“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….” – Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
In what turned out to be a game of redemption for multiple Chargers, the ebb and flow of San Diego’s win over St. Louis seemed to have it all; positive and negative, that is.
I can honestly say that it took every second of three hours after the game for my heart to return to what could be considered a normal beat pattern. It is hard to imagine what it was like for the players, coaches and the entire organization.
While standing a few yards from Dean, AG and John Spanos at the end of the game, it was clear to see that they were just as concerned as to what the final outcome would be, and then their elation when the game was sealed by an interception with under a minute to go proved to be a flood of emotions as well. Tom Telesco was there near the west endzone as well. He ran down the sideline and along the way gave me a huge high-five in celebration of the win.
That last pass was picked off by safety Marcus Gilchrist. By all measures, he had a tough game up to that point. Mike McCoy even commented during the post-game press conference that “Gilly” was beat on a touchdown to Stedman Bailey in the game. Marcus then came back and redeemed himself by making what was the biggest play of his career.
Gilchrist was not alone in trading in early blunders for success that later helped seal a much-needed win. Keenan Allen immediately comes to mind. If one only looks at his receiving numbers — 6 receptions for 104 yards and a huge 35-yard touchdown reception — you might conclude that he had an excellent game. Although the “muffed” punt was credited to Allen as a fumble, it turned out that rookie Chris Davis interfered with Keenan’s ability to field the ball. One can expect that Davis probably received a stern talking to about the situation.
The former Cal wideout also had a hand in what would be another mishap. With the Chargers marching down the field and in scoring position, he slipped at the top of his cut on a route and the ball was intercepted and returned 99 yards for a touchdown. Rivers also could be at fault as it appeared that even had Keenan not slipped the throw may have still been picked off. Later in the game, after catching a pass from Philip Rivers, Allen sped down the field making moves and gaining as many yards after the catch as possible. Unfortunately, Keenan would then fumble the ball as he was tackled to the ground, giving the ball back to the Rams.
The second-year wide receiver would eventually redeem himself, similar to Gilchrist, when he caught a 29-yard touchdown pass with a little over 7 minutes to go in the 4th quarter. I would think that he let out a huge sigh of relief upon reaching pay dirt.
In that same Dickens’ novel, it is also written, “Keep where you are because, if I should make a mistake, it could never be set right in your lifetime.” This was said by a guard in the novel pertaining to his protection of a character in the book. There was no guard in Sunday’s game and these were not plays that would have lasted for a lifetime. But if the team had lost, the two men would be consumed with thoughts of plays that changed the game for the worse.
Both Gilchrist and Allen made mistakes. But they kept at it and found individual ways to set them right. They found their redemption and both Chargers were able to atone for their errors. Their shining moments are what will be remembered by most.
The worst times may have come first, but the best times of yesterday’s game led San Diego to a big win over the Rams.
Thanks a lot for reading.