Sunday, January 14, 2007

The San Diego Chargers: Heartbreak

Once again, the San Diego Chargers are going home early after a missed Nate Kaeding field goal. Two years ago in San Diego, while playing the New York Jets in an AFC Wild Card, Kaeding missed wide on a kick that would have won the game in sudden death overtime. Tonight, Kaeding missed short on a 54-yard attempt that would have put the game into overtime, in a match that clearly favored the Chargers.

That being said, Kaeding deserves little to none of the blame for the loss. The blame, instead, should fall on the shoulders of a wide receiver, and two members of the Chargers secondary.

In the third quarter, the Chargers forced a punt from the New England 18. Eric Parker muffed it, and instead of falling on it (which he could have quite clearly have done), Parker tried to pick it up. The Patriots recovered.


That same drive, on a 3rd and 13, Shaun Phillips sacked Tom Brady and forced a fumble, which would have forced a New England punt or 40+ yard field goal attempt. Instead, Chargers cornerback Drayton Florence attempted to head-butt a Patriot, resulting in a personal foul. The drive ended with a 34-yard field goal by the Patriots' rookie kicker.


In the fourth quarter, on a 4th and 5, Marlon McCree intercepted Tom Brady, then fumbled it. The Patriots recovered and marched down the field for the game-tying touchdown and two-point conversion.


Then, on the last play of the Chargers' last possession, Kaeding's game-tying 54-yard field goal attempt fell short.


The really sad part? The Patriots barely played well enough to stay in the game. Yes, Brady had his moments, as usual, but their run game was nonexistent, and their passing game was disrupted effectively. Still, when a team screws up as many times as the Chargers did today, allowing one of the greatest quarterbacks of the young 21st Century time to do his thing, he's going to do it. And he did.



Anonymous said...

Marty Schottenheimer is to blame. In fact, I think "Schottenheimer" is actually German for "shoot in foot." 4th and 11, at the 30, early in the 1st quarter, and instead of kicking a medium-range field goal, he blatantly shows no confidence in young Nate Kaeding, and goes for it? Then rests the team's season on Nate's shoulders (foot) and sends him out there to make a last second 54-yarder?

Eric Parker, Drayton Florence, Marlon McCree...The fact is, every Schottenheimer-coached playoff team has shot themselves in the foot during the post-season, and it's not a coincidence, it's Schottenheimer.

The Chargers need to do whatever it takes to keep Cam Cameron - especially if that means firing Marty and promoting Cam. LT deserves a coach who can win in the postseason.

Posted by RockyRob on January 15, 2007 - Monday - 2:48 AM

Anonymous said...

Nah. I'm no huge Marty fan, but there's no way I pin this on him. He was trying to make a statement that everyone wanted him to make... it just didn't work out. But that in no way, shape, nor form, is what lost the game.

Parker, Florence, McCree... take back any one of those and the Chargers host the Colts next week.

But, A.J. is going to use the 4th and 11 excuse to fire Marty anyway. And, yes, Cam Cameron is a good replacement.

Posted by JeffScape on January 15, 2007 - Monday - 2:55 AM

Anonymous said...

Jimmy Johnson, Jimmy Johnson, Jimmy Johnson! (I'm clicking my heels together, AND I have my fingers crossed.) But, like I said, do whatever it takes to keep Cam Cameron.

Posted by RockyRob on January 16, 2007 - Tuesday - 1:36 AM

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