In Sunday’s game at Jacksonville, San Diego Chargers’ all-everything quarterback Philip Rivers accomplished a pair of milestones to add to a laundry list of other career achievements. Rivers recovered from a dismal showing against the Kansas City Chiefs where he managed a season-low 178 yards through the air and no passing touchdowns in the Chargers’ 33-3 loss. Sunday, Rivers looked and played like the elite quarterback we all know him to be. He threw for 300 yards and four touchdowns in the 31-25 Bolts’ win.
With two touchdown passes going into halftime, Rivers moved into a tie for 13th place with San Francisco 49er legend Joe Montana for career touchdown passes (273). With two more touchdown passes in the second half, Rivers moved into a tie with Vinny Testaverde for 11th place on the all-time touchdown passes list (275). With his next touchdown pass, Rivers will move into sole possession of 11th place, pushing Testaverde into 12th place.
Ironically, sitting in tenth place is a man Rivers is forever tied to in NFL and Chargers lore, class of 2004 draft mate Eli Manning. With 282 scoring passes, Manning is seven touchdowns ahead of Rivers. What makes the accomplishment even more impressive for Rivers is the fact that he’s ready to surpass Manning even though the New York Giants’ QB had a two-year head start; Manning started from day one with the Giants. Rivers sat behind Drew Brees and didn’t start for the Chargers until his third season in the NFL.
Rivers entered the game needing 134 yards to reach the 40,000-yard plateau. In doing so, he became the fourth-fastest to accomplish the feat in NFL history. This season alone, Rivers has surpassed Chargers great Dan Fouts, Sonny Jurgensen, Dave Krieg, Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Montana on the all-time touchdown passes list. With five games remaining, he’s on pace to surpass Testaverde (275) and possibly Manning (282). Johnny Unitas (290) and Warren Moon (291) will fall to Rivers early next season, at the latest.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Rivers is an elite quarterback in this league. He is also the most taken for granted of the elite quarterbacks league-wide. The talking heads think there is room to debate whether Rivers is Hall-Of-Fame worthy. The accomplishments listed above should prove that he belongs in Canton, among his other achievements. The NFL and even a segment of Chargers fans don’t appreciate what the 33-year-old has accomplished in lightning bolts. He is a leader, a winner, an inspiration to all around him. Rivers ranks right next to Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers as the most cerebral quarterbacks in the league.
With the four-year extension Rivers signed this past offseason it ensures he will retire a Charger. We should all take the time to appreciate the brilliance this man shows us on a week-in, week-out basis before he’s gone and we all realize how good we had it when a rookie is trying to move the ball down the field for San Diego.
The Greg One
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is not certain where he’ll be playing in 2016 and not just because of the team’s shaky stadium situation in San Diego.
In case you missed it, Rivers talked with the U-T San Diego about his future with the team.
Basically said he’s committed to playing out his contract with the Bolts, which expires after the 2015 season, but is unsure whether he’ll sign a new contract or try to work out an extension before training camp starts in July.
One of the reasons is, of course, family. Philip and his wife Tiffany have built a family in San Diego and if a move is necessary they will likely try to make it back South (both are from Alabama) instead of Los Angeles.
Add that revelation to the fact the Chargers are bringing in Oregon QB Marcus Mariota for a workout in April, and all of a sudden you have grounds for some serious speculation on a major overhaul of the Chargers offense.
So, let’s remove the emotion from the situation and sort some of it out logically.
First and foremost, the Chargers want to keep Rivers in place. General Manager Tom Telesco came from Indianapolis. His first year there was 1998, when the Colts drafted Peyton Manning. His last year there was 2012, when they took Andrew Luck. If anybody understands the importance of having a franchise quarterback in place, it’s Telesco (You can hear for yourself how Tom feels about Rivers in the video attached to this story, which was recorded December 31, 2014).
Telesco says he thinks Rivers has a number of good years left in him. The recent signings of Stevie Johnson and Orlando Franklin would suggest the Bolts still consider Rivers the key to their offense. For now, at least. Telesco also said he’s committed to Rivers retiring as a Charger.
But, what if Rivers is not? Then what do the Chargers do?
