The Chargers have become artists

Illustration for article titled The Chargers have become artists
Photo: (AP)

I’ve used this space to mock and rant about the NFC East, especially when they’re wasting everyone’s time in primetime television slots. But there isn’t much left to say about that division, as they put on another immersive experience of confusion where even Carson Wentz couldn’t somehow throw a win into someone else’s hands, even if he repeatedly put the football into the wrong hands. I think Tony Soprano’s accountant’s assistant started at QB for the Cowboys, but I’m sure it doesn’t matter.


So let’s turn to the Los Angeles Chargers, who lost their fifth game of the season, this one to division rival Denver. And didn’t just lose it, they chucked it off a bridge and into a deep river. In all of their losses, the Chargers have blown a double-digit lead. When it was against the Chiefs, sure, K.C. can put up points in a hurry. Far better team. That 10-point lead probably was something of a fluke. Maybe you could say the same about the Bucs with Tom Brady and all that.

On the surface, doing the same against the Saints could be chalked up to “one of those things that happens when Drew Brees is on the other side.” Except if you’ve watched Brees this year, and really the past two or three years, you realize he’s basically quarterback Jamie Moyer now, and can’t throw the ball more than ten yards past the line of scrimmage. And whatever he does throw has all the zip on it of an old man’s piss.

And then yesterday, blowing a big lead to the Broncos, and to Drew Lock, who will certainly be the backup QB on six different teams by the time his career is over. The kind of guy coaches say they really enjoy having in meetings. He’s a traveler, a journeyman, the football equivalent of a drifter who leaves messages and codes on fences and sign posts.

The Chargers led 24-3 in the third quarter against a team that scored more than 21 points once this season, and that was against the Jets, which doesn’t count. The Broncos’ offensive gameplan is generally no more complicated than trying not to upchuck lunch. And the Chargers found a way to cough up four touchdowns in the final 20 minutes.

Maybe this is the only way the Chargers get noticed. Admit it, when you first saw the word “Chargers” you still thought “San Diego.” Barely anyone remembers they’re also residents of the obscenely opulent SoFi Stadium. If it wasn’t for their glorious uniforms, they’d essentially be the west coast Pittsburgh Pirates. Hell, their raging asshole QB plays in Indianapolis now.

But if you’re going to lose, you might as well do it in a way that people notice. So bravo to the Chargers, who weren’t content to fade into the background in which they’ve lived their entire existence, but couldn’t figure out any other way to emerge than by lighting firecrackers between their own toes. This is the 53-man version of the kindergarten kid who eats worms. Eventually everyone moves on and he gives up, but there’s always a couple days there when he’s the talk of the schoolyard.


Let’s end with something fun and happy. Here’s Alex Ring of NYCFC crashing an absolute Mjölnir of a goal from about 25 yards.


You have to admire how this was hit with such venom that the keeper couldn’t get up quick enough to get a hand on it. The crossbar will be shaking from that one off in the morning still. It turned out to be the winning goal in a 5-2 NYCFC romp over in-metro-area rivals RBNY (I kind of love that the Hudson River Derby in MLS sounds like you’re talking about two new wave bands from 1987. Even the term “Hudson River Derby” sounds like a New Order album).

We can't be too careful. Two guys in an airport...talking? It's a little fishy.