Sunday, January 13, 2008

Chargers better when bruised and battered?


Billy Volek at quarterback? Michael Turner at running back? Andrew Pinnock at blocking back?

It sounds like the end of an exhibition game for the Chargers ... not the beginning of a run for the AFC Championship.

Who would have believed the Chargers would score their winning touchdown on a drive with much of their second string on the field in Sunday’s 28-24 upset of the Indianapolis Colts?

Throw in a key catch on the winning drive by Legedu Naanee – and the fact tight end Antonio Gates was more than hobbled - and it makes the upset even more monumental.

So, would the Chargers be better off with their second-string offense in the AFC Championship game Sunday, Jan. 20 at New England?

Don’t even think about it.

The win at Indy proved the Chargers have a superior offensive line from tackle to tackle with Marcus McNeill, Kris Dielman, Nick Hardwick, Mike Goff and Jeromey Clary.

Their power blocking certainly proved to be a difference on the winning eight-play, 78-yard drive against the Colts capped off by Volek’s 1-yard touchdown run.

If nothing else, the Colts will remember their last game in the RCA Dome as a loss to San Diego in the same building where the Chargers spoiled what had been a perfect 13-0 season in 2005 for Indianapolis.

But while the Chargers have had Indy’s number in three straight games, New England also seems to have San Diego’s number.

Who can forget the Chargers’ heartbreaking 24-21 loss to the Patriots in last year’s AFC Divisional playoffs at home ... or the horrible 38-14 loss at New England earlier this year?

Philip Rivers and LaDainian Tomlinson better heal in a hurry from their knee injuries.

Otherwise, this may be known as the year that second-string "skill" players carried San Diego to its second-ever Super Bowl appearance ... or another lopsided loss to New England.

2 comments:

patrick said...

Who would have thought the Chargers could win without Rivers, LT, Gates and Neal? They are all going to the Pro Bowl. This team must be very good to win without these guys. Look out New England!

kareem said...

This is certainly a story worth telling: a second string quarterback, second string running back and a second string full back and some recievers who don't start and they win the game on the road against the defending Super Bowl Champions. Way to go Chargers. That was a great game and you had a great year too bad it ends in New England next Sunday.