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Analysis: Chargers Game Against Dallas To Be A Test

DWANE BROWN: San Diego Chargers extended their longest winning streak in three years to seven games yesterday. In fact, joining us on Morning Edition is North County Times sports columnist Jay Paris. Well, the Chargers handled Cleveland 30-23. It was a pretty flawless game on both sides of the ball, wouldn't you say, Jay?

JAY PARIS: yeah, they certainly played well enough to beat an inferior opponent; the Browns are struggling at 1-11 this year. The Chargers built the lead and kind of cruised in from there. A few blemishes are in a football game, but this team's on a roll, seven straight and heading to Dallas next week. It's proven it's one of the elite teams after that 2-3 start.

PAMELA DAVIS: Hall of Famer Jim Brown met LT after the game in the locker room. Must have been a very special record-breaking game for LT.

PARIS: Yeah, there's certain -- LaDainian marks off these great running backs in NFL lore, certain names have more mystique. You Jim Brown, and a football fan of nearly every generation is going to sit up and take notice. For LT to do with the Mr. Brown in attendance, and to do it really on the same field where Jim made all his yards, it was a special day. LaDainian was touched, if there's something about LaDainian we've learned, it's that he wears his emotions on his sleeve. That one really meant something to him.

BROWN: Let's look ahead to the next big game against Dallas come Sunday. How do you see that matchup?

PARIS: It's going to be a great matchup on the road at that palace that the Cowboys play in. If nothing else, the Chargers will leave with stadium envy that day, because that is a quite a place. They get to see their old defensive coordinator, Wade Phillips. It's a good matchup, the Cowboys haven't won much in December in recent years, but they lost yesterday to the Giants. They're going to be smarting and in a grumpy mood. This is a big test, a lot bigger than yesterday was, that's for sure.

DAVIS: Let's talk college football for a minute. Cal, Utah, Arizona and Nebraska, they're coming to San Diego for the bowl games, the Holiday Bowl and the Poinsettia Bowl. What do you expect from these games?

PARIS: They should be good games, I mean the next three, four weeks there it's little bit of football heaven with Chargers rolling, with the high school kids playing for championships Friday, two bowl games toward the end of the month. I know some people wanted to see USC down here. Some people say USC is the third most favorite team in San Diego, but they lost to three unranked teams. Cal, they stumbled yesterday to Washington. But, that Arizona-Nebraska matchup, that's going to be a good matchup. And Utah always puts on a good show against Cal. So, for the second straight year, the San Diego bowl games have very attractive matchups. It's really something to look forward to and something of an award for the student athletes as well.

BROWN: Let's shift gears a little bit, Jay, and talk about the winter meeting for professional baseball teams, they get underway. What do you expect of the new GM of the Padres?

PARIS: I expect a lot of people be tugging at his sleeve. He basically goes to Indianapolis for those winter meetings three cards to play. Those three cards are Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Kouzmanoff and Heath Bell. Padres have to determine if their value is so great that they want to move those guys and try to shore up so of the weaknesses the team has. It's going to be interesting to see Jed Hoyer, his first meeting as a general manager, if he can dumpster-dive as well as Kevin Towers and find those gems that like to come out for a cheap price. We're just hoping Dick Enberg is not the biggest acquisition the Padres make in this offseason and could short up the club.

DAVIS: Alright, North County Times sports columnist Jay Paris. Jay thanks so much for joining us this morning.

PARIS: OK, thank you.

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