Bolts fans don’t have to think too far back to see what happened the last time the team let a QB walk out of town while getting nothing in return. In about 10 years they’ll see it on the bust of Drew Brees in Canton, OH. Rivers blossoming into a star eased the pain of Brees’ success, but the odds of having three Pro Bowl (and possibly Hall of Fame) caliber passers in a row are astronomical.
Here’s where Mariota enters the mix.
The reigning Heisman Trophy winner is going to have a private workout for the Bolts’ brass. Mariota’s athletic skill set could not be more different than Rivers, but having him learn for a year under #17 (who has already spent time coaching the youngster before the NFL Combine) would not be a bad thing.
If Telesco gets the vibe he’s not going to be able to retain Rivers long-term, he needs to be looking out for his franchise, and he could certainly do worse than adding someone as talented as Mariota.
Of course, that opens the question of … how would the Chargers get their hands on Mariota? He’s projected to be long gone before the Bolts make their selection in this year’s Draft (and no, the irony of that pick being #17 has not been lost). So, the Chargers would have to make a trade up.
Assuming Tampa Bay selects Jameis Winston first overall (which they’ve said publicly they’re leaning towards), the next team up also has serious QB issues: Tennessee. The Titans are quite the interesting possibility.
Ken Whisenhunt is their head coach. In 2013, he had a tremendous relationship with Rivers while serving as San Diego’s offensive coordinator. He would love to get his hands on Philip. However, sources close to the Titans tell me they’d be “shocked” if Tennessee traded the second overall pick for Rivers.
The Titans have a bunch of holes to fill. They are not one QB away from being true contenders. So, if they do deal the number two pick, it will be to stockpile other picks, and the Chargers are not likely to make that kind of gamble when they have as many issues to address as they do (o-line, d-line, running back, linebacker, etc.).
Looking at the rest of the NFL Draft order, there aren’t many teams who will use a pick on a quarterback:
3) Jacksonville – took Blake Bortles last year
4) Oakland – took Derek Carr last year
5) Washington – still don’t know what to do with Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy
6) NY Jets – ABSOLUTELY NEED A QB
7) Chicago – Possibility here. Jay Cutler could be released in another year
8) Atlanta – Matt Ryan
9) NY Giants – Eli Manning
10) St. Louis – just traded for Nick Foles but still a possibility
11) Minnesota – took Teddy Bridgewater last year
12) Cleveland – took Johnny Manziel last year
13) New Orleans – Drew Brees
14) Miami – Ryan Tannehill, although it’s possible they’re not 100% sold on him
15) San Francisco – Colin Kaepernick, basically the same style as Mariota
16) Houston – definitely in the market for a QB
So, the Chargers might not have to deal Rivers to get their hands on Mariota. If he falls far enough in the first round, they could conceivably move up just a couple of spots and not sacrifice too much (of course, the Eagles are lurking at #20 and, despite what Chip Kelly says about Sam Bradford, he’d make a more for his former recruit).
So you see there are a lot of moving pieces in play that would have to line up for Marcus Mariota to land in San Diego.
The other part of this whole scenario is this: The Chargers offense is built around Philip Rivers. If he is shockingly dealt before this year, or allowed to leave after the 2015 season, a whole lot of guys will go with him.
Antonio Gates, also a free agent, will leave. Eric Weddle, also a free agent, will leave. Those guys are not going to wait around for a rebuild; they’ve been through enough already. The entire identity of the Chargers, the franchise as we know it, will cease to exist. It will signal a complete personality change for the franchise.
Now, you can crack your jokes about that being perfect for a team playing in a new city, but the fact is this is a defining moment in Chargers history, not just off the field, but on it, as well.
“You define the moment…or the moment defines you.” – Kevin Costner in Tin Cup
As a Charger fan out here in Florida, I am not surrounded by Bolt fans and family. Being constantly surrounded by Patriot and Steeler fans, I have heard enough about our beloved QB. Most of what I hear on a weekly basis I cannot state here. However, recently I received a genuine remark from a Steeler fan, who is not only from Pittsburgh and a die-hard, but a huge fan of the game itself. This is what he told me:
“I do like Rivers and think he’s talented. But the thing that I have against Philip, is that he does not show up for big games.” This remark came after our loss to the Denver Broncos; a divisional foe, nationally broadcast Thursday night game and hated rivalry.
