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Chiefs' Defense Never Did Let Rivers

Discussion in 'American Football' started by rexy2006, Dec 18, 2006.

  1. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

    Dec 17, 2005
    Chiefs' defense never did let Rivers get into flow of game

    December 18, 2006
    [​IMG]Philip Rivers has been a quarterback since his first drool. He probably dropped back to pass in his crib, barked signals from his high chair, commanded the huddle in his playpen, tossed his rattle for a touchdown. But, while mama may have said, “Philip, there will be days like this,” her son probably didn't expect it to happen to him. “It was one of the poorest (games) I've played. Period. In any sport.”
    That's what the Chargers' young quarterback had to say following his team's 20-9 win over Kansas City here last night. I don't know about any sport, because I've never seen Rivers bowl or curl, but it certainly was his worst football game among the 14 he's started for San Diego (12 of them wins).
    Granted, he wasn't always protected well – a rarity – especially early on, and Chiefs defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham did a masterful job running some things Rivers hasn't seen, but this wasn't good.
    Until Rivers hit Vincent Jackson with a 46-yard pass in the fourth quarter, he had completed 7-of-22 throws for 51 yards, with two picks, one just awful, one that could have allowed the Chiefs hope (if they're capable of hope).
    His passer rating before that throw was 1.2, or, as Smokey Gaines might say, 1.2 more than a dead man. Overall, it was 12.4, not enough to wake the dead man. And just last week vs. Denver, he was brilliant, with a rating of 136.0.
    Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith has said his quarterback, starting for the first time, was going to have his ups and downs. This one was way down. Rivers seemed indecisive. He was inconsistent and inaccurate. Not that he panicked. He didn't have to with tailback LaDainian Tomlinson running for 199 yards – including an 85-yarder for a score. San Diego gained 265 yards on the ground.
    But, if this is the best team in football, with the finest aggregation of talent – which, it says here, they are and they have – making the playoffs isn't enough. Those 265-yard rushing days aren't always going to be there next month, no matter the brilliance of LT. If Rivers plays this way in January, his team likely won't be playing in February.
    Playoff football is different football. Just ask the head coach.
    “I'll learn from it,” Rivers said. “Nothing's the matter. I had a not-so-good performance. I made a few plays – but not many.”
    Tight end Antonio gates caught one pass – an easy quick-out. LT had one catch. Jackson led the pack with three receptions for 66 yards. There are times when this isn't going to cut it.
    “I don't think he was as sharp as he was last week,” coach Marty Schottenheimer would say of Rivers.
    Very observant of him.
    Sure, there's a bottom line to last night.
    “We won, that's what happened,” Rivers said.
    In the end, that's what matters.
    “Philip Rivers helped us win tonight,” Schottenheimer said. “That's a darn good defensive football team. This is all part of the process of developing a young quarterback. He hasn't seen everything . . . the first time you may see it it's going to be a lot faster than anything you've seen before.
    “We struggled in the passing game, but that's the nature of this business,” Schottenheimer said. “Our approach to this is very simple. It doesn't matter if you run it, throw it, kick it, catch it. We have just one plan, and that's to win football games.”
    Rivers' performance could have mattered, but it didn't – last night – because the Chiefs couldn't handle Tomlinson. He now has an NFL record 31 touchdowns. He's scored 28 touchdowns in his past 10 games.
    Tomlinson was hit in the jaw late in the game and will have it X-rayed today, but there's nothing wrong with his remarkable legs and the rest of his body. The offensive line blocked great for the run. “Dominance!” center Nick Hardwick cried. And fullback Lorenzo Neal's blocking has moved over to the remarkable side.
    Nor is there much wrong at the moment with San Diego's defense. Run and play defense and you can win, but your quarterback has to keep the football on his side and not lose it.
    The Chiefs really didn't have many answers for the Chargers defenders, who held tailback Larry Johnson to 84 yards (they had 241 total yards) and sacked K.C. quarterback Trent Green six times.
    “It was like a wheel spinning in the mud,” Johnson would say.
    Linebacker Shawne Merriman didn't even have a sack – although he appeared to take part in one – and they still made Green's life miserable.
    “There was a lot of trash talking and a couple of cheap shots during the game,” Merriman said. “But we kept our cool out there and we knew we had to stop big No. 27 (Johnson), and if we did that, we thought we had a good shot at winning the game. I think they tried to wear us down with their run game. That was their strategy, and it didn't work very well.”
    The only thing that didn't really work very well for the Chargers was their quarterback. And that must be taken to the shop and repaired. Before January.

    (I LOVE that first paragraph and quotes are always cool.:yes: )
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Nomadic Bolt Fan

    Nomadic Bolt Fan Well-Known Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    Nice read, thanks Rexy!

    :ABQ2: :helm1: :ABQ1:
  3. BoltsFanUK

    BoltsFanUK Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2006
    Nice Read Rexy.

    Did you hear about Joey Harrington's QB rating, 0.0:icon_rofl: :icon_rofl: :icon_rofl: :icon_rofl:

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