THE great broadcaster Ron Burgundy described ‘San Deeyargo’ as the greatest city in America. Thanks to him and that wonderful moustache, he is what the Californian city is best known for. Well him and the Chargers’ failure to win NFL matches on the road. At 2-4 and staring down the barrel of another season of underachievement, San Diego needed a miracle. And they delivered in Atlanta Georgia.
Quarterback Phillip Rivers and his band of merry men turned a second quarter 17-point deficit into a thrilling 30-all result at the end of regular time. A beautifully hit 42-yard field goal from kicker Josh Lambo gave the ‘Bolts’ (3-4) their first win on the road this season, and just their second in 13 games outside of Qualcomm Stadium.
For a team, laden with this much talent, the Chargers have been regular underachievers in the past few seasons. Star veteran Rivers won’t be around forever and realistically; they need to make hay while the sun shines.This last-gasp victory, however, gives them hope. Hope, and a belief that they can save a sinking ship before it hits the sea floor.
It was more impressive after this year giving up a 17-point lead with 10 minutes to go against Kansas City, and a 13-point buffer with six minutes to go against New Orleans.
It remains to be seen though whether this is realistic hope, or my kind of hope. That is that I’m waiting for Miranda Kerr to wake up and realise she can’t imagine her life without me… (clears throat) anyway, moving on. There were some outstanding performances from some of the Chargers’ young stars that may give fans a bit more spark. Second-year running back Melvin Gordon performed below expectations in his first season but he had some vital plays in Monday’s match up. This included two running touchdowns (up to eight for the season) and a receiving touchdown.
A brilliant run from Gordon with 42 seconds remaining he avoided what looked to be a certain tackle for a loss, bounced off the defensive line and willed himself for a vital 10-yard gain.
Second year receiver Tyrell Williams (140 yards from seven receptions) was explosive, highly rated rookie defensive end Joey Bosa flatted Atlanta’s Matt Ryan late in regular time, while second-year linebacker Denzel Perryman, who was injured during the game, grabbed an important interception as Atlanta were marching down the field, before running down the on-fire Kevin Coleman when the Falcons were on 4th and 1 at midfield in extra time.
On paper, the Chargers are a better team than 3-4. However, just as Mr Burgundy greeted the people of San Diego every night, Chargers fans’ day will be brightened by their team’s latest performance.