Flutie still feeling young

No matter how the rest of Dog Flutie's career plays out, the San Diego Chargers can be confident that he still has it. He led the Bolts to 17 first half points before giving way to rookie Philip Rivers.

Drew Brees went inactive on Sunday which meant plenty of playing time for veteran Doug Flutie and rookie Philip Rivers.

For the veteran, it was just another exciting game in his long career and a nice tune-up in case he is forced into action come playoff time. Flutie will be the number two quarterback when the postseason begins on Saturday, his experience giving him the advantage over Rivers.

"Doug set the bar pretty high," Rivers marveled. "He played great and got us the lead. I was excited to contribute and get the win."

"I thought Doug Flutie did a terrific job," head coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "It is fun to watch Doug Flutie play. He got those one-on-one isolations and took advantage of them, throwing the ball in the air and our guys jumping and catching it."

On Sunday, he showed why he was so valuable. He led the Bolts to three points on the opening drive of the game and actually put the Bolts in position to score on his second drive until a botched snap on a field goal attempt erased the possibility of scoring any points.

On the Chargers third possession, Flutie began the drive with a 20-yard scramble, a run that brought the crowd of 64,920 to its feet. He hit Ryan Krause for 17 yards and Kassim Osgood for 28 yards on successive passes to get inside the ten. One play later it was Flutie running the ball in from one yard out to give San Diego a seven point lead.

"Yes," Flutie said when asked whether he was going to keep the ball from his rushing touchdown. "Who knows when I'm going to have the chance for another rushing touchdown? I wanted to hang onto it in case it ends up being my last.

"I'm not saying I am retiring. Even if I play next year, I may not get the opportunity."

The Chargers final possession of the first half came with less than a minute on the clock and the ball on the San Diego 36. Flutie came out firing, hitting Osgood for a 27-yard gain and followed that with a 27-yard blooper to Malcom Floyd. On third and goal from the ten, Flutie threw a strike to Ryan Krause for the touchdown and a 17-3 lead heading into halftime.

"Got my first touchdown from Doug Flutie," rookie tight end Ryan Krause began. "That was special. I have been watching Doug Flutie for years."

Krause, coincidentally, was three years old when Flutie won the Heisman Trophy.

"He is a character," Krause added. "Other guys are totally serious and he is in there having fun. I have been watching Doug Flutie run around for years but I never thought I would catch a touchdown from him."

Flutie provided the Chargers with a balanced attack and he saw a little of everything on Sunday, something he called a "mini-game". He flaunted his trademark scramble and showed he still has some arm, even at the tender age of 42.

As is his custom, Flutie relished the game and the memories from it. His role returns to teacher and mentor next week when they play the Jets at home but the sweet taste of football remains.

"It was a blast," he said.


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