Archive for the 'Philip Rivers' Category

13
Jan
08

NFL Playoff Predictions: Giants at Dallas

The Giants lost their last regular season game, but it seems like it could have been the best thing that has happened to the team since Eli Manning stopped sucking all the time. While the Buccaneers rested their starters and then came out to play last week’s game against New York, but not until they woke up in the fourth quarter, the Giants were ready from the get-go and now they have the confidence of a team that feels like they can beat any team in the league. So, will that happen in Dallas? Can Eli win two playoff games in a row?

One thing that would certainly help their cause would be for Terrible Omens to be sidelined with that high ankle sprain from a few weeks ago. Chances? Slim. As one of our FanYard members, Maize, said about TO, “If he has spent the past three weeks trying to learn tight-rope walking over the jungles of Costa Rica, living off a diet of raw vegetables and nuts in the rain forest surrounding one of the big volcanoes, and catches a flight on Sunday morning back to Dallas where he hitchhikes to the stadium and does not even get time to shower, he will still be on the field for the first play his offense has in this game.”

Could not have said it better myself.

The rest of the FanYard crew has spoken as well, and they seem to mostly think that Tony Romo will be able to stop thinking about Jessica Simpson long enough to lead America’s Team to victory. The Yardstick for the game favors the Cowboys to win by three points, with only 39% believing the Giants will get another road win. Mmmm…America. Only here can Jessica Simpson become a prop for a sportsbook and a reason to read about football all in the same day. Thanks to Football Jabber for pointing that out to us.

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***With ten minutes left in the game, the Indianapolis Colts just scored to go ahead of the San Diego Chargers by a score of 24-21 and Philip Rivers sat out the last series with an injured leg, it looked like. Bob Sanders was injured earlier, so that outta even things out, right? Yeah, right. Sanders is back on the field and the Chargers need Billy Volek to prove me wrong. Oh, yeah, and LaDainian Tomlinson is out, too. So, basically, it is Billy Volek and Chris Chambers trying beat the Colts now. Best of luck, guys.***

***UPDATE: Wow! The Chargers went downfield and scored to go up 28-24, led by Billy Volek and Michael Turner, and the Chargers held off the Indianapolis Colts in the last game to be played at the RCA Dome to win the game. The Chargers are in the AFC Championship game in New England next week, and the Patriots have to love the physical toll this game took on San Diego. A very surprised congrats to Norv Turner. 92% of FanYard said the Colts would win and the Yardstick for the game favored the Colts by eight.***

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11
Jan
08

NFL Playoff Predictions: Chargers at Colts

The last time these two met, in San Diego in Week 10, the Colts were without sure-handed targets Dallas Clark, Anthony Gonzalez and Marvin Harrison and Peyton Manning threw six interceptions. The Chargers stormed out to a 23-0 lead halfway through the second quarter and even LaDainian Tomlinson looked a little bit happy on the sidelines. Most of the points, by the way, came from one punt and one kickoff return each for touchdowns by Darren Sproles; his first two NFL touchdowns. Then, Norv Turner coaching kicked in and the Chargers watched helplessly as Indianapolis began coming back.

 

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At 23-7, Adam Vinatieri missed a 42-yard field goal to end the first half. A Kenton Keith touchdown in the third made the game 23-13 and the Colts attempt to covert for two was successful as well, making it 23-15. Just fifteen seconds later, Philip Rivers was sacked; the line of scrimmage was his own 8-yard line. He dropped the ball going down as he had seen Antonio Gates get free in the flat and tried to pass the ball as he was getting sacked, forgetting for a split second about the rain that was pouring down, making his hands and the ball too slippery to grip together. The resulting fumble was recovered by Indy in the end zone, making the score 23-21 with 14:28 to go in the fourth quarter. The Chargers stuffed Joseph Addai as he tried to run up the middle for the two-point conversion.

Somewhere around this time, Philip Rivers went to sit beside what appeared on television to be a sulking and pouting LaDainian Tomlinson as LT sat near the end of a bench on the sidelines. As soon as Rivers pluncked his butt down, LT jumped up and stormed off. It looked for all the world like he pretty much was disgusted with Rivers and wanted nothing to do with him. After the game, however, LT had this to say about the apparent rift: “I saw why it looked like that,” Tomlinson said. “But the crazy thing is that was the time I just got done talking to (Lorenzo Neal). I didn’t realize Philip had sat down.” He should run for office.

