By Curtis Egan
<em>BoltTalk Staff Writer</em>
<a href="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20081005/capt.e996132209ce4e3982f5919172e1b228.chargers_dolphins_football_mds116.jpg"><img class="alignleft" title="Miami Dolphins linebacker Matt Roth stops San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) in the fourth quarter of NFL football action in Miami, Sunday, Oct. 5, 2008. The Dolphins won 17-10. " src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20081005/capt.e996132209ce4e3982f5919172e1b228.chargers_dolphins_football_mds116.jpg" alt="" width="174" height="174" /></a>Last season at this time the forums were in melt down mode. Everyone, including myself was sure that Norv was some plot by AJ to get out of San Diego and that our beloved Chargers were going to be the embarrassment of the league.
They were 2-3. Lets recap.
September 9, 2007 Chicago Bears W 14-3 1-0
September 16, 2007 New England Patriots L 38-14 1-1
September 23, 2007 Green Bay Packers L 31-24 1-2
September 30, 2007 Kansas City Chiefs L 30-16 1-3
October 7, 2007 Denver Broncos W 41-3 2-3 INVESCO Field at Mile High
Yup, not the perfect start all us homers expected, deserved or demanded. Hell at times they looked more like the Raiders and Chiefs than the Chargers. It is true.
However, I hasten to remind us all (including myself) of the old adage in the NFL. " <span style="color: blue;">It is not how you start, it is how you finish</span>". Can anyone refute this, I cant, we only have to look at last season to see a prime example of this. Our beloved San Diego Chargers were 5 and 5 after the second week of November, having lost a close game to the Jaguars. Then they went on to win their last six games, making it to the AFC Championship game.
Now we have cranky fans calling for the trade of LT, calling out Rivers for his first bad game in recent history, claiming the season is over. Why? Is it to insulate you from the pain that a sub par season would bring? That is understandable.
But lets look at the other side of the coin.
LT: No LT has not been LT. He is fighting through a toe injury and is improving every game. He still demands the respect of the defenses he faces. Trade LT? Are you daft? The guy is getting healthy, and he is doing it when we need him to. LT will be LT again, bank it!
Rivers: He has been solid for the last 13 games before this one. That gargantuan line backer that kept getting in his grill, Roth affected the passing game, but more than that, Rivers seemed to have an off day. Now is the time for that. Against teams like the Dolphins who have little chance of actually making the playoffs. The thing about Rivers is that he will bounce back. Nothing fazes the guy. He will be out practicing, smiling and throwing the ball today. He will take his lumps in the press conference and move on. That is one of his biggest positives in my mind. That ability to not dwell on problems of the past. Drew Brees did. You could see his frustration mounting. Rivers does not. The kid is nails!
Defense: The defense is missing Merriman, no doubt. But each week (with the exception of this one) they seem to get another kink worked out. They will come to form. I suspect they will do it this weekend!
Now lets not look at the world through rose colored glasses, there are some glaring problems in Boltsville as well.
Pass Rush: Pennigton is a good QB. Giving him 6-8 seconds of unmolested time in the pocket makes him a great QB. The Chargers are going to have to figure out how to bring the heat without killing the pass coverage soon. They are now going to face a young QB in Castle who has the weapons to hurt us if given the time. Pressure creates turnovers. The lack of pressure creates TDs. That is as clear as I can state it.
We have things to fix, but we can fix them. If last season is any indication, now is not the time to give up hope.
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