After the most exciting win of the season, and of Mike McCoy’s young career as Chargers head coach, local fans won’t be able to watch the team unless they bought a ticket to this Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. That means the Chargers get the dubious honor of hosting the first blacked-out NFL game this season.

So, if the Chargers are good enough to beat a 9-2 Kansas City Chiefs team on the road, why aren’t they better than 5-6 after 11 games? Well, quite simply, the Chargers defense is the worst in the league this season. More than that, it’s the 11th worst defense any team has fielded in the last 24 years.

Free agent signee Derek Cox, who the team was hoping could improve the defensive secondary, has been atrocious as the team’s No. 1 cornerback. But it’s not due to a lack of physical talent. Some film study shows that Cox is hurt more by his bad habits and lack of confidence.

Earlier this week, I looked at the turnaround of the Chargers offense and argued that McCoy deserves credit for pulling off what many thought wasn’t possible. We might complain about the lack of defense and McCoy’s poor game management, but it’s important not to lose sight of the rookie head coach accomplishing the task he was brought in to complete.

You’re reading the Sports Report, our weekly compilation of news and information for the San Diego sports fan.

‘Trader Josh’ Byrnes Keeps Living Up to Moniker

• The Padres rebooted one of its bullpen arms, trading relief pitcher Brad Brach for prospect Devin Jones. Brach is a very replaceable guy for the major league team, and John Sickels thinks of the Jones as a “lottery ticket” who is four years younger than Brach with better potential.

• In another move to help the future of the franchise, Padres GM Josh Byrnes turned two more below-average major league prospects (Miles Mikolas and Jaff Decker) into the 2013 Eastern League Rookie of the Year. The trade with the Pirates brings home Alex Dickerson, a Poway native, who will almost certainly start 2014 as an outfielder with the Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas.

San Diego State Football Pulls Off Upset, Basketball Team Wants to Follow Suit

• It was a happy homecoming for the SDSU senior football players, who upset the Boise State Broncos with a 34-31 overtime win last Saturday. Rocky Long’s team has now won four consecutive games, and seven of their last eight. They’re not likely to catch Fresno State for the Mountain West Conference Championship, but SDSU will be finishing their season with a bowl game.

• After a couple of easy wins over San Diego Christian and the College of Charleston, SDSU basketball hopes to jump into the Top 25 rankings with a win Friday night over Creighton.

Stories You May Have Missed

• Sports books are no longer notable.

• I dislike Jason Kidd. I don’t mind saying so in public. Just look at the man’s Wikipedia page. That being said, pretending to accidentally spill his soda on the court in lieu of a timeout is one of the smarter/funnier things I’ve ever seen a coach do.

• The NFL rules robbed an unconscious man of a touchdown on Thanksgiving day.

• Former NHL players are following the lead of the former NFL players and suing the league for inefficient information about and protection from concussions. Really, they’re mostly suing to be able to pay their medical bills.

• GIF of the Week: The Miami Heat continue to have fun, even during interviews.

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I’m John Gennaro, contributor to Active Voice and managing editor of Bolts from the Blue. You can tweet me @john_gennaro or e-mail me directly at

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I'm John Gennaro, contributor to Active Voice and managing editor of Bolts from the Blue. You can tweet me @john_gennaro or email me directly at

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