San Diego Chargers Choke Again

Dave TrembleyCorrespondent IJanuary 17, 2010

SAN DIEGO - DECEMBER 20:  Nate Kaeding #10 of the San Diego Chargers kicks the game winning field goal with three seconds left in the game against the Cincinnati Bengals as Mike Scifres holds on December 20, 2009 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California.  The Chargers won 27-24.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images


The San Diego Chargers had everything in their favor.  They had two weeks off, home field advantage, a raucous crowd exhorting them onward, and most importantly, an eleven game winning streak.

They also had in their favor, a rookie quarterback to play against, and a team that had to travel across the entire country.

But the Chargers could not get the job done.

Their receivers dropped passes that they should have caught.

They took stupid penalties.

Their running back of the decade was useless.

Not surprisingly, they handed the ball to that running back nearly every time on first and ten.

Their quarterback, Philip Rivers, threw a costly interception that gave the Jets a touchdown.

Clock management at the end of the first half was dubious.  And their head coach, Norv Turner, was badly outcoached by rookie Coach Rex Ryan.

Their kicker missed three field goals, one of them a chip shot. Charger apologists will point out that one of the field goal attempts was 57 yards. But then great players make big plays to win big games.

They missed a critical punt block.

Their best receiver, Vincent Jackson, lost a key battle with Jets cornerback Darelle Revis, a big turning point in the game.

And speaking of Vincent Jackson, who kicks a challenge flag? Who does that? What kind of discipline is that?

The Chargers defense turned in a stellar performance all game, until the halfway point in the fourth quarter, when, trailing by three points, they needed a huge stop. It never happened. Shaun Greene galloped down the field for a 53 yard touchdown score.

On the Twitter network, Shaun Phillips, Shawn Merriman, and Kassim Osgood will be blabbing about how bad they feel.

Yeah. Tell us about it.

In the end, New Orleans, Indianapolis, and Minnesota knew what they had to do in order to get the job done. They conducted themselves with poise and class.

And they went out and did it.

Not the Chargers.

They lost to the New York Jets 17-14.