So I began to ponder about this and decided to do some research. I even asked my friend Craig Watts Jr. from the Chargers practice squad, what he thought defined a “big game.” He responded by acknowledging that every game is a big game and, of course, divisional and playoff games too. Craig added that, “It’s a game that you look at and realize you don’t want to look back at it and think ‘We really needed that one and we let it slip away.’” As true as that statement is, it was difficult for me to research those type of games. What I did my fieldwork on was Philip’s performance in divisional and playoff games. Being able to beat your divisional adversaries is a huge step in getting into the playoffs. Once a team is there, it doesn’t matter who you face or what seed you are as long as you are given the opportunity.
I looked back the past 5 seasons, including the current one, and looked at the numbers. Since 2010, Rivers and the Chargers are 15-12 in their division contests; 1-2 to start out this year. It goes without saying that it takes more than one player to win/lose a game. Each team is different and the surrounding cast can be significantly better or worse each year. With this information, I decided that I needed to compare Philip’s numbers against others. With the 2004 draft, three highly-touted signal callers were picked: Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger. As we all know, Ben and Eli have each earned two SB championships in that time. Why not compare these two with Philip? I did compile research on another leader of the offense, but you will have to read on to see who that is later in the article.
As far as divisional records since 2010, Big Ben leads Pittsburgh with an 18-10 clip. What that resulted in was 8 playoff games and one Super Bowl victory. Eli was last (go ahead and laugh now if you would like) with a divisional track record of 13-14. Eli, however painful this is, played in 11 playoff games with one Super Bowl victory during that span. Does this prove or disprove Rivers ability to perform in big games? I will let you decide that. Moving on!
In the 27 divisional games Rivers has played in since 2010, his completion percentage is a whopping 64.4% I’m impressed. In looking at Eli and Ben, Philip beats them all. Eli put together a 61% completion rate in his 27 games against division opponents and Big Ben, who only played in 24 games during that period, completed 62.1% of his passes. Are you now debating whether Rivers is clutch or not when it comes to big games? Next please!
Captain Rivers has whirled 7,135 total yards with 49 touchdowns and 27 interceptions against division teams since 2010. That averages out to 264.2 yds, 1.81 Tds and 1 interception per game. The yardage is above average although the TD/INT ratio is a little unnerving. Does Philip put too much pressure on himself during these key games? Is he over-thinking and not allowing his natural football skills to do what they know how to do or using the label “paralysis by analysis?” Let’s see what those other two did and compare.
Eli Manning threw for 7,137 yards with 50 touchdowns and 30 interceptions; equating to 264.3 yds, 1.85 TDs and 1.1 INTs per game. Not any better. One would imagine that with 11 playoff games and a Super Bowl ring, these numbers would be much higher. In Pittsburgh since 2010, Ben has accumulated 5,780 yds, 35 touchdowns and 19 interceptions in 24 games. This averages out to 240.8 yds, 1.46 TDs and .79 INTs per division game. Outside of the low interception rate, Big Ben is falling way short of the others. What are your thoughts? Is Philip overconfident in these games? Is he underperforming? I’ll continue and let you know what I think. But first, remember that “other” quarterback I mentioned earlier? The one I was going to compare his numbers? Well, I am glad you were patient so here he is: Mr. Drew Brees.
Brees is always in conversation as being an elite QB, and rightfully so. Fans have stated over the years that if Rivers wants to be inducted into Canton, he needs to BE an elite player; to the likes of Peyton Manning, Tom Brady or Drew Brees. Since I don’t have the stomach to talk about Eli, Peyton or Tom in one article, I easily selected Brees. It also didn’t hurt that he started his career in San Diego and has never shown ill-will towards his former team. So without further ado, let’s see what an “elite” QB in this league posts against their important division rivals:
In 27 games, Drew has completed 67.5% of his throws, launched 8,649 yds with 61 touchdowns and 35 picks. In other words, Brees hurls for 320.3 yds with just under 2.3 TDs per game and 1.3 INTs – his average game vs division. That is pretty spectacular, albeit the TD/INT ratio could improve, it is still better than all three. It also helps that his record against the NFC South is 19-8. Now onward with the utmost important comparison: Playoff Games.
Philip is the only one out of these now four captains, to have a losing record in the playoffs. Eli tops them all with an 8-3 career playoff record, with Ben at 5-3 and Drew at 6-4. Rivers is only one man and as they say, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.” Now let’s look deeper inside the numbers.
