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No playoffs for Chargers, no Rivers vs. Denver

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Dec 26, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=nfl&id=2271758" target="_blank">Associated Press</a>

    <img src="http://bolttalk.com/images/rivers04.jpg" alt="Philip Rivers" />

    SAN DIEGO -- Even with six Pro Bowlers on their roster, life has returned to normal for the San Diego Chargers.

    They'll miss the playoffs for the ninth time in 10 seasons and are reduced to playing their final game for pride only. Granted they'll be going after their 10th win when they host AFC West champion Denver on Saturday, but the game will otherwise be meaningless because the Broncos have clinched a first-round bye.

    And no, Philip Rivers won't play, unless Drew Brees gets hurt.

    "We will play everybody that is healthy enough to play. Our starters will start, our starters will play, because we have one objective, and that is to get to 10-6," coach Marty Schottenheimer said Monday in his first public comments since the Chargers looked listless in a 20-7 loss at Kansas City on Saturday that ended their playoff chances.

    "There's a difference between preseason and regular season, in my view. Ours is about winning football games ... and 10-6 just sounds a lot better to me than 9-7."

    Which is why Schottenheimer won't replace Brees with Rivers, who's played sparingly -- but collected more than $14 million -- in his two years in San Diego.

    The Chargers will wait until the postseason to decide what to do with their quarterback surplus. Brees, who's led the Chargers to 21 wins in two seasons, is finishing an $8 million, one-year contract as the team's "franchise" player. Rivers has four years left on his deal, which he signed too late in training camp in 2004 to compete with Brees for the starting job.

    "We're playing a division opponent, a team we split with a year ago," Schottenheimer said. "I understand those that might say, 'Well, you know, play Philip,' and all, but that's not the way the National Football League, in my view, is set up. Our goal is to get our 10th victory."

    The Chargers' gross inconsistency ended their attempt to make the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time in a decade.

    They lost at home to Gus Frerotte and the Miami Dolphins, then went on the road and ruined a perfect season for Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. With a chance to continue their playoff push, they fell flat at Kansas City.

    "I don't know that we've played as poorly in a game as we did the game the other day, in the last couple of years," Schottenheimer said.

    Asked if the Chargers were too good of a team not to make the postseason, Schottenheimer said: "No, I don't think you can say that. With the end of the season when we look at it, we're going to look back at opportunities that we didn't capitalize on."

    LaDainian Tomlinson has been held without a touchdown and under 100 yards the last four games.

    "We're not giving him enough room, frankly," Schottenheimer said. "We haven't run the ball as efficiently as Marty Schottenheimer would like to run the ball."

    Schottenheimer still thinks the Chargers are better than a year ago, when they were 12-4 and won the AFC West, but that's based mostly on their defense.

    Brees' touchdowns are down and he's more than doubled his interceptions, helping the Chargers drop to a minus-6 takeaway-giveaway differential.

    There's been plenty of talk about the Chargers' tough schedule. But while being beasts back East -- they went 4-1 in the Eastern time zone, including wins at Indy and New England -- they're only 4-3 at home.

    San Diego had a 14-3 lead at Denver on Sept. 18 before losing 20-17.

    "I said, and maybe it was a self-fulfilling prophecy, but I made the statement before our season began, that I believed and was confident we were a better team, but we might not have as good a record," Schottenheimer said. "Maybe I shouldn't have said that."

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