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Playoffs

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by HollywoodLeo, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. HollywoodLeo
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    HollywoodLeo Trevor Phillips Enterprises

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    To quote the great Yogi Berra, "It aint over until it's over".

    Naturally, the Chargers need to handle their business against Oakland and KC. But beyond that we need two losses from Miami and Baltimore.

    Thankfully New England gets back-to-back duty helping us out with Miami this week and Baltimore next week, although both are away games for them.

    Outside of that, Baltimore goes to Detroit on Monday night and to Cincinnati in week 17.

    Meanwhile, Miami goes to Buffalo in week 16 and hosts the Jets in week 17.

    The latter, having to rely on Buffalo and Geno Smith to beat Miami is probably the weakest chance making an upset against NE something we really don't want to see, but this also isn't like hoping Denver loses to Houston either.

    I know many will want to talk about the "what-ifs" and how the Chargers should be controlling their own destiny if not for (fill in whatever past screw up here), and those complaints are valid, but who cares? We are where we are and the playoffs are still within reach.

    The Giants won a Super Bowl under these kinds of regular season conditions so don't tell me all is lost. :abq2:
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  2. matilack
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    matilack #therealagent47

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    I'm afraid to get my hopes up at all with this team.
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  3. HollywoodLeo
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    HollywoodLeo Trevor Phillips Enterprises

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    I'm not getting my hopes up. I'm just not burying them.
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  4. Lance19
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    Lance19 BoltTalker

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    Well, tonight is a night for celebrating a great win. :)

    As far as playoffs go, the Chargers rocketed from a 1.8% chance of making the playoffs, to 6.7%.
    http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NFL/AFC/AFCWest/SanDiego.html

    And even though I'm delighted to see the club play two 'complete' games, back to back,
    the way many of us always felt they were capable of playing this season, and McCoy is basking
    in two excellent coach's challenges that were both smart and impactful…

    there is also the ugly reckoning in the rear-view mirror: Obviously most of us want
    to be forward-thinking (esp. since the odds are not good, re. making the playoffs this season)
    and look to "next year"…personally, I really didn't want to dwell any more on the lousy,
    predictable endings in Tennessee & Washington. Yet the current array of AFC playoff candidates
    is such that: Had coaching not forfeited those two games at the end, this team would be
    9-5, and that would mean about a 95% playoff chance, 14 games in.

    Yes, I think McWhizzer has improved, somewhat, since those two disasters,
    but it's now becoming very likely that those two games didn't just feel like a dagger, to fans,
    they are almost certain to be the difference between this team--who are capable of beating anyone,
    anywhere, in the 2013 NFL--
    having a puncher's shot in the playoffs…
    or sitting home in January watching some lesser teams play. Wait, I did say
    tonight is a night for celebrating a great win did I not? I love this win…
    but it's hard not to think of what could've been.

    Of course, there's no one in this forum that wants a playoff spot more than I do…
    I've cared way too damned much about this team for 45 seasons (yes, since I was virtually a zygote)
    but that doesn't blind me to the difference between want and reasonably expect.
    I want Emily Ratajkowski to invite me over for drinks this weekend…
    but I have back-up plans in case Plan A falls through. :)
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013
  5. HollywoodLeo
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    HollywoodLeo Trevor Phillips Enterprises

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    eh

    You're right, but until they invent a time machine the past is the past.

    And I don't care what some site says our percentages are. When New England is in charge of half of our chances I don't think it's quite as bad as the single digit percentage makes it out to be.

    And even if it were....

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  6. FCBolt
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    FCBolt Well-Known Member

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    Sure, the playoffs are a possibility, but the Giants comparison is a reach. The whole 'just make the tourney' stuff was a bunch of crap spawned by AJ to justify his reaches. You need a very good defense to pull off a Super Bowl run from 9-7. I forget the exact numbers, but it's something like, in both of Eli's Super Bowl runs, the Giants D held the opponents to less than 3 TDs every game. Ain't happening with the Chargers D.

