The Anatomy of a Choke-Job

It still hurts.  I know, I know, there are more pressing matters in the world than a silly football game.  Chargers fans have heard it over and over again since Sunday: “San Diego Super Chokers”, “Chargers lose their poise”, “Rookie QB, rookie RB, rookie head coach shock San Diego”, “Nate Kaeding tried to shoot himself … but he was wide right.”  As a true fan, I’ve got to weigh in.

First, let’s give credit to the Jets.  They’re a solid team.  When you’ve got a great defense, you have a chance to win.  Plus, they have a very good running game.  But a solid team has no business beating a top five (maybe three) team on that team’s home turf.

I believe the Chargers’ downfall starts with overconfidence.  The week prior to the big game, a whole lot of smack talk was going around.  A little bit of that for showmanship is normal, but some of the knuckle-head Chargers really disrespected the Jets.  Saying the Jets were lucky to be in the play-offs or that they didn’t deserve to be there just served to fire up an up and coming team.  Very unprofessional.  I thought my Chargers were more classy than that.

Secondly, the talent-laden Chargers proved to be mentally weak.  They just fell apart under the pressure of the play-offs.  They were sloppy, penalty flags flying hither and yon for personal fouls, unsportsmanlike conduct and numerous false starts.  False starts??  Okay, that might be excusable if you’re on the road with the enemy crowd disrupting your cadence.  But at home?  Inexcusable.  Then you had the uncharacteristic dropped passes and horrid interception Philip Rivers threw late in the game (the first one that bounced off of Vincent Jackson’s leg into Revis’s hands was a fluke).

But at least we have the most accurate kicker in NFL history.  Check that, he’s the most accurate regular season kicker in NFL history.  He just had to end a streak of 69 consecutive field goal inside 40 yards when it counted the most.  I’m torn about what to do about Nate Kaeding.  Do you just let a pro bowler go?  But can you ever trust him in crunch time?  I wouldn’t blame the Chargers if they parted ways with Nate the not-so-great.

By the end of the year, I was really pulling for Norv Turner to win “coach of the year”.  Now I’m wondering if the Chargers made the right choice in giving him a contract extension.  It is evident that he did not have this team ready for the Jets, and proved to be inept at making any of the needed adjustments to pull off the win.  His offense was completely miffed by the blitz packages and coverages.  Did they not watch any film?  I’m just an eight-man flag football coach, but I could see that they needed to go more to the check downs from the max protect set ups.  Will we ever win it all with Norv?  I’m a bit skeptical but I have a glimmer of hope.

That glimmer is all about #17.  Philip Rivers is the type of super-star quarterback who can put a team on his back and take them to the promised land.  Keep some weapons around him and we’ll get there.  But, please … no more choke-jobs.

I just had to get that off of my chest.  But I don’t feel much better.


3 comments so far

  1. Robby on

    you know who doesn’t choke.. yeah you know who jay lol.. KOBE BRYANT!!!

  2. Jay on

    Robby, you are so deluded. But I love that about you.

  3. lonestarpreacher on

    at least the charger kept it close. my cowboys didnt even show against the vikes last week!

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