When the Kansas City Chiefs got off to a horrendous start to the season, no excuses were made. There was plenty of scrutiny from the media both local and national, as well as from bloggers and fans. It was a frustrating and embarrassing time for everyone. To their credit, the Chiefs went about their business, tuned out the noise and got back to winning football games. In a day and age of Twitter tirades and media sniping, this was no small feat.
In San Diego, however, things are a bit different. You wouldn’t think that would be the case. After all, the Chargers got off to their best start in years. The Chargers often stumble out of the gate but in 2011 San Diego charged out to a 4-1 start. Norv Turner’s squad has been in first place in the AFC West all season.
So you would think that things would be all roses in San Diego. Sure, the team suffered a late-game collapse against the New York Jets on Sunday but the Chargers are still 4-2 and are still in the drivers seat in the AFC West.
That is apparently not enough for the Chargers. Rather than try to learn from their failures vs. the Jets as they prepare to travel to Arrowhead Stadium to take on the red-hot Chiefs, the Chargers are, well, whining.
“Their secondary isn’t anything,” Chargers TE Randy McMichael said of the Jets following Sunday’s loss. “It’s our fault. It had nothing to do with anybody on their team. It’s all about the guys in this locker room room, we lost the game. They didn’t do anything.”
More after the jump.
Sheesh. Talk about not giving your opponent any credit. While McMichael at least seems to be willing to put some of the blame on his own team in this situation, his teammates weren’t so gracious. In fact, many of the Chargers decided that rather than take responsibility for the loss or give the Jets a modicum of credit for, you know, beating then, they’d rather blame the officials.
“I don’t have to say anything about what the refs did — everyone saw how the calls went,” Chargers Cb Quentin Jammer said.
Despite saying he didn’t have anything to say, Jammer inexplicably kept talking.
“Yeah — consistently bad,” he said. “No way it was called fairly. No way. Not at all. It wasn’t called fairly at all. Maybe I’m being biased, but I’m just judging off what I saw. It wasn’t a fair game called.”
Maybe you’re being biased? Seriously?
Jammer continued to complain. He claimed that the fact that the Chargers weren’t flagged at all in their previous game while they were flagged 13 times Sunday was clear evidence that something was amiss.
Wait a sec here, Mr. Jammer. Was something amiss in this game or the game where your team wasn’t flagged at all? Cause one might hypothesize that it is equally as difficult to get zero penalties in a game as it is to get flagged 13 times. By that logic, Jammer should have been complaining about the unfairness of the game two weeks ago as well.
Jammer wasn’t the only Chargers player blaming the refs for his teams failure to hold on to a lead. Safety Eric Weddle got in on the action as well.
“They were bad. Really bad,” Weddle added eloquently.
You have to ask yourself if all this whining in San Diego is a sign of much deeper troubles in San Diego. Does this team really feel so entitled to victories on Sundays that they spend more time blaming the officials and discounting the effort of their opponents than they do trying to figure out what it was that they did wrong to lose the game?
Meanwhile, the Chiefs, who certainly could have looked for excuses after their horrendous start, remained largely silent. The drum being beat in KC during the tough times was that coaches still believed in the players and that the players still believed in each other. The Chiefs had serious injuries to key players like Jamaal Charles, Tony Moeaki and Eric Berry but rather than blame the lockout or fate, the Chiefs just kept grinding.
Perhaps it is fitting that the Chiefs seemed to find their confidence on the road, in a loss, vs. the Chargers. After getting blown out twice, the Chiefs went to San Diego and gave the division leaders all they could handle. Despite falling to 0-3, the Chiefs stayed positive and found the silver lining in the loss.
Since that day the Chiefs have not lost. They’ve pulled their record even to 3-3 and they’ve set themselves up with a chance to grab a share of the AFC West lead next week on Monday Night Football.
Vs. the Chargers.
So while the Chargers are complaining, we’re hearing a different tune in Kansas City. Just listen to some of the things KC players said about their head coach Todd Haley following the team’s win over the Raiders.
“It’s like you’re out there with another player,” fullback Le’Ron McClain said.
“We love him, man,” cornerback Brandon Flowers said. “That’s like our brother.”
“Todd is one of the guys,” receiver Dwayne Bowe said.
Bowe, who might be just as unusual as his head coach, said he saw symbolism in what Haley has been doing; he hears the message.
“There’s a method to his madness,” Bowe said. “If you see him rough and nasty like that, that’s how the game is going to be.”
Surprisingly, it is the Kansas City Chiefs, not the San Diego Chargers who sound like a first place team.
If I were Norv Turner, I would be trying to make sure my team got their minds right and fast. If the Chargers walk into Arrowhead Stadium with the same sense of entitlement they left New York with, they may just find themselves with a whole new set of problems to complain about.