    That said, the Chargers certainly have a shot at the playoffs. Fins have to go to Buffalo, so weather conditions could throw a wrench in their plans, and the Ravens have a brutal schedule. Biggest challenge for the Bolts will be controlling their inconsistency. Wouldn't be surprised at all to see them lay an egg against either the Raiders or Chiefs.
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  7. HEXEDBOLT
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    HEXEDBOLT Well-Known Member

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    I know I mentioned a few weeks back that if this D catches fire like the Colts & the Gnats did, anything can happen. I'd just rather they didn't stumble and bumble their way in, only to be embarrassed. The playoffs are still down the road a piece with many turns and bumps to be navigated to get on Lombardi Highway and Malfunction Junction is a terrible place to lose your brakes.
  8. FCBolt
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    FCBolt Well-Known Member

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    Entertaining article on how last night's game affected AFC playoffs:
    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/10129498/bill-barnwell-chargers-broncos-afc-playoffs

    The AFC Playoff Blender
    Who are the winners and losers in the aftermath of Thursday night's Broncos-Chargers game?

    By Bill Barnwell on December 13, 2013PRINT
    Well, while the bottom of the AFC playoff picture is wide open, things up top are pretty settled by now. Denver has got the first seed lock— … oh, is that the sound of Philip Rivers marching on fools? That certainly changes things. San Diego's upset victory as 10-point underdogs in Denver on Thursday night shuffles the entire AFC playoff scenario and, with it, the shape of the league over the final three weeks of the season.

    The ramifications of San Diego's victory are naturally reverberating around the league right now, making winners and losers out of teams and players who spent Thursday night on the couch. Let's run through the various aftershocks from last night's game and see who fits into each category.

    Losers: Denver Broncos. Even after losing to the Patriots in Week 12, Denver's sweep of the Chiefs had left them with a pretty comfortable path to home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. All Denver had to do was beat San Diego in its final home game of the regular season before finishing up with wins on the road at lowly Houston and Oakland. It wasn't foolproof, but before the game, Football Outsiders left Denver with a 75.6 percent chance of finishing as the top seed in the AFC.

    Now? That's all out the window. At 11-3, Denver no longer controls its own destiny in terms of AFC home-field advantage. Instead …

    Winners: New England Patriots. Somehow, despite coming off near-losses to the Texans and Browns and losing their second-best player for the year, it's a triumphant time for the Patriots. They're now in command of the AFC. At 10-3 and with the tiebreaker over the Broncos by virtue of that dramatic victory, the Patriots can clinch the top seed in the AFC and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs by winning their final three games. Not bad for a team that could have possibly been stuck behind the Broncos and Bengals and left on the outside looking in for a playoff bye had it failed to recover that onside kick against Cleveland last week.

    The Patriots aren't blessed with the easiest of run-ins, but they don't have an insurmountable task ahead of them, either. They have road trips to the two top contenders for the sixth spot in the AFC playoffs ahead of them, as they travel to face the Dolphins and Ravens before finishing at home against the Bills. The Denver loss also opens up some possibilities for another playoff contender …

    Winners: Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City was all but consigned to the fifth seed in the AFC after losing three consecutive games to its AFC West brethren. Now, the Chiefs have a modicum of hope. If they can beat Oakland on the road this week, they'll be tied with the Broncos at 11-3, albeit without the tiebreaker in their favor. If Denver slips up over the final two weeks of the season and the Chiefs manage to win out, they would be the no. 2 seed, while the Broncos would drop all the way to five. It's unlikely, especially since the Chiefs still have to play Indy and San Diego, but far more plausible than it was before Thursday night.

