October 23, 2011
There were a lot of reasons that the San Diego Chargers lost to the New York Jets on Sunday, including the fact that the Chargers are just not that good of a football team. One particular play, though, was more harmful than most -- not even because of the play itself, but because Chargers head coach Norv Turner failed to challenge it.
It's a third-and-1 for the Jets deep in Chargers territory. A conversion for the Jets means that the Chargers will eventually get much less time to attempt a comeback drive. Here's what went down:
First, credit goes to Mark Sanchez(notes) for the instinctual effort for the sticks. Replay (television replay, that is, not official replay -- the distinction is important) may have showed that he wasn't quite there, but the pump fake and the dive still make for one hell of an effort. If he just tucks his head and barrels forward, he probably doesn't get close. It was part of a pretty good day for Sanchez.
Back to the Chargers: What's going on in Norv Turner's head by not challenging that? If there's even a chance that gets turned over, you've got to have it. The time that could've saved San Diego was crucial. Not that they were going to make the most of it, but it would've been nice to try. I'm not certain that the call would've been overturned, but it's at least a maybe, and that maybe could've given San Diego a full two minutes to attempt a comeback drive.
But that chance slipped away from them, as did an 11-point halftime lead.
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