The Los Angeles Chargers won their game against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday starting their season with a much-needed win.
No need to get excited folks. Stay calm, breathe, relax and take this into perspective. It is not a big deal, it is only one win in a 16-game schedule. I have heard this all before, I know all of that to be true. One problem, the Chargers won!
As a fan of the Chargers, I have endured many a crushing defeat. Opening day losses are absolutely devastating to a fan’s hopes for a season, especially a bad loss. So Sunday’s win was especially exciting as it extended into overtime where the Chargers dealt the Colts a Week 1 death blow.
The Colts and Chargers were like two fighters at the end of a long fight, bloodied and beaten, battered and bruised, tired and gasping for air. But on this day the two fighters would barely begin to dance in the 12th round when the Chargers pulled back and threw a powerful body blow.
This punch came in the form of Austin Ekeler right to the gut of the Colts. (In my best announcers voice), “Indianapolis is down. I think this one is over folks, Ekeler with the KO!”
I could try to contain my excitement but that would be a disservice to myself as a fan and to you as the reader. The Chargers are 1-0 for the first time under head coach Anthony Lynn. This is special because 0-1 has been the standard as a Chargers fan. No, I am not calm, I am very excited. And here is why I am excited:
It is no secret that the Chargers have been dealing with, for the purpose of staying positive let’s call it an “incomplete roster”. As such, I was very concerned about many positions on the Chargers roster heading into this game. I am not saying that those problems are fixed, but it was good to see the Chargers players that were in attendance step up and get the win.
This was a big win for the hopes of this upcoming season. This was not so much about history. Not about getting another proverbial monkey off of the back of this team. These Chargers exorcised all of the demons they needed to not named Tom Brady last season.
This team, these players needed this win as badly as the fans wanted it. Belief in one’s self is not just a given. These players hear all of the same chatter and talk all offseason that we do.
They hear all of the doubts about the offensive line, the running backs, the safeties, (as long as Derwin James is inactive). Will the Chargers be able to block the Von Miller‘s and JJ Watt’s? Will the Chargers be able to execute an effective running game without MGIII?
What will the Chargers do with their safeties and hybrid linebackers without No. 33 on the field? Will they be able to stop anyone?
These questions were not necessarily answered today. Offensive and defensive schemes are revealed and evolve over the course of an entire season. What was on display was this team’s heart.
These Chargers have the same belief in themselves as last year’s squad. There is one difference I picked up on, these Chargers, this team, expects to win. That can not be said of many past Chargers teams. The expectation to win. That has been missing.
We still have a long way to go. There are15 more games in the course of the next 16 weeks. If Sunday was any indication though then this is going to be a great season to be a Chargers fan.
Philip Rivers is fired up and in October form. Ekeler looks poised to lead this team as the lead “back”. I say it like that because I think that we are seeing yet another shift in the game that we love.
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I think that Ekeler and his style of play, catching more passes on short screens and such, is the model that we will see more of from running backs moving forward. More on that at another time though.
Needless to say that I think the Chargers should feel good about themselves and their upcoming season. I did not even get into the defense and how Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram devastated that Colts offensive line all day long. Or how Ty Long came in and saved the day- kicking and punting in a dual role in his NFL debut. Maybe that should be my next piece?
The NFL season is long and it is a grind. There are bound to be gloomier days ahead. Today though my head is in the clouds
So yes Charger fans, feel free to get excited. Feel free to get on social media and spread the word. The Chargers are 1-0 and headed to the Super Bowl!