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What a Charger victory…

Another four-TD game for LaDainian Tomlinson to contribute to a 42-point second half brought the Chargers back from a 28-7 deficit to defeat the Bengals 49-41. Utterly amazing. This was the Chargers’ first win this season outside of California, and it was ridiculously wild. A shame I only got to read the recap; I would have loved to see this matchup. How stunned do the Bengals have to be right now?

It’s Carolina vs. Tampa on Monday Night Football — should be interesting. Not going to pick the game. Knowing my luck Carolina will, again, only play half a football game and Tampa will roar back under Gradkowski to win. That, or the Panthers rupture his spleen, too…

Reprieve!

Good morning folks! My midterm hell for this semester is officially over as of this morning. I don’t think they went too badly; but we’ll see if it’s a false sense of confidence or what. ;)

Despite the exams, it was a pretty good weekend. I enjoyed the nice crisp air under the sunny skies (indeed, a stark contrast to this gray and muggy morning). Saturday I went with a friend to the Friends of the Library Book Sale and absolutely loaded up on books and even a few videos. Some of these are absolutely priceless, particularly the Windows 95 Feature Introduction video hosted by Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry back in 1995. I’ll have a picture of the cover of that one; it’s fairly priceless. Sunday, in an act of stress relief, I took a long walk downtown amongst the tourists and saw a giant cruise ship, among other things. Was actually a nice walk — gotta take advantage of the nice weather while we have it.

It was a good Sunday for football, too. Both the Panthers and Chargers came away with victories. The Panthers game was fantastic. Delhomme threw for a career high in yardage, and the Panthers and Ravens really got into a dogfight. Kyle Boller, by the way, showed some of that late-season form for the Ravens in relief of Steve McNair…very interesting. He plays best when he feels as if he has something to prove. The Chargers beat the 49ers…as expected. They’re a good team that’s beat up on a lot of bad teams and gone 1-1 against decent squads. That’s not too shabby. Giving Philip Rivers freedom was one of the best things Schottenheimer could do. That, and LT is a stud: Four touchdowns on Sunday makes him a fantasy football dream.

I caught the last eight minutes of the Bears-Cardinals game, and witnessed one of the most epic collapses in modern football history. The Bears, which scored nothing offensively, got its trademark defense going in the 4th quarter and great special teams play to ring up 27 on the Cardinals and come away with a victory — this, after being down 20-3 at the half. The Bears ended up with six turnovers in the game, four courtesy of Rex Grossman interceptions. They should not have won; the Cardinals gave them the game. One bright spot for Arizona: Matt Leinart did everything he was supposed to do, and looked fantastic against that Bears D. As for Da Bears…they’re still undefeated, standing at a sterling 6-0. They should have lost that game, though, no question.

Anyway, enjoy your Tuesday — lots of things to do today.

Monday

Yep, it’s Monday — that day of the week everyone seems a little groggy. It seems like as the semester wears on people are more and more groggy on Monday morning. This definitely holds true in my case — I was up until 2:30 am working on meteorology and random websites.

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As Per Whatever

NFL Week 2

Week 2 went largely as Week 1 did for me: The Panthers lost (though their play was improved for three quarters), and the Chargers were nothing short of brilliant.

Despite my initial angry posting on the matter, the Panthers honestly did play better this week. Jake Delhomme is still a bag of nerves, but he was a bit more on target today, and got Keyshawn the ball a bit more (which proved to be advantageous). Delhomme is still making really stupid throws at times, and he has to work this out. I realize that his offensive line is a total patchwork, but this was happening before Wharton and Hartwig went down. Delhomme and the Panthers do miss Steve Smith, but that’s not an excuse to not get it done with the personnel they have. A week or two more of inconsistent play and I would not be surprised to hear some clamoring for Chris Weinke to make a start. I also foresee a runningback controversy, as DeAngelo Williams was far more efficient than DeShaun Foster was today, and as such got a majority of the carries. Williams has a fearlessness that the oft-injured Foster seems to lack (and understandably so). Foster is a good runner, but something’s messing with his head. Julius Peppers had a ridiculously good game, too — eight tackles, three sacks, and a blocked field goal. It’s a shame Chris Gamble with his lack of judgement threw his team under the bus not once but twice — the first time being that ridiculously idiotic attempt at a lateral to a guy who had no clue it was coming to him (the Panthers had a touchdown lead at this point) but also for getting the 15-yard face mask penalty at the end of the game that made it a chipshot for Longwell to boot through for the Viking win in OT. Chris Gamble gave the Vikings the win, as they didn’t play very well at all today. At the very least, Gamble should sit out a game or two and face a stiff fine; I personally think the coaching staff should release him. Those types of mistakes are inexcusable, especially since he’s been in the league for a while and should know how these things work. It was a Pop Warner play; totally inexcusable at this level. I, personally, was shocked that he was even permitted to finish the game on the field. I would have benched him. Carolina gets reeling Tampa Bay next week in a very early must-win game for both teams. Going 0-3 to start the season in the NFC South is a pretty good bet to be a kiss of death for the playoffs, especially considering how good Atlanta and New Orleans have been for the first two weeks.

