A couple weeks before the Super Bowl, my dad sent me this link from the NY Times. It's about 2 guys on NPR who view the exploits of their football team (the Giants) through a pop culture prism. They seem a lot more literary than me, but I think I would like their style nonetheless. Of course, their team just won its fourth Super Bowl. Even though I have lived in New York for my entire life and remember how bad the Giants were in the late 70s and early 80s, I have to wonder what the hell these guys are so negative about now. Even though it was a lot easier to stomach Sheli's second Super Bowl win and MVP award than his first, it serves as yet another reminder of how little the Chargers have done with their "most successful" period. Dean Spanos might choose to only see the division (a weak one during most of those seasons) titles, but we all remember how those years ended. It was good to see Jay Paris' column in the North County Times, which at least acknowledged that some of us remember when we had Jughead to kick around. You can even still get a shirt with this design. I bought the sticker for my printer after the Giants shocked the Patriots in 2008. The fact that it says "Good Luck NY" on the bottom represented some sort reconciliation with my dislike of Elisha.
Yes, I really did speak to him the night before the draft. I told him that I represented the "Charger Fan Alliance" and that karma would catch up with him. Guess not, huh? Paris' column reminds us that it was Archie, not Eli, who truly objected to the Chargers and specifically due to the acrimonious relationship between then-coach and GM. Of course, when we went 12-4 and didn't even need to start the QB we drafted it seemed like we were on our way to something special. But the kicker we got in the deal was a choker. The linebacker we would draft the following year turned out to be a flash in the pan once he got off the juice. I have no doubt that Philip Rivers would be a Super Bowl Champion in another uniform because he'd have a coach that got the most out of him and not one that he "lilkes" so much. He'd also find a GM who assembled a TEAM on both sides of the ball that deserved to be called World Champions. Instead he's on the Chargers, where "it is what it is" is not just AJ Smith's prevailing excuse and mantra. I found these numbers on the Bolts' official message board. It is a list of quartberbacks who have the ball down 1 score or less in the 4th quarter over the last 2 years. They are listed by points per drive.
David Garrard 17 drives. 10 scores (59%) 62 points. 3.65 points per drive. 5 wins 2 losses
Eli Manning 29 drives 16 scores (55%) 100 points 3.45 points per drive 7 wins 7 losses.
Jason Campbell 9-15 (60%) 3.07 pts per drive. 3-4 record.
Matt Ryan 12-23 (52%) 2.78 pts per drive 9-5 record.
Tom Brady 11-21 (52%) 2.71 pts per drive 5-4 record.
Drew Brees 12-27 (44%) 2.59 pts per drive 9-6 record.
Matthew Stafford 11-24 (46%) 2.50 pts per drive 5-4 record.
Aaron Rodgers 6-14 (43%) 2.43 pts per drive 2-5 record.
Josh Freeman 10-24 (42%) 2.42 pts per drive 7-6 record.
Michael Vick 6-15 (40%) 2.33 pts per drive 4-5 record.
John Skelton 9-19 (47%) 2.26 pts per drive 7-1 record.
Matt Schaub 10-27 (37%) 2.19 pts per drive 3-9 record.
Ryan Fitzpatrick 14-34 (41%) 2.15 pts per drive 3-12 record.
Tim Tebow 12-27 (44%) 2.11 pts per drive 7-4 record.
Jay Cutler 6-17 (35%) 2.0 pts per drive 5-2 record.
Matt Hasselbeck 4-12 (33%) 2.0 pts per drive 3-2 record.
Alex Smith 6-18 (33%) 1.95 pts per drive 5-4 record.
Peyton Manning 5-14 (36%) 1.93 pts per drive 2-4 record.
Rex Grossman 10-26 (38%) 1.88 pts per drive 3-9 record.
Mark Sanchez 14-39 (36%) 1.77 pts per drive 9-7 record.
Tony Romo 14-38 (37%) 1.74 pts per drive 4-9 record.
Joe Flacco 8-24 (33%) 1.67 pts per drive 7-5 record.
Kevin Kolb 5-19 (26%) 1.58 pts per drive 2-7 record.
Brett Favre 5-15 (33%) 1.47 pts per drive 2-5 record.
Andy Dalton 9-27 (33%) 1.44 pts per drive 4-5 record.
Cam Newton 3-16 (19%) 1.44 pts per drive 1-6 record.
Matt Moore 4-14 (29%) 1.43 pts per drive 2-5 record.
Colt Mccoy 5-19 26% 1.42 pts per drive 3-6 record.
Ben Roethlisberger 8-23 (35%) 1.39 pts per drive 4-4 record.
Chad Henne 6-20 (30%) 1.30 pts per drive 1-7 record.
Philip Rivers 5-28 (18%) 1.21 pts per drive 2-11 record.
Matt Cassel 5-20 (25%) 1.15 pts per drive 4-6 record.
