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Peter King believes the Chargers are the second best team in the NFL.

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, May 17, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    [​IMG]



    After busy offseason, an early look at how the 32 teams stack up now



    PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla -- I'm playing the Stadium Course here at Sawgrass today, as part of the annual Tom Coughlin/Jay Fund tournament benefiting cancer-stricken kids and their families. Over/under on the number of balls I put in the drink at 17: 17.
    Great, classic Coughlin scene last night at the dinner and auction at the Sawgrass TPC Clubhouse, as the Giants' head coach welcomed everyone. There were moving tales of brave kids and their families battling cancer. Coughlin had just told the story of a child looking up at his parents when the cancer diagnosis came in, saying, "Am I going to die?''
    And from the back of the audience:
    "BRRRRRRRING!'' "BRRRRRRRING!''
    Someone's cell phone.
    Without breaking verbal stride, Coughlin said into the mike: "All right. That's at least a $5,000 fine right there. Just write the check right now.''
    Pretty good for Coughlin. Pretty good for anyone in the middle of something emotional.
    So before I go out this morning, let me embarrass myself by ranking the NFL one through 32. That's not being overly modest -- just realistic. I stink at this. In fact, my recommendation if you really want to find out what's going to happen in the NFL this year is to take a bye on this column. Last year, I really distinguished myself. Picked the Bears to make the Super Bowl. Picked the Saints 24th in the league, which was a point of some contention all season, right up to the moment 30 minutes after the Saints won the Super Bowl and Sean Payton walked up to his podium to meet the press after the game, saw me, and said: "Not bad for number 24.''
    But I press on -- stupidly or intrepidly, not sure which, keeping one statistic in mind. Twelve teams make the playoffs each year. In the past five years, check out the turnover from the previous year. How many different teams made the playoffs compared to the year before:
    2005: 7.
    2006: 7.
    2007: 6.
    2008: 7.
    2009: 6.
    So for five straight years there's been at least a 50-percent turnover in the playoff teams. Remember that as you throw crap at your computer when you see I don't have New England making the playoffs, but I do have Carolina in the big dance. There's not quite the same high number of playoff changes (I have five of 12 different from 2009), but I do have five of eight division winners changing.

    1. Green Bay. It's not just the maturation of Aaron Rodgers. It's the carryover from a fluky end to 2009 (the weird playoff loss at Arizona) and the fact that only one team in football -- New Orleans -- had a better point differential than the Pack's plus-164 last year. I like Jermichael Finley to become a great player in his second starting season. I don't trust the pass-rush (where Clay Matthews is the only real thing), and I worry about two of the top three corners coming off ACL surgery, and aging. But the defensive front is formidable, and a very good match for the good run teams of the NFC North. I also like Weeks 2 through 5 on the schedule (Buffalo, at Chicago, Detroit, at Washington), which sets up for a strong start.

    2. San Diego. I didn't like how much the Chargers traded to get Ryan Mathews (the 28th and 40th picks in a strong draft) when they probably could have gotten him for less, but that doesn't mean I don't like what Mathews is going to do. I think he'll be the offensive rookie of the year. He has everything a good back needs -- opportunity (he should get 320 carries if healthy), playing from ahead a lot, and a good offensive line. And did I mention Philip Rivers will throw for 4,500 yards and contend strongly for MVP?
    As with Green Bay, I don't know where all the pass-rush will come from, but the Chargers are relying heavily on Larry English to break out of his freshman slump and give it to them -- and hope that, in a salary-drive year, Shawne Merriman can give the franchise one last productive year. It's more likely, I think, that Shaun Phillips has seven to 10 sacks and provides cover for English. I like the Chargers to go at least 5-1 in the division, which gives them an edge over the other three division winners, setting them up for home-field in the AFC playoffs.

    3. Baltimore. I think the Ravens have hit a few home runs this offseason, and those moves could carry them to the AFC Championship Game. I like the remake of their receiver corps. Anquan Boldin won't make it through 16 games healthy, but he'll give Joe Flacco a good, physical target for 12. Donte' Stallworth will be reborn as an effective third or fourth wideout, with the speed at the position the Ravens haven't had. On defense, I wish I saw something better at cornerback than waiting for Lardarius Webb to come back from knee surgery sometime this summer so that the starting corners opening day aren't Chris Carr and Domonique Foxworth. Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison obviously has to be hoping for it to be third- and-long so often (with a great run-stuffing front) that he doesn't have to worry about the more than occasional coverage error downfield.