During his 9 playoff games since entering the NFL, Rivers has a completion percentage of 58.8%. That is a significant drop from his regular season “big games.” Brees, of course, leads this group with a clip of 65.2% completion rate; followed by Eli at 61.4% and Ben at 60.7%. Philips yards per game diminishes to the tune of 235.3, which is about 30 yards less than in the regular season. His touchdown average comes in at .89 with his interceptions remaining at 1 per playoff game.
What does all this tell us? All these stats and percentages that are thrown in here have to mean something right? I want you all to decide: does Philip Rivers choke when it matters most? Or are these numbers obtuse and the real let down is the team itself? Does he suffer from “paralysis by analysis” or is he trying to put the game and team on his shoulders with a less than stellar supporting cast?
Respond below and let the debate begin!
Thanks for reading,
Story Written by Chris Curran ( @ccurran2744 )
Rivers and Manning will forever be linked and debated. The media bias leans toward Manning. I know it’shard to argue with two Super Bowl wins. I could counter that if the quarterbacks switched teams, Rivers would have two titles as well.
After 2003, Drew Brees was not panning out as a Charger QB. The local team was picking first overall. AJ Smith was not very high on Brees and was in the market for a new starting QB.
There were three QB’s in the 2004 draft that were considered first round talent. There was a quarterback from Mississippi with “Manning” on his back that was pretty good. Roethlisberger from Miami of Ohio University and Rivers from North Carolina State were considerations as well.
Roethlisberger, or “Big Ben,” was big and strong with a tremendous arm. He could move and throw on the run with the best improvisational skills. He played his college ball in the MAC.
Rivers started every game in four years. He brought respectability to a college program that rarely won anything and was a College Bowl MVP five times in four years. He was considered an exceptional leader and held a high football IQ,
Manning had the best mechanics and an NFL pedigree that will never be matched. A solid first round talent, although I do believe if his name was not Manning he would have been the number three among the quarterbacks taken in round one of the 2004 NFL draft.
Archie Manning announced that his youngest boy would not play for the San Diego Chargers. Archie refused to state any reason for this other than to say the Chargers were not a good fit for his son. Maybe he did not like the Spanos Family. Maybe he was not a Schottenheimer fan. Maybe he remembers the beating, he himself, took in New Orleans on a lousy team and was afraid to have history repeat itself. Maybe a combination of all three made him pull his Royal ‘Manning card’ to not have his son play for a franchise stuck in nine years of playoff futility.
In 1983, John Elway let everyone know he did not want to play in Baltimore, the reason being his family had no respect for then coach, Frank Cush. Jack Elway (John’s father) and Cush were not the best of friends. John Elway spoke for himself to the press and Baltimore Colts. I lost complete respect for Eli when he let his father do all his bidding.
In 2004 Ernie Accorsi, General Manager of the New York Giants, held the fourth overall picks.The Giants needed a quarterback. Accorsi, being famous in football circlesfor losing arguably the highest rated quarterback prospect ever. Elway was lost in a post draft trade to Denver made by the owner after selecting him number one overall. That pick was against the Elway family wishes. In 2004 Accorsi had his heart set on Eli Manning. Accorsi relayed this info to Archie early on and later let the press know of his desire to draft Eli Manning.
As the draft approached Charger General Manager, AJ Smith, was about to make his shrewdest and greatest move as an NFL executive.
AJ may have coveted Rivers all along. He did not cave to a pre draft trade proposal by New York. AJ held off until his price was met. He even went so far as to select Eli first overall. I still remember the constipated look on Eli’s face as he reluctantly held up the Charger jersey and cap with Goodell.
The Raiders selected offensive lineman Robert Gallery second overall and Arizona took wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald third overall, the Giants were on the clock and picked Rivers. No one in the Giants war room even had the courtesy to call Rivers about being their selection, reason being that a deal was being consummated with the Chargers. In order to obtain Manning number one overall, the Giants traded Rivers, who was number four overall, a third round pick in the current draft, a first round and fifth round pick in the following year. The Chargers turned those picks into kicker Nate Kaeding, outside linebacker, Shawne Merriman and offensive lineman, Roman Oben.
