SportsNation Blog Archives San Diego Chargers
If you're a quarterback looking for a chance to bolster your MVP credentials, what better stage could there be than facing a team that employs David Carr, Alex Smith and Troy Smith? Philip Rivers looks like Joe Montana compared to that cast of characters.
Then again, as good as Rivers has looked this season, if the team around him had played to its potential, tonight's game might not be nearly as important as it is with both teams fighting for their playoff lives. Back before Labor Day, 80 percent of SportsNation predicted the Chargers would win the AFC West. That's a strong endorsement, but it's not as strong as the 85 percent of voters who predicted the 49ers would win the NFC West.
Which of these teams has underachieved to a greater degree?
Jake (Colorado Spring)
Mel, can you give me a analysis of Alex Smith? Is he better than we have seen or is this what he is?
I think at this stage, what you see is what you get. If you look at this year, he is not at 60 percent completion. He's been out of the lineup as long as he was and comes in there and goes 17-27 after not playing since 6-7 weeks ago, but the problem with him has been his consistency. It's an inconsistency. Very intelligent young man, but he makes some bad decisions at times. He threw 9 INTs in the first five games this year. Full transcript
Vote: New England Patriots at Chicago Bears
1. Impressed by Patriots' offense or Bears' defense?
2. Bill Belichick in 2010 or Mike Ditka in 1985?
3. Which backfield tandem is better?
4. Is Chicago a better sports town than Boston?
5. Which team will win in Chicago?
Have your say on Patriots at Bears
Vote: New Orleans Saints at St. Louis Rams
1. Drew Brees' past or Sam Bradford's future?
2. Have the Saints turned the corner?
3. Is Steven Jackson slowing down?
4. Should a 7-9 division champ get in?
5. Which team will win in New Orleans?
Have your say on Rams at Saints
Vote: Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers
1. Which roster has more talent?
2. Who is the Chiefs' offensive MVP?
3. How good is Matt Cassel?
4. How good is the top-rated defense?
5. Which team will win in San Diego
Have your say on Chiefs at Chargers
Vote: Miami Dolphins at New York Jets
1. Will Michael Vick regress as a passer?
2. Has Jason Garrett earned the job?
3. Is Kevin Kolb better than Tony Romo?
4. Would a Cowboys win be an upset?
5. Which team will win in New Jersey?
Have your say on Dolphins at Jets
Vote: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
1. Which season is most on the line?
2. Which coach is better?
3. Can the Dolphins stick with Chad Henne?
4. Is Santonio Holmes' the best WR?
5. Which team will win in Arlington, Texas?
Have your say on Eagles at Cowboys
Vote: Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans
1. Joe Flacco or Matt Schaub?
2. Would you take great offense over great defense?
3. Can Gary Kubiak save his job?
4. Arian Foster or Ray Rice's career?
5. Which team will win in Houston?
Have your say on Monday Night Football
You have to wonder if yesterday's games marked somewhat of a sea change in the NFL's power structure. Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts, one of the most consistent teams in the NFL, will not reach 12 wins this season (the first time since 2002 that's happened) thanks to Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers, now winners of four straight. The Chicago Bears, no one's choice to be 8-3 at this point in the season, weathered a fourth-quarter comeback from the Eagles behind Jay Cutler's four touchdowns. Is this a sign of things to come for both teams?
Vote: San Diego Chargers at Indianapolis Colts
1. Which quarterback is having better season?
2. Who do the Colts miss most?
3. Will Vincent Jackson help Chargers?
4. Does Norv Turner help or hurt?
5. Which team will win in Indianapolis?
Have your say on Chargers at Colts
Vote: Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons
1. Better quarterback for the next decade?
2. Which team needs home-field advantage?
3. Who is the best defensive playmaker?
4. Packers' defense or Falcons' offense?
5. Which team will win in Atlanta?
Have your say on Packers at Falcons
Vote: Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears
1. Which quarterback is more likeable?
2. Do you remember the Fog Bowl?
3. Does Lovie Smith deserve extension?
4. Which division is tougher?
5. Which team will win in Chicago?
Have your say on Eagles at Bears
Vote: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Baltimore Ravens
1. Better quarterback of the future?
2. Are the Buccaneers legit?
3. Is LeGarrette Blount the real deal?
4. How good is the Ravens' offense?
5. Which team will win in Baltimore?
Have your say on Buccaneers at Ravens
Vote: Jacksonville Jaguars at New York Giants
1. Is Eli Manning that much better?
2. Is benching Ahmad Bradshaw right call?
3. Which wide receiver steps up?
4. How many wins do Jaguars need?
5. Which team will win in New Jersey?
Have your say on Jaguars at Giants
1. Is Philip Rivers better than the guys with rings?
Eli Manning took a proverbial punch to the gut with an ill-timed fumble against the Eagles. Ben Roethlisberger took a less proverbial punch to the face against the Steelers. And Philip Rivers? He keeps delivering blows, this time leading the Chargers past the Broncos. But which product of the 2004 draft is the best QB? Power Rankings.