    4. Indianapolis. I see no reason, either in the competitive level of the division or in the Colts' slippage, for Indy to regress. Manning will be Manning, and he has the young weapons to be good as long as his body will hold up now, even if one of his valuable pieces like Reggie Wayne breaks down. They've backstopped everywhere on the roster pretty effectively, and last year got two kid corners the kind of experience under fire that will serve them well going forward at a position Bill Polian uses interchangeably. Third-round pick Jerraud Powers played as effectively as any other rookie corner in football last year, and Indy's set with him and Kelvin Hayden, with Jacob Lacey in relief there. The Achilles heel, again, could be San Diego. The Chargers are a major matchup problem for Indianapolis, and even with some upheaval in San Diego, the AFC still could come down to Indy having to win at San Diego to make it to the Super Bowl.

    5. New Orleans. The Saints face a daunting task: Only four times in the last 20 seasons has a team repeated as Super Bowl champ (San Francisco in 1990, Dallas in 1994, Denver in 1999 and New England in 2005). The Saints will surely score enough to win again. The question is whether defensive coordinator Gregg Williams can tread water in 2010, because I think that's all he's going to have to do. New Orleans doesn't have to be in the top 10 in defense -- the Bills allowed 15 fewer points last year, the 49ers 60 -- but Williams, again, will have to find a way to get pressure with middling front-seven talent and make sure the Saints don't have to score in the 30s every week to win.
    I think Carolina will be better, and Atlanta might be, so this is not a mail-it-in division race for New Orleans. But when the Saints had to pick it up last year, they did, in a big way. Will complacency bite them? That's something you can never tell at this point of the offseason, but they're young at enough important positions to make another Super Bowl run.

    6. Miami. I probably like the young quarterback more than most do; I think Chad Henne is set for a breakout year, and I think the receiver group (Brandon Marshall, Brian Hartline, Davone Bess) will be good enough to give Miami enough at that position for the first time in years. Even though the Dolphins didn't get a fourth receiver like the one they wanted (Demaryius Thomas) on draft day, they'll be good enough there to contend.
    The most important rookie in the league to a playoff contender, other than Ryan Mathews of the Chargers, could well be Koa Misi, the second-rounder projected to rush the passer for Miami. But as Bill Parcells has said since he came out of the womb, "They don't sell insurance for that kind of thing.'' They don't, and Misi needs to have immediate impact to bolster the one area of the Dolphins that they need the most help -- pass-rush.

    7. New York Jets. Tough team to forecast, through all the glitz. The one thing I like a lot about the Jets is their ability to make tough decisions, even when the decisions seem ruthless. GM Mike Tannenbaum said goodbye to two locker room pillars, running back Thomas Jones and guard Alan Faneca, when he knew there'd be player rumblings about it. Tannenbaum has put his trust in offensive line and running-game guru Bill Callahan to keep the best running game in football rolling. There's a lot about this team that's a tinderbox. Will Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards coexist peacefully? Can LaDainian Tomlinson be happy being a middle-relief pitcher? Will Antonio Cromartie tackle, even a little? Make no mistake about it: There's more pressure on Rex Ryan than on any other coach in football this year.




    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/peter_king/05/16/ranking/index.html?eref=writers
     
