4th-And-Goal With Jeff Williams

Raider Week, a week that brings Chargers fans two things- comfort knowing that their team should easily increase their winning streak to 12 straight wins against the Silver and Black, and an intense passion to want to see the Raiders lose by double- no, triple-digits, because you never can beat the Raiders by enough.

There is no margin of victory too extreme to make me say, “OK, time to go easy on them.” Raider fans, don’t take this personally, I have nothing against you. Well, I might have something against L.A. Raider fans. But Oakland Raider fans, I have nothing against you. It’s not your fault that no one has the guts to take this team out of Al Davis’ cold, dead hands. But until someone else takes over, I’m afraid it might be awhile until the Raiders stop drafting offensive linemen to play quarterback and kicker, and hands-less sprinters to play wide receiver.

All Raider-hating aside, I have one concern about this Monday’s game in Oakland. Chargers fans, you may have noticed the disease that has infested the team the last couple of years, something the medical profession calls “slow-starteritis”. There are plenty of reasons why this team has consistently started slowly out of the gate the last couple of years, but I won’t be convinced that they have cured this disease until the symptoms are gone, meaning they avoid a .500 winning percentage (or less). And unfortunately, the beginning of the 2009 season isn’t going to make that easy on anyone. After the game against Oakland, the Chargers face three-straight playoff teams in the Ravens, Dolphins (both at home), an d the Steelers (in Pittsburgh). Some prognosticators believe the Chargers will be lucky to go 2-2 to start the season.

I have a different take. Barring some traumatic event (like the Chargers bus being t-boned by a drunk Tila Tequila on the way to the Oakland Colisseum), the Chargers will defeat the Raiders on Monday night. It might be closer than we like, but even lingering ailments resulting from a severe case of “slow-starteritis” won’t be enough to hand the Chargers a 0-1 record to start the season. But that’s hardly a bold prediction. No, the bold prediction is this: The Chargers will follow their win over the Oakland Raiders with victories against the Ravens and the Dolphins.

What, that’s not bold enough for you? How about this: the Chargers will go undefeated at home this season. Granted, the home-schedule isn’t all that exciting, but there are four 2008 playoff teams visiting the “Q” this year, and I am of the opinion that the Chargers will beat them all.

And the first step to fully recovering from “slow-starteritis” begins with the Raiders on Monday night. For the first time in a long time, the Raiders won’t be the problem, they will be the cure.

September 9, 2009

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jennifer said... Sep 10, 2009, 4:57:00 AM

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



Nicole DeNecochea said... Sep 10, 2009, 5:47:00 AM


Mark said... Sep 10, 2009, 10:03:00 AM

"Granted, the home-schedule isn’t all that exciting"

Are you kidding?? The Chargers play the Eagles at home which potentially could be a Super Bowl preview! I am definitely going to get tickets for that game. And the Ravens game will we a doozy as well. But I must admit I am going to miss facing Jay Cutler as QB of the Broncos. That was becoming a big rivalry game- with the missed fumble call last year and Phil and Jay's "budding" friendship! (LOL)

Anonymous said... Sep 10, 2009, 9:07:00 PM

yeah man, same here, i feel that our defense will carry the team out this year. They will be the top 5 best D in the league this year.

Anonymous said... Sep 11, 2009, 1:12:00 PM

definitely want to see us start fast.

I am still concerned about our D. We are really thin at NT and CB. What happened to the CB AJ was going to nab off the waiver wire??? I didnt see anyone either worth picking up.

Go Bolts! Looking for a complete game against the Raiders.

Anonymous said... Sep 11, 2009, 9:02:00 PM

Merriman will do his first LIGHTOUT dance since sit out last season this game.

Anonymous said... Sep 12, 2009, 8:55:00 AM

I cannot wait to see Shaun Phillips, Larry English, and Shawne Merriman in the game at the same time on third down. Put Merriman and English on the same side. I can see Jamarcus getting stuck now.

Anonymous said... Sep 12, 2009, 4:46:00 PM

If ever there was a quarterback tailor made for the newly-minted Chargers pass rush to exploit, it's Jamarcus the Joke. If they can't get to him, they will have trouble getting to anybody; and that could spell disaster for this hopeful season. But..., in my Wal-mart Oracle-Might Chrystal Ball..., I see at least TWO "Lightsout" dances, plus a DB blitz for a sack, plus two tackles for losses; 1 by young Mr. English. I'm predicting 4 (count 'em, four!) Sacks, 4 (count 'em, four!) tackles behind the line of scrimmage, and 1 interception; all for the Chargers. The Bolts more than cover the spread Monday night. GO BOLTS!!

Anonymous said... Sep 15, 2009, 12:50:00 PM

Well we got 12 in a row. Probably in a way that less than 1% of us thought we would.

My question is who fills in on the offensive line if McNeill goes out? We had already used both subs. Our only other OL player (Green) was inactive for the game. We were obviously thin at DL to start the game based on the release of Gartrell and activation of Andre Coleman. Maybe Manumaleuna?? With a two tight end set?? I know Dielman is a former D-Lineman but don't know if any of our D-Lineman were former O-Lineman.

Glad that McNeill was able to shake it off and get back into the game.

So to recap we are not only thin at CB, and D-Line, but now super thin at O-Line.

I will be interested to hear about the injury status and any signings.

Anonymous said... Sep 15, 2009, 10:57:00 PM

For the record, our Chargers got spanked in every way but the scoreboard; but that's the only "stat" that really counts. So I've returned my "Oracle-Might 2000" crystal ball back to Wal-Mart for a refund, which they were nice enough to grant me (apparently it was stuck on "Lights Out" dances, and there are rumors of a factory recall).
Don't get me wrong now, I'm thrilled my Chargers won and Darren Sproles, Nanee, and Jackson saved the day. But the O-line was a rumor (although the *.ski boys filled admirably), and the pass rush was less than that. My least favorite play? The moronic comedy of pointless finger-pointing between "Oh-oh" Cromartie and "Huh-what" Hart as they combined to let virtually ANYone score an easy touchdown with only 2:38 left in the game. Come to think of it, their finger-pointing was the only synchronized part of that play on defense. Just awful..., a disgrace that defies the imagination. That would be considered a bad play in a Pop Warner peewee game, much less the millionaires club of the modern NFL; and I was A.J. I'd fine them both a weeks pay (like withholding a prize fight purse for non-performance). I've had it with those knuckleheads. Get smarter, get serious, get focused; or get out.

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