Most of the media has characterized the Chargers’ Week 1 win in Oakland the way you might refer to your rich friend’s car in high school — sure it’s “his” new Mustang, but did he really earn it, slaving away behind the register at Taco Bell to make the downpayment? Every word that’s been spilled over the Chargers’ performance reeks of skepticism about how deserving they were to leave with a W. It’s hard to wade far into a given article without encountering the words “longsnapper” and “gift-wrapped” in close succession. Three bad snaps on punts never hurt the opposing team’s chances, I’ll grant you.
But Week 1 was a blueprint for Chargers’ success. Seriously. Blue-print.
Most of the media starts from the premise that a truly good team needs to blow the doors off the competition in order to legitimize its success. If you’re not the 2007 Patriots, drowning the opposition in 70-yard touchdown passes, you just don’t project to do well in the long term.
Witness Jay Paris’s column Wednesday morning. He actually defends the Chargers — insofar as they won the game:
The Chargers rushed for only 32 yards on Monday night —- and won
They scored only nine points on three possessions inside the Oakland 11-yard line —- and won.
They committed nine penalties for 78 yards —- and won.
Take the victory —- no matter how it was obtained —- [and] stuff it away in the left-hand column….
Let me take it a step further, Paris. If you found that Chargers’ performance appealing, you don’t have to defend it. You should be proud of it.
Limiting the opposition to two trips into the red zone all night wins football games. Efficient passing from Phillip Rivers — completing 72 percent of his passes (including two drops by Gates), no turnovers — wins football games. Commitment to a balanced offensive attack, even when the running game is putting up modest gains, wins football games.
Start from the premise that the Chargers won. A road game. By eight points. And even then should have won by 16. Then ask yourself what they might have done right to achieve that result. You start to look at that game a bit differently. With a sense of pride.
A lesser light of the San Diego media than Jay Paris wrote that the Chargers won’t fare so well against the vaunted Atlanta Falcons if they play like they did Monday. The Chiefs had no trouble scoring against the Falcons last week. They got crushed at home. Why? Three Matt Cassel turnovers and putrid defense.
I’ll take my chances the Bolts way.