  2. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    8. Carolina. Dangerous team. Very deceiving 8-8 record last year. While everyone tiptoed around it because everyone in the Carolinas loves Jake Delhomme, something awful happened to him in the last year and a half, and he just couldn't play quarterback for this team anymore. Check out what Matt Moore did in his last three starts: three wins, 66-percent accuracy, seven touchdowns, zero picks, and the Panthers outscored three foes 90-26. (Asterisk on the third, New Orleans, because the Saints played the JV that day.) This will be John Fox's last year with the Panthers -- the owner, Jerry Richardson, doesn't want to be in the business of laying off employees and paying a former coach $6 million a year in this economy -- and I think he'll say full speed ahead, damn the torpedoes, forget next year, I'm doing everything I can to win right now. And he'll win enough to make the Wild Card.
    9. New York Giants. Pick a team out of the hat in this division. In the last six years, the NFC East champs, in order, have been Philadelphia, New York, Philadelphia, Dallas, New York and Dallas. The Giants have spent so much money and draft currency on the defensive line, and it simply has to be better or the natives rightfully will be able to wonder if Jerry Reese knows how to build a team, or did he just catch lightning in a bottle in his first year, the Super Bowl year. The offense will score enough, that I know. What it comes down to for the Giants is the defensive investment being smart enough, and I say it will.
    10. Dallas. No other team has a better twin pass-rush threat than DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer, and few teams have the multiplicity of weapons on offense. If Dez Bryant catches on quickly -- that's a big if -- the Cowboys could be the first home team to win a Super Bowl ever. But something always happens in the NFC East, something weird. The Eagles could rebound with the energy of a new quarterback to make the playoffs, but I feel pretty good about a second team making the playoffs out of the division. For five straight years, the East has produced at least one Wild Card.
    11. Seattle. I don't love the division, so it's logical to give Turnaround Team of the Year to Pete Carroll and the Seahawks. "I know one thing we will do,'' he said to me a month ago. "We will increase competition at every position on the roster.'' Charlie Whitehurst, Leon Washington, LenDale White (laugh if you must, but he'll be a factor because Carroll will know how to press his buttons) and a slew of other role players will see to that. I say Matt Hasselbeck has one more sound year in him, and he'll have weapons enough to edge the 49ers and Cards for the division.
    12. Pittsburgh. Surprise: They survive a month without Ben Roethlisberger to eke out the final spot over New England and Houston, assuming Roethlisberger's ban is only four weeks. -- I hope Dennis Dixon gets a shot the first four weeks, because he's good enough to win with. But they'll need defensive playmaking from LaMarr Woodley and Troy Polamalu to win at least twice while they make do at quarterback. This is the true test of a good coach, making sure your team wins when it's not at its best. Mike Tomlin didn't do a great job at that last year. But he's young, he's still learning, and I think he'll respond better this summer in camp and in September.
    ON THE PLAYOFF BUBBLE
    13. Minnesota. Whether old What's His Name comes back or not will determine Minnesota's fate. Brett Favre or no Brett Favre, the Vikings have an offensive line in decline.
    14. New England. I still don't know who will rush the passer, who the shutdown corner is, who the Mike Vrabel/Rodney Harrison defensive leader is, and if there's enough depth at wide receiver to survive until Wes Welker returns.
    15. Philadelphia. I was in favor of going to Kevin Kolb, but that doesn't mean there's a 12-win season waiting to happen. There's likely to be growing pain, maybe with a Mike Vick replacement game or two.
    16. Atlanta. The Falcons are healthier, and better. I just think there are two teams in the division better right now -- unless Matt Ryan has a Drew Brees-type year. I don't think he has one of those in him ... yet. Not many quarterbacks do.
    17. Houston. Will the Texans be in it after eight weeks, with the Brian Cushing debacle and the schedule (Indy, at Washington, Dallas, at Oakland, Giants, Kansas City, at Indy, San Diego)? That offense had better rev it up.
    18. Denver. Not very complicated. The Broncos have to be better than a 20.4-points-per-game team to give an OK defense a chance to hold up. To do that, one of the quarterbacks has to play well, which I think is possible under Josh McDaniels. Likely? That's another matter.
    19. San Francisco. The Niners allowed just 281 points last year, 39 fewer than San Diego, and they return their solid up-the-gut unit led by Patrick Willis and impenetrable tackles. That's fine. But Alex Smith is the quarterback and Donovan McNabb isn't, and that will likely be the difference between winning a division and finishing second.

