What Will Happen in Denver?

So that's what Marty Schottenheimer envisioned when he said "the San Diego Chargers are a damn good football team" at the team's preseason kickoff luncheon. A high-powered offense capable of controlling a game while a raw defense does just enough. It took a little "Flutie magic" and a lot of ...

Ladanian Tomlinson for that damn good football team to finally play a damn good football game....

The Chargers first game at Qualcomm stadium since week 3 was a high-powered affair. While most knew a powerful offense would take the field on Sunday, few predicted the brunt of the power would come from the team with a 41 year old back up quarterback at the helm. The legend from Boston College threw for 2 TD's and ran for two more leading the Chargers to a 42-28 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

Dazzling, electric, rejuvenating are just some of the words that would describe the play of the miracle man, Doug Flutie. Some might say that miraculous is an overstatement but if you've seen the 2003 San Diego Chargers play offense then you'd know that 42 points is nothing short of a miracle. Utilizing all of his weapons, getting rid of the ball quickly, checking out of bad plays and fleeing the scene like a looter in a riot were just some of the particles of pixie dust that Flutie sprinkled on the Vikings on Sunday. While Flutie was sprinkling his dust, Ladanian Tomlinson played Jack the Ripper gashing the Vikes for 162 yards and 2 TD's on 16 carries. Even David Boston got in the mix catching 7 passes for 82 yards and a touchdown. Laying out for passes, blocking effectively for Tomlinson and high five-in' with Doug Flutie should help silence the critics who question his commitment and effort. The Chargers offense gave it's fans much to be excited about...

Tight end Antonio Gates showed how basketball skills translate to the football field. On a Flutie rollout, Gates got open in the end zone showing soft hands in snagging his first career touchdown pass cleanly while athletically tapping his feet before going out of bounds. Gates also proved adept at getting open deep in the middle of the field, twice burning the Vikings defense for big gainers.

Going from a college basketball player who hasn't played football since high school to a starting NFL tight end in just his first season is truly a great story. When asked about his first touchdown catch, Gates showed a veterans mentality in responding: "when it first happened I was like OK, I scored a touchdown, but now we gotta continue to play hard and continue to play for four quarters." If Gates continues to play hard and progress he has the talent and skill to become a big time player in the NFL.

Now that Doug Flutie has provided the spark that the team desperately needed what does that mean for Drew Brees. Flutie has already been named the starter for the dreaded trip to Denver and Marty has said he will make the starting quarterback decision on a week to week basis. There could be a dilemma here. The pressure to win is tremendous and winning takes precedence over developing quarterbacks.

The big question in Chargerville is wether or not Drew Brees is the future signal caller for the bolts. If Flutie's spark turns into a fire, will Brees ever get his shot at redemption? Going in to Denver to face a Bronco team coming off their bye will make for a tough encore from Doug Flutie. Jake Plummer returns from injury and the Broncos can ill afford to lose if they plan to keep their wild card hopes alive. A Charger loss could extinguish the spark and playing the Bengals at home the following Sunday would be a good time for Drew's redemption. This story that is the Chargers' 2003 NFL season just got very interesting. What will happen in Denver?

contact Will at will.powered@verizon.net

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