Charged Up: Déjà Vu at Mile High As Broncos Choke, Chargers Top AFC West

Eric GomezAnalyst INovember 23, 2009

DENVER - NOVEMBER 22:  Legedu Naanee #11 of the San Diego Chargers is congratulated by Malcom Floyd #80 after his first quarter touchdown against the Denver Broncos during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on November 22, 2009 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Josh McDaniels, you truly are a disciple of Bill Bellichick.

You embody Bellichick's maverick spirit, going against the grain of conventional wisdom in order to storm your way to victory.

No, wait—it's one thing to go for it on 4th-and-2 in the waning moments of the fourth quarter in order to put a game out of reach, it's another thing to try and convert an onside kick in the third quarter, down by just ten points.

Really, Josh?

McDaniels' brilliant coaching mind is also responsible for three failed fourth-down attempts by the Broncos.

Also, why play Chris Simms right off the bat knowing full well that Kyle Orton could go if needed?

Did anyone really think Simms was going to lead the Broncos to anything other than misery?

Simms could have trouble running a Pop Warner offense, at this point.

Which reminds me, is it possible to sue someone for misuse of the family name? I can just see Phil Simms over the phone right now, asking Chris over and over again if he thinks this is the right career for him.

But, then again, McDaniels should also be questioned for his handling of Orton.

Having taken a couple of shots in the game, why leave him in there the rest of the way, risking injury?

Whereas Mike Shanahan was hailed after last year's Mile High Robbery for gambling on a two-point conversion at the end of the game, McDaniels will be vilified as the goat, or better yet—the donkey.

Makes you really happy we're coached by Norv Turner, doesn't it?

In other news, sound the horns and warn the defenses, LT 'S BACK!!!!!!!!!!! (version 3.0)

A lofty 73 yards on 20 carries and a hard-earned TD are shadowed by a spectacular play call by Norv having LT pass the ball back to Philip Rivers before Rivers found Antonio Gates for a big gain.

That was a good one, Norv.

That reverse off the wildcat to Vincent Jackson that went for a loss? Not so much. There comes a point where too much "surprise" is just overkill.

A big win on a big stage that vaults San Diego on the path to another AFC West title, after another slow, frustrating start.

But ah, I can hear the naysayers around the league already, downplaying the Bolts' triumph. 

"You caught the Giants on a downward spiral. And the Eagles. And the Broncos. Plus, Chris Simms started the game."

I kind of have to agree with them on that last point, to be honest.

Speaking of which, what was today, anyway? "San Diego Chargers Appreciation Day"?

Not only did the Broncos do everything in their power to hand over the division lead on a silver platter, but the Chiefs and the Raiders beat legitimate AFC playoff contenders!

Kansas City knocked off the Steelers at Arrowhead putting them at 6-4 and one game behind the Chargers in the AFC playoff picture, potentially giving the Bolts a home game against them should they meet in January.

And with JaMarcus Russell's days in Oakland seemingly numbered (JaMarcus, meet Ryan Leaf. Ryan, meet JaMarcus. JaMarcus, do you play golf at all?), Bruce Gradkowski lead the Raiders over Cincinnati.

Here's how much I hate the Raiders: despite knowing full well that an Oakland victory would completely benefit the Chargers, I found myself screaming for Sebastian Janikowski to miss his go-ahead field goal in the fourth quarter, just so I could poke fun at the Raiders.

The Bengals are now 7-3, tied with San Diego with a Dec. 20 game still pending at Qualcomm Stadium that as of now, has playoff implications.

Speaking of the Bengals, did anyone see Andre Caldwell's eyebrows? I wonder what the over/under of jokes aimed his way is in Cincy's locker room for those.

Child, please.

With the Chiefs coming to town next Sunday, their victory today if anything refocuses the Chargers and has them motivated to face a team that has played them hard in the recent past and shown they can beat a good team every now and then.

You know, so long as Charlie Batch is behind center during overtime.


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