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Blues and Golds, Game 2 - Chargers at Broncos

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    By BlueandGold
    <em>BoltTalk Contributor</em>

    <a href="http://assets.espn.go.com/media/apphoto/204684b5-0ec6-41f3-b26c-805f3f9e4f9f.jpg"><img class="alignleft" title="San Diego Chargers running back Darren Sproles (43) runs for a touchdown againast Denver Broncos cornerback Dre Bly (32) during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game in Denver, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2008. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)" src="http://assets.espn.go.com/media/apphoto/204684b5-0ec6-41f3-b26c-805f3f9e4f9f.jpg" alt="" width="169" height="202" /></a>It's a loss as painful as any I've ever experienced as a Charger fan. Not so much because of the fact that we lost, but because it was unjustly taken from us by the officiating crew of Ed Hochuli.

    Normally, I have great trust in Ed and his crew. They aren't slouches - they are regarded as one of the best crews in football. But today they blew it. Not once. Not twice. They blew it on three major occasions.

    Replay was introduced to the league to prevent things like this - from preventing referee mistakes and blown calls from changing the course of an otherwise fair game. The blown call on the Cutler fumble with 1:14 left in the fourth quarter changed the course of the game. Tim Dobbins' recovery of that fumble - and let's not mince words, it was a FUMBLE in every true sense of the term - would have led to the victory formation and a 1-1 Charger record, tied with Denver for the lead in the AFC West.

    Instead, we share the basement with the Chiefs, with a loss to a bitter Division Rival in a game that may have future playoff implications. NO blown call should result in a loss of this magnitude.

    Some people will say that the defense still had opportunities to end the game. True, they certainly did. But those opportunities would not have been required in a fairly called game.

    A fairly called game would have been a Charger win, and even the sensible Denver fans out there would agree.

    It was a loss on par (in terms of rightful outrage and injustice) with the Holy Roller, and I can only hope the football gods smile upon us down the road for this travesty.

    On a side note, I am very concerned about LT. I'll leave it at that for now... but the abrupt difference when Darren Sproles entered the game was jarring.

    <strong><span style="font-size: medium;">BLUES</span></strong>

    <strong>1. THE REFS.</strong>

    Need I say more? I will anyway.

    - Chambers' non-fumble (actually ruled as an interception by Bailey), not able to be reviewed for want of functional replay booths. Nevermind that the entire nation could see it wasn't a fumble about ten seconds after it happened. Nevermind that it was clearly visible even on the JumboTron. Can't overturn a blown call because my little HD Screen no workie. Aww.

    - Chambers' non-hold on Sproles' long run. Luckily, the offense was able to overcome.

    - Multiple blatant non-calls for holding on Denver's Offensive line, but we knew that. Randy Cross even pointed it out, and Mr. Cross isn't one for astute, precision analysis.

    - And, finally, the Cutler non-fumble that cost us the game.

    The League owes this team an apology for this - and I'm not even kidding in the slightest. It was the worst officiated game I have ever seen. That's not hyperbole... that's the truth.

    <strong>2. DEFENSIVE PLAYCALLING.</strong>

    I don't think I have to expand much on this. Some of the Bolt Talk posters expressed concern earlier this week about the defensive coaches "playing scared" because of Denver's domination of the Raiders in Week One. Well, it certainly looked that way.

    Ted Cottrell's defense game the Denver wideouts enormous cushions for most of the game - on the order of five to ten yards. That's Dale Lindsay-esque... the kind of crap defense that used to give me fits when Marty was here. The "play-not-to-lose" mentality that Charger fans learned to despise.

    To make it worse, that pulled the secondary away from the role they had to play last week, and likely would have helped with this week - stopping the run. Denver's RB-by-committee, led by Selvin Young, gained 145 yards on 24 touches. That's 6 yards a carry. It's a wonder Denver bothered to pass at all, and yet they did. Jay Cutler was 36 of 50 for 350 passing yards, 4 touchdowns, and 1 interception (in the red zone, thank the football gods). So what was all the loose zone coverage for, in the end?

    With the exception of two drives in the second half, it's almost like we had no defense at all.

    Last week, the secondary kept the defense afloat. The following week, Ted Cottrell hamstrings that very secondary by putting them fifteen yards off the ball. I don't get it.

    I'm not normally the coach-bashing type, but today was as bad a defensive performance as I've ever seen. Ted, we here in San Diego are used to our defenses DICTATING, not BEING DICTATED TO. Fix it. Time's running out.

    <strong>3. CROMARTIE.</strong>

    Want to know how many tackles Antonio Cromartie made? Three. All solo. Two of those tackles also turned into a personal foul penalties, one for a late tackle, and one for a face mask. Both of those penalties set Denver up deep in San Diego territory. But wait! If you call now, we'll include a pair of Defensive Holding Penalties! At least one of those was offset by an Offensive Holding penalty. Otherwise, Cro needed only a Pass Interference to complete the cycle.

    Cro was accountable for fully HALF of San Diego's eight penalties, and gave the Broncos three first downs, two of them very hurtful ones.

    Antonio, it's time to stop thinking about 15 interceptions and start thinking about doing your job. The INTs will come. Stop letting Deion into your skull and play the game we saw you play last year.

    <strong>GOAT OF THE GAME: </strong>

    Antonio Cromartie.

    <strong><span style="font-size: medium;">GOLDS:</span></strong>

    <strong>1. PHILIP RIVERS.</strong>

    Philip Rivers, in the second consecutive game, leads his team back down from multiple scores to take the lead, only to have it snatched from him. His mental strength is as tremendous as it always has been, but now his field vision and pocket awareness is reaching that transcendent point that all elite QBs must pass to achieve greatness.

    He burned Champ Bailey, arguably the best corner in the game, like he was a raw rookie today. He was aware, made full use of the protection he was given, stepped up and delivered.

    Whaddaya think, Champ? Has he "earned" the right to talk now?

    I think he has. 21 of 33 for 377 yards and 3 touchdowns (and a bullcrap INT) says he has.

    Now if only his defense could back him up sometime this season.

    <strong>2. SPROLES.</strong>

    "Little Tank" was a one-man wrecking crew. The numbers he put up today were simply astounding.

    He out-rushed LT today, with 7 attempts for 53 yards. It would have been more if it wasn't for the Chambers hold.

    He was third on the team in recieving, with 2 catches for 72 yards and a touchdown.

    He returned six kickoffs for 212 yards, one of which was a breathtaking 103-yard record-tying romp that changed the momentum of the game.

    All that leads up to one man accruing a mind-boggling 337 total all-purpose yards. Digest that number for a while.

    <strong>3. QUENTIN JAMMER.</strong>

    Q led the team in tackles with 10 1/2, and also forced a fumble. Brandon Marshall caught a lot of passes in this game (18 for 166 yards, to be precise), but you didn't hear much from Eddie Royal or Brandon Stokely. Know why?

    Because you just don't throw at Quentin Jammer.

    <strong>PLAYER OF THE GAME:</strong>

    Darren Sproles.

    <strong><span style="font-size: medium;">THE GAME IN ONE SENTENCE:</span></strong>

    Despite awful defense, Philip and Darren lead the boys back... only to GET ROBBED BY THE REFS.

    <a href="http://www.bolttalk.net/forums/showthread.php?t=15346" target="_blank"><em><strong>Discuss this article.</strong></em></a>

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