It has now been well over 24 hours. I got a pretty good night's sleep on it, too. And I'm still feeling a painfully strong cognitive dissonance over what happened in the Patriots-Chargers game yesterday.
First of all, the Chargers were awful. It was not possible to play the sport of American football worse than they did yesterday, at pretty much any level.They are just lucky it is not a game in which they could have accidentally shot at their own goal. Because if it was that kind of football, they would have. They were that bad.
And I won't pretend I took no joy in that. I find the Chargers the trash-talkingest, whiniest, take-no-responsibility team in the league. Most of this probably stems from LaDanian Tomlinson's boo-hooing over the years in the direction of Bill Belichick, but even with Tomlinson gone, this team's personality still gets on my nerves. After utterly embarrassing themselves on the field throughout the game, some of the receivers who'd committed the most egregious errors were still popping up in the faces of Patriots defenders after plays, flapping their gums.
My personal favorite example of how undisciplined and undeserving of respect the Chargers can be (and probably my favorite moment of the game, really) was when they began the second quarter with a 25-yard completed pass from Philip Rivers to rookie Rich Goodman, who forgot he wasn't playing in college, hadn't been touched down, and let go of the ball. The better to start his clapping and celebrating, of course.
That's when James Sanders fell on the ball. The ball was then ruled live. The Patriots offense took over at their own 41.
Having watched Brady & Co. slug it out with the Ravens the week before, having watched them make a 1-yard touchdown toss look like a casual trip to the laundromat following this game's previous Chargers fumble, and given that the offense has been the source of most of the Patriots' success so far this season, I was rubbing my hands together with glee, anticipating the start of a good, old-fashioned, confidence-boosting beatdown.