I actually posted this title before last week’s game in Tennessee. Even I didn’t think that they’d lose the game that way. Actually, as soon as they got to the goal line, I kinda did. I have been a huge Melvin Gordon fan since he completely made himself a superstar as of last season. I did understand the concerns about signing him due to his inability to stay healthy. He was wearing braces on both knees by the New England game. But he’s seen shit since coming back. Even though I haven’t posted here since my mom’s sudden passing, I’ve been watching. I thought that Lynn should have used Gordon a little in the Miami game that I was at. Maybe it would have allowed him to shake off some rust when we had a huge lead. But I was wrong to suggest that he be forcibly re-inserted into the offense. He’s been slow, looks overweight and has taken forever to pick a hole to run through. Basically, he is back to his rookie self.
He looked awful in the Denver game and even though Ekler’s run goes down as a second goal line fumble, it was more a failed play than anything. Obviously, Denver didn’t really bite on the fake to Gordon because he hasn’t done a fucking thing. Ekler reached out to try to hit the pylon and lost the ball.
Of course, that was what made him not reach out on Sunday after that long reception. However, it should never have gotten to that point. Sadly, these three games have killed the season and it’s not just because of injuries. I know every fan thinks they are smarter than the GM or coach, but in our case I think it might be the case. Anthony Lynn is a leader of men and has to build up guys’ confidence. I guess I can’t hold him to what he says in pressers since that may be all it is. He can’t control that Rayshawn Jenkins is now starting. But when he gets up behind the podium and is asked people the beat guys about Jenkins’ big whiffs and says that he’s not the problem but maybe Hayward could use some improvement, I can’t tell if he’s just saying that since he thinks Casey can take it and Jenkins needs to be coached up since we’ve got no options.
However, his insistence on using Gordon at the end of that game was the result of a long line of bad decisions. I was skeptical about Ekler, but there was nothing in losses to JOE FUCKING FLACCO and the THIRD STRING STEELER QB that made me think Gordon should get the big carries. Rivers has had all sorts of turnovers, but I don’t think that lateral fumble was on him. He doesn’t do that if Gordon isn’t shitty. Gordon recovered his own fumble on what I believe was his longest run last week. Ekler was the one who caught the TD to get us close and the play that set us up. I refuse to consider whether he was in or even if Gordon was on his first play. It shouldn’t have come to that. Vrabel was apparently considering letting us score to give his offense time to win. That’s sad because its a reminder that 99 percent of teams score in that spot.
Ekler should have gotten the carries since Gordon has been voodoo to this team since returning. When he came back, he seemed like he’d be a positive influence. His “swag” made the LA Chargers seem something not to be ashamed of and his selfless play was inspirational. He didn’t need to come back when he did. He said it was because the team was falling out of contention after spending the whole offseason looking to return to the playoffs. He wanted to help before it was too late.
But I knew by Sunday that it wasn’t happening. I took his picture down off my son’s door and ripped up my Flash Gordon shirt. I knew it wasn’t happening. Lynn should have known it too. To say that Gordon has all these TDs and that he’s the biggest back we’ve got is stupid. I was lying on the ground looking up at the TV knowing it could so easily go wrong. To waste a fourth down stop on a QB sneak like that, especially one led by Bosa (you think he’s really gonna want to re-sign?) was pathetic.
The other thing that any Charger fan could tell you is that our line is awful. Is there any other quarterback that people refer to as throwing from a “congested pocket” than Rivers? That’s code for the blocking sucks. Telesco knew that Okung wouldn’t be ready for a while and I’m not sure how much he can contribute or if it even matters now. But the blocking on the goal line was abysmal. Look how Scott, Schofield, Feeney are easily pushed back. Lamp was our great hope partially because injuries and Lynn’s refusual to use him made it always a “what if?” Now he’s done and might never play for us again. Look at the line Pittsburgh fields. These guys are big, have All-Pro berths to their credit and were drafted to be contributors. When we got Williams, Lamp, and Feeney we were told to believe by the draft pundits that we got some good ones with our 2nd and 3rd rounders. This goes beyond Okung, or even Pouncey’s injury. Telesco, after his secret contract extension, has failed in his central mission to keep Rivers upright.
There was a play near the end, I think a pass to Henry, that really spoke to this. Rivers was once again throwing from a “congested pocket” and could have thrown a TD if he’d had the time. Phil doesn’t deserve this. Remember that Mariotta could have been sitting on our bench if some people had their way.
I declared the season done after the embarrassment vs Pitt. Yes, I know the game ended with Phil throwing a pick but once again it should never come down to that. Lynn chooses to kick onsides and we end up with ball at the goal line. That’s not exactly on Rivers. He did everything he could to win on Sunday (just as he did in 2007 in Tennessee while getting fucking destroyed) and the coaches and team let him down.
While Ty Long could be blamed partially for the Lions loss, we’ve been pretty lucky with the kicking from our backups. I still won’t look while they kick, but I did that with Badgley too. The fact that he still isn’t back is another in the long list of funny-if-it-wasn’t-so-sad things about this season. What kind of groin injury suffered in practice before the first game takes this long to heal? He was great after Lynn finally let Sturgis go (money was the reason we had him for so long) after he could have cost us the Seattle game at least. But as much as we all love “Money Badger,” it’s not like he’s Justin Tucker in his prime. He’s been good for the Chargers, which isn’t saying much. Could his roster spot have been used for someone else? Would it matter because we have the most brittle and shitty players imaginable? I don’t know. But the decisions to resign Perryman, Mebane, and Benjamin have been catastrophic. It’s like with the Wilpons and Dolans owning the other two teams I follow. What is going on at the top? We are an LA team and the Rams (Snead wasn’t always a splashy guy in St. Louis) make a move when they are 3-3 to get a guy who wanted to be with Derwin the way Knicks fans thought Kyrie wanted to be in NYC. I seriously don’t think James should come back at this point. The season is done. I know Rivers likened Sunday to the DC Debacle of 2013. I was in the stands that day and yes I declared that season over too. They went on a run and lost only to Cincy in Dec. But think about the miraculous things that had to happen to get the Chargers into the playoffs in 2013 or in 2008. We’ve used up all our luck on runs that ended short of a Lombardi. Shit, the Titans missed an extra point that could have mattered last week and we fucked that up.
I’ll still watch tomorrow, but I ain’t buying in. Keenan Allen is iffy? Okung is “definitely” playing? I think a lot of bad habits and decisions have come to roost this season. Last year, the Chargers found a way to win games they lose most times. When they looked like they’d fuck themselves against Seattle and Tennessee, they held on. When they went down in Pitt and KC, they fought back. Last week, they looked like they’d fuck themselves, fought back only fuck themselves again.
It’s not Los Angeles. It’s the Chargers. There are plenty of Charger fans that will be there tomorrow. There will be plenty of Packer fans in a week in Carson. There were plenty of Packers fans at games in SD. The Chargers have once again become a national punchline and it’s not just bad luck..
That felt good to get out. Thanks to the FAITHFUL READERS.