Reid Fischer's World of Rants

Looking at the sports world through orange colored glasses

Schottenheimer anyone?

Posted by mizzou1028 on January 21, 2008

I never thought I would utter the following phrase as a die hard Broncos fan, but I am livid that the San Diego Chargers didn’t win today (which says how much I can’t stand the Patriots but that’s another matter).   They literally handed the AFC Championship Game to New England on a silver platter.  For starters, they ended up with field goals on three seperate trips inside the 10 yard line, which is unacceptable in any game let alone on the road against the best team in the league.  On the last of those drives they wasted a valuable second half timeout to come up with a draw play on 3rd & 1.  It seemed as though the Chargers suddenly went tentative once they got inside the red zone.  That’s 12 points they left on the board right there.  Conversely, the Patriots coverted three of their four red zone opportunities for touchdowns, rather than having to settle for field goals.  Then, their kickoffs and punts were terrible all game long.  What is the one thing you don’t want to give Tom Brady especially on the road?  That would be excellent starting field position.  Routinely, the Patriots fielded kickoffs that didn’t even reach the 20 yard line, resulting in terrific field position.  Conversely, the Patriots kickoffs were much better, and didn’t give San Diego great field position to begin drives.  In spite of all that, the Chargers still were within striking distance, down 21-12 with just under 10 minutes to go.  Facing a 4th & 10 at the New England 35, they could have chosen to try a long field goal or even go for it to try and stay in the game.  No, instead the coaching “genius” Norv Turner (insert your own sarcasm comment here) elects to punt the ball, and the game, away.  The Chargers only “gained” roughly 20 yards on the punt, and they never saw the ball again, as the Patriots enegineered an impressive drive to put the game away.  What would the Chargers have lost really by going for it instead of punting?  At worst New England would have had the ball at the 35, but did Turner really believe his defense had much a shot to come up with a quick stop?  I realize they had intercepted Brady three times already in the game, but how many lives did they expect against New England? 

That’s not to say the Patriots don’t deserve credit for winning the game.  The final drive was certainly impressive, as was the Patriots defense for holding the Chargers down once they got inside the red zone.  New England also is to be commended for their offensive execution the red zone, particularly the play of Wes Welker.  That being said, how would the Patriots have fared against the Colts today?  Better yet, how would they have fared against a more intelligent coach, one who’s play calling would have been more savvy in the red zone and who would have shown more guts when it counted in the fourth quarter?  I certainly find it ironic that the Chargers playoff collapse of a year ago was blamed strictly on Marty Schottenheimer (for the record I too was among the blamers).  Now, it is clear that Turner at the very least contributed to this year’s defeat.  The bottom line is the Chargers played hard especially on defense, actually intercepting Brady three times, and also did a good job moving the ball offensively.  It was little things that cost them the game, and that can only be blamed on coaching. 

The bright side, getting back to me being a Broncos fan, is that Turner figures to be in control of a prime division rival for years to come.  I can’t wait until the Broncos win a close game against the Chargers becuase of dumb coaching by Turner.  The Chargers are scary on paper because they have tremendous young talent at every position, but as long as Turner is in charge, it will give the rest of the division a fighting chance. 

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4 Responses to “Schottenheimer anyone?”

  1. Whispers said

    Agree with a lot you say, but I don’t think you’re giving the Chargers’ D enough credit. How would the Pats have fared against the Colts? Well, since the Colts have a weaker pass rush and a weaker secondary than the Chargers, I expect they would have done just fine. In any case, the Colts have nobody to blame but themselves for yet again losing a first-round game at home. I had thought that, after last season, they were over that.

    And yeah, the punt was weak, but there were over nine minutes left at the time. And it was 4th and 10, not 4th and 5 or something like that. It’s hard to think: well, we’ve gotten exactly zero yards on the previous three plays, but we’ll get ten on the next one. And of course Kaeding sucks so a FG was out of the question.

  2. msgiro said

    Come on. A die hard Broncos fan? Are you kidding me? Before New England grabbed the reigns of the AFC 7 years ago I believe it was your Broncos who were pretty much whooping up on everyone for more than a decade. Of all the fans who claim to hate the Pats for what they are I would think Broncos fans would be last on the list, but I guess it hurts to not be sitting on that throne anymore. It will suck for all Pats fans too when they relinquish their stranglehold…whenever Tom Brady retires (which should be familiar to Broncos fans as well).

    It also annoys me to hear the whole “they handed the game to them argument”. If you hate the Pats then that means you have been watching a fair amount of their games. If you honestly have then you will know that for the last 7 years they have been amongst the league leaders in red zone defense. Those final 10 yards are the hardest to get and the Pats D has consistently dominated when they need to most. If anything, the Pats D has done what they always have. Nobody should be surprised at this point.

    Stop with the WWPD (What Would Peyton Do?) talk as well. If the Colts were good enough they would have beat the Chargers AT HOME! The Colts have always been flawed and it all starts when you give Pety-Po the yips. Once his nerves are shot then it’s over. I doubt I’m the only one who notices this. Heck, even Norv Turner notices this.

    Enough with the hating of a team that is identical to what yours used to be. The only big difference is Super Bowl winning percentage, an undefeated regular season and ability to play for a perfect season. That’s about it. Geez and I can’t believe you were pulling for an arch rival yesterday. That’s like me pulling for the Yankees against the Mariners.

  3. Toso m said

    Agree with you on the playcalling in the red zone, wouldn’t a fade or just a high throw to Jackson be a good play to run once. However, without LT and Gates their redzone offense took a serious hit.

    Don’t know about going for it on 4th and 10 with about 10 minutes to go, the Chargers had been stopping them previously, so I don’t think it was totally unreasonable. I might have tried to get 5 or so yards on 3rd down and then gone for it on 4th though.

  4. Bloggers are not good writers said

    Actually they figuratively handed the Patriots the title on a silver platter. Not literally.

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