Time To Get Worked up About the Chargers
Ever since the reality set in—that Peyton Manning would do no more meat-cutting this year—Patriots fans have been, let’s face it, giddy about the prospects of playing the Chargers in the AFC Championship Game. Gerry Callahan channeled that sentiment within his usual restrained prose to produce a column titled, “Why bother showing up?”
Why, indeed? The Chargers have three significant injuries: LaDanian Tomlinson, Philip Rivers, and Antonio Gates. In other words, their offense is a little banged up. Plus, no one has ever mistaken Chargers coach Norv Turner for Bobby Ross, let alone Vince Lombardi.
It will be hard for the Pats to play the respect card this week since everyone is rushing to do a Denny Green (Crown them!), but thankfully the Chargers just can’t seem to help themselves. Let us introduce Igor Olshansky.
“The way that we’re playing now, nothing can stop us,” said Chargers defensive end Igor Olshansky. “The way that we overcome adversity and everything else, I guarantee you that Belichick and everybody else over there are scratching their heads saying, ‘Man, we better get ready.'”
Then there is the old stuff. Rivers, who seems to be the personification of every obnoxious, backward-baseball-hat-wearing jock, called Ellis Hobbs, “the sorriest corner in the league.” Tomlinson expressed his opinion that Belichick “has no class.” And so on.
As much fun as the Chargers are—and we plan on keeping you up to date with whatever wacky stuff they say next—if San Diego is able to pull it off, it would be the biggest NFL playoff upset since the Jets beat the Colts in Super Bowl III.
The early line has the Pats favored by as much as two touchdowns, but with so much uncertainty over the playing status of Rivers and Tomlinson, you can expect that number to fluctuate. There are a few factors in the Chargers favor: oddly enough the weather (temps are expected to be in the teens), and their speed on special teams and defense.
But there is plenty of time for all of that. For now, we’re just happy that the Chargers dramatic upset over the Colts didn’t infuse them with a new sense of humility.