San Diego Chargers-Kansas City Chiefs: Chargers Lose, Oh No (Pro Bowlers)!
Let's get this over with. There is videotaped evidence that I said:
"You gotta hope as a San Diego Chargers fan that the San Diego Chargers actually show up on defense before the second half and stop the run. Otherwise, it's going to be a dog fight the whole game against the Kansas City Chiefs."
If you'd seen some of the e-mail I received after this game, you'd be laughing too.
This team will easily bounce back from this defeat. The team simply has to learn to operate without their lost Pro Bowlers and they'll be fine.
I still think that if it hadn't literally rained on the Chargers offensive parade, the Chargers would have run away with an easy victory against the Chiefs.
I am glad the Chargers lost. They don't deserve to win until the head coach takes a championship attitude, which he clearly doesn't have.
Lets take a look out some of the Chargers missing Pro Bowlers, and see how their absence affected this game and the mentality of the team.
Marcus McNeill, Loved But Not Missed
The Chargers offensive line did a good job protecting Philip Rivers.
As an outsider, however, I really don't have any idea what San Diego sacrificed to get Rivers that great protection he had all night.
On the surface, his replacement Brandyn Dombrowski did an outstanding job tonight.
Vincent Jackson, Missed More Than Anybody
Why waste time? It was clear that Vincent Jackson was sorely missed. I stand by my assertion that Jackson is by far the best receiver in the league for the type of offense the Chargers are running.
There was a critical pass to Legedu Naanee in the fourth quarter that would have kept the drive alive that Naanee couldn't get up and get.
Jackson would have easily come down with that ball.
Rivers missed Malcom Floyd with two passes in the end zone on the final drive.
There is a reason why Vincent Jackson is a beast in the red zone. He has the same size as Malcom Floyd with the same speed and leaping ability, but adds a nearly unacceptable amount of quickness and suddenness for a man that size.
Defensive backs can't cover him in that short area, which is why he has four or five game-winning touchdowns in his career and numerous huge fourth-quarter catches.
The Chargers initially tried to change their offensive philosophy and hit the Chiefs with power runs, but it's like a boxer with a game plan. When you get hit, you revert to what you know.
All finesse, all day.
Someone needs to let the Chargers know that Vincent Jackson doesn't play for the team anymore.
If Norv isn't going to change his chuck-and-duck offensive philosophy, then DUI or no DUI, pay Vincent Jackson.
Shawn Merriman and Jamal Williams, No Chance To Be Missed
Shawn Merriman wasn't missed at all, because he simply wasn't needed.
The defense dominated the Chiefs and played well enough to win the game. After the 59-yard touchdown run by Jamaal Charles, the most explosive back in the league not named Chris Johnson, the Chiefs did absolutely nothing on offense.
I mean nothing.
One could argue that Jamal Williams was indeed missed on the 59-yard touchdown run, but he didn't play for the Chargers last season and is not the beast he once was.
The problem I'm coming across in my mind is that I don't know if the Chiefs offense is that bad or if the Chargers defense is that good.
LaDainian Tomlinson, Not Missed
Ryan Mathews didn't fumble all throughout his college career, and probably wouldn't have fumbled away the ball tonight if it wasn't raining.
However, he did, allowing the Chiefs to score a cheap touchdown.
If LaDainian Tomlinson hadn't also fumbled on Opening Day last season, I'd say that the Chargers missed LT's secure hands.
Last year's version of LaDainian Tomlinson wasn't missed in this game, but the Tomlinson of yesteryear would have definitely helped the Chargers out.
Kassim Osgood, Sorely Missed
Anger and energy embody Kassim Osgood on special teams.
Osgood, clearly angry that he was never given a chance to play receiver for the Chargers, took his frustrations out on opposing special teams units.
This man is an angry bully, a man among men.
The Chargers' listless special teams performance proves that this man should have been kept (or cloned five times) at any cost.
The perfect example of missing Osgood would be the perfect Mike Scifres punt that bounced around at the Chiefs' one-yard line for at least two seconds before a couple of Chargers bungled and let the ball roll into the end zone.
Does anyone seriously have any doubt that Osgood would have downed that punt with great skill?
No, and that mishap clearly took points off the board for the Chargers with the way the defense was dominating the Chiefs.
He would have certainly helped on punt coverage. The Chargers punt coverage team obviously lacks the speed they once fielded with Osgood.
Marty Schottenheimer's and Lorenzo Neal's Toughness, Sorely Missed
I know I'm going back a few years, but the Chargers still haven't replaced the toughness of Marty Schottenheimer and Lorenzo Neal.
That final attempt to get the ball in the end zone was pathetic. Somebody please hand Norv Turner a Snickers bar (see the video).
The Chargers had the time and the power (in running back Mike Tolbert) to bowl over the Chiefs' defense and score the game-tying touchdown when they had a first down at the Chiefs' six-yard line with over a minute left and two time outs remaining.
Instead, this was the sequence of plays:
- Pass to Buster Davis. Incomplete.
- Darren Sproles draw play. Easily predicted. Easily stuffed.
- Pass to Malcom Floyd. Incomplete.
- Pass to Malcom Floyd. Incomplete.
As a result, the Chiefs win and praise the Lord that they didn't have to try to stop a 250-pound freight train in the fourth quarter with the game on the line.
Norv Turner has proven his true colors. He is a pass-first coach and the Chargers are a finesse team.
When the game is on the line, you go with what you know and what you trust. Norv does not trust Mike Tolbert's power running, even though no team has stopped him in the fourth quarter yet, and that's a fact.
Four years ago, the Chargers would have steamrolled the Chiefs and tied the score, possibly leaving too much time on the clock.
If the Chargers continue to play this finesse football, they will not defeat any East Coast team they play in the playoffs. It simply won't happen. It will not occur. It shall not come to pass.
The 1994 San Diego Chargers didn't have the most talented offense in the league, but they were one of the hardest hitting, and they hit themselves into the Super Bowl before bowing out.
This year's offense is infinitely more talented, but not a quarter of the way as tough.
Look at the Raiders, who we so dearly hate. They won those Super Bowls some 30-odd years ago with intimidation and toughness. Swagger.
Do you remember the swagger that made the football world hate the 2007 Chargers? It's missing from the offensive side of the ball.
Celebrating after every play and throwing it in opponent's faces. Running the ball on 3rd-and-short every time and converting it every time? Taking the team philosophy of "you can't stop us."
The Chargers' swagger is gone, lost in all the finesse.
One more message for Norv Turner from Mr. T to hit the road!