If you have any of thoughts of a miraculous Chargers playoff berth, either via the wild card or an AFC West title, get them out of your head immediately.
It’s not going to happen.
They have won a mere two games in a row against the woeful Jaguars and Bills, who have now lost five games in a row by a combined score of 194-77. This stretch does not make me think at all that they can win out against a brutal last three games, which starts this week at home against the Ravens and concludes with two road games in Detroit and Oakland. Even if they somehow manage to run the table and finish 9-7 that probably only puts them into all sorts of tiebreakers with the Jets, Titans and Bengals for the second wild card. I’m actually being generous with that last statement because in order for the Jets to finish 9-7 they would have to lose two of their last three games against opponents with a combined record of 16-23.
The Chargers simply waited too long to get their crap together and now it is too late. To be more specific, Philip Rivers shouldn’t have waited until the Jaguars game two weeks ago to play the quarterback position the way he did from 2006-2010. Honestly, did he forget the 2011 season started in September not December. Why he was so terrible for the first 11 games of the Chargers season is one of the more baffling things I’ve seen in the NFL in recent years.
One of the funniest drives in NFL history occurred in the third quarter of the Jets/Chiefs game yesterday and many fans probably missed it because the Jets were up 28-3. Let me set the scene. After two Jet penalties moved them from their own 10 back to the three-yard line, Shonn Greene had a five-yard run to set up a 2nd and 12. Let the comedy begin.
- Mark Sanchez throws incomplete to Plaxico Burress but a roughing the passer penalty gives the Jets a first down at their own 23.
- Sanchez throws another incomplete pass but wait another penalty, this time for defensive holding.
- Todd Haley does not like this penalty so he decides to draw a one of his own for unsportsmanlike conduct due to excessive complaining to the refs.
- After two running plays netting seven yards put the ball at midfield Sanchez once again throws incomplete to Burress but never fear because there is another flag. Pass interference on Brandon Flowers for 16 yards.
- Sanchez follows up three incompletions that didn’t count with another incompletion at the four-yard line to Dustin Keller. This one didn’t count either because the Chiefs drew another pass interference penalty.
Since it is impossible to score on a penalty the Jets were nice enough to gain four yards on three plays to punch it in the end zone. After being pinned on their own three yard line the Jets “drove” the ball 97 yards with the help of five Chiefs penalties totaling 81 yards. I never thought I would see a team look inept offensively on a 97-yard touchdown drive but it happened yesterday. Thank you Kansas City for your stupidity and thank you referees for trying to be bigger than the game. It made a boring game briefly fascinating.
Who can beat the Packers at Lambeau in the NFC Playoffs? Only two teams have the playoff pedigree and quarterback/coach combo to pull off this improbable feat; the Saints and Giants. Both teams went toe to toe with the Packers this year with each having a chance to at least take the defending champs into OT. No one has been better than Aaron Rodgers this year but Eli Manning and Drew Brees only have Tom Brady as competition in the race for “Best Quarterback of 2011 if Aaron Rodgers didn’t exist”. It’s probably not going to happen, especially on the frozen tundra where Green Bay has won 11 games in a row, but if it does it will be one of these two teams that get the job done.
New Orleans chances of beating the Packers will increase dramatically if they can grab a first round bye and a home game in the divisional round. When you compare the Saints schedule to the 49ers’ it is clear the Saints have a great chance of being on the couch during wild card weekend. While the 49ers have to face Pittsburgh at home next weekend followed by a tricky road game in Seattle on Christmas Eve, the Saints don’t seem to have a loss left on their schedule. On the flip side, the 49ers would be bitterly disappointed if they lose the second seed they have possessed most of the season. To make matters worse if they draw a good offensive team like the Lions or Cowboys, who beat San Francisco in Week Two, in the first round it could be one and done for this season’s surprise team.