Lights out for Chargers
Posted on Mon, Jan. 15, 2007, Mercury News Wire Services
SAN DIEGO - Of the 13 postseason games in the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady era, this may have been the weirdest. Weird, as in uncharacteristically sloppy, as Brady -- Mr. January -- nearly threw away the game. But when it was over, the New England Patriots were dancing on the field in a silent stadium and the classy LaDainian Tomlinson was sulking.
Capitalizing on a fourth-quarter meltdown that might cost Coach Marty Schottenheimer his job, the Patriots scored 11 unanswered points in the last 4 minutes, 36 seconds to stun the top-seeded San Diego Chargers 24-21 in a thrilling AFC divisional playoff Sunday.
The ironic headline drew me to post this article on the Chargers' playoff loss, after reading about 15-20 different stories by different writers at different media outlets over the last half-hour.. I'm disappointed in the loss, but not devastated by it.. the team lost the game, not Coach Schottenheimer.. even that early poor decision to go for first down with 4th-and-11 instead of kick a field goal seems "blamed" on Coach Schott, when he didn't script that - his coaches called that.. maybe he should have that headset on after all; maybe he should over-rule his coaches (it isn't second-guessing if your experience and gut tell you more) some of the time.. I'm proud of the season, the team, the records set and our great running back, LT.. he is a class act, and sure, he's upset with losing and teams celebrating "in your face" on the home turf - who wouldn't be? .. next year, I hope they keep Coach Schott and the team finds a way to advance in the playoffs further.. it's what you do in football, re-live, learn, watch film or mental "film," try again.. isn't that why football intrigues us, and is a lot like Life? Congrats to the Chargers on a wonderful season, and my condolences for the too-early exit.. I still would have really enjoyed the Chargers-Saints in the Super Bowl.. what might have been...