The speed at which a player in the National Football League can go from All-Star to waived is frankly astounding. A few years ago, LaDainian Tomlinson was setting records for rushing touchdowns -- this season, he had to search for a job before rejuvenating his career with the Jets. A few years back, Randy Moss was setting records for receiving touchdowns with the Patriots -- this season, he's found himself traded and waived within the space of a month.
It's Shawne Merriman's turn to tumble from his perch. A few years back, Merriman was one of the most feared pass-rushers in all of football. Now, he's been placed on waivers by the Chargers. The move comes as no real surprise -- San Diego had announced that they would release Merriman after he came off the injured reserve list -- but the idea of such a defensive force as Merriman having to look for a job is a bit disconcerting. We're sure some team will give him a chance -- and that team is the Buffalo Bills.
Brad (Beverly, MA)
Do you think Merriman's lack of productivity is due to steroids? Ever since his suspension he hasn't been the same, but you never hear anyone mention it. If he were playing baseball that is all you would hear.
I've heard it discussed with Merriman. But the injuries have also deterred him. Of course, there are experts on PEDs who say that injuries are a byproduct of usage. However, Merriman has been tested frequently and randomly year-round since his steroid positive and he has tested clean. Full transcript
Game 1: SportsNation's burning questions for Vikings at Packers
Thomas B (Czech Republic)
Do you know that Aaron Rodgers record in games decided by less than 4 points is 1-11?Is he to blame, or is it Crosby, McCarthy, or the whole team?
NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert
I do know that. I would say it's a combo platter, but Rodgers deserves more than equal blame. He is the one player who touches the ball on every play. As the quarterback, he has more of a chance to impact the outcome of games than any other single person. Full transcript
Game 2: SportsNation's burning questions for Steelers at Dolphins
Mort, how ridiculous are (were) James Harrison's threats of retirement? What a baby. These guys should really learn to shut their mouths a little better.
As Mike Tomlin, Steelers coach, Harrison says a lot of things he doesn't mean. Harrison is a great player. However, if he really believes he can't make some adjustments within the rules, then he should retire. It would be honorable, especially with a good portion of money he would have to pay back after getting a big contract last year. Full transcript
Game 3: SportsNation's burning questions for Eagles at Titans
Robert (Huntsville, Al)
Couldn't agree more about CJ. LT did the same thing when he proclaimed he was going to have 2k+ after scoring all those TD's. That was the beginning of his downfall.
Football Scientist KC Joyner
Thanks for that. Robert is talking about today's Insider article that states CJ2K isn't gaining as many yards as he could because he is trying to hit home runs on every play. It's the first time I've ever seen him dance in the backfield and he has been doing it pretty much every game this year. Full transcript
Game 4: SportsNation's burning questions for Patriots at Chargers
Mike (San Diego)
M-Dub, thoughts on Pats/Chargers? Who wins and why? Look for Hernandez to have a career day...Bolts can't cover a TE with a sheet!
... SD is pretty beat up now. Great call on Hernandez. Liking this new Pats O. Loved the old one. Actually-could be the best two Os in the NFL. GREAT QBs. Give a huge coaching advantage to the Pats though. Really looking forward to this one. Actually, I will be hosting Cover It Live Sunday for this game and the Steelers at Miami game. If you haven't yet, stop by-very cool forum. Full transcript
Game 5: SportsNation's burning questions for Giants at Cowboys
A friend of mine recently said that the giants have 2 future hall-of-fame wideouts (Nicks, Smith)...Any thoughts on this? Also, anyone from this current Giants squad you can see in the Hall of Fame?
ESPN New York's Ohm Youngmisuk
Al... tell your friend to ease his roll. I like Smitty and Nicks. But future Hall of Fame wideouts? Whoa. Got a long, long, long, long way to go before then. Let's put it this way... as a Redskins fan growing up, I had a long wait to see Art Monk get in the Hall of Fame. And he had as many catches as anyone for a long, long time. Nicks is a great playmaker. But he has a ways to go. As for anybody else on this current roster... Eli would have to win maybe another Super Bowl... Osi has to keep playing at a high level and get a bunch of sacks. Tuck, same thing. Full transcript
The folks in charge of running the Bears, Panthers, Ravens and Redskins weren't the only general managers without a pick in the first round of the NFL draft. In fact, they have company that numbers in the hundreds of thousands. Fantasy owners could only sit and watch the picks unfold Thursday night, but now they're in the game. C.J. Spiller was the first running back off the board, but does he become a viable fantasy option if he's sharing touches with Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson? Will Carson Palmer find a go-to option in rookie tight end Jermaine Gresham?
