Sep 14, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates (85) leaps to catch a touchdown pass past Seattle SeahawksSeattle Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor (31) during second quarter action at Qualcomm Stadium. Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
The Chargers came away with a big win against the defending champion Seahawks. The Chargers played about as well as they could have, edging the ‘Hawks 30-21. As stated in my previous article, in order for the Chargers to take down Seattle, they needed to challenge the secondary and Richard Sherman instead of go around them like Green Bay. San Diego did exactly that with 284 passing yards from Philip Rivers including 3 touchdowns to Antonio Gates. 6 different Chargers caught passes as the Chargers spread it around to challenge the Legion of Boom.
The Bolts offense made Seattle’s mighty defense look somewhat human for most of the game. Another key to the game I mentioned was to make the Seahawks’ offense one-dimensional. Marshawn Lynch only had 36 rushing yards, the only blemish was the Percy Harvin “touchdown” run (put an asterisk by that one).
What the Chargers cannot afford to do is have a let-down game that seems to always follow a big Charger win. It seems like every year, the Chargers have a big win with lots of national attention, only to lose to a far weaker opponent. The Seahawks still may be one of the best teams the Chargers face this year. I have a hard time believing Arizona is a better team than Seattle. But this does not mean that the tough tests are over. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Take last year, for example. The Chargers pull off a huge, clutch win against the then, 4-1 Colts on Monday Night Football in October, and then 2 weeks later they lose to a Redskins team that would eventually finish 3-13. They also went into Denver and beat the eventual AFC champion Broncos on Thursday Night Football and then lost to a mediocre Dolphins team the next week.
I could bring back examples of years previous as well. The point is, now that the Chargers have some momentum with a huge win, they cannot afford to lose a game they are supposed to win. That is what being a championship team means. The Chargers’ next 4 opponents (Bills, Jaguars, Jets, Raiders) should be games they win (an argument can be made that the Bills are better than people think). With how the Bolts played Sunday against the defending Super Bowl champions, anything worse than 3-1 in that stretch will be disappointing. The Chargers have the NFL’s attention now and they cannot afford to lose it by choking a game to an inferior opponent.