I use the question mark because it didn’t feel like a victory after OT. It certainly feels bittersweet after learning that Hunter Henry had a huge catch and block on Ekler’s run AFTER fracturing his kneecap. If you watched the final run more than once, as I am sure any FAITHFUL READER did, you saw Henry was hi-fiving the crowd as the cannons went off. His injury is reminiscent of Denzel Perryman yukking it up on the sideline last year and then we found out the following morning he was out for the season.
But it seems like Henry is not, as is the case with Mike Williams. Williams may not play Sunday, but it doesn’t seem like a long-term problem. He practiced today. Plus, we did win another game we would have so often lost in the past. Rivers’ end zone interception, Desmond King’s fumble, the inability to stop the Colts on 4th down AND on the tying two-point conversion…These were all trademarks of a game the Chargers lose under Marty, Norv, and McCoy. In fact, they lost many games like that under Anthony Lynn as well. But they didn’t. Adam Vinateri already gifted the Chargers a win against Indy in 2007, but this was insane. There is no explanation for his misses on Sunday other than that Dignity Sports Park had it in for him. I mean, he had never kicked there before…
The Bolts also got some luck with the Ebron call that preceded the last missed kick. I don’t know if it was a touchdown or not. I know that we don’t often get that call. In the Chargers’ biggest moments last year, they had luck on their side. The non-calls that led to big touchdowns at Cleveland and Pitt and Mike Williams’ tying touchdown in KC immediately come to mind. They could have been called for OPI on that touchdown but weren’t. Of course, there appeared to be a penalty on Rivers’ end zone interception in Arrowhead as well.
Philip Rivers claimed he was trying to set the team up for a Hail Mary on the last play of regulation, even though it seemed like he was just running out the clock. The Colts may or may not have been prematurely celebrating, but Rivers deserves a ton of credit for taking control in OT. There have been so many games that have ended with him getting a shot and not coming through, but last year we saw him come up huge in Pitt and KC. We know sometimes it’s not all on him and that some other breakdown caused those losses. But he came through big time on Sunday.
There were a ton of things that need to be “cleaned up.” I didn’t think Ekler (and Jackson) would make me forget Melvin Gordon for a week. I won’t make any grand statements for the future about his holdout, but clearly we should be trying to trade him for OT, LB, or CB help. I don’t know if “The Other Two” can hold up for an entire season, but if we have any intention of doing anything THIS year we need to fix some shit up. Trent Scott was awful and could get Rivers killed. Telesco can’t really be confident that Okung is coming back. I don’t think that he doesn’t prioritize blockers. Lamp and Feeney were highly touted. But Lamp can’t be worse than Scott. Of course, we all thought Rayshawn Jenkins might be something and he looked awful on Sunday.
Michael Davis looked so bad at first when came in last year. His interference call almost cost the Seattle game. But he did get better and as soon as he went down Sunday, Facyson got roasted. Reich went after him time and time again. But Trevor Williams can’t be counted on to stay healthy either. Why are we expecting him to do anything this year? I could say the same thing about Perryman. They clearly need him (or even Brown) in the run defense, but they are never healthy. Thomas Davis looked slow and lost on a bunch of plays, but racked up a ton of tackles. Was that because he was covering up for all the other holes? It was like watching Takeo Spikes, who somehow got nominated to the HOF this week. I don’t think his Cincy days were even that good. Adrian Phillips is not Derwin James but was also a weak link out there. He could have ended the game by making that stop on the 2-point conversion.
Yes, I still keep the 2014 December play by play from Arrowhead. It could be worse, I know. They DID win on Sunday. It sucks that Hunter Henry got hurt yet again, but it’s not as if we’ve really ever had him healthy. When he has been we haven’t always figured out how to use him anyway. Sean Culkin and Virgil Green are apparently than Antonio Gates. I would still have liked to see Gates come back, but maybe it’s also an indication that Henry won’t be out for the year. I don’t believe in a Chargers curse on the field, but the injuries are insane already.
But it’s still early and this is a winnable game. I know the Lions are coming off a bad tie but they are certainly a team that can find itself in a “here we go again” situation. Sound familiar? The Chargers have seemed to toughen up from playing in front of a crowd that can be hostile even at home. I’m sure Patricia will have the Detroit defense keying on Ekler and Allen. Wouldn’t you? I will try to remind myself that the Bolts could have put that game Sunday away if not for the pick in the end zone. It was a risky pass but you have to give Malik Hooker credit for the one-handed interception. At least Rivers was able to make up for it. I really hate that Gus Bradley keeps using that “picket fence” formation on 3rd and long. I know we don’t want to give up another 4th and 29, but you are basically surrendering 20 years with that play. On Sunday, the next play was the King fumbled punt. He opened the game with a great return, but this was the second straight game he lost one. Yeah, I know you tried to forget about the playoff game at New England.
That’s all for now. I’m headed to New London to see Gov’t Mule tomorrow night. I am going to watch the game with my mom Sunday afternoon. I know, I’ve some really tolerant family members.
I mean, he was on the field for the final play. I thought it was safe to give my jersey to Aaron. Anyway, we’ll talk next week. Maybe we can get to 2-0.