Chargers Suffer another Loss, Fans Just Suffer

Twenty two passing yards in the first half for the San Diego Chargers tell just part of the tale. As per their usual, they could not stop the run. Their ineptitude carried over to dropped passes, not being able to capitalize on big plays, missed field goals and turnovers at crucial times.

"We weren't able to control their rushing game," Marty Schottenheimer said. "From a defensive standpoint that is what compromised our ability to win the football game.

"We did not measure up today against what I consider to be the best offensive line in the football league. And they have a terrific runner. He has great patience. I think (Priest Holmes) made more yardage on cutbacks today than he did on actually getting to the designed point of attack."

Holmes had 162 yards rushing on the day on 31 carries, averaging 5.2 per carry. The Chiefs ran for 194 yards total on the day.

"The Priest was preaching out there," said Marcellus Wiley. "He had another great sermon. I can't believe how many yards they got. I have to watch the film. Sometimes I wonder if the scorekeeping is accurate."

Holmes broke the Chiefs record for most touchdowns by a back with his 35th in the game, the same day LaDainian Tomlinson broke the Chargers record for most touchdowns by a back with his 16th.

"We missed a couple of field goals and on the offensive side turned it over three times."

The first of two field goal misses by Steve Christie turned into seven points for Kansas City. That was good for a ten point swing.

Then there were the three turnovers. Doug Flutie was picked off at the KC four yard line and in the KC end zone – more points just given away. Capping it off, Flutie fumbled a snap at the SD 27. Given the Chiefs success in enemy territory it took moments for them to convert that into a touchdown.

"We'd scored and cut the lead, and we got the ball back in great shape. I had full confidence we could take the ball and shove it down their throat, and the next thing you know we're off the field," Flutie said of his lost fumble on a shotgun snap.

An animated Schottenheimer continued, "They played their hearts out and that isn't satisfying to anybody in that locker room starting with me. Losing is never acceptable. But what you've got to do in this business is you have to go lay it on the line every Sunday or whatever day of the week it is. You lay it on the line and do the very best you can do. And the effort was there. I can't ask more than that. They gave us everything they had. It was not good enough."

Just yesterday we profiled Schottenheimer saying he wanted the team to be competitive. He got his wish. The team only lost by four points this week. They played their hearts out and lost. Today, the breaks may not have fallen their way, but after listening to the Coach, one wonders if he has settled. Sure no one is happy with a loss. But for the team to give its all and not be good enough, Schottenheimer should still be irate with the mistakes. Improved, yes this team is, but many players could have gave more or just been smarter with their play.

"We have not been able to make plays this season that give us a chance to go over the top."

All season that has been the curse. Change the plays! If it isn't working, and erring on the side of caution here saying it isn't, change the plays! Changing the coaching is surely coming and then the plays will officially change.

"We turned the ball over, we missed two field goal opportunities and we didn't defend the run. Those were the things that hurt us."

"We ended up plus one in turnovers and that is extremely critical," Dick Vermeil said. "If you are even, you lose more than you win, on the road especially. They keep battling back in the second half and that is a tribute to Marty Schottenheimer and his coaching staff and his players."

For the most part Schottenheimer is right. The only thing he forgot was dropped passes, but it is easy to forget when the team dropped its tenth game of the season. It is the norm. Just like we take for granted the sun will come out in San Diego, dropping another loss on the fans is the same way in Chargerland.

Jim Trotter of the Union Tribune reminded Schottenheimer, bringing up Reche Caldwell. Caldwell had three drops on the day and totaled zero catches. Kassim Osgood became the secondary receiver on the final drive and had two catches. He also had one drop on that drive.

"We rotated him through. I think he is struggling with his confidence. He won't ever admit that to anybody. I still think he is a good young player and we have got to put him in positions where he can make plays."

Struggling is an understatement. Caldwell --> Florida, need I say more.

Denis Savage can be reached at

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