Sunday, January 6, 2008

San Diego Chargers Advance In The Playoffs

Thirteen long years after their last postseason victory, the Chargers finally came to life late in the second half Sunday to beat the Tennessee Titans 17-6 in an AFC wild-card game.

Overall, the Chargers had lost four straight postseason games dating to their ugly 49-26 loss to San Francisco in the Super Bowl following the 1994 season.

At first, this was a terrible game for San Diego. They entered the second half having scored zero points. Interceptions and fumbles plagued this team. LaDainian Tomlinson was shut down and I thought for sure this was the curse of Norv Turner.

But, thanks to Chris Chambers and Vincent Jackson finding open spots on the field and the lack of the Tennessee Titans being able to actually score, the Chargers came back to win 17-6. Rivers was 19-of-30 for 292 yards, with one interception. Chris Chambers had six catches for 121 yards, and Vincent Jackson had five for 114. I knew this game was over as soon as the Chargers scored their last touchdown on a bogus call. They were up by 11 at that point (the spread was for the Chargers to win by 10) and Vince Young is defiantly not the quarterback you want to fire the ball downfield during a 2-minute drill.

Why do I think LaDainian Tomlinson's second effort touchdown run was bogus? Because after he jumped into the air, he was stopped behind the goal line. If there was nobody beneath him, he would have hit the ground and the play would have been dead at that point. However, because there were so many bodies underneath him, it was impossible for him to hit the ground. So, when he landed on the first body, the official blew the whistle, making the play dead. BUT, no one acknowledged the whistle and this allowed Tomlinson to reach out for a second effort to cross the goal line. The play should have been ruled dead as soon as he was hit in mid air and dropped straight down onto the pile of bodies. After this touchdown, the Titans had no hope of coming back and all those calls against them which pinned them back to their own 1 yard line didn't help either.

Just like that, the nightmares of the Marty Schottenheimer era finally went away. The Chargers advance to face the Colts on Sunday in Indianapolis. That game also will be a rematch. San Diego escaped with a 23-21 win over the Colts on Nov. 11, when Peyton Manning threw a career-high six interceptions and Adam Vinatieri missed a 29-yard field goal attempt with 1:31 left.


Anonymous said...

Both teams fought a pitched battle. The Titans were without 2 starting O linemen and a receiver. The Chargers lost Gates and have been without WR Eric Parker all season. Your obvious bias against the Chargers doesn't bother me, but at least get your facts straight. The whistle on the "bogus" LT TD was not blown until after the football broke the plane of the goal line on his 2nd effort. Did you watch the replay? That was specifically covered by the CBS broadcast team. Saying "if there was no player underneath him the play would have been dead" is like saying "if he had no arms or legs he couldn't have run the ball". Good TD, good call as far as I'm concerned. I have a feeling you have received additional posts like mine but you are choosing not to approve them since you are moderating posts.

Dan from Seattle

Michael Vinciguerra said...

Actually, you're the first person to comment this post and I respect your difference of opinion. Actually, believe it or not, I wanted the Chargers to win, but not by more than 10 points. My brother bet on the Titans to stop the Chargers from winning by more than 10. In what I feel was a questionable touchdown by Tomlinson, this TD caused them to win by 11 11! 1 point over and they beat the spread. I'm not biased against the Chargers, though I admit when I write these posts I do have some kind of bias in mind, but rather, I can't believe how much they were not covering the spread the whole game and then all of a sudden in the fourth quarter they cover it by exactly a point. I guess that's football for ya.