Chargers Colts Preview: Forever Pushing the Boulder
by Gabriel Rauch – NFL analyst for Wannamakeabet.com
There is a story in Greek mythology of Sisyphus, a king who’s punishment after death was to roll a giant boulder up a hill, only for it to roll all the way back to the bottom once it was closest to the top. If you grew up with the Chargers as I did, then you see the connection here, a team forever pushing the boulder to a championship but having it roll all the way down at the highest point every season.
But what about these Chargers; a hot coach with a unique approach to the game, a quarterback most franchises would kill for, and the team they’re playing Monday night blew a THIRTY THREE point lead last week led by a coach who was on TV a month ago. Surely these Chargers can win this game to give them a great chance at the playoffs that have eluded them since Phillip Rivers was leading the team.
What one has to understand about the Chargers is that they play to the level of their opponent. They only beat one team all year by more than one possession and that was the Texans. Every game they have played in the last two months, playing all types of teams, has gone down to the wire. The Chargers deserve respect as a team that will take the opponent to the end and with Herbert’s arm talent and skill position players, and their coaches’ panache to take risks, they will always have a chance late in games.
However, there is another side to this coin. The same things that win the Chargers games, also lose them games. Herbert’s a gunslinger and a legit top five quarterback, but his reckless style can occasionally account for bad throws (of course it usually helps the team more than hurts them).
A Colts defense that has forced more turnovers lately is primed to take advantage of this. Staley’s aggressive approach to going for it on 4th down gives them more opportunities for touchdowns, but also loses them easy points when his risk doesn’t pay off. Lastly, the Chargers are mostly healthy for what seems like the first time all season, but still need more time to gel together, a huge reason why they cannot put a full game together.
I won’t pretend the Colts are a good team, or that Jeff Saturday is a good coach. However, this is a team that needed a boost and say what you will about Saturday, he gave it to them as every game since he took over has been a one score game (besides the Cowboys game that got away from them late). Saturday is a college coach in an NFL locker room, which does not work long term but may work short term. What I mean by college coach is he is a motivator with experience and he knows what to say to grown men to get them to finish out the season. This is his time to shine as there is no team more in need of motivation than a team that just blew the biggest lead in NFL history a week prior.
These two teams are a recipe for a close game, evidenced by a 4 point spread showing that Vegas thinks the disparity in records doesn’t matter so much in game. The Colts, hungry for a win and bolstered by a new starting quarterback in Nick Foles will be enough to cover the spread and maybe even a win to shed some light on a tough season. The Chargers might get that boulder up the hill someday, and maybe they will even win this game, but not without the unnecessary struggle that has plagued the franchise for so long.
The Pick: Colts +4
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