As for the 3rd QB taken in round one of 2004, Roethlisberger was drafted by Pittsburgh and has been very successful. He has two glaring negatives, these being durability and a questionable character at best.
Due to the Drew Brees hangover, Eli had twenty-one more career starts early in his career. This and the two playoff runs give the edge to Eli. You cannot take away the results. Most other remaining intangibles do go to Rivers. Completion percentage, yards per game, touchdown-interception ratio and quarterback rating are all in Rivers favor. Both quarterbacks have been durable and have yet to miss a start.
So, if the two Super Bowl wins are the benchmark, lets examine them. Does anyone think Doug Williams, Mark Rypien, Trent Dilfer, or Brad Johnson are better than Dan Fouts, Dan Marino, Jim Kelly or Warren Moon?
Eli’s Giants had a superior dominant defensive line. An ill-advised pass, and other bone headed decisions by Brett Favre led to crucial turnovers. A down field heave throw up for grabs followed by a fluke catch off a helmet? These plays led to Eli’s first Super Bowl win. A 49er fumbled a punt in the Red Zone and a crucial Wes Welker drop led to Eli’s second Super Bowl win. I understand a win is a win and that is the bottom line. However, there are always other factors that lead to wins and losses outside quarterback play.
So if Eli gets credit for these play-off wins, then is Rivers to blame for Charger playoff losses? Rivers played without his pro bowl tight end, A. Gates, and pro bowl running back, L. Tomlinson. Playing on a completely torn ACL factors in to. Kaeding missed three field goals in each of Rivers’ playoff losses. Not to mention, the cluster of Marty gaffes, (fumbled punt, dropped TD, several personal fouls, going for it on 4th and 11, etc.) in the 24-21 home loss to the New England Patriots.
Like I said, the comparisons may never end, but if I were building a team, I would start with Rivers. How about you?
Some days the football gods smile down upon your team and usually its long after their assistance is needed. I finally got to go to my first Chargers game of the season as the Giants came to town on December 8th. This was a game I had circled on the calendar for a number of reasons, the biggest one being the obvious permanent interlinking of Philip Rivers and Eli Manning through the 2004 draft.
Manning’s outright refusal led to the Chargers selecting him and ransoming him to the Giants for four draft picks, most importantly my favorite college player, Philip Rivers who played at my Alma Mater, N.C.State. No one was happier to see this scenario play out than I was, having known what Rivers did in college. I grew up in Raleigh, home to the N.C. State Wolfpack. I grew up on that campus, mere miles from the campus of my high school and I hung out with players from those teams.
Fast forward a decade later and here comes Manning, in the midst of the worst season of his pro career coming into San Diego to face the Chargers and Rivers, having a pro bowl caliber season. Despite the last minutes corporate purchase of seats to avoid a blackout, the fans turned out in droves to cheer on the Chargers in this game. From my vantage point ten rows from the field I could see the stadium was nearly full of screaming Chargers fans. Yes, there were a lot of Giants fans in attendance as well but such is life at Qualcomm stadium. There are too many visiting jerseys for my liking. Hopefully, once the culture changes as the new management digs in it will get much harder for visiting fans to get into the stadium.
The Chargers gave reason to cheer from the very first drive. The Giants received the ball and the Chargers defense forced a three-and-out. On the Giants second drive Donald Butler intercepted Manning and returned it thirty yards. Rivers capitalized on the turnover, hitting Keenan Allen along the visitors sideline from 43 yards away on third and three. The rout was on as the Chargers raced to a 24-0 halftime lead. Keenan Allen had two touchdowns in the half and Danny Woodhead caught the third touchdown seconds before the second quarter ended.
My biggest reason for going to the game was to boo Eli Manning from start to finish and from the sounds of things, every fan in the home team’s colors had the same idea. Manning was booed loudly and lustily every time he walked onto the field, every time he took a snap. A giant Fathead graphic of Eli Manning’s face, (now known as SHEli) adorned with short blonde hair, lipstick and earrings hung from the home end zone. It was a comical sight once the Giants made it inside the ten-yard line and there was now way for Eli to not see that Fathead sitting exact center of the end zone at eye level. Great creativity from the Chargers faithful.
