Nobody likes to lose football games. As much as we hear people say there are no moral victories in the NFL, this weekend the Chargers found one in a loss.
"It's an unusual feeling when you lose a game, then come out of it and feel so good about the way you played," said head coach Norv Turner on Monday afternoon. "I guess that's the luxury of the preseason."
Turner's team lost to Dallas 16-14 on Saturday night at Qualcomm Stadium. But the good vibes are coming from the way the Chargers first team played against the Cowboys first team. For the first 20 or so minutes of the game, there was no doubt which team on the field was better, and it didn't have a star on the side of its helmets.
San Diego dominated on offense and defense. If it hadn't been for two turnovers inside the 20 yard line (one came on a Philip Rivers interception that Norv said likely would not have been thrown in a regular season game) the Chargers would have probably led by two touchdowns at halftime. The pass rush kept Tony Romo off balance and out of sync while the secondary tinkered with playing tighter coverage and really upset the timing of the Dallas wide receivers.
In fact, Romo narrowly avoided getting buried into the grass. Middle linebacker Stephen Cooper came clean on a blitz and had a shot at the Cowboys cover boy QB. Romo stepped away from the pressure and threw a weak pass right to Eric Weddle for an interception. The turnover was great, but Cooper couldn't help but be a bit disappointed.
"I just wanted him to hold the ball so I could really run him into the ground, but he got rid of it just in the nick of time," said Coop. "I got to lay a little wood on him but at the same time I wish I could have really finished him."
It appears the Bolts have a new attitude. If they keep it up, they likely won't have to worry about moral victories. They'll be too busy counting actual wins