stoner steps

    The Chargers are at 3-1? Minnesota is 1-3? San Diego Charger LaDainian Tomlinson is leading the league in rushing? Heck, any Charger leading the league in any offensive category is enough to make my jaw drop.

    The Chargers are proving to everybody who threatened to commit suicide after they traded Michael Vick that they don’t have to slit their wrists. Doug Flutie has carried the Chargers to a tie for first in the AFC West Division and is seventh in the AFC in passing. More importantly, however, he has been an effective leader on the field and in the clubhouse, something which the Chargers have not had since the good old days — before somebody named Ryan Leaf came to town.

    The Chargers’ defense, the one constant during the Leaf era — which is when their offense was so bad it wore out its own defense by repeatedly giving the ball away — is as capable as ever, led of course by Junior Seau.

    Cornerback Ryan McNeil has also been sensational for San Diego’s defense, logging five interceptions in his first three games. That’s more than he had in the past three years combined.

    Can the Chargers do the impossible and make the playoffs after flirting with the NFL’s first 0-16 season ever last year?

    Anything is possible, but looking at the teams the Chargers have played so far this year reveals that their three victories have come against Washington, Dallas and Cincinnati. Dallas and Washington have yet to win a game and remain in the cellar with 0-4 records, while Cincinnati has played decently this year and is 2-2.

    But these are the teams the Chargers are supposed to beat and victories over the pond scum of the NFL cannot provide much consolation. Looking at the bright side, at least the Chargers are beating the teams they should beat.

    But last Sunday, in their first game against a decent team, the Chargers lost to Cleveland, 20-16. While the Browns have surprised everyone this year by jumping out to 3-1, they are not among the NFL elite.

    So if the Chargers cannot beat the Browns, what chance do they have against the Raiders or the Broncos, the two teams tied with the Chargers atop the AFC West? The Chargers have two games against each team and the way San Diego is playing right now, I don’t believe they are good enough to beat either team.

    For all you die-hard fans saying “”This is the year,”” and that the Chargers will go 12-4: Pull your heads out of your asses and take a logical look at the situation. The Chargers have some excellent players and may even be able to come up with a winning record this year, but the team is still a year or two short of being a contender.

    Even though I seriously doubt it will happen, I invite the Chargers to prove me wrong.

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