     
  3. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    WAIT 'TIL NEXT YEAR
    20. Washington. The natives won't be thrilled with 8-8, but there's lots of deadwood, and deadwood attitude, to flush out of the organization for Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen. IfMcNabb is his usual self, the Redskins will be in 13 games in the fourth quarter.
    21. Jacksonville. Lots to find out this year -- whether David Garrard is the longterm quarterback, whether Jack Del Rio will be around longterm, and whether the franchise can sell enough tickets to survive in north Florida. We'll know an awful lot after the Jags see San Diego, Philly and Indy in Weeks 2-4.
    22. Arizona. Let's just say everything I hear about Matt Leinart is lukewarm. I don't get a confident feel that he'll be a good or long-range replacement for Kurt Warner, and without a strong passing game, the Cards can't score enough to help an OK defense with some holes. Now, if Joey Porter can turn back the clock six years ...
    23. Cincinnati. I love Carson Palmer. I worry about Carson Palmer. And I bet if you ask every Bengals fan out there, they'd say the exact same thing.
    24. Detroit. If the Lions were in the NFC West, they might win it this year. They're making significant progress -- assuming Ndamukong Suh is the genuine item and Kyle Vanden Bosch has something left.
    25. Chicago. The Mike Martz-Jay Cutler marriage could work, or it could explode. The defense will be solid, assuming Julius Peppers comes to play, but he can't solve everything on a unit that allowed 375 points last year.
    26. Kansas City. I think Matt Cassel was unfairly blamed last season for too much on an offense with few weapons, but he's good and will make strides this year. Having Dexter McCluster will help. Giving up 26.5 points a game again can't happen if the Chiefs want to be a threat of any kind, which is why Eric Berry has to be the genuine item from day one of training camp.
    27. Tennessee. Tough to see a Jeff Fisher team down for a second straight year, particularly coming off such a strong finish last year. But this is a team in transition, unsure where the pass-rush will come from and whether Vince Young can be the quarterback of the future.
    28. Oakland. Good for Tom Cable. He stays and gets a defensive quarterback (Rolando McClain) to pilot the other side of the ball. But while everyone is thrilled JaMarcus Russell is gone, and it's clearly addition by subtraction, those left in his wake -- Bruce Gradkowski, Jason Campbell -- aren't proven NFL winners. So here are the Raiders in five-win-ville again.
    29. Cleveland. Still can't believe the Browns could end up paying Jake Delhomme $7 million to play quarterback this year. For a team I rank so low, there's a lot about Cleveland I like, though the passing game is not one of those things.
    30. Tampa Bay. What I like about the Bucs: that the top five draft picks will get a chance to play right away, and a lot. What I don't like about the Bucs: that the top five draft picks will get a chance to play right away, and a lot.
    31. Buffalo. Drafting C.J. Spiller is the one thing a terrible offense did this offseason to get better. Unfortunately, he can't throw the football.
    32. St. Louis. The Rams are 6-42 in the past three years. They were 32nd in points scored last year, 31st in points allowed. The Lions scored 87 more points. But there's a quarterback now, and there's a solid defense captain now in James Laurinaitis. The cavalry's on the way, St. Louis. Give it another year or two, if you've got the stomach.


     
  4. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    damn you Peter King...
     
  5. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    We have heard this same type of thing the last 4-5 years. This team needs to prove they can live up to expectations
     
  6. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Blah blah blah
     
  7. Rule12b

    Rule12b Well-Known Member

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    He also picked Green Bay #1 which to me, seems nonsensical.
     
  8. LightEmUp

    LightEmUp Banned Banned

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    If 56 sulks this year and English is what he was last year we are in big trouble on D. I could see 56 doing that to get back at the org.
     
  9. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    56 cares too much about himself and his personal well being (meaning future contracts) to tank out of spite of the organization.

    If he sucks it's legit sucking.

    edit: Just re-read your post and realized you said "sulk" not "suck". I don't care if he sulks as long as he's getting to the quarterback and wrecking havoc like he used to.
     
  10. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Charger fan since 1979

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    no way, Merriman will be playing in his contract year, he'll do everything to get a big payday from someone else, and English should improve, do you always expect rookies to be all-pros or to never improve?
     
  11. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    If the line doesn't improve, and stop getting blown off the ball every play, the OLB's are never going to have any success.
     
  12. LightEmUp

    LightEmUp Banned Banned

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    The thing with 56 is that he has his priorities on other avenues of making money. Clothing line, energy drink, cameo appearances on T.V, music videos. The man was on a private jets sipping champagne just a few days ago. Now I'm not saying you cant partay but if this was my contract year and I had 1million and 1 doubters you can bet I would be displaying more public focus than twitter photos of me poppin bottles. Hes a celebrity now. AND hes living this lifestyle of the rich and famous on his old contract. He's not living off a 100 mill contract and needs that amount to support his lifestyle. He's already big pimpin.

    Sad truth about the NFL today is 56 could have an average season this year and still command a paycheck that will have him jet setting tomorrow. He knows football isnt forever, he just learned it too quick.

