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Chargers season not just some Christmas miracle

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Concudan, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Meh... Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 5, 2006
    Anyone who has been watching football through the 2009 season has seen the Chargers roll out to an impressive nine game winning streak. During that streak they have overcome the Chiefs twice, and the Raiders, Giants, Eagles, Broncos, Browns, Cowboys and Bengals. Those simply watching the Sports Center highlights would think that everything has gone the Chargers way. But that is where perception is definitely not reality.

    The Chargers have overcome a lot of obstacles to make it to where they are currently in the standings, 10-3 and vying for a first round bye…

    Take for instance the injuries that the Chargers have had to deal with. The Chargers have had a phenomenal number of players listed on their injury reports this season. 128 players listed to be exact, that is the cumulative number of players the Chargers have listed on the injury reports through the first fourteen games of the season. The third week of the season saw 14 players on the injury list alone. Then there is the eight players the Chargers have had to list on the Injured Reserve list as well.

    Now you might think that it is no problem to overcome that amount of player injuries. After all there are more than 50 people on any given team, so there are plenty of players to plug in. However when you consider the fact that the Chargers have dealt with the loss of their starting Center and starting Nose Tackle twice, a key starting Defensive End, and a much improved starting Offensive Tackle. Imagine the difficulty the team has faced in maintaining consistency. B

    Have they been perfect during this run, no, I don’t think even the most ardent of homer fans would argue that. However, consider the rotation at the defensive and offensive lines alone and the team has worked thorough, but found a way to win with, and you should be impressed.

    The injured reserve list currently contains four defensive linemen, including the stalwart veteran Nose Tackle Jamal Williams. Joining him is Ryon Bingham, who has been mentioned as a possible replacement for Williams when he retires. As well as Ogemdi Nwagbuo, who is one of the feel good stories of the NFL this season. He was working at the San Diego Airport when the Chargers called him to come and play for them. He did, and quickly impressed his coaches and many fans. Now he too is mentioned when discussing possible replacements for Williams, but he to saw his season end early by way of an ankle injury that landed him on the injured reserve list.

    Most teams would have a difficult time maintaining any consistency facing the loss of three of their big bodied tackles on the defensive line. You have to credit Defensive Coordinator Ron Rivera and Defensive Line Coach Don Johnson for keeping their unit competitive. That is only discussing the injured reserve, each week they also had to deal with more common injuries on the line.

    The Defensive Line is not alone. The Offensive line has been an ever changing unit as well this season. On Injured Reserve currently is Jeromey Clary, an Offensive Tackle who had really been solidifying his hold on the position and winning the fans over before his injury. Also Center Ryan McDonald is on the list. Consider this; starting Center Nick Hardwick suffered an ankle injury in the first game of the season that still has him sidelined, though he might be available for the 15th game of the season against the Tennessee Titans. That would be a good thing, if he could shake off any rust he has and not aggravate any lingering ankle issues in the start, because the player who has filled in for him, and arguably done a superior job at it, Scott Mruczkowski went down in the 14th game of the season against the Bengals.

    I really have to take my hat off to Offensive Line Coach Hal Hunter. The offensive line more than any other unit has been forced into a constant rotation of players. They have arguably risen to the occasion very well. Quarterback Philip Rivers has only been sacked 24 times, and hit only 47 times. That is eighth best in the league behind a patchwork line.

    In my opinion the thing that can and has derailed a championship caliber team for achieving their goals more than any one other thing is injuries. How a team deals with injuries can make or break them. The coaching staffs of the Chargers have been able to get their backups up to playing speed well. They have found a way to replaced key players and still play winning football.

    It does not get any easier for them either. Their next game against the Titans is a game that can get mean. The Chargers and Titans have played one another for the last two season, three times in those season and each game sees players on both sides worn out and injured. There is true bad blood between these two teams. After the Titans, the Chargers face a physical Redskins team, who though they have not won many games this season still play a very physical game.

    Then the Chargers enter the post season, they have a chance to win a first round bye, and get some much needed rest. However that is not a given. How long the Chargers can keep playing at the level they are while dealing with important injuries is something we all need to wait and see about. However, if you are a Charger fan you have to be impressed with the job this coaching staff has done. They have been able to remain competitive though a very rough stretch, finding players and continuing with a high level of consistency.

    It is not an easy task in today’s NFL to overcome injuries. Key injuries on the lines often derail a pro football team. Quality depth is something the Chargers have. At one point I would say they had it to spare, but I don’t wish to temp the fates. I remember in training camp I was speaking with Tom Krasovic a reporter from CBS Sports.com. We spoke of the depth the Chargers have. At the time we agreed that we may not have the most talented starters, but we have possibly the best quality depth of any team. Easy to say at the time, but the Chargers have been proving this week in and week out.

    The Chargers have an uphill battle as they head towards the post season, but if they are able to continue finding ways to win in the face of adversity, then the fans could be very happy come the end of the post season. Regardless I am impressed with what the Chargers have accomplished and I think you should be as well. It is not just wining nine in a row; it is doing it while facing debilitating injuries and maintaining consistency as a team.
  2. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    Kudos to both the coaches & players who have battled through all of this adversity. Resilient. Focused. Determined. Just words when taken alone, but quite meaningful when used to describe the team this year. There IS a different feeling amongst this squad - different attitude, a quiet confidence that the job will get done.

    There's no quit in this dog, folks. NONE. Whether or not we reach the Promised Land of being NFL champions is a story still being written, but if we don't, it won't be for lack of effort or heart.

    I'm as proud of this group of Chargers as any team that I can remember. :tup:
    • Like Like x 1
  3. RiversRules

    RiversRules BoltTalker

    Oct 10, 2009
    I second that!!!!:abq1:
  4. Enormo

    Enormo BoltTalker

    Jul 22, 2007
    After three years I'm beginning to believe that the slow starts and hot finishes are more of a "feature" than a "bug", to steal a phrase from software development. It's such a disconcerting feature , however, that I'm still not entirely comfortable with it.

    That said, hats off to the entire team; players and coaches alike. What a gritty and determined team effort. A 2010 Lombardi would almost be too poetic to believe. And the fact that Rivers has next to zero chance to be league MVP is less poor judgement on the part of the voters than it is an outright snub.

    Go Bolts.
  5. Pointyearedog

    Pointyearedog I only put idiots on ignore...

    Aug 19, 2008
    Of course, there's nothing wrong with a certain person holding up a Super Bowl MVP award, that would be quite an acheivement...

    Pointy :icon_twisted:
  6. Kwak

    Kwak ....

    May 25, 2006
    That trumps the NFL MVP any day of the week and twice on Sunday. :tup:
  7. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard FORMER Charger fan at 7000'

    Jul 12, 2007
    Not really, if ECry Manning won it. He was in NO WAY the MVP of that game, but since he did just enough to justify it, and he's a Manning, it was GIVEN to him.

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