Week 16 Recap: Chargers @ Jets
FULL DISCLOSURE: I’m a 35-year-old man who hasn’t had a day job in 5 years, AND I’m in peak vacation mode, so I didn’t wake up until the second half of this game. Other than the CTE epidemic, domestic abuse, and racist/power-hungry owners, the fact that games start at 10am PT on a Sunday is among the most unforgivable things about the NFL.
But this game was ultimately pretty predictable. A somewhat spunky Jets team kept it close but couldn’t pull the upset over the highly favored yet meh Bolts. This “hot,” “dangerous” Chargers team can beat anybody, but they haven’t beaten anybody good. Total wins against projected playoff teams: zero.
There is a scene in probably the last good season of The Simpsons where Homer has pounded a six-pack and hung from the bottom of a helicopter to save his kids from a forest fire. The dialogue perfectly sums up how he embodies the 2017 Chargers:
BART: You did it Dad!
HOMER (drunk): You can’t prove I did it.
LISA: No, you saved our lives.
HOMER (slurring): I could do a lot of things if I had some money…
Even in surprising success there is the reminder of lifelong failure and futility. No individual win will wash the stank off them.
Other things that happened in this game:
- The Jets recovered an onside kick to start the game, and of course that is the kind of thing that would fool the Chargers.
- Mike Williams is made of glass.
- Injuries might finally be catching up with the Bolts, as Melvin Gordon suffered a high ankle sprain and apparently last week Hunter Henry lacerated his kidney. Take your money and run/hobble! It’s not worth it to sacrifice your body for a team owned by an insane moron.
- Antonio Gates is no longer fast but he can still catch the shit out of a ball. He also knows when to go down to prevent injury. He is going to retire, but I hope he plays another year or 2 with like the Packers.
- Middling RB Bilal Powell gashed the Bolts for two huge runs, one for a TD, and clearly had fun doing it.
- The Chargers 12th rostered kicker missed another FG, a lasting testament to resounding organizational failure.
- A Philip Rivers pass bounced off Keenan Allen’s face and I laughed at him.
- Keenan Allen has some very sassy post-catch attitude. He is trying to be Odell. But he is NOT. Not even close.
The Chargers have a very real chance to make the playoffs as 6th seed. But that will require beating the Raiders in Los Angeles in week 17. And in a way it’s a win-win. Because the Raiders are LA’s team, these tickets have been sold out the minute they hit the market, and the final game will be played in an imploding ring of silver and black: a miniature Black Hole. I can think of no better way to end the season than A) the Chargers missing the playoffs because they had to play a road game in their home stadium; or B) the Chargers becoming a playoff team in their home stadium to the sound of deafening boos and threats of violence. 2017 is among the worst years in American history. But hold tight. It’s almost over.
Jono Zalay is a native San Diegan and co-host of the F*** The Chargers podcast, available on iTunes and all those other places. He now lives in Los Angeles where he can hate the Chargers from close proximity.