Chargers Have Much To Be Thankful For
- It is late November and they still have a shot at the playoffs. Yes, even after a 2-5 start and losses to unimpressive teams such as the Seahawks, Raiders, and Rams I know that Raider fans will not appreciate that comment, but in all fairness, their win against the Chargers was a result of two blocked punts, three fumbles, and a scoop and score fumble at the end of the game. All that and it was still a one score game.
If you are still offended, just look at the box score. The Chargers had over 500 total yards of offense to the Raiders 279. Unfortunately for the Bolts, the one stat that they didn’t have in their favor was the only one that mattered….points. So, no disrespect to the Raiders, but it wasn’t an impressive win as much as it was an ugly loss for the Bolts.
- Philip Rivers! Really that should say it all. If Rivers had been one of the countless injured Chargers this year, we would be rooting for losses so the Bolts could get a higher draft pick next year. Rivers has been a miracle worker with an ever changing roster of no-names and never-beens.
- A. J. Smith. That’s right, I said it. A. J. Smith! Just a few weeks ago I wanted Smith’s head on a plate! Now, I have to look at how he has helped more than how he has hurt the team. Yes, I think some of his decisions and his stubborn streak had helped the Chargers get off to yet another slow start. But now, I look at the fact that the Chargers have played almost 70 different players this year and are still in contention! That is a ridiculous number that should have been fatal for their hopes of post season play.
Nope, thanks to some moves by Smith, the Charger have been able to hang in there and actually start a nice little winning streak! Ajiratutu, Crayton, McDaniels, Sperry, Greene, Oliver, Brown, and many others have stepped in for injured, or missing, starters like McNiell, Jackson, Floyd, Naanee, Vasquez, Matthews, and Gates. Those are no small shoes to fill.
How about suspending McNiell and Jackson for three games after they signed? Well, McNiell stepped in the lineup on week 4 after his return and has not looked back. The line has improved and he has stayed healthy. Jackson will return this week and should be ready to make a major impact for the offense. There is no reason to worry about his health. Now, take a look at Revis in New York. He held out, missed camp, and then started right away. He has been hurt for most of the season. He didn’t have that time to get in football shape to avoid getting injured. The Jackson situation is made even better since the Chargers went 3-0 during his suspension.
- Norvember! Maybe Norv Turner can’t get the team fired up to start a season, but he sure knows how to win in November and December! Since Norv took over, the Chargers have only lost around four games in November and no games in December! No one else can make that claim. We won’t talk about January.
- AFC West and the Schedule Makers. The West is often referred to as the AFC Worst around the NFL and rightfully so. The Chiefs, Broncos, and Raiders have had tough years on the recent past. This year, the Raiders and the Chiefs are much improved, but they have not proven to be locks to win against any team on any particular Sunday. For that matter, there isn’t a team in the NFL that has proven to be upset proof. This has been an odd year full of upsets and mind boggling losses. Looking at the Chargers schedule, I would have to say that they have a real shot at 5-1 or maybe even 6-0 if the stars lineup correctly. This Sunday being their biggest challenge.
- Loyal Fans. Yes, San Diego has had a reputation as a town full of band wagon and fair weather fans. Some of the earlier blackouts may back up that argument. However, if you look around, listen to sports talk radio, or go to a game, you will see that there are many hard core, diehard fans who will believe the Chargers will win it all until they do, or until they are mathematically eliminated. If you have ever been to The Q during a playoff game, you know that there are some very loyal fans in San Diego.
Finally, let’s look at what Charger fans have to be thankful for. How about having a team to begin with? San Diego is one of 32 cities in the world that has an NFL franchise. That is one of the aspects of San Diego that puts it on the map. Now I see that Chargers ownership is shopping a piece of the team and it will most likely go to someone in Los Angeles. To me, that is the beginning of the end for San Diego football.
Maybe next year we can be thankful that a stadium deal is in place and the Chargers have agreed to stay. Otherwise, we may just have to be thankful for the time we had them.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone and GO BOLTS!