And beyond the eight fantasy-eligible players selected in the first round, what impact will something like the 49ers drafting two offensive linemen have on the fantasy fortunes of Alex Smith? With protection in front of him, Frank Gore behind him and Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis to throw to, could Smith finally become a factor in fantasy football?
People out there stop putting the T.O. jacket on Dez Bryant it doesn't fit. So many times owners listen to these so called guru's and miss out on Pro Bowl type players, nice pick Jerry.,” -- tripplecitty
I hope this means BUF is getting rid of Lynch because if they aren't this pick is pointless. With so many holes on that team to take a RB at #9 was a serious stretch. I'd love to see Spiller as the next Chris Johnson but remember TEN has a very solid O-line, where as BUD started 12+ different lineman last season alone.” -- SMojsov
Jahvid Best could have Chris Johnsonlike ability.” -- AjP_
i absolutely LOVE this pick, mathews definitely looks legit. with the combo of power, good speed, breaks tackles, bloacks well, can still catch well enough, he's the perfect fit for our offense. sproles and mathews are gonna be beastly this coming season, mark my words” -- chargerschica
It's just like the census, only this one is fun and doesn't come in the mail. And nobody from FOX News or MSNBC will yell at you about it. It's time for ESPN The Magazine's Ultimate Standings, in which SportsNation grades organizations on everything from ticket prices and stadium experience to the talent on the field, court or rink. Which team will end up on top this year? It depends on what you say.
Take part in the 2010 MLB survey
2009 MLB Ultimate Standings
1. Los Angeles Angels (Overall: No. 1)
2. Milwaukee Brewers (Overall: No. 7)
3. Tampa Bay Rays (Overall: No. 16)
4. Minnesota Twins (Overall: No. 23)
5. Philadelphia Phillies (Overall: No. 24)
Take part in the 2010 NFL survey
2009 NFL Ultimate Standings
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (Overall: No. 3)
2. Green Bay Packers (Overall: No. 13)
3. Indianapolis Colts (Overall: No. 14)
4. Tennessee Titans (Overall: No. 15)
5. New England Patriots (Overall: No. 19)
Take part in the 2010 NBA survey
2009 NBA Ultimate Standings
1. Cleveland Cavaliers (Overall: No. 5)
2. San Antonio Spurs (Overall: No. 9)
3. New Orleans Hornets (Overall: No. 12)
4. Houston Rockets (Overall: No. 17)
5. Orlando Magic (Overall: No. 18)
Take part in the 2010 NHL survey
2009 NHL Ultimate Standings
1. Carolina Hurricanes (Overall: No. 2)
2. Detroit Red Wings (Overall: No. 4)
3. Washington Capitals (Overall: No. 6)
4. Pittsburgh Penguins (Overall: No. 8)
5. St. Louis Blues (Overall: No. 10)
You talked yesterday about what the future may hold for LaDainian Tomlinson in the wake of the league's ninth leading rusher all time getting his walking papers from the Chargers, but the morning after brings a chance to think about LT's place in history (and not just because, as John Clayton suggests in the video above, there aren't any guarantees he has a future in the NFL).
Tomlinson once seemed like a lock to break the all-time rushing record, but now he'll need to find more than 1,600 yards somewhere just to claim fourth behind Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton and Barry Sanders. All the same, for about seven or eight years, the guy dominated the league. So whether you measure against Smith's longevity or the brief dominance of guys like Sanders and Jim Brown, where does Tomlinson stack up among the best ever?
Back to the present, Matt Williamson and KC Joyner looked at Tomlinson's situation in recent chats, and one SportsNation blogger is bummed at how things went down.
Mike (Iowa City)
What about possibilities of LT coming to the Bears?
ESPN NFL Insider KC Joyner
Only question is why would the Bears want him? He has very little tread left on the tire. He'd be a great fit for a team making a Super Bowl run that only needs him for spot play (maybe as a RB/WR or GL specialist). Full transcript
Do u think darren sproles is the legit rb now that lt is going away? if not who do u see the chargers replacing lt?
No. I see Sproles as a nice guy to have, but a complementary piece. They need a heavier guy to carry the load and establish a physicality on that offense. Make play action work. I am not positive who that guy is though right now. I don't like Dwyer that high. Maybe trade down a smidge and take that monster from Stanford? Not sure of the fit just yet. He doesn't fit my description to a T, but I like Chester Taylor a lot. Full transcript