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NFL Decision '08: Vote L.T. or Rivers the man in S.D.?

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Chargers' success up to Rivers

    [​IMG]
    By Randy Hill
    Special to FOXSports.com

    Although he's a swell choice to be declared the top overall pick in most fantasy leagues, LaDainian Tomlinson should be registered as the second-most important player on his own team.

    Here's the all-important caveat: While L.T. is the superior player, any Super Bowl push from the San Diego Chargers will rise or fall on the right arm and left brain of quarterback Philip Rivers.
    Sure, let's offer a big "amen" to those of you who insist that a great deal of NFL success depends on a team's ability to run the ball. But it also should be noted that as the NFL continues to evolve, certain tactical and even statistical touchstones are subject to change.
    For example, the last two Super Bowl champions — the Giants and Colts — were able to military press the Lombardi Trophy in their first seasons after losing Tiki Barber and Edgerrin James, respectively. Maybe the Chargers should have dealt L.T. for a pass-catching threat.
    Anyway, even if the historically slow-starting Tomlinson breaks tradition by making a preseason cameo (he has 14 career carries in exhibition play) and rolls to a rushing title, such a performance would guarantee very little. According to league scrolls, a seasonal rushing champ has reached the Super Bowl just five times.
    OK, so while attempting to discredit L.T.'s value seems foolhardy, it's also time to remind you that the days of caretaker QBs winning Super Bowls still are rare. This puts considerable emphasis on the continued development of Rivers, whose gutsy playoff efforts followed a regular season that found him a pedestrian 18th in the league's quarterback ratings.
    In four of San Diego's five regular-season defeats, Rivers' passer rating was 74 or less, suggesting that when he's bad, the Chargers are bad.
    For the Chargers to maintain or even exceed recent victory levels, the maturation of Rivers is crucial ... which adds up to attaching a greater importance to him than to another big statistical surge from Tomlinson. While L.T.'s contributions can't be taken for granted, San Diego needs excellence from Rivers to make everything click.
    The challenge is there; he'll be facing a pass defense ranked in the NFL's top 10 for 2007 in 75 percent of this year's Chargers games. His decision-making and accuracy must flourish while throwing to a wide receiving corps whose top-ranked participant (Chris Chambers) is listed a measly 24th among his peers in Fox's fantasy football magazine.
    Shootout dates with the Colts and New England Patriots should — good or bad — define Rivers' importance in the Chargers' march to Tampa. VOTE! Is Rivers the key for S.D.?

    http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/8420596
     
  2. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    L.T. is the man in S.D.

    [​IMG]
    By Peter Schrager
    Special to FOXSports.com
    No doubt about it, Philip Rivers became a man last season.

    Overcoming a rocky 2-3 start, key injuries to several of San Diego's top offensive weapons, and an antagonistic media that reacted negatively to his histrionics and agitated frat boy act, Rivers led the Chargers to yet another AFC West title and their first AFC Championship Game in 13 years. In a season where LaDainian Tomlinson battled a knee injury down the stretch, you could make the argument that it was Rivers — not the 2006 National Football League MVP — who was the team's best player.
    2008's going to be on Tomlinson, though.

    With longtime backup Michael Turner now a rich man in Atlanta and longtime fullback Lorenzo Neal no longer blocking the way and opening up holes, L.T.'s going to have to do even more with even less. Perhaps rookie Jacob Hester or scat-back Darren Sproles can serve as quality understudies. Maybe fullback Andrew Pinnock does all Neal did and more.
    But what if they don't? Tomlinson's MCL is apparently fine, but there's no insurance policy behind him this year; no proven back that will break off an 8-yard or 80-yard run with the relative consistency that Turner did for so many years before.
    Of course, there's an intriguing subplot bubbling underneath all this, one in which the media won't report on from Chargers training camp this summer.
    L.T.'s got a bit to prove in '08. He'll never tell you so, but there's a bit of a chip on his shoulder this time around. For the first time in his Hall of Fame-bound career, the media turned on the great LaDainian Tomlinson in last year's playoffs. They questioned his health. They questioned his demeanor on the sidelines once taken out of the AFC Championship Game.

    Worst of all, they questioned his heart. Did he even want to be out there? There were whispers, but they came out like shouts from a mountain top: Underneath that Darth Vader-like visor, who exactly was LaDainian Tomlinson?
    As competitive a player in the NFL as you'll find, L.T. heard all the whispers. He heard the sports-radio chatter. He knows what was floating around out there.
    And he's going to light the NFL on fire in '08. You thought his 2006 was a career year? You ain't seen nothing yet.
    And with that cake San Diego schedule and the loaded defense? He may just carry San Diego to a February date in Tampa. VOTE! L.T. is the Super Charger

    http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/8420596
     
  3. Aggieman

    Aggieman I bleed blue and gold

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    It's a shame people exploit our democratic conviction for stuff like this. I wonder how many people will vote for this election and not even register for our REAL election.
    BTW: McCain/Palin '08!!!!
     
  4. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    This kind of OVERT, nonsequitur, political stuff belongs in other threads. Sports polls abound, as do polls on shrooms, restaurants, breweries and whether their beer tastes great or is less filling. That being said, regardless of politics, McCain reminds me too much of Wilford Brimley and I ain't seen any cocoons in the Excel Center.
     
  5. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    Rivers.
     
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  6. Carlsbad_Bolt_Fan

    Carlsbad_Bolt_Fan Well-Known Member

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    Take this to the political thread, please.
     
  7. bigcarson50

    bigcarson50 Well-Known Member

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    Back on topic,

    Rivers is the heart of this team

    LT is the soul of this team
     
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  8. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    :icon_eek:
     
  9. Aggieman

    Aggieman I bleed blue and gold

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    I had no idea there was a political forum, sorry. But I'm a poly sci major I like to let people know my affiliations and thoughts if I can. again, sorry it won't happen again.
     
  10. Charger Dave

    Charger Dave Dead account

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    :icon_eek::icon_eek: I feel so... exploited!

    (My name is Charger Dave and I approve this message)... :tup:
     
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