Up until now, I had only heard about what the Patriots did at San Diego in last year’s Divisional Playoff Game. Now, I’ve seen what they’ve done, and I understand why some of the Chargers felt disrespected by the Patriots. If you’re a Chargers fan, this video will get your blood boiling for Sunday’s AFC Championship Game.
Around the time, LT held his players-only meeting , he had a chat with former Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer. Marty wouldn’t divulge what the two spoke about, but I bet it involved Marty saying things like, “Let go of the past,” and “Don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine. Support Coach Turner and move on.” Marty knew that as long as LT and the Chargers kept thinking about the past and about Marty, they would never be able to put their 100% behind Norv Turner and his coaching staff.
After his speech, LT and the Chargers have pulled off 8 straight victories. Will number 9 come on Sunday against the 17-0 Patriots? I remember the 1990 NFC Championship Game between the Giants and 49ers. I was heartbroken that my 49ers — I’m both a 49er and Charger fan — were bested by the hated Giants 15-13 that day, breaking up their chance to be the first three-peat Super Bowl Champion. The Giants defense was run by current Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. He devised a plan to slow down the high-powered Niner offense to a single touchdown and a pair of field goals. Some choice quotes from the game:
”Everyone said we couldn’t stop the 49ers,” Giants defensive end Leonard Marshall said. ”They deserved all the respect in the world, but no one is invincible. We played physical, aggressive football and we did it for 60 minutes. We were relentless.”
”That was our goal, coming in, to take away the big play,” linebacker Pepper Johnson said. ”Joe got us one time, but mostly he dumped the ball off. It was short stuff all day.”
”We weren’t worried about the run; we knew we had to stop Montana,” Johnson said. ”We got after him. I don’t care who you are – even the greatest quarterback – you won’t be successful with pressure in your face. That was the key to this game – we got to Joe Montana.”
There’s a way to beat the Patriots, and their head coach wrote the book 17 years ago. The underdog Chargers have to be as relentless as the Giants were to the 49ers in 1990. Take no prisoners, leave nothing on the field, and make it one play at a time for 60 minutes!