When watching sports we all say to ourselves “I can coach better than that!” or “Even I knew that was going to happen!” This is usually followed by a string of expletives and a long swig on your beverage of choice. You are not alone my friends, I too, am a Sofa Coach.
If you’re like me, this scenario most recently happened to you several times last Sunday night during the Chargers games against the Refs Saints.
As a fan I try my best to stay rational and find the truths of the game hidden within the statistics and the play-calling. However, as we have witnessed with Norval these last few years, understanding his play-calling can leave you more confused than watching an episode of Lost.
We have come to expect that “one of the greatest offensive play-callers” as Troy Aikman called Norv on Twitter, would get the most out of our very talented weapons. Offensive coordinator? Maybe…but as a head coach we all saw the disturbing stat on Sunday Night Football that Norv owns the 2nd worst record in NFL history in one possession games at 49-68-1.
Let us take a look at what has happened in the second half of games over the last couple weeks.
With the Chargers ahead 27-13 and 8:40 left in 3rd quarter, Norv takes his foot off the gas and we go 3 straight series without a first down and finish the quarter with -1 total yards. Norv finally unleashes Mathews in the 4th, he gets 11 touches for 68 yards and we score 10 points to put the game out of reach.
Sunday night against the Saints, the Chargers are leading 24-21 entering the 4th quarter. Ryan Mathews had been in beast mode all night with 16 touches for 120 yards through first 3 quarters. We, as the smart sofa coaches we are, knew that Norv would keep feeding 24 the rock to drive down the field and eat up some clock. Right? RIGHT!?
Sadly Mathews would touch the ball only 2 more times on short passes the rest of the game. We ran ZERO rushing plays in the 4th quarter. For some reason Norv cut him off faster than the owner of a buffet does to Kirstie Alley.
Norv has been erratic with his play-calling, slow to get plays into Rivers, and we have seen the 1,000 yard blank stare from him far too often. For all we know he is playing reruns of Gilligan’s Island in his mind.
Now, we all know our QB Rivers is a fiery competitor, but he has seemed at odds with Norv this season. This was no more evident than when Norv decided to kick a 55-yard FG in 2nd quarter Sunday night. Ernie Padaon covers that very well here http://boltbeat.com/2012/10/09/you-gotta-punt-the-ball-norv/
All in all we are 3-2 and 2-0 in the AFC West. We have a huge showdown coming up under the bright lights of Monday Night Football against Manning’s neck and the Broncos. Hopefully we will see Norv and Rivers a bit more on the same page.
Bonus Stat – If you follow me on Twitter you have noticed my incessant #Free24 hashtag. So here is a Ryan Mathews fun fact – last year in 2 games against Denver, Mathews had 46 rushes for 262 yards, a tidy 5.7ypc and no fumbles!