Message from discussion SDUT (Canepa): Chargers save the day for beleaguered coach
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From: Robin Miller <complex....@invalid.com>
Subject: SDUT (Canepa): Chargers save the day for beleaguered coach
Date: Fri, 02 Nov 2012 03:40:13 -0400
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Canepa: Chargers save the day for beleaguered coach
By Nick Canepa
Thursday, November 1, 2012
The latest poll shows Norv may be getting some help from the undecideds
ï¿½ if there are enough of them to make a difference. But the Angry
Villagers refuse to be swayed by Turnerï¿½s primary rout over a bunch of
stiffs from Kansas City who couldnï¿½t even put down an X to vote for
And Iï¿½m not saying theyï¿½re wrong. Iï¿½m saying theyï¿½re going to have to
wait awhile now. You donï¿½t fire a coach with a 4-4 record and tear
things apart when the AFC West remains within reach. That may be a
reach, but itï¿½s not unfathomable.
So those of you somehow rooting for the Chargers to lose so Norvï¿½s pink
slip will be showing, go on ahead. Youï¿½re wasting your bile. Turner is
10 cats. Ninety lives.
Thanks to an offense that played better with new untested people and a
defense always criminally inspired by the Chiefsï¿½ mere presence before
them, it figures Norv Turner will live to see another game as Chargers
head coach. And given this faithful, well-timed 31-13 win here Thursday
night over the K.C. Chumps, probably the season.
There seems to be a sense that Norvï¿½s players havenï¿½t wanted to play for
him. I havenï¿½t had that sense at all. I think they havenï¿½t been able to
play for him because they donï¿½t know how to play for him. Turnerï¿½s the
smart guy in class who ruins the curve. I donï¿½t know if the Chargers are
cerebral to the point of fully understanding their beleaguered head coach.
Does that make him a good head coach? No. Maybe there isnï¿½t a smart
enough team in the NFL for Norv.
In this one, the defense, which forced four turnovers ï¿½ three fumbles
and a pick six by Demorrio Williams ï¿½ was good (remember now, it was the
Chiefs, and they turned it over six times when they met the Chargers a
month ago), and the offense was pretty neat and balanced. Quarterback
Philip Rivers completed his first 13 passes, but on a third-and-one on
the Chiefsï¿½ 1, he rolled out and threw a horrible pass that was picked
in the end zone by K.C. safety Eric Berry.
It came near the end of the half, and despite Riversï¿½ brilliance up to
that point and in the game ï¿½ overall, he was 18 of 20, a Chargers record
of 90 percent (tied for fifth-best in NFL history for a QB with 20 or
more throws) ï¿½ he was sent off by a 55,000-person Gregorian chant of boos.
Going in, Rivers told himself: ï¿½Whatever happens Iï¿½m stepping up in the
pocket and if I decided to throw it I was ripping it. Thatï¿½s about as
good as I can play in a half and thatï¿½s the loudest Iï¿½ve ever been booed.
ï¿½But that ball should have been a souvenir. It was just a terrible play.
Thereï¿½s no other way to describe it. Weï¿½re 4-4, and maybe on the outside
it felt like it was chaos, but it wasnï¿½t.ï¿½
Unlike last Sunday against the Browns, when the Chargers flopped around
on offense, Turner called a brilliant game. Starting wide receivers
Eddie Royal and Robert Meachem were out with leg injuries, so newly
acquired Denario Alexander and Seyi Ajirotuto stepped in and played
better than the starters have at any point this season. Seyi made a
brilliant, 28-yard diving reception that jump-started the offense and
kept a drive alive that led to the Chargersï¿½ first score.
The Chiefs have not led in a game at any point this season, and San
Diegoï¿½s defense kept it that way. Linebacker Donald Butler, who is
playing like a Pro Bowler, had nine solo tackles. Safety Eric Weddle,
who is a Pro Bowler, had seven. Linebacker Jarret Johnson sacked and
stripped K.C. quarterback Matt Cassel of the ball in the end zone and
bookend outside linebacker Shaun Phillips recovered for a touchdown.
So the defense scored two touchdowns on its own. I know it was the
Chiefs, who probably will set some sort of turnover record this season.
Theyï¿½ve turned it over 10 times against the Chargers alone. But you
never knock a win. Never.
And it certainly came at the right time for Norv. Speculation was high
that a loss Thursday night would have been his final opportunity for a
defeat in San Diego. Me, I believe it might have happened. Contrary to
the NFL Network report, the Spanoses have fired coaches during the
season (Don Coryell and Kevin Gilbride).
Canï¿½t see it happening now. Just remember, the Chargers schedule the
rest of the way is not daunting. If Rivers has snapped out of his slump,
if he can avoid the occasional bout of brain flatulence, if Norv can
keep things simple enough for his students to understand, they can win
Last week I called them the worst team in the NFL. I wonï¿½t apologize,
but I was wrong. I forgot about the Chiefs. But then, the Chiefs are
easy to forget.