The Chargers stagger into the City of Brotherly Love, and what was it that W.C. Fields said?
“On the whole, I rather be in Philadelphia.’’
Good line and good luck to the Chargers on Sunday as they hope to spit and rinse their opener. The Eagles await, after, on a half, the Chargers had the Texans twisted.
But then the latest Meltdown in Mission Valley happened. While East Coast viewers feel asleep Monday thinking the Chargers were keen, Norv Turner’s ghost appeared over Qualcomm Stadium you know the ending.
For a beginning, Monday was special. For a conclusion, the team was hooked with a cane like a tired act that had overstayed its welcome.
But many a good coach has stated to not let one game beat you twice. The jury remains out on the Chargers’ Mike McCoy, but the first-year head coach can earn his stripes with a road win in cheery Philly.
Blowing leads isn’t new to the Bolts. They squandered five halftime advantages last year, with the epic 24-0 gag job against the Broncos. That the Texans notched their biggest comeback win in franchise history doesn’t surprise those paying attention in these parts.
“It’s been our Achilles heel over the years,’’ safety Eric Weddle said.
A punch in the Chargers’ gut is old hat. But one old timer showing a spark on Monday, linebacker Dwight Freeney, wasn’t overly distraught.
“That’s football,’’ he said. “That’s life.’’
Hey riding high in April — draft picks D.J. Fluker and Manti Te’o — and shot down in September. It’s happened before and it’ll happen again.
“It’s not all bad,’’ Freeney reasoned.
It’s all business, and there are no moral victories in the pros. Instead it’s buck up and get up for the Eagles, with seat belts fastened and oxygen tanks at the ready.
While the challenged Chargers spit out 51 offensive plays in Monday’s 31-28 loss, the revved Eagles bettered that mark by two — in the first half. With an up-tempo attack that makes the Chargers look pedestrian, rookie head coach Chip Kelly’s bunch resembles a cheesesteak connoisseur racing back and forth between Geno’s and Pat’s.
“I’ve never been part of anything like that,’’ the Eagles’ Michael Vick said.
The Chargers get to prove they can stop it. If so a defense which was torched by the pass and uneven against the run, needs to rebound like a madman and no, we’re not talking about Dennis Rodman.
“Somewhere, somehow, we have to do a better job moving forward,’’ McCoy said.
They get a chance Sunday, where they will be showered with boos, beers and a ballistic offense.
“We have to move on,’’ Vincent Brown said, “and move on fast.’’
Honestly everything will be speeded up at Lincoln Financial Field, with the Chargers hoping their progress being included.
The team’s process of returning to respectability will have its share of potholes. The Chargers fell in one Monday, and can climb out Sunday. But the Eagles are no slouch, while an energetic offense that’s the opposite of every couch potato watching from home.
On the whole, the Chargers would rather be in, say, Jacksonville.
But after their Texas two-step — a tiny one forward, a huge one backward — they land in Philadelphia. It’s where Fields’ red nose lived. It’s where the Chargers will attempt to bury their red face.
Jay Paris can be heard talking Chargers football on 1090 AM on Monday and Friday mornings. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter, @jparis_sports.