Kraska's Take: To be the champ, you have to beat the champ - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Kraska's Take: To be the champ, you have to beat the champ

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San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, right, scores past Seattle Seahawks outside linebacker K.J. Wright during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy) San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, right, scores past Seattle Seahawks outside linebacker K.J. Wright during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates celebrates his touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull) San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates celebrates his touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, left, fumbles as he is sacked by Chargers outside linebacker Melvin Ingram during the first half of an NFL football game Sept. 14, 2014, in San Diego. The Seahawks recovered the fumble. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy) Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, left, fumbles as he is sacked by Chargers outside linebacker Melvin Ingram during the first half of an NFL football game Sept. 14, 2014, in San Diego. The Seahawks recovered the fumble. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, left, celebrates his touchdown with Ladarius Green as Seahawks strong safety Jeron Johnson looks on during the first half of an NFL football game Sept. 14, 2014, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull) Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, left, celebrates his touchdown with Ladarius Green as Seahawks strong safety Jeron Johnson looks on during the first half of an NFL football game Sept. 14, 2014, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
I've always believed that if you want to be the champ you have to beat the champ or, at least, prove that you can. On Sunday afternoon in a sweltering 114 degree Southern California heat our San Diego Chargers didn't just beat the champ, they clobbered the reigning Super Bowl victors in every way possible. The wilted Seahawks slithered their way back to Seattle having suffered an unexpected and eye-opening defeat.

It was an emotional week for the Chargers after learning they had lost their center and captain, Nick Hardwick to a season-ending injury. Philip Rivers honored Hardwick by wearing a number 61 on the back of his helmet and shredding the vaunted Seahawks defense for 284 yards and three touchdowns, all to tight end Antonio Gates.

Ball control was the key to this victory. The Chargers held the ball for over 42 minutes and it paid off late in the game as the Seattle defense started to melt. Credit a game plan that dictated 37 rushing attempts and 37 passes. Credit the fresh defense that needed to spend only 18 minutes on the field and stepped it up in the 4th quarter when Chargers fan were nervously flashing back to week one's loss in Arizona. And credit more excellent special teams play, especially Kavell Conner, for a bone-jarring hit on Percy Harvin that gave the Chargers the ball and Rivers another chance to add to the most prolific QB-tight end combination in NFL history.

Two weeks into the 2014 season and what we know so far is that this year will be as unpredictable as ever. Next Sunday the Bolts head to Buffalo to visit the surprisingly unbeaten Bills - you can catch it on CBS 8. If the Chargers can put together a great team effort like they did Sunday against the Seahawks, the football-loving nation will start to see our Chargers for what they are, a playoff caliber team capable of beating anyone, anywhere.

What did you think of the game? Chime in with YOUR take in the comments section below or Tweet Kyle - @KyleKraska

https://twitter.com/KyleKraska/status/511572578222100481


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