Then, with just 1:34 on the clock, Vinatieri lined up for a 29-yard chip shot field goal to complete the Colts comeback. Shockingly, he missed that one as well.

“I should make that kick every time,” Vinatieri said. “There are no good excuses. I just missed it.” Yeah, we saw…twice.

After holding the Chargers to three-and-out, Manning got the ball back with :22 seconds, but threw his sixth interception to seal the unlikely and very lucky Chargers victory, and Indy’s second straight loss.

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So what happened? Well, even with six Manning interceptions, the Chargers were able to score just one offensive touchdown and almost lost the game, were it not for a missed 2-point convert (which would have tied and given either team a chance), or either of two missed field goals by Vinatieri. At home.

This week, the Colts may still be without Harrison, but they are use to that now. The Chargers will be without Antonio Gates – something they are not use to at all. And the Colts are at home and well-rested. And Norv Turner is still coaching the Chargers. And Tony Dungy has rumors of his impending departure from the Colts swirling about, perhaps giving the team a little extra incentive to win more games for the man they have grown to love and respect.

Something about this looks for all the world to me like a big-time Indianapolis victory.

The Yardstick for this game is calling for a 10-point Colts victory, but I think it will more likely be around an absurd 21 point win; a wholesale slaughter. The only real intrigue, I suspect, will be watching to see LT explode on the sidelines. Hopefully, he and Turner will actually get into a hockey fight on the sidelines.

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24
Dec
07

Monday Night Football Predictions – Broncos at Chargers

The San Diego Chargers have more to play for in Week 17 of the 2007 NFL regular season than they would like. But, considering the fact that ten weeks ago it looked like they would fall prey to Norv Turner’s lack of coaching abilities, they should just be happy that they have a division crown and a chance to be in the playoffs at all. It will be a testament to the futility of having Marty Schottenheimer on the sidelines in a playoff game if the Chargers manage to win even one postseason matchup this year.

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The biggest reason the Chargers have to win this game is to try to avoid having to meet the Jacksonville Jaguars in their first playoff game in January. They would much, much rather have the Titans – who are in the postseason, somehow, with a victory over the Indianapolis Colts backup squad next Sunday night – or the Browns, who are in the playoffs no matter what they do next week; the Browns need the Titans to lose to make the playoffs.

The Denver Broncos will finish the season in a disappointing fashion, but hardly unexpected. Quarterback Jay Cutler might have the goods and he might not, but it was obvious from last year’s pretty decent performances that he needs a bit more time to develop before we are to know for sure.

The Yardstick for this Monday Night Football game favors the Chargers by eight points, at the time of writing.

12
Nov
07

John Madden Can Be Funny (No, Really)

Last night, John Madden actually made me laugh out loud. In a good way, I mean. Like, with him, not at him.  It was fun. I felt we connected in a father-son type fashion that made me all warm inside, like I’d rediscovered an old friend and everything was just like it used to be. It was much better than the awful announcing he usually spews.

Last night, when Philip Rivers fumbled a snap and John remarked that the snap was something that just should not be fumbled, I wondered where he was going to go with it. He went on to say that snapping the ball is just plain automatic. There is no excuse for messing up the snap, I mean, the quarterback is there, his hands are ready and the ball is in your hands, and you just put it up there and, boom, go do the rest of your job.

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“Even back in college…no, before college, high school…or at any level of football, you don’t do that. And they fumbled the snap twice last week in Minnesota. I went to a game – a- a – high school game last night and, I mean, they didn’t fumble a snap. It should be like brushing your teeth. It’s just something you do that you don’t think about and just get it done and move on. I mean, when you’re brushing your teeth, you aren’t thinking about it. You aren’t wondering what to do. It’s just automatic – you don’t stick the brush in your eye.”

That almost had me in tears. Just like this game going on behind me between the San Francisco 49ers at the Seattle Seahawks, with the Hawks up by 17 and the Niners looking more like a high-school team with no teeth, brushed or not. It stinks, and my eyes are watering even though I have my back turned. Make that 24-0 now. Ouch.

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