Offensive Numbers Deceiving

This is Doug Flutie. Not some kid to build a team around. Winning equals money, but what is the price. The Chargers have lost two in a row after one magnificent Flutie performance. Not he is battling his own San Diego demons. Next season when Flutie has moved on to the CFL, what then? Does the team search for another journeyman to enter the fray and take away from the young nucleus of David Boston and LaDainian Tomlinson?

Marty Schottenheimer said Flutie would start again next week with an "I imagine", although he did say they have not fully committed to it.

"I felt offensively that we were going to do some stuff," Doug Flutie said. "I thought we played well up front. At times we threw the ball well, but we were too inconsistent."

Was that Drew Brees on the field against Cincinnati? Flutie was off target most of the day on Sunday and admitted it. His throws were slow floaters that eerily reminded us of Brees. He overthrew wide open receivers and when he needed a big play, the receivers were more than happy to drop the ball. Couple those two together and another long day in San Diego was ensured. Yet, they didn't turn the ball over and that left opportunities.

On one drive at the end of the third quarter, Flutie threw three bad passes. He was almost picked off trying to hit David Boston on an out route. Tory James stepped in front of the floating pass but could not hang on because of his bad technique on the play. That same drive Flutie hit Boston for a TD.

So which is the real Flutie?

The truth is both. He does not have the height to have a release point that is consistent. He backpedals while throwing. He has to use the patented "jump-throw". Nothing is fluid where he can step up and deliver a pass.

The real problem is the streakiness of Chargers QBs and Chargers receivers. They are never good at the same time. One week they will be open, but the QB can't get them the ball. The next week they are dropping everything in sight.

"We need consistency," Flutie said. "How do we find that? I don't know."

David Boston is the only receiver on the field worth throwing the ball to. He has plenty of ability but needs help. It is a lot easier to shut him down when no one else will step up.

"I think opportunities as much as anything," Schottenheimer said of David Boston and his perceived streaky play. "Receivers don't always get a lot of opportunities. David had any number of them today and we were able to capitalize."

Boston had nine catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns. No other wide receiver had a catch. Not second round pick Reche Caldwell, not undrafted rookie Kassim Osgood. In fact, only six other balls were caught. Four went to LaDainian Tomlinson and one apiece to Antonio Gates and Lorenzo Neal. At least Flutie did not waste his time throwing at Stephen Alexander.

Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net

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