The Chargers played their most complete game of the season up to that point. Manning was sacked and intercepted twice. The Giants were only three of eight on third down. Ryan Mathews ran hard, gaining 103 yards and a touchdown. Allen had two touchdowns among his three catches. Rivers threw for 249 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. The defense kept pressure on Manning and the Giants all game forcing three turnovers and keeping the Giants off the field. The Chargers owned time of possession 36 minutes to 24.
After an embarrassing performance the week before against Cincinnati, this was just the performance the Chargers needed to build steam for one last playoff push. The win came on Philip Rivers birthday and that win also knocked out the Giants from the postseason race. The game could not have come together better. The Chargers dominated the diva that spurned them in 2004 (Manning) at home on Rivers’ birthday, simultaneously eliminating the diva’s team from the playoffs and keeping the Chargers in the playoff race. Football kismet.
It goes without saying I was thrilled with the team’s play. Unlike all the games before it, this was a worry-free, mistake free game and there were no Maalox moments as the game sped too quickly to a finish. I’m most proud of the crowd who were full throat from the first snap to the last along with me and my best friend, Boltblitz fearless leader Dave ‘BoogaP’ Peters, all reveling in Manning’s misery. Thank you to all those who came to say hello, share your tailgate fare and make my foray back to America’s finest city a great experience.
The Greg One
Let me start by saying that the New York Giants, despite winning 5 of their last 6, were certainly not on a guaranteed path to the postseason. Prior to their recent wins, the team lost its first 6 games. There is now a certainty to their playoff hopes. They are gone. Those hopes no longer exist.
On Sunday at Qualcomm stadium, the Giants were beaten and battered by your San Diego Chargers. I am not sure whether or not I could be more proud of their effort on Sunday. Watching the game in person at The Murph made it even better. To be there while the Bolts demolished the playoff hopes of Eli Manning and the Giants was truly priceless. Eli was sent home packing by the team that he and his daddy shunned. Archie refused to allow Eli to play for the Chargers, so to speak. Thank goodness.
If there were any Eli fans at Qualcomm last week, they were not to be found very often. The resounding chorus of boos for the entire 4 quarters of Sunday’s game provided me with a new-found respect for Charger fans. Like the team, the fans were resilient, relentless and consistent for all of the contest. I was impressed.
The victory over the Giants nudged the Bolts forward to a record of 6-7. Still, technically, one game out of the race for the sixth seed in the debacle that is the AFC playoff race are the Chargers. The road is still littered with diversity and a touch of improbability.
That’s okay. Most of us were not having postseason dreams during the 2013 offseason. This is a young team that has some solid pieces to build around in the future.
I’m not so sure the same can be said for Eli and the Giants. They are a mess of a squad. And that doesn’t bother me one bit.
In an article by Matt Ehalt of ESPN New York, Jason Pierre-Paul will not play versus the Chargers on Sunday. I have no doubt that Philip Rivers and the offensive line are sharing in an enormous sigh of relief.
JPP was injured on November 10th against the Raiders but played the following two games at half-speed. He was mainly in on passing downs but was limited due to a shoulder injury.
The loss of Pierre-Paul for the Giants is a big one. The team started 0-6 but has managed to win 5 of their last 6 games. Although the Giants’ playoff hopes are all but gone ( sound familiar? ) there have yet to be mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. A loss Sunday at Qualcomm would be the final dagger needed to end those dismal hopes.
In the same post it also states that Corey Webster will miss the game as well. Additionally, Brandon Jacobs is listed as doubtful. Despite earning the moniker the “Tiptoe burglar,” Jacobs might have had a solid game against a Charger defense that has had serious issues tackling. Jacobs is a load to bring down despite his dwindling ability as a runner.
I can only speak for myself when I say that I would love very much for the Chargers to be the team the solidifies Eli Manning’s spot on the couch for the postseason.
While composing a list of my All-Time favorite Chargers, I revisited the buried memory of the 2004 draft that brought our beloved Philip Rivers to San Diego. The memory also rekindled my everlasting beef with Eli Manning. We all remember the story but for the benefit of new Chargers fans, here’s what went down.
