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Rivers' lack of 'playoff experience' not relevant

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Jan 11, 2007.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a target="_blank" href="http://superbowl.com/news/story/9920750">SuperBowl.com</a>

    <img width="319" height="216" alt="Philip Rivers is pumped after picking up a key first down." title="Philip Rivers is pumped after picking up a key first down." src="http://photos.signonsandiego.com/gallery1.5/albums/061008steelers/HLchgPitFB4Qtr262948x020.jpg" />

    By Phil Sims

    (Jan. 10, 2007) -- So let's see ... the four quarterbacks who are starting in the AFC playoff games this weekend include two guys who have started in the Super Bowl (Tom Brady and Steve McNair) and another who has led his team to four consecutive division titles (Peyton Manning).

    Then there's Philip Rivers, who will be making his first postseason appearance Jan. 14 when the Chargers play host to the Patriots.

    We always hear about this "playoff experience," and what a big factor it is. Well, maybe it is to some people, but not to me. I've been preparing my notes to call the New England-San Diego game on CBS this weekend, and I have written nothing about the importance of this being Rivers' first playoff game. It never crossed my mind.

    Let's take a look at Rivers. He's a third-year player in the NFL, he took every offensive snap for the Chargers this season and he was a four-year starter in college who played in several big games during that time. He might have some jitters when the game starts, but that will go away quickly. He's not going to be out there thinking, "Wow, this is a playoff game, this is different."

    I don't see experience being a factor the way it's talked about. If San Diego can block well and give Rivers time, then he'll have a solid game. And if Brady is pressured by San Diego's defense, then we'll hear all this stuff about the young guy doing better than the veteran. What will everyone say if that happens? "Rivers outdueled Brady."

    Of course, if the Patriots win the game and they put a lot of pressure on Rivers -- what will they say? "Rivers can't react to the playoff pressure." I don't know about the playoff pressure, but I do know about the pressure of getting hit and hurried by the Patriots defense. And that is a factor no matter how much playoff experience you have.

    Let's get physical

    As I look at the Patriots-Chargers game in very general terms, I see two teams that have a lot in common. They're both bullies -- big teams that like to put physical pressure on you and let you know they are there. Throughout the Patriots' success this decade, they have shown that they enjoy the battle; they don't get tired of the battle.

    San Diego has shown the same attitude in recent years. I would not think for a moment that they can't handle this kind of physical challenge. With guys like Luis Castillo, Jamal Williams, Shaun Phillips -- and, oh yeah, that Shawne Merriman guy -- do you think they're gonna get tired of the fight?

    It's like the commercial that's been running with the Rock'em Sock'emâ„¢ Robots, only it's going to be for an entire game.

    As much as we talk about the game changing, and the different style of today's athlete, it still really comes down to being really physical. Football is a tough sport, and it's a game of adversity -- something always goes wrong and you need to overcome.

    It boils down to being physical. To throw an old cliché in the mix, it's about laying it on the line. That's how the Patriots and Chargers have reached this point, and it will be on display Sunday.

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