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The agony and the ecstasy

Man, that felt good.

With a narrow victory, we have exorcised demons we had almost forgotten. Years of frustration exemplified by a lethatrgic "quarterback" were replaced by an indelible image: Tom Cable's big ole grin, fist raised in triumph.

I won't tell you it was impressive. It's never impressive when we allow a QB to break 400 yards, half of which went to Malcom Floyd. It was the ugliest win I have seen this team achieve. It was hand delivered, gift wrapped, and served on a silver (and black) platter to us by Philip Rivers, courtesy of Michael Huff. Tyvon Branch made the smartest decision when he decided to play to the whistle and not assume that it was an incomplete pass. Way to nail that coffin shut, my man. After that, I held my breath for a few plays, then ran around in giddy excitement singing "Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!" My girlfriend looked at me like I was crazy. Which I was. I paid her no heed as she is a Colts fan, and doesn't know that beating the Chargers is actually something of an achievement for us. Her team usually beats them in the playoffs.

Bruce Gradkowski played with a bad shoulder and tried too hard to be the heroic, gutsy player we all know he is. Jason Campbell came in and was solid in relief. For those who look to him to start next week, check your emotions at the door. Our line play is still not what it needs to be. Don't suffer from Andy Reid Syndrome and start the backup to save your job. Be smart and aware that if Bruce can start, and play up to par, he will.

And now for something completely different.

We are staring at a week 6 matchup against another hated rival, the Niners. They are 0-5 and staggering from yet another close loss. Mike Singletary looked like someone kicked his puppy, utterly dejected. Alex Smith did his part to lose the game. After a few angry exchanges, I'm expecting to see David Carr get the nod and start. Though I was hoping to see us face Smith (strategy to beat him? Force him to be a QB and watch him fail), Carr is almost an unknown. Once again, we must stop the run and smack this guy hard. Carr was at one point, the Texans franchise QB. The problem was, he got sacked so often he became gunshy. He's been warming benches ever since.

Defensively, they are intimidating yet losing that luster with each passing week. It srikingly reminds me of our post-Super Bowl loss team. Each week you say, "This can't possibly get worse" and yet it continues to do so. Guys on their team are quitting football altogether. I'm feeling bad for Patrick Willis. But this team is capable of absolute carnage with their defense. If you don't believe me, ask Jason Campbell. He was taken off the field with a stinger, courtesy of Travis LaBoy. I'm really hoping Bruce gets healthy for this upcoming battle. His mobility will be needed for it. No time to rest on your laurels, Raider Nation. Another war approaches.

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