Chargers Continue Winning Streak
With a face like Philip Rivers, how can you deny the Chargers their rightful place in the AFC Divisional round? With his Alabaman face and precision passing, Rivers has had arguably one of the best seasons of his career; throwing for 4,478 yards, 32 touchdowns , a career-high 378 completions and 69.5 completion percentage, and a career-low 12 turnovers. To say Rivers has been the comeback player of the year would be the biggest understatement of the year. Last season in 16 games Rivers was only able to throw for 225.37 yards per game along with 15 interceptions and 13 fumbles as he attained only a 88.6 passer rating (2nd-lowest of his career). What can be accredited to Rivers’ change in performance? Some may say the play of Keenan Allen or even Eddie Royal is the reason for Rivers’ influx in production, however I believe the combination of San Diego’s running game and new Head Coach Mike McCoy. This season San Diego ranks 13th in the league in rushing yards per game with 122.8 yards per game, including 1,255 yards from Ryan Mathews (7th in the league) and 1,034 total yards from ex-Patriot Danny Woodhead. Through the play of Mathews (especially as of late, Mathews has rushed for 473 yards and 3 touchdowns in the past 4 games, all three games with over 99 yards on the ground), Rivers and McCoy have been able to run the offense with relative ease knowing that they have a reliable running game there when the passing game isn’t performing up to expectations. Anyways, where this comes full circle is the abilities of the Chargers offense against the stout 5th-ranked defense of Cincinnati. When assessing whether or not the Chargers will do well this Sunday, we have to look at one thing and one thing alone; luck. According to some Chargers fans (and Indiana Jones), there is no such thing as luck, only skill. Maybe so, but to go 5-7 and then win all of your last 4 games against 3 division foes and make the playoffs takes not skill or playing ability but unbelievable luck. How else could you explain both the Dolphins and Ravens losing? How else can you explain Ryan Succop missing an easily makeable field goal? Luck and quite honestly I think Rivers and the Chargers must have landed on free parking or something because this year they have luck on their side. Not only did they survive a last second win against the Chiefs, but they also played the Eagles in the Eagles first home game which makes the Chargers almost automatic Super Bowl Champions (last 4 teams to play in the Eagles 1st home game of the season have gone on to win the Super Bowl). First though they will have to get by the Bengals and Andy Dalton. In this writers opinion, the Chargers should be able to do this no problem. If the Bolts can intercept Dalton and keep the running game to a minimum, the offense should have no trouble scoring points. Don’t look for a shootout, but expect at least some scoring in this one. Chargers win 27-20 over Cincy.