Monday, September 8, 2008

Chargers Season Opener: Damn Those Panthers

Well, the 2008 NFL Season is officially underway. And the Chargers are 0-1. Go figure, right?

Not that I'm too disappointed, mind you. Unlike last year's season opener (a game the Chargers won), the Chargers actually played very well against the Carolina Panthers. In fact, they played well enough. It just so happens that the Panthers played just a tiny bit better.

Still, I'm not as worried as I was last year.

Case in point: Philip Rivers was 17 of 27 for 217 yards and three touchdowns. Not overly fantastic, but definitely competent. And it doesn't hurt that one touchdown each went to each of his primary receivers: Chris Chambers, Antonio Gates, and Vincent Jackson. While not Air Coryell, it's certainly evidence that San Diego's vertical game is as good as its been in a long, long time.

LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for 97 yards on 21 carries, which was good enough for a 4.6-yard average. Again, not overly fantastic, but still quite good.

In addition to his TD pass, Gates caught three other passes for an overall total of 61 yards, and four other Chargers (Tomlinson, Jackson, Brandon Manumaleuna, and rookie fullback Mike Tolbert) caught three passes each.

So, I guess it's safe to say the offense is running on schedule. Yes, it sucks that they lost, but at least our injury worries are gone with the wind.

But, in a rare case, the Chargers defense let us down. Only one sack. No interceptions. The only real highlight was rookie Antoine Cason's forced fumble. Oh, and Quentin Jammer's outstanding sustained play.

It was a good game; truly exciting. And it's hard to not smile a little for Jake Delhomme, who didn't know how he would play after getting jacked up last season.

Can't wait for next week. And it better put the Chargers in the win column.

Oh, and just as last year, anything short of 12-4 will be a failure in my eyes. Not that anyone cares.

Random Charger Musings

I still think Norv Turner is an overrated coach. In fact, he's going to have to have another two winning seasons before I even consider him otherwise.

Philip Rivers is getting better, but I'd still take Drew Brees any day of the week. Brees is better at reading, better at staying calm, and better at leading. I could be wrong, but time will tell.

I love Shawne Merriman (what San Diego fan doesn't?), but he's a fool not to take care of his knee.

Here's hoping the Chargers work out a stadium deal before this year is out. I'd really have a problem rooting for a Los Angeles Chargers. I'd rather root for a San Antonio Chargers, but I won't even do that.

Antoine Cason looks like this year's Antonio Cromartie. I guess this means the Chargers are loaded at cornerback.

Michael Turner, you are already missed. Nice game for the Falcons, by the way.

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