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San Diego Chargers Win Home Opener


The San Diego Chargers won convincingly Sunday afternoon at the Q, but many fans didn't get to see it live.

— The San Diego Chargers won convincingly Sunday afternoon at the Q, but many fans didn't get to see it live. Joining us on Morning Edition is North County Times sports columnist Jay Paris.

DWANE BROWN (Morning Edition host): Jay, the Chargers are now 1-1. Tell us about Sunday's team win...

JAY PARIS: The huddled masses huddled around radios like the old days. Kind of cool. But it was disappointing that someone didn’t step up and let everyone see their Chargers. It was a weird game with all the turnovers, and certainly all the stars did their part, Philip Rivers with three touchdowns, Antonio Gates two touchdown passes, but I think it speaks more of what a team effort and a team victory it was Ryan Matthews, their heralded rookie runningback went down, Mike Tolbert their proverbial bull in the Charger’s shop ran over people for a couple of touchdowns. On the other side of the ball Steven Cooper, their inside linebacker was out but Brandon Siler stepped in and had a big day. So when the other team gives you six turnovers you don’t usually lose those and the Chargers certainly weren’t in much danger of doing that yesterday.

BROWN: You mentioned running back Ryan Matthews – he had an angle injury. Do you think he’s going to be okay?

PARIS: They think so. Modern medicine, what it is, he went off on a cart and ten minutes later he ran back out on the field. It was probably a pretty big needle he was staring at in the locker room. It’s always the day after. We’ll get out to Chargers park today to see the extend of the damage. Reading the body language and reading the bottom line, they didn’t think it was serious.

BROWN: Jay let’s talk a little bit about baseball. We’re talking heading into the playoffs. The Padres are back in second place after poor showing in St. Louis over the weekend. Was the return of pitcher Chris Young a welcome sign or not?

PARIS: Great boost. Let’s face it, the pitching is what’s carried this bunch this far. They’ve hit the wall. Matt Latos in particular. His last two starts. They’re running on fumes. That old idiot light on the dash is already flashing – they’re out of gas. For Chris Young to come back and give them a strong performance, you hope that’s contagious. What he couldn’t do is hit, and that’s really where the Padres are sinking. They can’t hit anymore and they’re not hitting with runners in scoring position. They’ve lost 17 of 24 and four of their last five. They’re just trying to get to the tape before the season ends. It’s curious, people keep saying maybe they’ll get to the playoffs or ‘this will be exciting when they get to the playoffs.’ Hey folks, the playoffs are here. They have to win this week or the playoffs won’t be coming around. So they go up to LA for three. Complete role reversal. This time last year the Padres were trying to play spoiler for the Dodgers post-season plans, and the Dodger’s will be doing that this year to the Padres.

BROWN: Padres a half game back behind the Giants now. Let’s talk about the San Diego State and their football team. They lost a heart breaker on the road this weekend. They could’ve been a winner right? How did they lose to the 25th ranked Missouri?

PARIS: They had that baby tucked away in their hip pocket, really. To get an interception with less than two minutes to play. Couldn’t get that critical first down to eat up the rest of the clock. A guy got beat on a play, the last play of the game, and a couple guys ran into each other. That’s football and you gotta play the whole game. And that was a heart breaker, as you said, and Brady Hoke would be the last guy to raise the flag up to say, ‘hey look fellows we got a moral victory.’ Not the kind of coach he is. They didn’t deserve to win and they didn’t, but oh so close.

BROWN: To hear the coach say they didn’t deserve to win is not a good thing is it?

PARIS: I think realistic. I think in years past I think people would say, ‘ well, you know, we almost did that’ and puff their chests out. Brady Hoke is not that kind of guy. He’s a bottom line – was it a “w”? – Yes. Was it an “L”? Yes. That’s how he operates. His expectations for this team are probably a lot higher than everybody else’s. So he’ll move on and play Utah State this week, but there’s no denying that would have been a heck of a feather in his hat.

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