The Chargers traveled to Miami for an early Sunday game against Eastern Division foes the Dolphins. Unfortunately, they must have left their talents in South Beach. That game was over before halftime. I mean, insert your clichés here.
If the San Diego Union-Tribune thought that the Chargers weren’t ready for prime-time after losing in Denver, Oct. 23rd, what are they saying after the team was dominated in every way Sunday? Tom Krasovic wrote on his blog immediately after the game that “it feels like (the Chargers) season is over.” To be honest, they made the Dolphins looked like their 1972 ancestors who went on to win Super Bowl VII and finish 17-0, the NFL’s only perfect season.
I could easily go into my usual narrative on how the game went for the four quarters and how bad the team looked. So bad, in fact, that outside of Southern California CBS put the rest of the country out of its misery by switching to a more competitive contest.
Here’s a few observations and yes, I watched until the very end which I think is cool no matter what Darren Smith thinks.
- The Play of the Game: On the Chargers opening drive, Coach Mike McCoy decided to gamble on a fourth and one on the Dolphin 22 and Oliver ran left for a loss of one. The Chargers turned the ball over on downs and the Dolphins promptly marched 77 yards for a score and a lead the team would never relinquish.
- Player of the Game: Special teamer Seyi Ajirotutu had seen enough and was tossed at the end of third quarter for making contact with an official. He was involved in a few after the whistle scuffles throughout the contest but in my eyes he gets a game ball for his efforts. Yeah, I’m being a little sarcastic but even the play-by-play team of Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts commented that Ajirotutu had enough and wanted to go to the locker room early.
The game was an embarrassment. The team had 10 days to prepare. Dan Patrick, on “Football Night in America,” remarked that the Chargers looked like they needed “a year.” No one with half a brain could throw the officials under the bus for this massacre. I think the Chargers have no one to blame but themselves. The team is now in a downward spiral that now numbers three losses in a row.
They’re limping to the bye week. Listening to sports radio on Monday, many in San Diego area are questioning whether the imminent returns of Chargers starters will provide immediate relief after the team returns.
Minus the Nov. 16th game at home against Oakland (and we know how well their fans travel to San Diego), the remaining schedule consists of teams all at or above the .500 mark. As of this writing, two of them are division leaders (New England & Denver). With the Rams winning Sunday, even they can no longer be a team to take lightly.
At the end of game, I found it disheartening to hear Coach McCoy sound so nonchalant about the loss. “We need to play better,” he said. After a loss like I’d expect the visitor’s locker room to need repairs after the coach destroyed the furniture. In his afternoon show with Billy Ray Smith, Scott Kaplan placed the blame squarely on the coach’s shoulders.
If the season ended today, the Chargers would not be a contender. I’m sorry, that’s the play I’ve seen on the field.
The game was such a blow-out that Dan Fouts started telling stories about the Chargers last victory in Miami in 1981. He also added the snark that there’s no one left to tell the stories to. The 33-year streak continues and I’m willing to bet that if the Miami Dolphins do not appear in next season’s schedule, there will be 53 men who’ll be very happy.
With seven games left, I’m certain I can’t be alone in wondering which way the Chargers go after the bye week. Are fans left hoping that the team goes on its usual late season run? Is this same old story we’ve witnessed season after season except with a different coach and front office?
As always, your comments and questions are welcomed in the section below. Don’t stop believing fans, but is it time to start worrying?