    Losers: Denver's creaky bones. There's no longer any way the Broncos will get to rest their veterans in Week 17. That would have required Denver to win in Week 15 and Week 16 while the Patriots lost at least one game over that time frame. If that had happened, Denver would have been two games ahead of New England with one to go, allowing the Broncos to rest their stars in a would-be meaningless game at Oakland. Now, they'll be stuck lining up their best players to ensure they end up getting a week off during the wild-card round.1

    Winners/Losers: Oakland Raiders. It depends on how you look at it, I guess. If you're a Raiders fan who wants to see Oakland win regardless of the circumstances, the Denver loss is crushing. The Raiders could have made it through the final three weeks with two matchups against teams that basically had little or nothing to play for, with the Chiefs on Sunday and the Broncos in Week 17. Now, both those teams have every reason to be highly motivated and give their best effort against the Raiders.

    At the same time, that could very well be a long-term victory for the Raiders, who have nothing to play for in 2013 and are likely best served by losing as much as they can to ensure the best draft pick possible. Given that they also have to travel to San Diego to play the Chargers, there's a good chance the Raiders lose out and finish 4-12. That should be enough to push them into the top six of the 2014 draft, which would give them an opportunity to draft one of the sub–Teddy Bridgewater options as their quarterback of the future.

    Winner: Peyton Manning. Yes, somehow, this loss actually benefits Manning. By ensuring that the Broncos-Raiders game in Week 17 is a meaningful one, Manning actually has a better shot of breaking the single-season touchdown passes record currently held by Tom Brady. After throwing for two scores on Thursday night, Manning now has 47 on the season, leaving him three behind Brady with two games to go. All he'll need to do to claim the record is throw at least two touchdown passes in each of those two remaining games, something he's done in 13 of his 14 starts this year.

    Losers: People who wanted to stop talking about Manning struggling in cold weather for a while. Sigh. To be fair, Manning's numbers — 27-for-41, 289 yards, two touchdowns, one pick, a 92.4 passer rating — look better than his actual performance from Thursday. The Denver offense went missing for the second and third quarters, when its four possessions went for a total of 13 yards while producing just one first down. It was the first time since the loss to the Colts that the Broncos were forced to punt on four consecutive (non-kneeldown) possessions. Of course, this loss doesn't fit the traditional "Manning freezes" ad-lib, since the game's temperature at kickoff was 37 degrees, while the Manning arguments almost always revolve around his record and performance in games where the temperature is below 32 degrees.2 Manning's numbers in the 20- to 40-degree range are just fine, thank you. And the Broncos just went out of their way to have Manning pad his numbers against Tennessee in a freezing game. This is what you get when you say naughty things and tell haters to shove it where the sun doesn't shine, Peyton. Eli would never do that.3

    Winners: San Diego Chargers. Oh, hey, you guys, right! The bigger impact from this game is more about Denver losing than San Diego winning, but the Chargers definitely deserve credit for putting together their best game of the season after mostly being written off as irrelevant. The Chargers dominated this game on both sides of the line of scrimmage, with Ryan Mathews running for 127 yards on 29 carries, extending drive after drive with first downs. Rivers completed just 12 passes all day, but those 12 completions produced 10 first downs and two touchdowns.

    The Chargers toe the line between underrated and flat-out weird. On one hand, they've been close in just about every single game this year; as NFL Network's Gregg Rosenthal noted on Twitter, San Diego's only loss by more than one score this year came at the hands of Oakland in the After Midnight Bowl. They've beaten four sure playoff teams: Indianapolis, Denver, Kansas City, and whoever wins the NFC East race between Dallas and Philadelphia, since the Chargers beat them both. They've also lost to the Raiders, Texans, and Washington.4 The Chargers are probably the sixth-best team in the AFC, but that's split into half a season where they look like the third-best team in the conference and another half-season where they're the 10th-best team in the AFC, and there's no telling which version is going to show up from week to week.

