“Chargers-Now We Find Out”
1-Man’s Opinion on Sports
It’s been a good season, at least on the field for the Chargers, though not necessarily off the field.
But Sunday we see how really good they are. They finally play somebody good, the Seahawks, in Seattle, where that home team is really good, playing before the sellout crowds known as the 12th Man.
The Chargers finished up last year strong, but that was thanks to playing the 3rd easiest schedule in the league. They’ve had a solid (5-2) start this year, with what few hard games they had interspersed with with bad teams. Thank goodness Cleveland and Buffalo are in the league.
But despite the nice record they’ve posted since November last fall (11-3), there are doubters out there about how good they really are. I’m one of them.
The Chargers went (2-5) vs teams with winning records last year. They’re (0-2) this season, having been smoked by Kansas City and then waxed by the Rams early on. Until you’ve started to beat good people regularly, going (2-7) means you haven’t prove anything.
Philip Rivers starts his 200th straight career game, chasing Brett Favre’s all time mark of (297). His stats are extraordinary (17TD-3 Int) and hardly any sacks.
Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekler have combined for (1283) all purpose yards, catching and running.
Rivers has down the field big play receivers in Tyrell Williams (21YPC) and Mike Williams (18YPC), plus the ever reliable Keenan Allen.
There is firepower everywhere, but the Bolts are not playing the slugs in the league going forward.
Seattle, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Baltimore are all ahead.
The Bolts have gotten wins against teams with a combined record of (9-28), again thanks to some bad people at the front end of the schedule. Going forward, the people they start playing, who are winning, have a combined record (24-13).
On top of all that is the venue and the team they play. The Seahawks defense is ranked 5th in the league. They go get quarterbacks (19-sacks), they pound opposing QBs (39-hits) and they take it away (16-turnovers). They’ve lost by 2-3-7 earlier in the season.
And the Pete Carroll factor weighs in with a (92-56) record as their head coach in the Northwest.
His once famous “Legion of Boom” defense is gone. Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Kam Chancellor, and Sheldon Richardson left in trades, free agency or retirement. Earl Thomas is gone for the year with a broken leg. There are 8-new starters on the defensive side of the ball, and look what Carroll has them doing.
The Kingdome used to be a nightmare of a place to go play, an insane asylum, back in the day. Century Link field is damn tough too, especially with the memory of the passing of owner Paul Allen still in everybody’s heart and mind.
The Chargers are (6-16) in games in Seattle, dating back to 1981, including having lost 6-of-the last 8-times then went to Puget Sound.
Rivers, a spectacular player and person, wills his team to win, ‘refuse to lose’ is my tag for him. But they may not have enough on both sides of the ball, regardless of how fearless he is.
It’s stunning, a future Hall of Fame quarterback like this, surrounded by an ever changing cast of players, has just 1-playoff win in 11-years. Think about that stat. My biggest fear is coming true, all the records, like Dan Marino, without a sniff of the Super Bowl or a ring. Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger, his draft mates, have multiples of them.
Seattle is a tremendous NFL city. The Chargers play football in a futbol stadium, where they are ignored by the media, mocked by opposing fans, and feel like they play 16-road games a year.
Sunday is a starting point to prove how playoff worthy they are. Or it might be the beginning of the same old-same old.
Rivers has never wilted in the heat and the hate that is Arrowhead Stadium or in Denver. But this may be tougher.
The Seahawks and its 12th man-fan mentality in the stands will be some challenge, as we find out whom the Bolts really are.