It was a sight to behold, that Sunday shootout where the unbeaten Green Bay Packers held on to hold off the Chargers.
A sight to behold, a choked up Chargers coach Mike McCoy unable to answer questions about how the heart, face and voice of the franchise, desperately tried to ‘will’ his team to victory.
A sight to behold too, an upbeat Philip Rivers talking about a battered-beaten down team, holding together, and fighting to a near victory, where most everybody who goes into Lambeau Field, loses.
Not yesterday, not the Chargers. They were never intimiated by Aaron Rodgers (48-10) career record at the yard on Lombardi Avenue.
Rivers rewrote all the pages in the Chargers record book, a (43-65) day, worth 503-yards and a couple of touchdowns. He survived sacks, survived two more fumbles from his 1st round draft pick running back, survived the loss of 14-catch receiver Keenan Allen.
They fought back in a game where they could have been blown out, trailing early (17-3). They took control of the game going no huddle, no deep passes, everything short.
At one point they had 195-yards to a minus-15 for Green Bay, on the Packers turf. Thanks to his defense, the Packers went 20-minutes without a first down, and had 4-three and outs in a 5-possession span.
The offensive line held tough till late in the game, when the Packers came out of character and went blitz mode, to slow the Bolts down.
The defense, as weak as we have seen it in years, ran blitz packages we have not seen before. They sent Weddle, Addae, Verrett to wreak havoc. The inside defensive lineman played gap control.
Aaron Rodgers had nowhere to go, could not scramble left or right, and when he stepped forward, there was traffic everywhere.
And yet Green Bay won, because they were able to make big plays early, and a few big plays late. And the Packers defense stuffed San Diego in a goal line stand on the final two snaps of the game, one on a Danny Woodhead run, the other on a pass in the flat to Woodhead.
This was a loss, but this was also a moral victory. You take that unbeaten team to the final snap of the game, and you’ve accomplished alot.
You only wish this Chargers team did not have all the walking wounded they have. Somehow they found the resolve to play as a unified front with Rivers, and the defense manned up for the first time anytime this season.
Yes they are (2-4), but bad teams are on the schedule just ahead, including the woeful Bears, the substandard Baltimore Ravens to mention a few.
Bill Parcells was famous for mentioning after a bad loss, ‘no medals for trying’. In this case, maybe the Bolts deserve purple hearts for that effort, in that stadium, against that team.
Parcells would say ‘you are what your record says you are’. The record book should show the great leadership, courage, fire that Philip Rivers is, and how much better he makes everyone around him.
McCoy was too choked up to talk much about the defeat. Rivers stepped in and showed his quality and his belief, if this group plays this way again, they’ll win their share of games.