That being the case, I had a much better week than the past few, with a 13-3 record. That brings my season record up to 102-58. Another week like last week and I should regain some of my lost confidence. At this point in week 12, I am 2-1 after missing the Denver game. Great effort by the Broncos, I must admit. That win by Denver may have saved their playoff hopes. Dang-it!
Wrap Up: Chargers @ Broncos
I had predicted that this matchup was not looking good for the Denver Broncos, even at home. Denver was riding a losing streak. The Chargers were riding a winning streak. All the momentum was on the Chargers side and all signs pointed to a Chargers win! This game was one occasion where the signs were pointed correctly and the expected outcome did, in fact, take place.
Yes, the Chargers stormed into Denver and took the Broncos out with very little effort required. Not that Denver never showed signs of life, but rather Denver never showing signs that they could stop the Bolts.
Coaching seemed to be a big part of the Chargers win. As hard as it is to say, Norv Turner has been making great decisions lately and certainly out-coached his 32 year old counterpart, Josh McDaniels. For instance, Norv has done a great job calling plays on offense. He has been capitalizing on the opposing teams defense and has been able to find ways to fix their early season run problems. In this game, the Chargers found success on the ground, so they ran the ball. Norv could have told Rivers to throw 40 times and tried to run up the score. Instead, he saw that the run game was working, his team was dominating the time of possession, and ran the ball for over 200 yards! Norv only asked Rivers to throw the ball 22 times, in which he completed 17, to keep the chains moving and keep the defense honest. Not an easy task for a team that entered the game last in the NFL in rushing.
McDaniels showed his youth early. After just four passes, McDaniels decided to bench Chris Simms and throw in injured Kyle Orton. Orton had torn ligaments in his ankle the previous week and seemed to need some more time to heal. I will admit that Orton was more effective than expected, but why risk the season on just one game. It was especially surprising to see Orton out there when the game was out of reach in the fourth quarter.
Another rookie mistake by McDaniels was trying an onside kick when only down by 10 points in the third quarter. This kick came after a Broncos score and a couple of series where the Broncos defense had stopped the Chargers offense. Sure, if the Broncos had recovered the onside kick, he would have been thought of as a genius. However, they didn't get the ball. Instead, Philip Rivers and company had the ball at the Denver 46 yard line and marched in for a huge score. The game was essentially over at that point.
To wrap it up, I would say that the Chargers should be thrilled with the improvement on defense and in the running game. The defense still gave up too many yards on the ground but has really been tough in the red zone. There has been a dramatic increase in the last four or five games in pressuring the quarterback on defense and protecting him on offense.
One worrisome note (that may turn into a blessing) is that the Chargers lost starting right tackle Jeremy Clary for the year. John Runyan, former all pro with Philadelphia has been signed to fill his slot. It is hard to say when he will be expected to be ready to start.
Preview: Chiefs @ Chargers
It hasn't been that long since the Chargers went into Kansas City and began this current winning streak. True as that may be, a lot has changed since that time. The Chargers have continued to improve. The Chiefs got rid of Larry Johnson. The Chiefs have been winning games! In fact, the Chiefs have even beaten the Chargers nemesis, the Pittsburgh Steelers! Crazy!
With that in mind, it is obvious that they Chargers cannot afford to look past the Chiefs this week. If they do, they will be upset and once again tied with the Broncos for first place in the West.
On the bright side, the Chargers has some key things happen over the last week that will help them stay focused on K.C. and give them the whoopin' that they should be able to give them.
- Kansas City beat Pittsburgh
- Chargers took over the lead in the AFC West
- Denver upset New York to keep the pressure on the Bolts
This are all motivators that should help the Chargers keep from doing what they have a tendency to do......get over confident.
- Tila Tequila has filed a law suit against Shawne Merriman for many alleged crimes
- Antonio Cromartie was involved in an incident after last Sunday's game where a person was struck by a Champagne bottle. The victim claims that Cromartie threw the bottle at him. Cromartie says, "It slipped". He showed good hands on Sunday afternoon, but not Sunday night.
Oh well, I guess they are professionals and should be able to put these things behind them and do what they are getting millions dollars to do. We shall see.
GIANTS @ broncos (Broncos stepped up and Giants looked very bad)
bucs @ FALCONS (Bucs are horrible)
chiefs 10 @ CHARGERS 35
Enjoy the games!