Unsung Heroes

Sunday's game was a game of unsung heroes. Everyone was talking about Antonio Gates and Drew Brees, and last year their names were not even mentioned in the same breath of a Pro Bowl season. It was the play of unsung heroes like Drayton Florence who came in for an injured Sammy Davis and played a good game that made the difference and could be the difference again this week.

Drayton Florence came in and immedialty made in impact in helping to stop the high potent Chiefs passing game. In my opinion Florence is the better of the two corners but that is better left for another article.

Florence came in and replaced Davis for two games and played a couple of good games. Is he a great cornerback, not yet, but he has potential to be. He has two interceptions and with his speed he has the ability to stay with some of the top receivers in the league. He has closing speed and has the ability to stop a receiver at the line. His test is coming up in this week's game when he will be matched against Rod Smith and Ashley Lelie and some times put up against Darius Watts the young receiver out of Marshall.

I believe that he will come through and have a solid game and with Jake Plummer known to throw interceptions he could up his interception total for the year.

Another unsung hero is being spoke about in the papers this week and getting the recognition he deserves for last weeks play, Kassim Osgood. He may not have physically forced a fumble on Dante Hall's kickoff return, but he had a lot to do with it. Known for his supposed lack of speed he proved some critics incorrect when he almost caught Hall from behind. Instead he made Hall make a critical mistake of trying to change hand positions in stride and fumbling. Indirectly he caused the fumble, his hustle on that play showed the will of this team, never give up and keep hustling to the whistle blows.

Osgood only had two catches last Sunday but both were for first downs and both were crucial plays by the second year wide receiver. The 27-yard reception was a good catch and first down play for Osgood, but the play that was to define his day and his potential was on 3rd and 23 when Brees hit Osgood in stride, and Osgood dragged the defensive back down the line for a 65-yard gain setting up the Brees to Gates 11-yard touchdown play. Gates may have got the score but he owes Osgood the thanks for getting the Chargers down there.

Osgood in my opinion is a better 3rd down receiver then Dwight and has the ability to supplant Caldwell also. Even with the year Caldwell was having, Osgood is a more dependable receiver and when he learns to run the correct routes on a consistent basis can become a quality receiver for Brees. Osgood is much more then that, he is used more as a decoy than a receiver. He is also a very good blocking receiver and plays on both sides of special teams. The amazing thing is Osgood remains humble, playing as hard as he can whenever gets on the field.

That is the epitome of the type of play of this team, hustle, hard work and never giving up.

There are many unsung heroes on this team, but each time these two players get on the field they stand out, making plays and hustling, never giving up. When the Chargers make the playoffs, Osgood should be on the list of accolades giving out to those who are responsible for the Chargers' winning season. What a season it has been. A season of unsung heroes.

This week's prediction: it is going to be a tough game. Denver is going to come in on fire after the loss to Oakland in the snow.

Chargers 28, Denver 21

Tom Criswell can be reached at tom@sandiegosports.net

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