The Chargers earned the right to the number one pick in the 2004 draft by stinking out loud in 2003 to the tune of a 4-12 season. In the weeks leading up to the draft, the Manning camp got louder and louder proclaiming Eli would NOT play for the Chargers if they drafted him. Each took their turn in front of every microphone they could find. Peyton, Archie and Eli took turns ripping the Chargers, their lack of leadership, their ownership and the quality of the product on the field. In the end, the Chargers did draft Eli on draft day and traded him to the Giants in exchange for Rivers, and three draft picks who later became Shawne Merriman, Roman Oben and Nate Kaeding. All but Oben made multiple Pro Bowls.
No quarterback should feel he’s so good as to campaign against going to any team. Playing in the NFL is a privilege, not a right!
The fact that Manning had the stones to speak out against any team should have blackballed him to every team. It doesn’t matter who you are or if you’re from the first family of quarterbacks. Know your role, shut your mouth and when the Commissioner calls your name and gives you that jersey with the number 1 on it you smile, take your picture and shut the hell up!! You’re getting drafted by a bad team because that’s how the draft works, the worst teams get the first shot to make themselves better. The Giants sucked too or they wouldn’t have been picking at #4!
Thumbs up to the Chargers management for holding Eli for ransom for in spite of his despicable attitude. Rivers is the better quarterback but until he gets the rings to go with his superior numbers (compared to Eli), the Super Bowl win will be Manning and the Giants trump card.
For that, I will always have beef with Eli Manning. I will never root for that man and any Charger fan should equate rooting for Manning akin to rooting for the Raiders! If I see Manning at the NFL Draft I’m walking the other way. When I see him on my TV I want to throw popcorn at the screen.
It was very fortuitous for the Chargers to land Rivers. Rivers shows his passion for the game, his toughness, his willingness to win at all costs. Does he do too much sometimes? Yes. There is no doubt in any Chargers fans mind how badly Philip wants it. I’ve seen more emotion from a mop than I have ever seen out of Eli Manning. The dude looks like he’s trying to remember where he sat down his car keys ALL THE TIME. I don’t hate any player in any sport. I hate the Raiders as a collective organization. I hate Eli Manning personally and I would tell him to his face! The words of South Park’s Mr. Garrison say it best for me: “Eli Manning, You go to Hell! YOU GO TO HELL AND YOU DIE!!”
Signing off for now.
The Greg One
“Hate” is a four letter word to me (and everybody else). I reserve “hate” for a select few. Hitler, Stalin, Ho Chi Minh etc., happen to be the obvious ones. But sometimes “Hate” transcends itself into the NFL. Of course they aren’t as bad as the aforementioned individuals on my list. But, to a Charger Fan, they compare.
1. Ed Hochuli
For years, my friends have told me “dude, let it go” or “It,s only a game.” It,s NOT! I am sure we all remember on September 14, 2008, Hochuli officiated a now-infamous game between the San Diego Chargers and the Denver Broncos. That game became notable for a highly controversial call near the end of regulation play. The call came with 1:17 left in the game, while Denver was in possession of the ball at the San Diego one-yard line, trailing the Chargers by seven points. On a second-down play, Denver quarterback Jay Cutler fumbled the ball, and it was recovered by San Diego linebacker Tim Dobbins. Ed Hochuli blew his whistle during the play, signaling that the play was dead and ruling an incomplete pass. Hochuli admitted his mistake and spotted the ball at the point of the fumble, but could not award possession to San Diego. The play was not reviewable due to the whistle having been blown. The rule has now changed on a play similar to that in which the whistle can blow,but if the ball is fumbled,and recovered, possesssion can change but not advancing of the ball is allowed. Ed, I still “HATE” you.
2. Hines Ward
I am sure I don’ need to say more to Charger Fans, but this guy kills me. Hines with his smirk. Sure,if he was a Charger player I may feel differently. But he wasn’t. Hines Ward, you are on my “HATE” list!
3. Eli Manning
The San Diego Chargers originally held the rights to the overall first pick in the 2004 NFL Draft due to their 4-12 record in 2003. With Manning being the most coveted player in the draft, it appeared that the Chargers’ intentions were to draft him first overall. However, Manning and family, stated publicly that he would refuse to play for the Chargers if drafted by them. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t want Manning on the Chargers anyway, but the “ugly brother” didn’t even give us that chance. Eli you are also on my “Hate” list, and P.S. Your brother is 10 times the player you are!
These are just a few that have made it on my coveted “Hate” list. I will update as time goes on.