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Chargers' Philip Rivers will be feeling it

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Da Bolts, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. Da Bolts

    Da Bolts BoltTalker

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    Here's a good story in the LA Times today about Philip Rivers. Check it..I can't wait for Sunday..Go Chargers..

    Link: http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-rivers9-2009jan09,0,1357714.story


    Reporting from Pittsburgh -- Philip Rivers has a sore thumb.

    It's not on his throwing hand, and it's not on his left hand, either. It's a blemish on his otherwise spectacular season as quarterback of the San Diego Chargers, a sore thumb that jumps off the stat sheet. And it came courtesy of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    Offense is Steelers' defense mechanism

    Two interceptions. A fumble in the end zone resulting in a safety. A season-low passer rating of 44.4. A forgettable performance he's surely unable to forget.

    "I think anybody in this league is a proud person," Steelers defensive end Aaron Smith said. "If you don't have your best game, you can't wait to get out there and try to prove yourself against them. That's why most of us are here. So I would expect the best from him."

    And the Chargers will need Rivers' best Sunday in a divisional playoff game at cold and windy Heinz Field. Tight end Antonio Gates is banged up, and running back LaDainian Tomlinson is worse. Receiver Vincent Jackson is coming off a zero-catch game and the distraction of a drunk-driving arrest. And 5-foot-6, 181-pound running back Darren Sproles will be facing a top-ranked Pittsburgh defense that hasn't yielded a 100-yard rusher all season.

    "I think there is no question that it is the best defense we've played all year," Rivers said. "Since Saturday, obviously, a lot of us having been preparing for them. . . . When you throw that defense up there and look at those categories and see a '1' by almost every one of them, first in the league, obviously you already know what challenge you're against."

    A lot of the pressure falls on Rivers, who finished the regular season with a league-high passer rating of 105.5 and broke Dan Fouts' team record with 34 touchdown passes.

    Rivers has answered the challenge before.

    He guided the Chargers to the AFC championship game last season, in which San Diego, with Tomlinson and Gates hobbled, gave the then-undefeated New England Patriots a scare before the home team pulled away in the fourth quarter.

    Later, the mind-numbing revelation: Rivers gritted through that bitter-cold game in Foxborough with, in essence, no anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

    "I remember watching him in that game," said Byron Leftwich, Pittsburgh's backup quarterback, who has a reputation for playing through pain. "As a quarterback, you watch other quarterbacks do certain things and you respect it. When I found out he was playing with a torn ACL, I respected that. And I think I'll always have a certain respect for him because of what he went out there and did."

    But in this what-have-you-done-for-me-lately league, last season feels like a lifetime ago. So, for that matter, does the Chargers' painfully slow start to the season.

    They made history by becoming the first team to start 4-8 and make the playoffs, and now they're riding a five-game hot streak.

    "As we got on this streak, come-from-behind win in Kansas City, go to Tampa and win, obviously beat Denver in the division at home and coming off the Indy win just this last week, we certainly are playing a lot better and have a lot of confidence," Rivers said.

    "Obviously going to Pittsburgh where we know it's going to be tough, but playoff football, you can't really ask for anything else and we are excited about the challenge."

    But prove himself?

    Rivers says that's not his motivation, and at least one player from the other sideline believes him.

    "I think if you're in the playoffs, the proving-yourself part is done," Leftwich said. "Because the playoffs . . . every one of those quarterbacks is a good quarterback. Just look at these teams. Everybody's proven."

    Still, whether Pittsburgh defenders truly believe it, or it's merely gamesmanship leading up to kickoff, some Steelers say Rivers has to be itching for redemption.

    "I think it's going to be in the back of his mind," linebacker James Farrior said. "I think it's definitely going to play a role in this game, how calm and cool he can be under pressure.

    "He knows it's coming. Everybody knows it's coming. It's just a matter of how he deals with it, and hopefully we'll make him deal with it the same way he did the last time."

    And if Rivers deals with it well, as the Chargers expect him to, the quarterback can do something that the Steelers and their fans know well.

    Win one for the thumb.
     
  2. cranberry

    cranberry BoltTalker

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    Oh my feeling is: I wish Philip Rivers so much well. have a good game. be poised and make the deal in cols and windy Pittsburgh.
     
  3. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    AHHHHH!!! Is it Sunday yet?!?!?!?!?!

    I cannot wait for this game - I'm going crazy ><
     
  4. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    I don't think this game is going to be a pretty one for either team. But I believe Rivers will make the plays when it counts. Against this defense, we are really going to need Rivers to have a stellar game. I expect him to come through like he did against the Colts last year, when he went into Indy and tore up the #1 rated Colts defense.
     
  5. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    The last one wasn't pretty either. I've re-watched it on NFLN 2x in the past 24 hrs. I doubt that the field will be any worse than last time. Sloppy. PR must protect the ball - no re zone INT's or fumbles for safeties. Kaeding has to make his chances count. The D has to stay focused & force 3 and outs and/or turnovers.

    We play 60 mins. like we did against the Colts & we win, ugly and all. :tup:
     
  6. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    Come Sunday we'll see, my money goes on Rivers.:bolt: :tup: :icon_toast:
     
  7. reef shark

    reef shark BoltTalker

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    that polamalu "pick" in november was bullshit. the nose of the ball definitely touched the ground
     
  8. foober

    foober BoltTalker

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    Go chargers beat the crrap out of the stealers.:yes:
     
  9. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    I dunno. Watched it several times now. The ruling on the field may have been wrong, but the replay didn't appear to have enough info to overturn regardless of which way it had been ruled.

    Either way, that wasn't a momentum changer. PR's later pick in the red zone hurt us MUCH worse.
     
  10. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    We need Rivers to have a good game but a good game against Pitts might not be a statistically great one. He needs to make some key plays here and there to keep drives going and take advantage of the few miscues of the steelers
     
  11. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    That wasn't the first time and it won't be the last. Just keep on truckin to the Super Bowl. :bolt: :tup: :icon_toast:
     

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