Defenses win championships. As we've seen in games past, without a pass rush and bums like Cromartie giving it up like a virgin on prom night, the Lombardi will continue to be just a gleam in our blue and yellow eyes. Defenses like the Steelers, Eagles and Ravens (heck, even the Cardnals, WTF???) play at a level unknown to our defense (at least this year). The tenacity, the viciousness the "rip off their heads and sh*t down the hole" mentality. The Chargers D didn't have that yesterday. I watched in amazement to see our D line actually get blown off the ball multiple times, several yards off the line of scrimmage. The occasional blitz did little or nothing to help the cause as Ben Rothlesburger stood in the pocket most of the day for what seemed eons, completing passes that should never have been. Letting a team get 22 first downs just won't cut it. The Steelers wanted it more then we did.
While I like the fact that Steven Cooper stepped up this year as a leader and a motivator, we need to see more of this from other players. And why Brandon Siler isn't a starter yet or at least rotated in and not just during goal line stances, I couldn't tell you. The kid has a motor and has the potential to make huge plays.
I remember playing HS football and our defensive line coach telling us to get into that "rage" mindset, and to "pretend that the QB and RB just raped your mother" (true story) and "You have no friends out there, only enemies". While it all seems somewhat cliche, it worked. You want to hit harder, you want to injure, you want to inflict as much chaos as one could possibly commit. I remember during my senior year, a certain school's team decided to trash our field prior to the game. Not only did we win that game, but we took 5 of their players out of the game. Not playing dirty mind you, but playing with R-A-G-E.
The Chargers need to find that rage next year. Hopefully it will come with the return of Shawne Merriman.
Thanks for an exciting month and a half end of the season. I enjoyed it while it lasted.
PS - Ever see Cromartie on a play where the ball sails over a receivers head and the guy acts like he actually defended the pass? Funny.