By Tim Marcin
Elm Staff Writer
We’ve seen this act before. The San Diego Chargers are making a second-half kick. Every year they start slow and make an epic turnaround at the half-way point. This year is no exception. They started the year 2-5 and are now 6-5. Last Sunday they demolished the Indianapolis Colts 36-14.
They made the great Peyton Manning look like a rookie again. He threw four interceptions in the game, a week after throwing three in a game. The last time Manning had back-to-back three interception games was in the late 1990’s. The Chargers were great on Sunday, especially their defense. A defense playing at that level will win you games. On a Sunday when Phillip Rivers was average, the defense picked him up. That is the sign of a good team—they have balance, unlike the Colts who rely on a Manning miracle Sunday after Sunday.
The knock on the Chargers has always been that they can never win when it counts. They always have their late season run, and always enter the playoffs as a favorite. Yet they seem to lock up in the pressure of the playoffs. It seems, however, that this balanced squad may just have the ability to buck that trend. If the way they beat the Colts is any indication, it could be a good year in San Diego.
Kyle Brotzman did not have his best day in Boise blue this past Saturday. In fact, he had about the worst day imaginable for a kicker. At the end of regulation, in a tie game against Nevada, Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore threw up a hail-mary pass that was caught by a sprawling Titus Young at the ten-yard line. All they needed now was for Brotzman to make a 26 yard field goal to win—a mere chip shot but he shanked it and missed an extremely easy field goal.
His nightmare wasn’t over yet. In overtime he missed a 29 yard field goal, allowing Nevada to win the game 34-31, and crushing any BCS dreams Boise once had. As he approached the kick you could feel the miss coming. How could he come back from that earlier shank? Kyle Brotzman missed two very short, dead center field goals, which crushed the Broncos’ season.
Was his performance bad? Yes, but the backlash has been too severe. He has been receiving threats from overzealous fans and some people have been putting the blame solely on him. The blame is on the team. If they were a true BCS contender they should have handled Nevada before that. It was a team loss.
If you didn’t see it by now, in a game this past Sunday, Andre Johnson of the Houston Texans and Cortland Finnegan of the Tennessee Titans got in a fistfight on the field.
Finnegan had been bugging Johnson all game, and Johnson had been burning Finnegan all game. During a play Finnegan jabbed up at Johnsons helmet, and then all hell broke loose. If it was a true boxing match, lets just say Andre Johnson would have won handedly. Eventually benches cleared and everything calmed down. Both players were ejected for their on field MMA auditions.
The NFL did not see this spectacle as too much of a problem. In a day and age where players can get fined $50,000 for accidently hitting a person the wrong way, these two players received only fines of 25K a piece. Finnegan taunted fans, is well known as a dirty player, and laughed at getting kicked out of a game for fighting. Does this not set the worst of examples for young fans? $25,000 is chump change to a NFL player, especially a superstar like Andre Johnson. There should have been some kind of suspension or at least a heftier fine. It was an ugly fight, and an ugly reaction by the league.