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Chargers fall to Patriots in playoffs 24-21

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Jan 18, 2007.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    <img width="307" height="232" alt="San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson scores a touchdown in the second quarter against New England Patriots cornerback Artrell Hawkins in their AFC Divisional playoff football game in San Diego, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2007. At left is San Diego Chargers tight end Brandon Manumaleuna. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)" title="San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson scores a touchdown in the second quarter against New England Patriots cornerback Artrell Hawkins in their AFC Divisional playoff football game in San Diego, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2007. At left is San Diego Chargers tight end Brandon Manumaleuna. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)" src="http://espn-i.starwave.com/media/apphoto/CAME10701142307.jpg" />

    By Boltarious
    <em>Bolt Talk Staff Writer</em>

    San Diego- a perfect day for football, sunny and crisp

    Damn. When lord? When...
    The New England Patriots came to town last Sunday, and absconded with our AFC Championship tickets in their pockets. DAMN. In a playoff battle destined to go down in history as one of footballs great games, San Diego ran out of time and luck, falling 24-21 to the 3 time Champion Patriots. The Chargers simply gave too many chances to a great football team, and eventually paid the price for not putting matters away when they had the chance.
    Don't blame yourselves fans, we made enough noise to wake the dead in China, and New England was lucky to escape.
    Remember- 14-3 is infinitely better than 1-15, ask any Raider fan if the would switch places with us...

    Sunday began with a perfect football morning, cold and invigorating. I love going to playoff games, I just hate losing them at home- 3 in a row now.
    There were a few Patriot fans in the lot, but in manageable proportions.
    Touchdown Staypuft looked resplendent in his Charger colors, gleaming in the morning air, and I figured this was finally our day. And it was, for 59 minutes...

    Bill Belichick is a master mind game player, and he showed that skill, by refusing to allow the Patriots to come on the field when announced- twice. We denizens of doom were all set to shun them, only they shunned us first- and sent a message that today's opponent was not the Arizona Cardinals. By the way, I am a total veteran head banging rocker VJ, and the new P.O.D. Charger song blows- "When the lightning strikes" by Aerosmith is MY Charger song... that P.O.D thing was cool for about 30 seconds, then it was just the same thing over and over..."  and over... the stadium was NOT rocking to it...

    As to the Playoff game..."  what a beautiful phrase...
    San Diego won the toss, but the Chargers looked a little out of sync on offense on the first drive, stalling out at the N.E. 46. Mike Scifres pinned the Pats on their own 10, and the 12th man went to work.
    DEEEEEFFFFEEEENNNNSSSSEEEEEE! 68,000 fans screaming at the top of their lungs, what a great sound. Tom Brady was not happy with the clock or the noise and pulled up twice before the first snap, trying to wear us out. That was NOT going to happen. 3 and out, Charger ball at the 50.

    And that's exactly where it stayed, LT was stuffed on first down, and the Bolts still looked like they were off for 2 weeks. Maybe the bye is a bad thing; after all, how many number 1 seeds have won the super bowl lately?
    3 and out- punted to the Patriots 7.

    Deeefense- 3 and out for N.E. again, we be LOUD! The stadium is bedlam at this point; it's been a long time since it felt this good in here...

    Given yet another possession by the D, Rivers and co drove to the 30, and on 4th and 11, the Bolts decided to go for it, instead of attempting the 48 yard FG. 3 points that would loom large, as Rivers was sacked by Mike Vrabel, placing the ball about where it would have been anyways, had Kaeding attempted the kick. We will never know...

    N.E finally managed a drive against the D- with Brady driving the Pats to the Charger 32, where S. Gostkowski drilled the 50 yard attempt.

    3-0 N.E. boooooooooo- end of the first quarter.

    On the Chargers second possession of the quarter, San Diego overcame a fumble ruling on Antonio Gates (incomplete), and Rivers put the Chargers at the 2 with a strike to Lorenzo Neal. LT TIME- 2 yards later its TD Chargers!!!!

    7-3 Chargers- need to get more...

    Donnie Edwards intercepted Brady on the ensuing series, giving the Chargers the ball at the Charger 41. 3 and out by the offense- at a really bad time, we had'em right where we wanted em...

