Another 10 am kickoff visited Chargers fans yesterday morning. Generally I welcome the morning game, but when coupled with the semiannual daylight savings adjustments - well, I'm just not sure how to describe the sensation my body goes through. . .
The Chargers got on the scoreboard first when Sean Lissemore intercepted a deflected pass by Robert Griffin III early in the second quarter. Was this a harbinger of things to come while in the District of Columbia? A capable defense paired with a Philip Rivers led offense could be unstoppable!
While the play by Lissemore was fantastic we would be remiss not to mention that the play was made possible by a stellar Mike Scifres punt, which the Chargers special teams downed on the 1-yard line.
The Chargers stopped the Redskins on their next possession but turned the ball over quickly when Philip Rivers targeted Vincent Brown midway through the second quarter. In a moment of miscommunication, Brown broke out and Philip threw the ball in, and just like that E.J. Biggers came away with an interception.
Four plays later Alfred Morris punched it in for Washington, tying the game 7-7.
The Chargers then got the ball on their own 15 yard line at the 5:18 mark of the 2nd quarter and went on an 85 yard drive that culminated in a 15 yard touchdown pass from Philip Rivers to Eddie Royal.
The Redskins got the ball back and tried for a FG with 0:05 left on the clock but it was blocked by Corey Liuget. The Chargers entered halftime with a 14-7 lead on the road.
The Chargers lead was short lived as the Redskins marched 74 yards behind the hard running of Alfred Morris. From the 1 yard line, Darrel Young punched it in to tie the game 14-14.
The rest of the 3rd quarter flew by with little resistance from the Chargers and by the midway point of the 4th quarter, Washington had built a 10 point lead behind another rushing TD from Darrel Young and a FG from kicker Kai Forbath.
All appeared lost in a hostile environment, three time zones away - but at that moment - the Chargers began their comeback.
The Chargers took about three minutes to score their next touchdown when Philip Rivers connected with Keenan Allen for a 16 yard score with 4:16 remaining.
The Chargers defense held on the next possession and fans eagerly anticipated the outcome as the Chargers received the ball at their own 8 yard line with 2:10 remaining and two of their timeouts available.
Philip directed the offense down the field with completed passes in rapid succession to Eddie Royal, and twice to Keenan Allen, before Philip himself lumbered 9 yards to the Washington 15 yard line with 0:37 seconds remaining. The game was within reach and the tourists were on the verge of pushing ahead.
The Chargers went for the jugular on the the next play and it looked like they had the game won when Philip completed a pass to Danny Woodhead and the diminutive back dove for the pylon, eliciting a TD signal from the referee.
But upon further review it was determined that Woodhead did not score.
The good news was that the Chargers had 1st and goal from the 1 yard line with 0:21 seconds remaining along with their two timeouts. But then the game got weird . . .
Ryan Mathews who had been averaging just under 5 yards per carry was conspicuously absent on 1st and goal from the 1 yard line (as he had been for most of the 2nd half . . . weird). As fans speculated about the absence of Mathews the Chargers handed the ball to Danny Woodhead on a draw. Stopped!
Were Mike McCoy and Ken Whisenhunt even capable of committing to a power run game from the 1 yard line?
Then Mathews appeared on 2nd down! But Rivers called an audible fade route to Antonio Gates that sailed out of the end zone. Stopped!
On 3rd and goal the Chargers continued to avoid their run game despite having two timeouts left.
Philip rolled out and fired incomplete to Keenan Allen bringing up 4th down and a sure attempt at a game tying FG from Nick Novak. Stopped!
Instead of playing for the win on the road at the 1 yard line, Mike McCoy played for overtime . . .
The game was tied but every Chargers fan knew the outcome to this contest before the coin was even flipped at midfield prior to the extra period's kickoff.
The 'Skins won the toss and marched the ball right down the field before it ended on another Darrel Young TD run.
It began to feel like we journeyed back through some sort of demented time-warp where Norv Turner presided over us on Sunday mornings as a minister of pain. What did we ever do to receive such scorn as a fanbase?
The Chargers had just lost 30-24 against a weak Redskins team but what inflicted even more pain were the comments from head coach Mike McCoy after the overtime loss.
As McCoy received questions from reporters, it sounded as if the rookie head coach was perfectly content with the outcome and that he wouldn't have changed a thing about the game plan on the final drive of regulation.
McCoy gave his usual glib responses to reporters' questions and acted as though there was someplace else he needed to be.
I know where I needed to be . . . the freaking bar.
The good ol' bar - a place where expectations are always met. Even if it includes a few tears.
@AvengingJM contributes regularly during the season and relies heavily on humor as a coping mechanism. Bront Bird completes him.