Like most of you, I’ve been on a high since last Thursday. The win at Arrowhead was easily the Chargers’ biggest since their last playoff win. Depending on what they do from here on it, it could be bigger. After Rivers threw that pick in the end zone, I was convinced that they wouldn’t come back. Why would I? They could have called it back on replay, but I blamed Phil for throwing that pass off his back foot to begin with. I certainly didn’t expect the Chargers to win after they fell behind by 14. That drive was more than a little frustrating as it seemed like Mahomes was begging for every call and getting them like Michael Jordan. Bosa really does get held on every play and it seemed like it was his facemask being held on that play.
But the Bolts did get some makeup calls on their final drive, especially after Rivers got hit in the head. I’ve mentioned this year how I can’t watch kicks in real time. I look away when they are occurring in real time.During the Chargers’ last drive, I employed the same strategy for most of it. I looked out of the corner of my eye, though, which made everything blurry. It was like watching the Playboy channel in the 1980s when it was scrambled since you didn’t actually pay for it. The fact that Travis Benjamin had TWO mammoth plays, especially after falling on his ass short of the sticks once again, was the most improbable thing of the night. He dropped a sure touchdown in the opener against the very same team and suddenly he’s holding onto the ball after getting absolutely drilled? The fourth down play was even more amazing, although it took the close up shot from the pocket later on to really appreciate it. I did, however, see it out of the corner of my eye and knew the drive was continuing. I know this sounds insane, but I guess I just can’t take the downs after a loss like the Denver game. Of course, the Chargers have now put themselves in a situation where anything less than a Super Bowl win will be a disappointment.
How can I say that? We know these types of opportunities don’t come around very often. Rivers won’t play forever and this team looks to be different than the others we’ve sent into the postseason. That’s my son up top, by the way. He decided on his own to wear it to school, bless his heart. I’m not sure what’s going to be the bigger disappointment–rooting for the Chargers or being the Jewish kid in the Santa hat. Actually, Aaron has no real interest in football but told me he watched the end of the Chargers game from last Thursday.
“The Chiefs game,” he said.
How does he even know who the Chiefs are? Oh yeah, my Youtube search history. He even made me this sign for me for tomorrow.
I did put in an “r” after the “a.” I would love to say that tomorrow’s game is just the Chargers playing with house money. They’re in the playoffs already with two games to go. But while I will make a greater effort to enjoy the journey, I can’t help but believe there won’t be a better shot than now. Ekler will be out, but Gordon will be back in. It sounds like Keenan Allen will be back on the field as well. He’d better be careful since this was the same team he lacerated his kidney a few years back. I’m sure you remember that it was on a play not unlike the one in Arrowhead. I believe he caught the TD right before the end of the half, however.
Mike Williams has been getting better and better lately and Thursday Night was amazing. I can’t say enough also about the decision to go for two by Anthony Lynn. It was just a few weeks ago that he was trying a field goal on the first drive in Pittsburgh. Actually, he might do something like that again for all I know. He seems to deal with each situation differently. However, there was no indication that he’d go for the conversion in KC. We’d seen it backfire by the Titans firsthand, after all. It was one of the ballsiest calls I’ve ever seen, if not the ballsiest. If this team finishes the job, it will be an even bigger moment. As for me, I was just hoping we didn’t miss the extra point. I went downstairs to pour a shot when I saw my phone blowing up. The last time something like that happened was when I was stuck at the airport and following the game against the Ravens on Twitter in 2014.
When I saw the video of fans reactions, did I feel like I missed something? Not really. I’m not the guy who went to the AFC title game in 1994. But I promise to try to be more present the rest of the way. Of course, if they play shitty against Baltimore I am sure I’ll have to look away. Eric Weddle has absolutely nothing to do with tomorrow night even though the announcers will keep bringing him up. The best way to end that conversation is to do it on the field. The last time we played a game with a playoff spot already clinched was 2010 against the Redskins and Jason Campbell. Yeah, that was another lost opportunity come playoff time.
Like most of you, I can’t forget the past. This is a totally different team and coach. They aren’t even in the same city. Does any of it matter? I’m sure there will still be tons of purple tomorrow. It’s an LA thing. But this team seems to be pretty battle tested. Maybe all that apathy/hostility did some good. As Rivers said after the game, there’s not much more they can do to get ready for the playoffs.
Or is there? They know there is a reasonable chance the Chiefs can lose in Seattle. We know homefield (especially in LA) and a bye don’t guarantee anything. But getting themselves one step closer to the Super Bowl wouldn’t be a bad thing. If they lose, we can examine the idea of “road field advantage” someone from NFL Network put forth on Twitter. But I’m going to try to stay positive. This team has flaws and bad things can happen. But every year someone gets hot and wins it all. I’ll never believe it’s us…unless it becomes us.
Merry X-Mas to all.
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Talk to you next week.