    The win obviously keeps San Diego's postseason hopes alive, but at 7-7, they're still not in great shape to compete. The Chargers lost to the Dolphins in Week 11, which leaves them well behind a key rival for the wild-card spot. Even if the Dolphins lose to the Patriots this week, they would be tied with San Diego at 7-7 and hold the tiebreaker. San Diego would also likely lose a tiebreaker with Baltimore, either through Baltimore's superior conference record or better record in common matchups.

    If the Chargers go 9-7, they need the Dolphins and Ravens — each currently 7-6 — to finish either 0-3 or 1-2 to end up with eight wins or fewer. The only other team that could catch a 9-7 Chargers squad would be the Jets, but San Diego would have the tiebreaker thanks to a superior record in the AFC. If the Chargers finish 8-8, they would have to hope the Dolphins and Ravens both go winless while fending off competition from the Jets, Titans, and Steelers. Altogether, even after this win, the odds aren't great.

    With that being said, the Chargers are showing a lot of promise for 2014. That young defense should be better next year, especially with a healthy season from Melvin Ingram — or any of their pass-rushers, for that matter — on the horizon. It also looks like rookie general manager Tom Telesco nailed his first draft, led by …

    Winner: Keenan Allen. Winner as in "Offensive Rookie of the Year" winner. San Diego's third-round pick was already playing better than any rookie on the offensive side of the football, but I fretted that he wouldn't win the award because he played in the relative obscurity of San Diego and would get caught behind Eddie Lacy. Well, Lacy got hurt on a meaningless halftime draw last week in a play that should hamper him (or keep him out entirely) against the Cowboys this week, and Allen delivered a two-touchdown game in prime time against one of the best teams in football. Those were his only two catches of the game, but Allen is hardly lacking for numbers. After Malcom Floyd went out with a neck injury, Allen took over as a starter and has become Rivers's favorite target. In 11 games since, Allen has produced 60 catches for 901 yards and seven touchdowns; over a full season, that would translate to an 87-1,311-10 campaign, which is just below what Dez Bryant5 did during his breakout year last season. Not bad for the eighth wide receiver to come off the board in last year's draft.

    Loser: Eddie Lacy. Don't run halftime draws.

    Winner: Bill Belichick. And speaking of awards, New England's sudden ascension to the top spot in the AFC might be enough to earn Belichick some serious consideration as a Coach of the Year candidate. I still think Andy Reid will win, but given the injuries New England has had this season, it's hard to argue that Belichick hasn't done fine work. That would have gotten lost in the shuffle had New England merely emerged from the AFC as the winner of a subpar division, but if the Patriots hit 13-3 and come away with the top seed, Belichick might actually accrue some votes.

    Loser: Mike McCoy. Well, sorta. McCoy deserves credit for the broader work he has done in building an excellent offense and revitalizing his veteran quarterback while piecing together a patchwork offensive line. As a rookie head coach, though, McCoy has shown some serious logic flaws in his in-game decision-making, a problem that reared its head again Thursday.

    If you remember San Diego's win over Indianapolis earlier in the season, McCoy passed up what would have been a game-sealing fourth-and-inches late in the contest to attempt a 50-yard field goal that would have made it a 10-point game, giving Andrew Luck great field position with a possible miss. It was clearly the wrong move, but kicker Nick Novak bailed out McCoy by hitting the field goal.

    On Thursday, McCoy faced a roughly similar situation. His team faced a fourth-and-3 on the Denver 37-yard line with 5:50 to go and a seven-point lead. Going for it wasn't quite as palatable, given the longer distance needed for the conversion and the fact that it wouldn't have ended the game, but his team had been gashing Denver on the ground and had plenty of ways to pick up the three yards. McCoy also could have chosen to kick a field goal again, but he strangely passed. Novak's kick would have been from 54 yards, but it was also in Denver, where the thin air makes longer field goals a much easier proposition. Instead, bizarrely, McCoy punted the ball away to a Hall of Fame quarterback in a one-score game. The Advanced NFL Stats model suggests that punting was the worst option of the three, and that's without knowing the game was in Denver and that the Chargers were punting to Manning.

