It was tough to watch the San Diego Chargers lose to the New England Patriots on Sunday. While the game started pretty awesome for everyone (if you're a Chargers' fan, that is), things took a huge turn for the worst. Turnovers were abundant and, essentially, screwed us over.
Now, no one wants to relive this game, which (if you're a legit Chargers' fan) is exactly the fourth-worst moment of your life in the past over the past decade, with the other three moments also being Chargers-related, of course.
So let's break down our misery, OK? Here are three reasons the Chargers lost:
- Turnovers. This is going to be the most talked about reason the Chargers lost, and that's because it's the most important. While Philip Rivers' interceptions were pretty inexcusable, Mike Tolbert's fumble -- which saw him stupidly pedal backwards because he thought he was LaDainian Tomlinson -- was the game-changer. The Chargers were streaking, down just six points, and Tolbert gave the ball back to the Patriots.
The Patriots didn't mind the little gift and then re-gifted our gift for seven points. (Jerks.) Though that was the game-breaker, it was just one of seven turnovers in the game overall. Yikes.
- They didn't prevent YAC. The San Diego Chargers' priority on defense should've been preventing open spaces in front of the Patriots' ball-carriers and wide-outs; Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez and Danny Woodhead are explosive in face-up one-on-one situations.
The Chargers' corners and safeties were afraid to play the Patriots' receivers tight (in fear of letting up even bigger plays), and the Pats capitalized -- they threw the damning short passes which led to decent yards-after-the-catch.
- They didn't eliminate Brady's dump-off option. This is a little sad because this is one of the few things I said was a priority for the Chargers. So when the Chargers were able to collapse Tom Brady's pocket -- and they did so quite often -- Brady was able to calmly dump off a desperation pass to Wes Welker, Danny Woodhead or BenJarvus Green-Ellis. This normally only resulted in about a five-yard gain, but when the Patriots are on 3rd-and-3, that's a heart-breaker.
Instead of letting some linebackers spy the back-field, the Chargers left the runners with one-on-one face-ups, where BenJarvus Green-Ellis can run through any single defender, while Wes Welker and Danny Woodhead are agile enough to squeeze and shift past would-be tacklers.
(NOTE: You have no idea how much I want to type in all caps and use excessive exclamation marks. You have. No. Idea. At. All.)