“Chargers—Things I Thought I’d Never See”
The Chargers home season is over, or maybe the correct term, the road games they had to play at home are over. It ended with a mugging at the hands of the Raiders on Sunday, before a near sellout crowd of fans clad in Silver & Black.
Never thought I’d see sections of seats from the 40-to-50 yard line ’empty’ the entire afternoon.
Equally stunning, the CBS TV broadcasters saying 95% of the stadium were Raiders fans.
And then there was the San Diego Sign Guy, who rented a plane to fly a banner at kickoff time that read “San Diego Chargers-forever…screw you Spanos”. Harsh.
The TV cameras had a shot of the owners box, the one where Spanos sits in the rear box, enclosed by glass, away from the cameras or the potential of boos from the fans.
On the field, the record fell to (5-10) and would you ever think any team led by Philip Rivers would have that type of record.
It was bad right from the start, when the Chargers took penalties on the first two snaps of the game.
There was the Raiders 13-play drive that ate up nearly 9-minutes of the third quarter. There were drives covering 71-75-75 yards for Oakland.
There was the pedestrian offense that the Raiders brought to town, ripping off big plays of 20-21-43-56, and this from a team that no longer had Antonio Brown on the roster and was without its gifted running back Josh Jacobs.
The Bolts opened the day with lots of mistakes and complicated it by having 3-straight 3-and-outs, all that with all that talent on offense.
Of course, in losing their 5th game in the last 6-outings, it’s obvious the interim offensive coordinator Shane Steichlnr, doesn’t belong with the job for next season. He ran 3-gadget plays, from reverses to flea flickers, and wound up losses of 1, 3, and 4-yards. It looked like high school football play calls.
How do you not target Keenan Allen for the first 15 minutes of the game. Why keep running ball when you had 13-rushes for 5-yards in the opening half. And why more Melvin Gordon and less Austin Eckeler?
The defense gave Raiders QB-Derek Carr plenty of space, and he took it, going (26-for-30), throwing deep early then short late as the Raiders owned the clock and the tempo for most of the second half.
Oh there were some moral victory days. Joey Bosa hit all the check boxes, a sack, a tackle for loss, and a pressure. Running mate Melvin Ingram had two sacks . Rookie Gerry Tillery had 2-pressures and half a sack.Derwin James had 3-tackles for losses and some heavy hits. But it was never enough.
But in typical fashion, the secondary gave up lots of yards and chunk plays. Desmond King got scorched for a long TD and gave up 5-completions; Michael Davis got beat 3-times just like that. Adrian Phillips was victimized on 3-other passes.
And the kid offensive lineman, Trey Pipkens took two more penalties and Trent Scott gave up a really bad sack that killed a drive.
It was a loud crowd, all for the Silver & Black.
The stadium was a home field in name only.
And the Chargers are (5-10) on the season.
And then there were unique closing comments. Rivers told the media after the game, ‘we felt feel like visitors on our own field’. And he wasn’t done, ‘we know what real home crowds used to be like’, referencing the good old days when they won games at home before raging San Diego Chargers fans.
Add it all up, things I never thought I’d see. A (5-10) team, a pathetic environment, and tone deaf ownership and spokesman, who still think they made the right move, leaving San Diego.
Chargers football, a disaster, in a city that ignores them.