Junior Seau was the first player dressed in the San Diego Chargers locker room after the Super Bowl. Maybe that’s because San Francisco’s unstoppable offense undressed him all game long.
San Diego’s defensive leader, an All-Pro and the Chargers’ only legitimate star, was practically invisible Sunday as the 49ers routed his team 49-26. The 49ers passed for 316 yards, Steve Young threw for six touchdowns and the Chargers couldn’t cover anybody.
Seau took the brunt of the responsibility. He didn’t even flinch when his coach, Bobby Ross, admitted San Diego’s defensive performance was a flop.
“We took a butt-kicking today,” Seau said. “It starts with me.
“They came out and certainly performed well and we did not execute at all. That was the key. They ran their program and their scheme and we didn’t run ours. We didn’t do anything to stop them.”
The Chargers never really were in the game. They fell behind 7-0 only 1:24 into their first Super Bowl. Moments later, it was 14-0. At halftime, it was 28-10, and then the 49ers scored on their first possession of the second half.
San Francisco found wide gaps in the middle of the defense. That’s where Seau works, but most of the holes were behind him, where the safeties were supposed to be.
“They were forcing our linebackers to play like defensive backs and safeties,” Seau said. “They came out like a run-and-shoot team.”
Seau tied for the team lead with 11 tackles and he
had a sack. But the only dominance on the field at Joe Robbie Stadium was by San Francisco’s attack.
“It’s definitely frustrating,” said Seau, bothered by a pinched nerve in his neck for much of the second half of the season. “You want to come out and perform well and win, and we did not do that.”
“They definitely have an offense that all year has performed well, and they lifted the standard on offense. It will always be frustrating when an offense goes out there and scores at will.”
Although it might make some fans shudder, it wouldn’t surprise Seau if there is a rematch in that Super Bowl.
“We’re definitely a hungry team, and we’re a young team, and we’re talented,” he said. “We’ll make it a point to get back and show how we can play.”
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.