    The punt did work, I guess. It ended up pinning Denver on its own 3-yard line, but pass to Montee Ball to the Denver 14 and then Manning threw an interception that basically sealed the game. In any case, regardless of the outcome, McCoy's logic led him to choose the worst option of the three available to him. That he won the game is only going to offer negative reinforcement for the next time he has to make such a call.

    Winner: Philip Rivers.

    And, finally, give it up for the weirdest quarterback in football:
    [​IMG]
    Will Brinson
    PS Philip Rivers #BOLO tie is an Arrowhead and he's just trolling Chiefs fans probably:

    9:59 PM - 12 Dec 2013
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  9. boltssbbound
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    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    If we win out, I think our fate lies with the Jets/Bills. I expect the Pats to take care of business with the 1 seed on the line. Baltimore has a brutal schedule and they were lucky to beat the Vikes last week. Miami has an easier schedule but three late season division games to contend with.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013
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  10. HollywoodLeo
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    HollywoodLeo Trevor Phillips Enterprises

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    The Jets/Bills part is the worst of the scenario, and I'll all but bury my hopes if Miami pulls off the upset on Sunday, lol.

    But Miami has been every bit as inconsistent as us this season so it's not like hoping for the Jets or Bills to beat New England or Denver or something.

    Baltimore plays Cincinnati week 17. I like the odds of them losing to two of Detroit, New England, Cincinnati better than the Miami odds of losing 2, but either way it's not beyond the realm of reasonable expectations either.

    And, of course, the Chargers need to not **** the bed against Oakland and KC on top of that.
  11. Bolts4lyfe
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    Bolts4lyfe BoltTalker

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    UTKevinAcee ‏@UTKevinAcee 22m
    If they finish in 9-7 tie w/ MIA, Chargers need the NYJ to win their final 3 & be 9-7 also. Basically, SD fans are Patriots & Jets fans now.
  12. HollywoodLeo
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    HollywoodLeo Trevor Phillips Enterprises

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    That's one way it can happen.

    But I like the odds of Bal losing to two of NE, @Det, @Cin and Mia losing to two of NE, @Buf, and NYJ over the Jets winning out, which includes Carolina this Sunday.

    Also, Baltimore can't also finish 9-7 in that scenario or they take it instead of us.
  13. Lance19
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    Lance19 BoltTalker

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    J! * E! * S! * T !

    Screen Shot 2013-12-13 at 12.37.42 PM.png
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  14. Joy Division
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    Joy Division Slightly-known Member

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    To quote a good friend of ours, "Just win baby!"
    The rest will take care of itself. We lose one and we're basically done.
    Our playoffs started last night.
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  15. Pointyearedog
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    Pointyearedog BoltTalker

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    I'm expecting to get a Christmas card from the Spanos family any day now, with a bill attached for 600 bucks for playoff tickets... It happens every year...
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  16. The LBC
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    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    • It would also be in our better interest to pull for the Colts against the Chiefs next week. KC finally got hit with the injury bug for once (started in the game against us, but it's continued to linger) and if they lose to Indy, they'll be locked into the 5-seed without ability to improve or drop from it - meaning they'd be far less likely to rush any guys coming back from injury onto the field against us Week 17 and instead ensure they're in shape for the playoffs (i.e. Justin Houston, Branden Albert, potentially McCluster). Sadly, the Colts suck against the run which is KC's forte, but Luck seems to be fond of pulling a Tebow of late and playing like crap for three quarters, then like a stud for the 4th... so anything's possible.
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  17. Cheapseats
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    Cheapseats Loud, proud Charger fan

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    They can't do that this time. A sixth seed cannot host a playoff game. They usually sent those letters around Thanksgiving..."We think we have a shot at the playoffs...send money". I would happily take road playoff games instead of talking about the 2014 draft any day.
  18. SDRaiderH8er
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    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    so we do not control our own destiny. Right now we do not deserve to be there!
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  19. HollywoodLeo
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    HollywoodLeo Trevor Phillips Enterprises

