The Full Monty

One of the most popular TV shows in history is '60 Minutes'. Next time it is on, set the timer and see if they use it all or do they leave fifteen minutes on the table. The San Diego Chargers left fifteen minutes largely unused in a sixty minute game.

The Chargers played well through the first three quarters but then the commercial break hit and all went to hell.

Atlanta's Michael Vick broke through in vintage form and the Chargers imploded. Penalties, dropped balls and lack of containment turned a win into a loss.

Eleven penalties were a season high for the club and although some of the calls were suspect, it was far too many for a team in a hostile environment on the road trying to secure a win.

"We shot ourselves in the foot," coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "We became our own worst enemy."

Several players were miffed with the sudden change on the team. They saw victory clear in their eyes but the television feed was cut and the Chargers seemingly closed their eyes as their offense and defense went black.

With the team experiencing technical difficulties, Vick took advantage. He pushed the Falcons past the Chargers and the team had no answer.

It left many looking at themselves:

"You have to play sixty minutes," Tomlinson said. "First half, third quarter, is not going to do it. We had the momentum. We were controlling the clock. They weren't doing anything against our defense. All of a sudden they came alive."

The defense had performed inexplicably well. They were stopping the run and defending the pass. The Chargers held a thirteen minute time of possession lead. But in the end it would not matter. The Falcons two scoring drives took a total of two minutes and 45 seconds.

"Can't play just a half of football," wide receiver Eric Parker said. Football is football. Vick is just one man."

One man that took over as anchor and choreographed the Falcons to victory.

The Chargers responded by trading for Keenan McCardell on Tuesday, a move that they believe will push them back towards the upper echelon of the league. After letting one get away, they can only hope.

Lightning Quicks:

Eric Parker is reportedly healthy and will be the number one receiver on Sunday. Recent signee Bobby Shaw figures to get a lot of playing time on Sunday but look for Kassim Osgood to open the game as the starter.

Four receivers changed teams on Tuesday, prior to the 4 PM EST trading deadline. There had not been a deal on deadline day since 1999 when Abdul-Karim Al-Jabbar was traded from Miami and Regan Upshaw went to Jacksonville.


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