    After the crowd and Defense yet again sent the Patriots into punt formation, Rivers and Tomlinson hooked up on a 58 yard screen, all the way to the Pats 6. Michael Turner finished the drive on one play, bulling his way into the endzone. Chaos in the stands...

    14-3 Chargers- need more points

    Tom Brady is the master of the 2 minute drill, his 3 super bowl rings attest to that, and he marshaled the Patriots down the field, hitting the TD pass to Jabbar Gaffney with 8 seconds left on the clock, a maddening drive that we could not stop. Damn...

    14-10 Chargers, and that's the half, and a hard fought one it was, no matter what I write, you hadda be there to fully appreciate the noise level...
    My voice is tough, and I had another half of yelling in it...

    The Patriots went 3 and out to begin the third quarter, with the Charger D all over them. 3 and out by San Diego again, New England had us scouted extremely well, they knew what to look for.

    Drayton Florence picked off Brady on the next drive, giving the Chargers excellent field position at the N.E. 32. Money right? Nope- the Chargers worst possession of the year. Period. At the worst time. After eventually losing yards all the way back to the 38, San Diego was forced to punt. WASTED CHANCE...
    dammit...

    Then came the most frustrating defensive series I have ever had to live through.
    After forcing the Patriots to punt, Eric Parker muffed the ball, giving the Patriots possession at the Charger 31. Then Brady is sacked, with the ball fumbled and recovered by New England- 4th down. Good, Right? noooo
    Unnecessary Roughness on Florence, Patriots ball first down.
    arrrgghhhh
    Gostkowski Drilled the extra chance through the uprights, drawing the Pats within 1 point.

    14-13 Chargers..... GET LOUDER!!!

    Rivers was picked off on the next series, he was trying to hit LT with a screen, but N.E. sniffed it out. That was the end of the 3rd.

    14-13 Chargers need more points!!!!!

    The thrilla in Manila may have been boxing's greatest fight, but I would call the 4th quarter of this game the thrilla part 2. It had it all.

    The Chargers had their best drive of the day, with Rivers, Tomlinson and Turner gashing the Patriot defense for 83 yards. Finishing up with Tomlinson sweeping in from the 3. Insanity at the q. but there is still 8 minutes left...

    21-13 Chargers- so close.

    You know it's not your team's day when Marlon McCree makes the perfect read on Brady, picks the ball off cleanly and promptly fumbles it away. Half my friends were too busy hi-fiving to see the fumble, it was that fast.
    After a clearly wasted challenge- New England drove right down San Diego's throat, with Brady hooking up with former Charger Reche Caldwell for the TD.
    Kevin Faulk took the direct snap into the endzone on the 2 point conversion, tying the game at 21. Somewhere on that defensive series, I pulled a ribcage muscle, and I was having trouble yelling for more than 2 seconds at a time- woof- defense- gitem- no matter- my leg could have fallen off, I was gonna give it my all...

    21-21- EPIC

    3 and out again by the Chargers- New England played perfect defense.
    Then, Tom Brady showed why he is still the best QB in the NFL.
    Brady took the Patriots on an 8 play, 72 yard, clock consuming drive.
    The play that will always stick in my mind is 3 rd down - Brady fired a perfect strike to Caldwell, right in front of my seats. I screamed nooooooooo all the way, I could see it coming. Damn, damn, damn... great pass. clutch...

    Given the chip shot, Gostkowski drilled his 3rd FG of the game.

    24-21 Patriots- arrgghhhhhhhhh

    And we damn near pulled it off anyways, driving all the way to the N.E."  36.
    Nate Kaeding did his best, but 54 yards is way out of his range, and the kick never had a chance. noooooooooo. There is no word for the pain we all feel....

    I never looked back. I went home, and slept for 3 days. I have not looked at Sportscenter; I have not watched anything until today. And I realized that we should be proud of the Chargers, and ourselves. It took the 3 time Super Bowl Champs to get rid of us, a long way from 1-15. WE ARE WINNERS!
    And now that Marty has been given one more year, I daresay we will get it right in 2007- and win it all.

    Take a vacation Charger fans, we all earned it....
     

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