Collapse in first game of McCoy era reminds us it takes a while for Norvocaine to go away

Posted: 09/10/2013 in football
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The new Chargers’ era looked a lot like the previous one in Mike McCoy’s debut as San Diego head coach.

That’s right, the Chargers again blew a big lead – showing that it takes awhile to get rid of the “Norvocaine” once Norv Turner serves as coach of your team.

San Diego blew a 21-point, third-quarter lead this time around and fell 31-28 loss to the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football. Randy Bullock kicked a 41-yard field goal as time expired to cap off Houston’s run of 24 unanswered points. (see stellar game recap here –

You might recall last season’s Monday Night Football meltdown against the Denver Broncos when the Chargers let a 24-0 lead get away. It was one of five times that San Diego blew a halftime lead.

The first game of the McCoy era wasn’t as ugly as last season’s collapse against Denver but you could see it coming. One of those obvious things too – you know, like knowing Eddie Royal would drop a key third-down pass.

The Chargers led 28-7 when Texans receiver Andre Johnson got loose for a first down on third-and-18. Being the smart observer I am – or is the smart-ass I am? – I immediately predicted on Twitter that catch would mark the beginning of San Diego’s downfall.

And sure enough it was. Houston’s Matt Schaub finished that drive with a touchdown pass to Garrett Graham and the Texans got a huge break when trying to settle for a field goal on their next drive as San Diego’s Cam Thomas was called for a personal foul for unnecessary roughness on the snapper. Schaub hit Owen Daniels for a touchdown on the ensuing play and the Texans were quickly down by just seven points.

As any longtime Chargers’ fan knows, a collapse isn’t official until Philip Rivers does his part. The quarterback who threw four touchdown passes over the first three quarters made a poor throw that Houston linebacker Brian Cushing dove for and intercepted. Cushing got up and raced 18 yards for a tying score with 9:30 left.

By that point, the only suspense was figuring out exactly how the Texans would win the game. You knew it wouldn’t be the Chargers leaving the field victorious.

As Texans star J.J. Watt said after the contest — “in the second half, we just found a way.” You can say that about the Chargers too.

They found a way to lose.


Blowing a big lead against one of the AFC’s better teams is now magnified by the fact that the next two games are on the road against Philadelphia and Tennessee.

One collapse doesn’t make a season – but it also is a huge reminder of the killer instinct that the Chargers lacked under Turner.

All we know for now is they lacked it again in McCoy’s first game as head coach.


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