The San Diego Padres won their season opener against San Fransisco 7-0. Let’s just put that in perspective for a moment. That puts the Padres on track to go 162-0 (undefeated the entire season, which no team has ever come remotely close to doing). It also puts them on track to outscore opponents 1,134-0. The Yankees last year went 97-65 last year, and outscored opponents 930-767 for the season.
Not a bad year for this guy (not that there really was any question he was going to win both)…
Tomlinson, voted Most Valuable Player on Thursday, broke Shaun Alexander’s league record for touchdowns by scoring 31 (28 rushing) and also threw for two scores. The brilliant running back not only surpassed the mark Seattle’s Alexander established last year in also winning the MVP-offensive player double, but Tomlinson surpassed Paul Hornung’s 46-year-old record for points by getting 186.
The Chargers sent more players this year to the Pro Bowl than any other team in NFL history (the previous record was 8 players). 5 of the players going to the Pro Bowl this year for the Chargers are going to be Pro Bowl starters as well. Another 5 Chargers are Pro Bowl alternates.
Just got back from the Charger game, and saw LaDainian Tomlinson set the single season touchdown record (and he still has 3 games left). San Diego came out on top 48-20… (they also clinched their division) LT ended up with three touchdowns and Antonio Gates had two as well.
Shawne Merriman had 2 sacks and 2 forced fumbles (he had 2 forced fumbles and 2 sacks last week as well). Which puts him in the NFL lead with 12.5 sacks for the season (even though he missed 4 games with a suspension). San Diego also has the #3 sack leader in the NFL (Shaun Phillips).
On a related note, Jacksonville crushed Indianapolis 44-17. This is cool because it puts San Diego in sole possession of the best record in the AFC and in the driver’s seat for a first-round bye and home field throughout the playoffs.
1. San Diego
More weapons than anyone, fewer weaknesses than anyone, and if that’s not enough, LDT just submitted one of the greatest two-month statistical stretches in NFL history. Put it this way: When the only reason people are doubting you is because your coach has a history of blowing big games, then you’re the unequivocal favorite.
Which brings me to my final point: Just look at everything that happened this decade so far. Roy Williams, Tom Izzo, Larry Brown, Tony LaRussa and Bill Cowher won championships. The Patriots won three Super Bowls. The Red Sox and White Sox won World Series in back-to-back years. Phil Mickelson won a couple of majors. The Pistons won a championship without a franchise player. Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson won Super Bowls. Steve Nash won back-to-back MVPs. The Diamondbacks and Marlins both beat the Yankees to win the World Series. Pete Carroll won back-to-back national titles.
Seriously, you’re telling me that San Diego can’t win a Super Bowl? Beware of the Chargers, I say. In an upside-down decade for sports, Marty Schottenheimer might prove to be a bigger asset than you think.
These are the three teams tied for the best record in the NFL (10-2). I went to the Bears/Viking game at Soldier Field in Chicago this morning, and uhm… it was COLD. Chicago in general is f’ing cold and I don’t know why anyone would willingly live here. 🙂 Did I mention it’s cold?
Anyway, the Chargers beat the Bills today in Buffalo (LT scored 2 more touchdowns). Merriman was back after his 4 game steroid suspension and had 2 sacks and 2 forced fumbles.
The Colts lost today too, which is really nice because now the Chargers are tied for the best record in the league (not sure who holds the tiebreaker between the Colts and Chargers for home field advantage in the payoffs).
Back to the Bears game… the Bears defense is scary good, their quarterback threw 3 interceptions and had a passer rating of 1.3 (no joke), and they still won thanks to their defense.
The Cincinnati Bengals almost shutout the Baltimore Ravens tonight (Ravens scored with 1 minute left), and normally I wouldn’t care all that much, but before this game, the Chargers and Ravens were tied for the 2nd best record in the conference (behind Indianapolis). In the case of a tie between the Chargers and Ravens, the Ravens hold the tiebreaker because Steve McNair and company beat the Chargers earlier in the season.
Anyway… long story short is if the playoffs started yesterday the Ravens would have had a first round bye. But now, if the playoffs started today, the Chargers would get that first round bye.
