Monday, September 17, 2007

It's still early (seven quarters don't even get you a toonie), but last year's best team on paper is now playing as though made of paper. After escaping with a 14-3 win over the hapless Bears last week, the San Diego Chargers are playing arguably the worst game played by any team this week. The Patriots may have been disciplined for using a camera to steal plays, but the Chargers can use a camera for a number of purposes, such as finding their way to the line of scrimmage or finding Patriots tight end Ben Watson. Watson scored the first touchdown when the Chargers mistook him for the herculean Ed Hochuli and allowed him to leisurely stroll unmolested while putting the referee in man coverage.

Rivers is making the game into an ordinary rout through garbage time gains, having just cut the Patriots lead to 31-14, but it is difficult to comprehend how a team that went 14-2 last year found itself down 24-0 in the last minute of the half, on the verge of falling behind by 31. It was here that I realized that San Diego had replaced the anemic Marty Schottenheimer with the still-feebler Norv Turner. If Schottenheimer never saw a big game he couldn't lose, Turner has never seen a big game. Turner has a career record of 59-82 and presided over such powerhouse teams as the 1995 Redskins (6-10) and the 2004 Oakland Raiders (5-11). It takes a lot to overcome the immense talent found in San Diego, but Norv Turner is the right man for the job.

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