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    Save me the lame cliches. So long as the Chargers finish with a better record than 10 other AFC non-division winners and own the tie breaker against any they finished tied with they deserve to be there.
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  20. Lance19
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    Agreed.
    We just gotta take it one game at a time….make some plays…
    hey, on any given Sunday, am I right?!?
    At the end of the day, it is what it is.
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  21. Dominion Bolt
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    Both views on this post are valid; if we win just half of the "headscratcher" losses (Raiders, Skins, Titans, Dolphins), this team is in - so we don't "deserve" to be there. But to Leo's point, come Day 1 of the playoffs, it doesn't matter how you got there - you belong.

    No matter how it these season turns out, I think there's lots to be optimistic about - this season's Bolts are more of a team then they have been in years. Phillip has shown everyone that he still has plenty in the tank and the last draft has put three solid rookies on the field each week (nice change). The Bolts are a couple of impact defensive players (and a lineman or two) from being right back in the mix.

    Besides, even if the Donks win the AFC - Seattle will kick Peyton's a**, and I can live with that.
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  22. HEXEDBOLT
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    HEXEDBOLT Well-Known Member

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    As mentioned before, If this defense has busted through the brick wall it was up against and they win out, they will have earned the right. It's been a tough year on this club, beat good teams, lose to bad ones? mistakes of the kind never seen before and all other sorts of headscratchers. All the Bolts can do is win out and hope and as a fan I wasn't thinking of playoffs on opening day.
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  23. Lancer 1
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    Lancer 1 BoltTalker

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    I doubt if we'll get in this year, but we'd be a real dangersous team if we did - we're as healthy as we've been all year, and we seem to be peaking at the right time.
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  24. Pointyearedog
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    And we also have the "Philly Factor" to think about. So hope springs eternal... Or so they say.
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  25. Pointyearedog
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    I know they won't send the bill, but they always send the card. It makes it feel so christmasy and all...
  26. HollywoodLeo
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    HollywoodLeo Trevor Phillips Enterprises

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    Don't read me wrong, I completely get the disdain when thinking about how we should be in control of our own destiny if not for some stupid losses. I completely get that.

    But, I've always hated using stuff like that as an excuse to say we don't "deserve" to be there.

    Let me ask you this, if Miami and Baltimore both lose two more games and cost themselves the spot do they still deserve to be there? No, because they just lost it.

    If the season rolls to an end with the Chargers at 9-7 and out of the playoffs because the Ravens and Dolphins don't give us the help we now need by losing enough then and only then can you say we don't deserve to be in the playoffs thanks to our stupid losses earlier in the season.

    But until they are mathematically eliminated they deserve to fight for the playoff spot just as much as anybody else.
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  27. Burlington Bolt Brother
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    What this writer doesn't understand is that we are very patient with our coaches in SD and not quick to point out tiny little mistakes that mean nothing. McCoy has the rest of the year to be a first year coach and making tiny little mistakes shouldn't be held against him. This type of negativity is not appreciated here.
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  28. matilack
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    matilack #therealagent47

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    I agree, but personally I was not comfortable with the MartyBall approach to putting the game away. Too much trust in the defense that has already failed us more than once in similar situations this year.
  29. Lance19
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    Lance19 BoltTalker

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    I know, I know!! Whooooooo!!!
    I've been killing dogs all week!!!

    Wait. Uh, what did you mean,
    by "Philly Factor" ?
  30. Lance19
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    Lance19 BoltTalker

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    Hey, we're the town that gave freakin' Harland Svare three seasons!!! (Newbies, ask your parents).

    To be fair, though, we only gave Harvey Johnson two seasons, and Pol Pot was let go after just one and a half seasons.

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