Nov 23, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers strong safety Marcus Gilchrist (38) celebrates his interception against the St. Louis Rams in the closing seconds that sealed a 27-24 win at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
So, just when it looked like this game was over, due to a Shareece Wright playing one of his most awful games to date… and Marcus Gilchrist letting every receiver in his general area walk away with a huge play… Marcus Gilchrist SOMEHOW gets his mojo straight, and saves the game. I’m giving him credit for it, but I refuse to forget the rest of the game, based on him finally making a solid play. The Rams back-up QB was going at both of them all day, because he knew he could. The fact that Gilchrist was even forced to make that clutch play, was because Wright let someone get by him deep at the absolute worst time. They both need to look in the mirror. Gilchrist might have a slightly easier time than Wright, but it shouldn’t be an easy thing to do, based on his performance. I’ll say this… At least he didn’t “Marlon McCree” it.
But, a win is a win, right? We keep pace in the division, and we keep pace in the AFC playoff race with a record of 7-4. The record is prettier than the play of the Chargers, lately. But, you cannot discount wins in this league. It appears that everyone has an ugly loss on their record this year. The Chiefs lost to the Raiders this week, and the Broncos couldn’t take down the Rams last week. It’s an upside down crazy world in the NFL right now. This year has been ridiculous, when you can shut the Jets out, but be shut out by the Dolphins. I don’t often quote Mike McCoy, but “the parity in this league is too great to overlook any opponent”. The Rams defense is no joke, their QB & receivers were playing well today, and Tevon Austin was hitting on all cylinders. Why Scifres kicked RIGHT to him on that last drive, I will never know. He got lucky, because…… penalties.
The difference was that the Rams turned into the Raiders today, shooting themselves in the foot with penalties, that erased a total torch on Brandon Flowers, an easy pass over the top of Shareece Wright, and a couple of other plays. Our team, on the other hand, wasn’t much better. Wright had a bad PI call, Fluker got into the penalty mix twice, and Troutman had possibly the worst penalty all day. This HAS to stop. The first play of the game was a penalty on Watt. These opening play “mishaps” need to stop. Penalties and sacks can’t happen on the first play of the game. It kills the momentum, and I am tired of 1st and 20. I can’t stand seeing 2nd & 10 to 3rd & 3 every 4 downs. I want to see more 1st down conversions on 2nd down.
Rivers was “un-thrilling” early in the game. He did manage to make some clutch throws to Gates, Floyd, Royal, Allen, Green, and Ajirotutu today. The biggest thing this team needs to understand is that they need to use Mathews in the red zone. I thought the “take Mathews out between the 20’s” frame of mind left with Norv.. and then Whisenhunt. So, I can’t say it’s Reich. It’s got to be McCoy and Rivers. The minute I saw that they were not using Mathews in the redzone, I knew the coaching staff STILL hasn’t learned their lesson. I guess Mathews needs to run for a TD outside of the 20, to get a shot at a TD this year… which he did tonight. He was the offensive MVP of the game today… Gachkar & Liuget were the defensive MVP’s, IMO.
So, 7-4. It hasn’t been pretty. The o-line still can’t stop Rivers getting sacked on a drive where we are killing the clock for the win. The secondary is still somewhat of a liability. The outside linebackers still aren’t getting pressure. The Chargers are still turning the ball over. But, the defense has been able to hold (with a little help from penalties), and the running game appears to be back on track. Mathews coming back into the game after a shoulder injury was a good sign. ICE UP SON! Oliver and Donald Brown playing well today showed us a glimpse of what this “3 headed monster” was supposed to look like. I thought all three backs did very well today.
So, Charger fans… we are 7-4. That’s nothing to turn your nose up at. We held strong against a couple of desperate teams. Something the Chiefs and Broncos failed to do. We are now just a half game behind the Chiefs, and the Dolphins lost today. The Chargers needed a win today. They got it. It was a must win game. They almost blew it, but they held on, thanks to Marcus Gilchrist. If Mike McCoy & Frank Reich can get their game plan straight, there is no reason this team can’t keep winning. The fact that they FINALLY got Green, Tutu, and Allen back into the mix was key to this game… even if it took 11 weeks, and didn’t happen until the final quarter. We need more of that. Quick strikes.
Next week we face the Ravens in Baltimore. It will be cold. It will be loud. The Ravens are 6-4, and play the Saints in New Orleans tomorrow. The Packers beat New Orleans there, but seem to be the only ones who can do it. So, let’s cheer for the Saints to win tomorrow. The Browns & Bengals both kept pace with a win today, also. The Chargers are chasing the Chiefs, and Steelers. They need to keep focused, and win on the road in Baltimore. I have faith they will. They are getting things worked out… one game at a time.
Keep Bolting Toward Excellence!