Donovan McNabb 8-30 (27%) 1.0 pts per drive 2-11 record.
Carson Palmer 5-25 (20%) 1.0 pts per drive 2-12 record.
Kyle Orton 5-23 (22%) 1.0 pts per drive 1-9 record.
Tarvaris Jackson 2-14 (14%) 1.0 pts per drive 0-6 record.
Blaine Gabbert 3-14 (21%) .93 pts per drive 0-6 record.
Jake Delhomme 3-17 (18%) .71 pts per drive 2-4 record.
Sam Bradford 3-19 (16%) .68 pts per drive 1-7 record
Again, "it is what it is." I love Rivers, this season notwithstanding. But he's definitely played a lot better when the stakes are lower. He's 3-4 in the playoffs with 8 TDs and 9 INTs, with at least one interception in every postseason game he's played in. He has thrown 0 TD passes in 3 of his 7 career playoff games and has been over 300 yards passing just once in 7 career playoff games. His career playoff QB rating is 81.6.
Here are his passing stats in his career in the playoffs:
2006 vs. New England - Loss 24-21
14-32, 230 yards. 0 TD, 1 INT. 55.5 QB rating.
2007 vs. Tennessee - Win 17-6
19-30, 292 yards. 1 TD, 1 INT. 92.6 QB rating.
2007 vs. Indy - Win 28-24
14-19, 264 yards. 3 TD, 1 INT. 133.2 rating
2007 vs. New England - Loss 21-12
19-37, 211 yards. 0 TD, 2 INT. 46.1 QB rating.
2008 vs. Indy - Win 23-17
20-36, 217 yards. 0 TD, 1 INT. 61.9 QB rating.
2008 vs. Pittsburgh - Loss 35-24
21-35, 308 yards. 3 TD, 1 INT. 105.4 QB rating.
2009 vs. NY Jets - Loss 17-14
27-40, 298 yards. 1 TD, 2 INT. 76.9 QB rating.
Obviously, the rest of the team has done plenty to impact those numbers. But they are striking. The last game of any real significance in which Rivers led the Chargers from behind was the 2009 game against the Giants. Obviously, that's where the photos I used for this week's post come from. The Bolts are 2-0 against the Giants under Eli Manning at least. But even that comeback win in Jersey (which apparently had AJ Smith gloating at the time) just serves as yet another reminder of everything this team HASN'T done. They took the momentum of that win to go undefeated the rest of that season and fall on their faces once again in January. The past two seasons they haven't been able to even make the playoffs in order to fuck up in them. In fact, what the Giants have done during their last two Super Bowl seasons is exactly what the Chargers have tried to do in their last two campaigns. They put themselves in a situation where they have to win every game. The difference is the Bolts always lose the one game that would make their playoff chances not seem so ludicrous. That's the game that really matters and those are the types of games the Giants have won in December, January and beyond. Is it all due to quarterback play? Absolutely not. I think the biggest difference between the Chargers and any of the teams that have either won the Super Bowl or come close is that they were tough and resilient. They may not have all been tough in the physical sense, but they sure as hell were tough mentally. The Giants can have Tynes miss a field goal in Green Bay in 2007 that would have sent them to the Super Bowl and still get him another chance because they don't completely fall apart like the Chargers do. Again, that's what makes the lack of accountability so agonizing. AJ can continue to act like he's got a better track record as of late since Deano doesn't hold anyone accountable.
Clary, Kaeding, Norv, let's get all the chokers and losers under contract but the people we have that anyone might actually be willing to pay for...let's let them walk. Vincent Jackson is good enough that a real coach that can get him to toe the line and play to his strengths will get him to reach his potential. But if we pay him to stay, he'll underachieve. I think I need to start ignoring the exploits of all the former Chargers and focus on what happens to the guys who actually stay. Nothing, I know. That says everything about the people who running shit in San Diego. I enjoyed this video a little until the laughter faded and I was left remembering how pathetically stagnant it all is.
Rivers might want to lobby for the NFL to keep the Pro Bowl because it will be the only January football he gets to play in if this shit keeps up. Anyway, the NFL announced that they aren't looking to move any existing teams to LA after the Bolts pledged to at least stay in San Diego for 2012. It didn't exactly get met with unbridled enthusiasm. Again, that's what happens when you accept mediocrity. I should be shocked that the NFL odds for the coming year which I was e-mailed last week actually had the Chargers (16/1) right behind the Giants at 15/1. We're the kings of the offseason. I guess gamblers figure that some day the Bolts will get it done. Then again, the same oddsmakers also have the Jets at 16/1 and they came even more unraveled than us. Tomorrow's Valentine's Day, but today is the anniversary of the finest concert the Justice Is Coming House Band ever played. You can download it if you don't already have it here.
That's all for now. I'm sure I'll be back in front of a keyboard real soon. Hopefully, it won't be because of yet another asanine error the Chargers have committed.
PS Bobby Ross is back on the JIC collage/masthead.