This Too Shall Pass

The dust has settled on the San Diego Chargers opening loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. After all the analysis, endless stats, and Priest Holmes highlights, it was what it was for the Chargers. A loss. A defeat. One loss is all it was....

Enough already, let's put things into perspective. They didn't tackle. They didn't coach. They didn't win. No matter which way you slice it, it only means one thing. 0 and 1... The Packers got killed AT HOME in their season opener. Hell, the Dolphins lost at home....To THE TEXANS! These are two teams expected to make the playoffs... this year.

We're talking Chargers here. The lowly San Diego Chargers. The team that many predict will be bottom feeders in the AFC West this season. Who realistically believed such a young team, with many new starters would go into Arrowhead stadium and beat the Chiefs on opening day? Only the diehards. Yeah, they played bad, especially in the 1st half. Down 24-0, they came out and fought. Not fold, like the Chicago Bears. They fought. Even gave themselves a chance to get back into the game. Mistakes got the best of them, but they fought.

That is one positive to take from the game. They could've cashed it in. They didn't. There are those that will say:"The Chiefs took it easy in the second half". This is the NFL, teams don't take it easy. Ask the Bears. Would that be the excuse if the Chargers came back and won it? Stranger things have happened. Ask the Florida Gators.

So why did they take Priest Holmes out in the second half? Isn't that taking it easy? No. That's playing it smart. As soon as the Chargers materialized a threat, you can bet they called on the priest to continue his exorcism. Watch the tape.

One must remember how young this Charger team is. One must remember how many new starters there are. A mix of young and new does not become playoff bound overnight. They will have to go through games like this first. They will learn on the go. There is no question that this team will come together and play well. The question is when? And, will it be too late? A brutal early schedule offers perhaps more adversity in the near future. The Broncos come to town. Ray Lewis and his Ravens come to town. The Chargers take a trip through the Raider Nation. Patience is a virtue and bolt fans may need to be virtuous.

While these next two are no day in the Bahamas, they can be won. This is the "Q". Not Arrowhead. These Broncos are led by Jake Plummer, not John Elway and those Ravens are led by a rookie quarterback. Winnable. Clinton Portis and Ray Lewis will have something to say about that, but regardless....winnable.

When the Chargers head to the Black Hole in week 4, will they be 2-1? 1-2? or 0-3?

That depends on how quickly these bolts can adapt and adjust. The Chiefs exposed problems in the Charger defense. Namely stopping screen plays and containment on outside runs. Expect this problem to be fixed by Sunday. It better be, Clinton Portis can get to the outside just as quickly as Priest Holmes can. Marty has addressed this and adjustments will be made.

As for the offense, catching the football is problem numero uno. In Kansas City, Reche Caldwell, among others, looked like they were catching dirty diapers instead of Wilson brand footballs. Instead of receiving walking papers or a trip to the bench, Caldwell was given a vote of confidence by his loyal head coach. He must take advantage of that loyalty. There is a young man by the name of Eric Parker, who many believe could take his spot and never look back.

Another problem that has been well covered is the uninspired play of the offensive line. Already out of their element playing in Arrowhead, another strike was against them when they were forced to abandon the run game. That is when they are at their best. Running the football, blocking on screens, play action passes. Throughout the course of a game they take their toll on a defense. They never got the chance in KC.

13 carries by Ladanian Tomlinson says it all. The offensive line will not play that poorly the rest of the season. That problem will be fixed sooner rather than later.

There's more, but I wouldn't be telling you nothing you haven't already heard. Anyone who saw the game and reads post game write ups knows the problems.

When thinking of the potential rough start to this season, one can't help but think of a previous Schottenheimer coached team. The position this team is in may be reminiscent of the 2001 Washington Redskins. Their season started by getting smoked in San Diego on opening day(30-3). The next three games were also blowout defeats(combined scores 22-105). Some even said there was a mutiny between the veteran players and the coach. The start of the season was a disaster(0-5). Then something happened. Marty righted the ship. They made a playoff push winning 8 of the last 11 and finished a respectable 8-8.

Now there are major differences. There is no mutiny here. Just a young team watching episodes of "Growing Pains"(no reruns please). The 2001 Redskins did this with Tony Banks at quarterback. The Chargers have an up and comer in Drew Brees. I'll go out on a limb and say the Chargers will not start out 0-5.

In Marty's history as a head coach it is evident that he wins the ones he is supposed to. These next two are home games. Supposed to be won. If that is the case, the Chargers will be 2-1 heading in to the house of the AFC champion Oakland Raiders in week 4. The Chargers also have reason to believe they can win in Oakland. They did it last year.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves. The focus now must be the Denver Broncos. Clinton Portis and a run defense coming off a performance that held Cory Dillion to 34 yards on 14 carries. With Jake Plummer struggling in his Bronco debut, the Broncos look to rely heavily on Portis. We will soon find out if the Chargers have made the adjustments to the run defense. Sunday is drawing near. This too shall pass.

Contact Will at will.powered@verizon.net

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