Fonzarelli mystique

"Happy days are here again." You can hear Charger fans humming this tune all over San Diego these days. They are starting to believe in this team that has already surpassed their win total from last year. If the Chargers were not to win another game, which is highly doubtful, they will have exceeded expectations for this year. This team is tied for first place and two games over .500. That is more than any of the so called experts, even those in our local paper, predicted for this team.

What is the reason for this turnaround? Some say it is the play of the QB Drew Brees, who was suppose to be sitting on the bench by this time looking to see who he might have a chance to play for next year. His play has warranted him staying in the leading role of QB for this team. Of that, there is no doubt. He has 14 touchdowns to three interceptions and has been remarkable, if not outstanding, at times in the leadership role.

I don't think that is the reason.

Some say it is the play of the defense behind massive Nose tackle Jamal Williams and the pass rushing ability of linebacker Steve Foley, who leads the team with 4 ½ sacks, The team is number one against the run and number 14 overall in defense which is far better than the 30th ranking the had last year. They are playing aggressive football and are tied for 3rd in the league in takeaway/giveaways.

That is not the answer either.

Marty gives credit to his special team, deservedly so, which starts a rookie as the field goal kicker. Nate Kaeding is 10-for-11 in field goals and 16-of-16 in PAT and a second year punter, Mike Scifres, who has only nine punts that have been returned on him all year and also averages over 42 yards a kick. He has two very good kick and punt returners in Tim Dwight and Eric Parker that give the Chargers good field position and kick and punt coverage teams that get downfield and give up little position while making solid tackles.

That is not the answer either.

So, what is the answer?

Is it the coaching staff being aggressive? Is it the players tired of being told they are not any good? What could be the reason for the solid play?

The answer is easy. It is Teamwork. The San Diego Chargers are playing solid football as a team all around. This is not a team of me, me, me – like last year. The solid offensive line play is working as a unit, the defensive line is working as a unit, and everyone is working together and playing for each other. They actually care if they are out of position because they let their teammates down.

That is why this team won't falter like year's past. That is why Drew Brees will continue to be a solid quarterback and why this team has a chance to make the playoffs for the first time in a long, long time.

It has been beyond ages since there were more Bolt fans at the Raiders vs. Chargers game last Sunday and the team not only felt it but also rewarded the fans with a big win. If the Chargers win this week against the Saints they will be three games over .500. They can conceivably go into their bye week with a share of first place atop the AFC West, or if Denver falters, they will be the first place San Diego Chargers.

Happy days are here again for San Diego fans and if my expectations are correct this could be the first time in 8 years the Chargers make it back to the playoffs.

"Happy days are here again."


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