I went to the game today, and dude… the Chargers looked like dog do-do as far as how they played. Lucky for the Chargers, they only need 1 player to play well (LaDainian Tomlinson). The Chargers scored 3 touchdowns (2 in the 4th quarter), with Tomlinson rushing for 2 and passing for one. I guess if you are going to have an off day, the Raiders is the team you want to do it with.
Kansas City beat Denver today, which is really good for the Chargers. If the Chargers can beat the worst team in football on Sunday (the Raiders) at home, they will be 2 games ahead of Denver and KC in their division. Now someone else needs to beat Baltimore and/or Indianapolis so the Chargers can get a first-round bye in the playoffs.
The San Diego Chargers won by far their most important game of the 2006 (regular) season… And guess what? Their defense has been “crippled” the last 3 weeks and they are about to get back their 3 best defensive players… Shawne Merriman, Shaun Phillips and Luis Castillo. Their offense has been keeping them alive lately, but with their defense back soon, they should really start to dominate.
Since the Chargers are pretty much bad ass this year, I’ll continue posting stuff I run across…
Seems all the experts are pretty smart… except for that Joe Theismann guy. He must be drinking again…
5. Who’s the favorite now in the AFC?
Allen: The San Diego Chargers are the best team in the AFC. They would be undefeated if it weren’t for some poor coaching decisions in their loss to the Ravens. There aren’t many weaknesses on this team. The one weakness teams thought they could exploit at the beginning of the season was quarterback Philip Rivers, but he has turned into a strength. This team is playing excellent, aggressive football and can play any style. If a team wants to try to get into an offensive shootout, the Chargers can oblige, and if an opposing team wants to play a smashmouth game with a lot of running, the Chargers can do that, too. But what separates them from the other teams in the AFC is their defense led by “Lights Out” Shawne Merriman. This defense has played great this season and is one of the best in the league.
Hoge: I’ve been saying it for weeks and my answer is the same — the San Diego Chargers. With their abilities they are as good as any team in football. They have the best young quarterback (Rivers), best tight end (Antonio Gates) and best running back (LaDainian Tomlinson). Rivers is making throws that no quarterback would even think of making. I’d put them as the best team in football even ahead of the Bears.
Salisbury: The Chargers are the best team in the AFC right now, and I’ll tell you why. They are being led by a young quarterback (Rivers) who is not playing as though he’s getting his first starts this season but instead is playing as though he’s a 10-year veteran. When he drops back to throw the ball, he drops with confidence, and he’s backing it up with the correct throws and check downs. There were some who thought it was a mistake for the Chargers to jettison Drew Brees in the offseason in favor of an unproven commodity, but Rivers has proved the Chargers correct. He’s utilizing every piece of talent on the field and looks great. He’s the reason the Chargers are the No. 1 team in the AFC.
Schlereth: It’s hard to argue with the San Diego Chargers. They are stout defensively and while they haven’t played great teams, they’ve handled their business. There is no other team in the AFC that can handle them. They are better offensively than the Broncos and I’m not thoroughly impressed with the Colts.
Theismann: The Indianapolis Colts are still the favorite in the AFC. They are undefeated and are winning games in different ways. Gone is the team that was soft and could win only in blowouts and in domes, and it has been replaced by a team that can win a smashmouth game late. The credit for that goes to Peyton Manning and offensive coordinator Tom Moore, who have responded extremely well to the departure of former running back Edgerrin James. Instead of trying to do the exact same thing they did in the past, Moore and Manning have changed up their game plans and made the team more deliberate, and we’re seeing the results in the record.
I went to Vegas this weekend for UFC 64 at Mandalay Bay. I’ve never been to a UFC fight before, but man they are bloody. This is a picture of the second to last match tonight. Uhm, can I have some blood please? Thanks.
(The guy being picked up actually started with white shorts… no joke)
To make up for the Padres’ loss today, the Chargers beat the Steelers today. The first half looked terrible for the Chargers, but after they let Philip Rivers do his thing in the 2nd half, they actually looked pretty good). The Chargers won this one with their defense and passing game and not their running game.
Well at least the Padres won *one* game this year (the Cardinals swept the Padres last year in the playoffs). Maybe next year we can win two games, and then the year after we could win three games finally. 🙂