Okay, I’m officially off the clock. If I wasn’t a supervisor, I just might have my own blog about Chargers football. I really would like to swap jobs with Tom Shanahan for a day, but I couldn’t be that objective. I’ve been a season ticket holder since before Antonio Cromartie learned to crawl.
Yesterday was an important day and don’t let anyone try to use the “weak division” card with you.
There is no question we faced a rough start to the season: a challenging transition to a new coaching staff; fierce and continuous opposition honing their radars on L.T; a few tough losses and a staggering offense that from time to time made you question whether fans would launch a recall election for Norv Turner.
While many may still argue the latter, the most important thing is we won our second straight AFC West divisional title and third title in four years. No walk in the park for any NFL team during these days of parity. This splendid achievement means one simple thing: we’re back in the playoffs and will be hosting a game come January. And we all know come playoffs, anything can happen (see: Pittsburgh’s magical 2006 run).
I’m also confident we’re hitting our stride at the right time as we’ve won eight of our last 10. It seems evident to me that the coaches and players are finally on the same page. LaDainian is back to being LaDainian, the MVP we drooled over last year. Yesterday he posted his third consecutive 100-yard rushing game carving up the Lions defense.
As for the defense, they single-handedly are becoming a wrecking ball over the past month. They continue to add on to their NFL lead of interceptions by a team. When needed, our linebacking crew led by Philips and Merriman are getting to the quarterback more frequently. With the help from our offense, our defense continues to transform opponents into one-dimensional teams. And I’d like to congratulate Antonio Cromartie for snagging his league leading 10th interception that also broke a Chargers team record that dated back to 1961. There’s no question Antonio’s nickname of “Crime Time” is becoming more fitting every week.
There are so many exciting players on this team. I’m not sure whose jersey to buy next.
Also to note, wrapping up the division provides a golden opportunity for some of our hobbled and wounded to get healthy. If Norv should see fit, the next two weeks could be valuable rest time for players such as Rivers, Gates, Turner, Merriman, Jamal Williams, and Castillo. They will all be needed in their full capacity in three weeks. On the other hand, it would also be nice to make sure we win out and grab that third seed in the playoffs.
And I’ll go ahead and say it – outside of New England, we might be the hottest team in football. Our confidence is growing, our excitement is back and the Bolts are not a team I’d like to face if I was someone on the outside looking in.
I know, I know, I expect a few snowballs to be thrown this way saying we haven’t beaten anyone with a winning record and this team at times has shows the lack of firepower it displayed last year. However, this is the NFL n a win is a win no matter how ugly or pretty you get the win. As the old football adage goes, it’s not where you are in September; it’s where you are in January.
And that’s exactly where we’re headed.
So Santa, while your elves are completing the final touches and before you clean out your locker for 2007, I’m hoping you can sprinkle a few magical powers to the health of all the Chargers, the continued confidence in our offense and most of all making my number one Christmas wish come true.
— DIANNE JACOB