All year long, optimistic fans of the San Diego Chargers pushed the narrative that the team was turning into Broncos West. Mike McCoy and Ron Milus were coming over from the Broncos, and Philip Rivers was going to be making calls at the line of scrimmage and throwing more short passes like Peyton Manning.
During the season, we proudly pointed out that Rivers was the league's 2nd best QB behind Peyton. We boasted about the win in Denver. We mocked the Broncos for signing so many ex-Chargers to their roster.
This belief was always our consolation. Sure, the defense was a nightmare, but the overall team is set up very similarly to the Broncos and look how well they're doing. A little more depth and the Chargers maybe could've beaten the Broncos in the playoffs.
Well, after Denver was emphatically pantsed in front of 100 million people by the Seattle Seahawks yesterday, it may be time to say that matching the Broncos isn't enough....
Defense wins championships.— Bolts From The Blue (@BFTB_Chargers) February 3, 2014
While the Seahawks' impressive defense isn't exactly filled with 1st and 2nd round draft picks, they have excelled through excellent coaching. As Peyton Manning pointed out in an interview last week, the players on Seattle's defense communicate like no other defense in the league. They also study harder, and found a weakness in Peyton Manniing's game on film.
Offenses score points but defense, and defensive coaches, win championships. I believe it now and always will. While teams that win are often the most balanced teams in the league, they're usually also among the most creative on defense.
If John Pagano puts together a third season that is anything like his first two, you can bet your bottom dollar that I will be there to criticize the team's front office for paying too much attention to the offense and leaving the defense to be stagnant. I'll also be keeping a close eye on each and every move to see how the balance plays out.
The Chargers will win games and get into the playoffs on the strength of their offense, but when they're not playing against Andy Dalton they're going to need a strong defense to accomplish anything more.