame somebody for the nauseating loss, this one falls squarely on our staff. Again, this was an opportunity to really define this football team. A last minute comeback victory on the road would have really boosted this team's confidence and I firmly believe would have given the young players even more
motivation for the rest of the season. Alas, after inside handoff for no gain, poorly executed and thought out fade route, and finally designed roll out for the least mobile quarterback in the history of football, the guys got on the team charter for the long ride home with the stench of defeat oozing from their pores. Sad. Really really sad.
Max and I dwelled on this for far too long last night continuing to question why the apparent fear of failure from inside the one yard line prevented us from giving the ball to our power running back, and or completely selling out for the victory in that situation. It was almost as if the vote of no confidence resurfaced at the most inopportune time for Mathews. It also appeared as if the comfort of overtime allowed those decisions to be made. What Max and I were unable to reconcile despite our many attempts was why that suddenly seemed to make sense. Why would the minute possibility of a Mathews fumble make overtime more appealing? Why not pound the ball into the end zone on four straight attempts? If you fail so what? You lose. But by not trying, we wound up playing for overtime where a coin flip and a tired defense were completely in play, and that thought process made sense to some. I'm truly at a loss.
So, now we get Denver, twice. Kansas City, twice. Miami and Cincinnati. That doesn't seem as appealing at 4-4 coming off a kick in the balls of a loss as it would at 5-3 with a solid dose of bravado after squeaking out a victory across the country. I'd like to test the mettle of this team in the latter scenario, but we're forced to do it with the former. I guess this will be another telling moment as to where this team is. The team should feel like they won that game. I truly hope the staff can build on that and not let their failures trickle down to the guys.
Lost in Sunday's result is the fact that this team will make something of themselves and we are on the right road. However, the result from Sunday probably sealed our fate for the season and we'll in short order be thinking about 2014 rather than a cinderella playoff run in 2013. Unfortunate, but probably true. And that, in and of itself is what made Sunday so, so shitty. Sometimes, most times, being a Charger fan is tough tough business. This is one of those times.