Attempting to describe last night's game brings on more adjectives than should be associated with one game: exciting, stressful, disappointing, thrilling, disgusting, unfortunate (injuries), and encouraging that the team could still pull out the win in a hostile, difficult environment. The defense looked horrendous to start the game, but quickly realized that JaMarcus Russel can't throw the ball further than 10 yards accurately and put everyone else on the line. The fact that they couldn't put any pressure on him is disheartening because we all hoped the return of Merriman would fix that problem. It is too early to complain about that, however, because maybe they weren't trying to put pressure on him. Stopping the run was more important than sacking a QB that can't complete passes.

The most concerning thing is the offensive line. If Hardwick is out for a long time, the running game and pass protection will be seriously limited. Its hard to be concerned about losing Louis Vazquez because we haven't seen enough or counted on him before. Either way, the blocking was sub par last night, and the Chargers will not be a Super Bowl contender if they get beat at the line of scrimage on both sides of the ball.

Once again, a win is a win, and with the team's history of slow starts, you have to look at the positives. They got it done when it mattered and won the game. The pass defense probably would have been terrible had the Raiders started a QB with the ability to pass. For four plays, Bradkowski came in and made the offense move. I was mortified when seeing Russel go out, and full of joy at seeing him return. Who knows why they continue to put the team in his hands.

For now, I guess we breath a sie of relieve, and hope that next week presents a prettier picture, but a better defense and better offense will require the Chargers to battle in the trenches to even have a shot at last minute win. A the moral of the story is, at least we are Charger fans and not Raider fans.

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