Wednesday, 12 September 2012

NFL Week 1: Chargers 22, Raiders 14

The Chargers start off on the right foot by getting one in the win column, and we're happy with that.  We just have to keep things in perspective, and keep the unconvincing win in context.

The Raiders organization and their fans are a joke.  They put on their pathetic costumes and makeup and wear jerseys as black as their heart and as dark as their souls and have scary skulls and spikes and get all revved up and psycho at the start of the game, and then wilt under the crushing idiocy and buffoonery of their team.  By the third quarter they're usually booing their heroes.  As they did during this game.

The Raiders have been led by a demented old woman for decades now, and the NFL deification machine  has obfuscated that fact, instead spinning it into a case of a headstrong and idiosyncratic owner.  His bizarre personnel decisions, involving both players and coaches, have been glossed over.  He has been allowed by the courts to highjack the Raiders from Oakland to L.A. and back again for his personal enrichment.  Even the manner in which he became the owner of the Raiders is under question, with various former partners claiming to have been defrauded and pushed out of the ownership team.

So when I see them gift another team with a win as they did in this game, by the simple fact of having lost their long snapper and not having a competent backup on the roster, I see only a team that has itself to blame.  I see a team that is wrapped up in its own mystique of being a bunch of renegades and outlaws that sinks under the weight of its own indiscipline.  I see a team that claims to prize the vertical passing game but has a succession of inept quarterbacks leading it, and drafts players based on their 40-yard dash times and ends up with massively flawed reaches like Darrius Heyward-Bey and Taiwan Jones on its roster, instead of football players.

For all his failures, Norv Turner and his coaching staff do their actual job and have on their roster players capable of subbing in for their long-snapper.  The Raiders, led by the never-amount-to-anything son of the deceased owner, and by rookie head coach Dennis Allen, evidently don't get around to those kinds of details.

So we're not going to get excited about this win.  It's nice that for once a crazy event resulted in a fortuitous win rather than a seemingly undeserved loss, as we've suffered in recent years.  But our offence sputtered.  Our lines on both sides of the ball got caved in on the first couple of series, before the Raiders lost their initial slavering homicidal energy and deflated their own balloons with their penalties.  Our quarterback and his favourite target Antonio Gates seemed out of sync, with the latter allowing a couple of passes to slip through his mitts, one of which would have been a touchdown.

Sure, our defence looked good at the end, when the Raiders had lost hope, and came up with cheap sacks, but they seemed like they had all they could handle at the start.

About the only bright spot seemed to be the return to form of Nate Kaeding, who it must be repeated seems to have an even stronger boot than before he blew out his ACL, if that's possible.

So we'll keep this win, but we're not going to get carried away.  We're going to wait and see how the Charger fare against an actual NFL team, one with a leadership and an organizational plan and a roster filled by professional players who are coached to win games rather than to satisfy the adolescent urges of its moronic fan base.  If the Chargers can stop Chris Johnson and the Titans, we'll pay closer attention then.

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