Sorry San Diego but what you saw on Sunday was no fluke. That you lost to the Oakland Raiders twice this year was by design and not coincidence. Your team is soft and no matter how much talent you have you’ll never win a Lombardi playing two-hand touch.
Tom Cable showed the world an easy-to-do recipe for success against the Bolts. That formula is a simple one and it goes a little something like this: Punch the Chargers in the mouth!
Why is it that under Norv Turner the Dolts consistently underachieve and get off to slow starts? Well, aside from the obvious fact that having Norv as your head coach is the certain sign of doom it all boils down to the essence of this game – the trenches.
The Raiders did nothing fancy yesterday. There were no trick plays designed to catch the opposition off guard. Last time I checked play action is something used by 100% of the National Football League. So how could the Chargers be so unprepared for Jason Campbell’s now legendary play fakes?
The answer to that can be found in the middle of the field on every snap where the biggest and the baddest do battle. Win the war in the trenches and you can impose your will on the opponent.
Last season Coach Cable knew exactly what it took to defeat San Diego. To his credit, the underdog Raiders gave the Chargers all they could handle before bowing in defeat on the Monday Night season opener.
Flash forward one year later and all the Raiders had to do was follow the blueprint and watch as the Powder Blue folded.
All day long the Raiders ran the ball right up the middle of the San Diego defense. As if Cable was angered by the way his team ran the rock against the Dolphins one week ago, he stood on the sidelines with a look of “run it again” written across his face. And that is exactly what the Raiders did.
But the physical nature of Oakland’s attack was not limited to the O-line. On the other side of the ball John Marshall instructed his front four to do the same.
No matter what you hear on all the slickly produced NFL analysis shows, the most efficient offense will always loose out to a more physical defense. And if you don’t believe me then check yesterday’s game tape.
The normally accurate Philip Rivers had moments of JaMarcus madness as he floated balls over the heads of open receivers. Without the ability to run the ball against the Raiders the game fell into the lap of Rivers and he spread his legs letting it drop to the floor.
So, feel free to continue to place your sucker bets on the Chargers every year. Soak in all the preseason love they get and then remind yourself that no matter what they never lose in December. Ooopssss…I guess we’ll have to make one slight adjustment to that last statement.