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San Diego Chargers Win On The Road, Look To The Future

Nine games into the football season, the San Diego Chargers have finally won a game on the road. Joining us on Morning Edition is North County Times sports columnist Jay Paris.


Nine games into the football season, the San Diego Chargers have finally won a game on the road. Joining us on Morning Edition is North County Times sports columnist Jay Paris.

DWANE BROWN (Host): Welcome back, Jay. Chargers got it done in Houston Sunday afternoon. Pretty much the same old story – Phillip Rivers dominated as the quarterback. But the specials team – not so special.

JAY PARIS (Sports Columnist): Not so special, another block punt. Some more woes spread across that special teams unit. The excellence of Phillip Rivers, and he’s playing at an MVP level, yesterday was phenomenal what he was able to do with a bunch of receivers that were basically wearing a “hello my name is” tag on the front of their jersey. The starters were down, but there’s an old saying in the NFL “the next guy up” – and yesterday Randy McMichael did it, and Seyi Ajirotutu --two touch downs as well. So guys that haven’t been counted on are coming through and to win that first game on the road, to have a two-game winning streak, to have a by-week to build your confidence can do nothing but help this bunch.

BROWN: So the Chargers have a week off – they’ll get a by as you just suggested, and then they’ll face the Denver Broncos in a couple of weeks for a big Monday night football game. How would you assess their prospects there?

PARIS: You Know, Denver’s down a little bit this year and they’re kind of the doormat of the AFC West, and really this next month is going to be critical for the Chargers. Three of their next four games are against AFC West foes, three of them are at home and one other one is a road game against the Indianapolis Colts. So the Chargers – they’ve dug a big whole but at least they’re found their shovel and they’re starting to dig their way out.

BROWN: We’ve got a lot of excited fans on the mesa here, at San Diego State now qualified for at least a bowl game. They beat Colorado State over the weekend. What do you say about the Aztecs?

PARIS: Well you say they’re bowl eligible for the first time since 1998 and really you put a period on that and almost end the sentence. You know five turnovers the other night pretty sloppy over there at Qualcomm Stadium, but you always would rather win ugly than lose pretty, and that certainly was the case with San Diego State Saturday, but they still have some hay to put in the barn with TCU and Utah up next, but good for Brady Hoke’s kids.

BROWN: Do you think they can win their division?

PARIS: It’s going to be tough. TCU is one of the top teams in the entire nation maybe one or two in the nation. So to go down to TCU Saturday and win down in Fort Worth – that’s a tall task, but kudos for the direction they’re headed in if nothing else.

BROWN: Lots of buzz about SDSU mens basketball team. What do you expect the team’s first game to look like Saturday at Long Beach State?

PARIS: Yeah, they open on the road, they have a little exhibition tonight at Point Loma. But this is a legitimate team and they’re in the top 25 – that’s no typo and they’re in every preseason poll heading into the year and they have the core of the team that went 25 and nine last year and won the Mountain West Conference. So big things for Steve Fisher’s bunch – this is a good team. The ceiling is very high on this crew.

BROWN: Yeah, the Associated Press ranked them in the top 25.

PARIS: Yeah, and good for them. This has been building. A lot of people are saying they could go deep in the NCAA Tournament. First they have to win the NCAA Tournament game in school history and then we can go from there. This team isn’t going to sneak up on anybody this year, they’re on the national radar, and they should be. This is a good team.

BROWN: It’s good to talk with you, North County Times sports columnist Jay Paris.

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