The atmosphere here at Qualcomm isn't just season-ending - it's positively world-ending. It was sunny and warm when I arrived at the stadium but shortly before game time, a literal black clowd came over the stadium and it got uncharacteristically cold. It then began to rain. That rain quickly turned to a downpour. That downpour soon turned into large balls of hail. Yes, I said HAIL... in San Diego. I half expected frogs and locusts to come next. Maybe this is what the Mayans were talking about.
It has continued to rain as the players take the field for workouts. As the Chargers came out, another kind of black cloud could be felt. And it showed itself in the form of loud boos. That is the Chargers players getting booed taking their own field.
The Chargers have been blacked out for half their home games this season and it is the presence of the Raider Nation that has them sold out today. That presence is felt already and, as per usual, it should continue to show itself as the fans take their seats for the game.
Starting in place of QB Carson Palmer is Terrelle Pryor. Starting in place of Tyvon Branch at strong safety is Mike Mitchell. Starting in place of Phillip Adams (IR groin) is Brandian Ross. Starting in place of RG Mike Brisiel is Tony Bergstrom. It is the first starts of their careers for Pryor, Ross, and Bergstrom.