    Not sure where I said English would need to be an All Pro or that he wouldnt improve. I'm sure the Chargers prepare for the worst case scenario and not put all there hopes in a 2nd year LB who showed average promise and a loud mouth veteran LB who is on his way out of the organization and hated by most of the fanbase (95). If any one of those 3 guys has an off year you can bet our weak passrush will be even more limited. That scares me.

    Banking on a lot in terms of our passrush. Which is already dependent upon our patchwork DLine.
     
  13. LightEmUp

    LightEmUp Banned Banned

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    Yes, these guys beyond their (English - inexperience, Phillips - Bonehead play and mouth, Merriman - 1 year left with team) individual problems must first overcome the patchwork Dline that seamed to never get any push up the pocket last year.
     
  14. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    I'm not refuting any of this. In fact, I agree with you.

    But this personality trait of his is the exact reason why he wouldn't purposely tank to spite the team.

    Sure, he can still get a big payday with an average season. But he can get a much bigger payday with a season that convinces everybody that he can still play like he did, which would have the added benefit of convincing everyone it wasn't just the steroids.

    If Shawne is all about the money as you claim (and as I do not refute) he's not going to purposely sabotage his chances of getting a helluva lot more money just to spite the Chargers organization.
     
  15. LightEmUp

    LightEmUp Banned Banned

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    Why push it if you can just show up and get payed big? Why risk a career injury or even his life throwing his body around like he used to? He can cherry pick the teams he tries against and just go through the motions vs. physical/talented teams.

    If he knew he could make the money he wanted to and not risk his health/career he probably would just focus only on football but Shawne has learned to diversify and make money outside of football. He happens to like the lifestyle off these other avenues as well. He's young, rich and has swagger.

    Just in general the average person at their work would just try to earn a paycheck if they had 6 other ways to make money when they got home. You might even think the average person would quit their day job......most do. I would bet 56 would quit the NFL if he could make that money selling Lights Out gear and popping bottles at promos.

    Money will not force a diversified man to do anything but diversify more. He has to want to be a champion, a dominant athlete and put his health on the line every play. We havent seen that and the teeter is tottering so far to the light this athlete is forever blinded.
     
  16. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    Anybody who's all about money as the bottom line is not going to sabotage their chances at getting much more.

    I'm not saying he's a team player, I'm just saying he's not going to purposely sabotage his chances at getting another fat payday just out of pure spite.

    If you want to add keeping his health in line for future endeavors as added motivation then you have a different argument. But that was not your original claim. Your original claim was that he'd tank just to spite the Chargers organization.
     
  17. bigmike.x.09

    bigmike.x.09 Well-Known Member

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    I'm bigmike.x.09 and I approve of this argument. :tup:
     
  18. Pointyearedog

    Pointyearedog I only put idiots on ignore...

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    Getting back to the article, I wouldn't put much faith in a guy whose name sounds like a porn star...

    Pointy :icon_twisted:
     
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  19. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    Cro did. He was pissed at the Chargers for not giving him a new contract after his 2nd year, that he did completely tank it last year. I don't think Merriman is like Cro, I am just saying that some players will tank it to get out of town
     
  20. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    How do you know he purposely tanked? Have you talked to Cro?

    Besides, nobody accused Cro of being smart.
     
  21. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    Didn't you watch him? How much effort did he put into playing well? Not much from what I saw
     
  22. LightEmUp

    LightEmUp Banned Banned

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    How is acting how I described not sticking it to your employer? I dont get what your saying. You mean he has to have slumped shoulders and an obvious demeaner about him to be classified as sulking or sticking it to the organization? hmmmm. The world doesnt usually work so obvious.

    If he doesnt give 100% he is sticking it to the team. Not to mention the fanbase.

    Only thinking about 56 is how 56 sticks it to the Chargers... of course he isnt going to come out and admit he is doing it. :icon_huh: He just isnt going to give the team everything hes got.

    See Igor Olshansky for how this is done.
     
  23. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    Green Bay has too many holes and uncertains to be #1. I don't like their run game and their WR's are injury prone. Their O'line is also questionable at times.
     
  24. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

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    I wish they pick us dead last. I don't care for being pre-season favorites. Let all the attention go to the Saints, Colts or even the Jets. We'll just have to beat 'em all to get the Hardware! :bolt:
     
  25. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    That says nothing about his intent.
     

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