Thank God for the San Diego Chargers and Shawne Merriman in particular. I loved the shutout of the Raiders, and they came close again today, winning 40-7. Cam Cameron gave Philip Rivers a little bit of room to throw the football in this game and he certainly made the most of it going 25-35 with 235 yards and a touchdown. I love the depth of this team, particularly at runningback — LaDainian Tomlinson’s skills are very well-documented, but Michael Turner is a stud in his own right, and would start on any other team. Marty Schottenheimer has got to love having a guy like him spelling Tomlinson when he needs to take a few downs off or, God forbid, he becomes injured. And that defense — oh my God. The Chargers clearly don’t miss Steve Foley at all. They are all over the place, led by Merriman. I wish I had a chance to watch this game; sadly, NFL GameCast on ESPN.com had to suffice. I fully realize the Raiders and Titans aren’t exactly the class of the NFL, but the Chargers are doing what they need to do — beating up on the teams they should beat up on, so when they get to the meat of the schedule, which begins in Week 4 as they travel to Baltimore to face off against the extremely defensively talented Ravens (the Chargers have a bye next week), they will have some confidence and momentum going in. Working Rivers gradually more and more into the game plan will prove to be advantageous for the Chargers. It worked for a guy named Roethlisomething…;)

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Chargers demoralize the Raiders, salvage a lousy Week 1 for me

Wow…I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Raiders look as bad as they did tonight against the Chargers. LaDainian Tomlinson was out of this world, and Philip Rivers did exactly what he needed to do — manage the game well. The few times he did throw the ball, he looked great. And that defense — wow. I don’t know if the Chargers were that good or the Raiders really are that bad. To be sacked more times (7) than have completions (6) is not going to be a high point in Aaron Brooks’s career.

It’s nuts how dominant road teams were this weekend. Don’t think I’ve seen this much road dominance in a long time. This definitely makes me feel better about this first weekend of NFL action, though, seeing how the Panthers were destroyed Sunday. Speaking of the Panthers, ESPN’s reporting that offensive lineman Travelle Wharton blew out his knee (ACL and MCL) and is done for the year. Ouuuuch…

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Sports

Saturday: A good sports day (mostly)

The Padres snapped their losing streak and made Jason Hirsh’s major league debut with the Astros memorable — for all the wrong reasons. Jake Peavy got only his second win since May 28, which is good — the Padres find themselves in a dogfight with the Dodgers down the stretch and need all the pitching they can muster from their rotation.

The Philip Rivers Era got off to a pretty much perfect start for the Chargers. Very, very encouraging news. It is early, but we’ll take whatever good news we can in that regard.

The Panthers now remember what it’s like to have more than one receiver. The reserves are a bit shaky, though — they’ll work hard on that. The Panther offense will be so, so dangerous with Keyshawn Johnson, a healthy Keary Colbert and Drew Carter in the #3 and #4 slots, and Steve Smith. DeAngelo Williams showed some flashes of brilliance and some nerves as well, but I’m confident he’ll be a great #2 to DeShaun Foster, who looked fantastic last night as well. Yes, it’s only preseason, but things are looking up in Carolina.

Heck, the only bad news is that the Braves lost (again) and the Dodgers won (again).

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As Per Whatever

The Philip Rivers Era has begun…

ESPN is reporting that Drew Brees has signed a six-year, $60 mil contract with the New Orleans Saints.

Thanks for everything, Drew. Let’s hope Philip is ready…

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Memo to The Chargers

MEMORANDUM

TO: San Diego Chargers, ATTN: A.J. Smith, General Manager
FROM:  Jared Smith, Lifelong Loyal Fan
RE:  Quarterbacks

Mr. Smith:

Re-sign Drew Brees, at all costs.

JWS