I quit watching with ten minutes remaining in the game, not because of the game itself but because I could no longer tolerate listening to the announcers ignoring the game. For at least eight minutes they interviewed players, talked about New Orleans, and talked about seafood as the game went on behind them unnoticed.
The Chargers will win their division because they have Philip Rivers and because they play in a really weak division but they will not proceed much, if any, beyond that. They still have too many players who are undisciplined and are simply not paying attention. This has always been the personality of the Chargers team, lack of discipline and physical condition, and I do not see that it has changed significantly.
Too many players are dropping passes and running the wrong pass routes on offense. The defense still has huge problems. Defensive backs, when playing off, are playing way too far off; the secondary is often confused and indecisive; pressure on the quarterback is erratic; defensive backs, even when in position to make a play, do not make the play.
Our secondary is afraid of the opponent’s pass receivers, and that fear is reflected in the manner of play on the field. It is reflected in the lack of coverage and by the manner in which the players falter in clutch moments.
Antoine Cason on one play was in perfect position between the quarterback and the receiver. He leaped with, and higher than, the receiver. The ball went between his hands and bounced off his helmet. He fell down and the receiver did not, allowing the receiver to catch the rebound and score. An average high school defensive back would be embarrassed by that play.
A writer in yesterday’s paper said that the Chargers’ defense believed it had “found its identity.” I believe it has; Larry, Curly and Mo. The kind of defense that gives the opposing quarterback a rating of 157.8 halfway through the second quarter.