I think this photo is from the 2007 playoff game against the Titans. For all of the regret over the 2006 team getting Marty (RIP, also) fired, people forget about the poise shown by the following year’s team. I’m not giving Norv any credit for being a good head coach, but he was entrusted on getting Philip Rivers more comfortable. It was in that game that he really found his stride. The touchdown to Jackson where he dove into the end zone set things in motion. I won’t go down the “what if anyone was healthy for Foxboro” road right now. Jackson came up huge in this game and against the Colts. I won’t speculate as to what led to his tragic passing. I only knew the stuff about him that everyone else knew. He liked to party in San Diego and was arrested the morning of the playoff loss to the Jets. He didn’t have plates, as I recall. Rivers had to drive him to the stadium. Not only was he shut down by Revis all afternoon, but he had a huge penalty that negated a big Floyd gain. The interception came off his foot as he was unable to get free of Revis and he of course kicked the challenge flag later on. I still remember reading this article in Sports Illustrated the week before the game. There was a great picture of Jackson laying out for pass in the piece.
It’s the kind of tragedy you expect to follow the ’94 team. As I write this, I see that his family is donating his brain for CTE study. It’s moments like this that I feel grateful that my parents never let me play. It’s also why I wouldn’t let my son. Of course, the discovery of Jackson in a Tampa hotel room was a striking contrast to the Super Bowl celebrations of the week before. I’m still shocked how badly KC played. Tampa’s defense deserves a ton of credit, but the game serves as a reminder of how little anyone can do without blocking. As all the free agency rumors begin to circulate, the Chargers need to focus on somehow improving their perpetually shitty offensive line. I know it’s easier said than done. I don’t think it is as simple as Telesco not valuing blocking. He drafted Lamp and Feeney and they were seen as a real big deal in 2017. He signed Pouncey, who was good but always hurt. He got Turner and Bulaga. It wasn’t as if he blew off some sure thing along the way. Tristan Wirfs negated Bosa, but I had no idea how good he really was.
Speaking more of Tampa, I know people will wonder what would have happened if Brady had signed with the Chargers. However, our defense (not to mention the aforementioned shitty blocking) were not good enough to win a Super Bowl. We’ll never know if Brady ever considered signing with us or if we would have still drafted Herbert. I guess we would have had to. I know Brady never looks like he’s ready to retire, but they would never have left the future of the QB position to a 43 year-old.
Plus, Brady threw 3 picks in the NFC title game. He deserves all the credit that he seems dead set on getting. “He kept receipts?” I hated when Jordan played these stupid games and don’t enjoy it when Brady does. I get that when you’re the best you need to pretend people are criticizing you for motivation. Whatever.
Justin Herbert has done more interviews in the last month than he did all last season. He can’t do anything more to build off of his amazing rookie year until September. I keep using Carson Wentz as a cautionary tale since he was playing at an MVP level before first getting hurt. If anything happened to Herbert, I don’t expect us getting a Nick Foles-like savior. The Wentz that Indy is getting is a shell of the guy the Eagles thought they had. I don’t know what Telesco’s overall plan is for the offseason. I am listening to Hunter Henry on Sirius right now. I love the guy, but it seems like he might want more than what the Chargers are willing to pay. I saw the rumor about Ertz, but maybe that’s a contingency plan. Henry discussed his rapport with Herbert, but also the desire for a big payday. We’ll see. Parham looked good as a rookie, non-TD against the Raiders notwithstanding.
There truly is no offseason these days. I am sure there will be some free agency/trade news to digest soon. The Super Bowl showed that KC is not invincible. Yes, they are the division champs until we can do something about it. But they can be beaten.
That’s all for now. We’ll talk soon.