No explanation mark is needed for the funky feeling I had leaving the "Q" yesterday after the San DIego Chargers handed the Chiefs their third loss of the year. The way Norv Turner and the Chargers coached and played yesterday, this article's headline does not warrant explanation either—it was the ugliest of 20-17 victories.
Its the old tired cliche of leaving the fans with more questions than answers. Even the core of team, Phillip Rivers, had his worst game in years. The Chargers' sideline reeked of Alfred E Newman's "what, me worry" look, no sense of urgency as per the usual.
The San Diego Chargers were trying to make the record book yesterday. They worked hard to be the first team to hold an opponent to no first downs in the first half, yet lose the game. Well maybe not, I need to do some research, but it doesn't happen to teams that are going to win Super Bowls, I would wager.
For the Chargers, this game was hauntingly familiar to the New York Jets playoff debacle loss in 2009. On that day, during the first half they made Mark Sanchez look like he was revisiting his High School days in southern California, not making his first NFL post season start. Alas, the second half came around and Sanchez looked like Joe Montana.
What is it with Norv's halftime speeches? How can a team so thoroughly dominate one half and then come out and let teams off the hook and let them contest in the second half?
Yes, this was no postseason game. Yet I firmly believe that if the Chargers lost yesterday it almost spelled a second straight year of missing the playoffs. Does it really matter that this teams may actually need to have its back up against the wall in order to perform? Not really, when a disillusioned fan base has seen and heard it all before.
This dysfunctional team even had its own fan base at each other throats, as we all prepared to witness disaster. The entirety of the fans who paid yesterday deserve a refund. This would help in the amelioration our collective psychosis of having to ask "why?" on any given Sunday.
Sure, the Chiefs get paid to play too. But having been outscored 89 to 10 in its first few games and then come in and contest, on the road, against one of the AFC's most high powered offenses leads me to believe there is more than parity at play here.
The limp lightening rod that reared it's ugly head yesterday has to be result of lousy game planning. Norv just doesn't adjust. Yet he does coach them down to play on the other teams level, while inevitably being out-coached. Whether the teams have more or less talent, it doesn't matter.
If you aren't going to go and win one for the Gipper, at least have some fun. Here are a few ideas:
- Throw the ball on fourth down, where neither Phil or Mike Tolbert can pick up an inch or a yard.
- Or have the best running back on the team, Ryan Mathews (the game's sole bright spot), bounce outside like he did so effectively yesterday, all day
- Then throw in some razzle dazzle. Wouldn't it be fun to see the half back option, a la LT, again with Ryan Mathews?
- When the team members are introduced, actually have them run out of the tunnel when named individually. The group hug exit was a nice show of camaraderie yesterday, but it was really lost in translation and dry ice vapor.
Seemingly, Norv is not the guy to bring any team out of the morass and it might be unfair to be writing this teams post mortem right now. However, It will be a miracle if the Chargers sell enough tickets against the Miami Dolphins to avoid the blackout. If they do, I hope the fans don't feel duped and reminded of P. T Barnum quotes like I was yesterday.