December Depression

Posted by on December 15th, 2014  •  0 Comments  • 

Peyton Manning was sick and then got hurt.  The Chargers played sick, and their playoff hopes have been hurt too.  It was a bad game to watch.  It’s turning out to be a bad season too.
The Denver Broncos found the resolve to win, despite a myriad of problems, clinching the AFC-West race, and dealing a possible deathblow to the Chargers post-season hopes, with an ugly (22-10) win in front of a Qualcomm Stadium crowd that had as much Orange in it as it had Powder Blue.
Manning, fighting the flu, and then hobbled with a bruised thigh, engineered a conservative run-first offense, and completed just enough passes to his star wide receiver Demariyus Thomas to give the Broncos the win,
For Philip Rivers, who built his record setting reputation on big plays down the field, it was a day of struggles.  His battered offensive line went to ‘max protect’ blocking to stop the Broncos pass rush, but it meant one less big play receiver in the pattern, and that coupled with an anemic run game, gave the Chargers few bullets in the gun to fight this fight.
The Broncos beat the Chargers for the 7th time in their last 8-outings over the last four years, not much of a rivalry to speak of.  Denver has won 5-of the last 6-years they have played at the Q, and Rivers is now (1-5) vs Manning since the Hall of Fame icon quarterback put on a Broncos helmet.
San Diego died under a siege of mistakes.  Brandon Flowers gave up 5-receptions to the bigger receiver Thomas.  Shareece Wright got burned in the 2nd half, and San Diego committed two costly pass interference penalties, a defensive hold, and a bad personal foul on offensive tackle DJ Fluker, that all impacted Denver scoring drives.
Mr. Automatic Nick Novak missed two field goals, and maybe that had something to do with his new holder Matt McBriar, one kick tipped at the line, the other pulled wide.
There was no Ryan Mathews to give San Diego tough guy yardage inside.  Keenan Allen got dinged with an ankle, and that meant a limitation on big plays.
The disappointing aspect was Manning was less than 100% healthy, left tackle Ryan Clady went out early with a thigh injury, tight end Julius Thomas contributed nothing with an ankle, and the Broncos lost both starting inside linebackers, and San Diego still lost.
So they are now on ‘the outside looking in’ at a wildcard spot.  The supposed ton of draft picks they hoped would change things, haven’t overwhelmed us, and Rivers is now looking at missing the playoff for the 4th time in the last 5-years.
The stadium is falling down, and for the second weekend in a row, there seemed to be an enormous number of Broncos fans having purchased tickets from Charges fans, just like last weekends invasion of Patriot fans.  Last week, Al Michaels on NBC dropped a few bombs on San Diego for the decay of the stadium, and yesterday Phil Sims opened the CBS broadcast taking a shot at Chargers fans selling their tickets to Broncos fans.  And Coach Mike McCoy implored the fans not to sell their tickets, to sit in their own seats.  Not a good weekend for the perception nationwide of the Chargers nor San Diego.
Won’t have to worry about it next week or the week after, this was the final home game, in what is now turning out to be a series of disappointing seasons in San Diego. 
They couldn’t beat a crippled and ill Broncos team.  Crippled and ill pretty much sums up the Chargers roster and playoff hopes too.
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