On Saturday I had scheduled a babysitter for today so I could use this afternoon to review the game. Early this morning I called and cancelled. I am not prepared to revisit last night’s debacle.
We all knew exactly what the Saints were capable of as a team. They were going to come in and sling the ball on offense. They were not going to be able to stop the run defensively; based on the first four games of the season why would we asssume it would change for last night’s game?
Despite what the team knew about the Saints, Turner decided to ignore the facts and play the Saints without any regard to what kind of a team they were on paper or on the field.
Like all Chargers’ games, win or lose, there were both good and bad things about last night’s game.
Robert Meachem was able to snag two touchdown receptions against his former team.
Quentin Jammer picked off a tipped pass from Brees.
I thought that Ryan Mathews looked terrific. He was explosive while being decisive in his cuts. My only issue with Mathews was how little he was used.
There was no doubt that the Saints were completely incapable of stopping Mathews. It was painfully obvious.
But Norv Turner got away from the run and allowed one of the best quarterbacks in the game to dictate the pace and eventually the outcome. The signal caller I’m referring to is Drew Brees.
Brees had to be salivating as he watched the way this game unfolded. Me on the other hand? Not so much. With each and every play it became more and more evident that it was going to end the way most one possession games have concluded in Norv Turner’s coaching career…… with a loss.
I know all of you could sense it too. Please don’t confuse my frustration with “band-wagonning.” That couldn’t further from the truth.
I’m sure that most of you heard me ranting and raving about the replacement officials from the time they announced that they would be used through their removal from the games. Last night the “real” officials did an extremely poor job when the game mattered most.
The last four minutes of that game were embarrassing to watch as a former official. Now, I officiated at youth, middleschool, and highschool levels. There’s a huge difference and I know that. But I can’t tell you how badly my blood was boiling on that Roman Harper interception late in the game. Floyd was “wearing” a defender like a cape on his back on that play. I was dumbfounded to see that no flag was thrown for defensive pass interference. That play would make it that much more difficult to find a way to win the game.
But the Chargers found a way to fight back. The team had a chance driving in the waning moments of the fourth quarter. Then Rivers hits Gates with a pass that would add a significant amount of light and hope to the situation. The next thing I know there was laundry on the field.
In my opinion, if you are going to throw any flags on that play, which I wouldn’t have, you throw two. One on the defender for holding Antonio and the other on Gates for using his arm to force the defenders interference away. Meaning they would have been offsetting and a replay of the down.
The Saints offense looked good through the air while not establishing much of a ground game. The Saints defense gave up yards in both the passing and running games. They were exceptionally poor at stopping the run.
They are who we thought they were and we let ‘em off the hook.