2/17/15 – by James Fedewa
The 2014 season is finally over and what a long and tortuous NFL season it was. The Chargers had their ups and their downs with some very good pinnacles. Overall it was a great season and it felt good to be a fan. Just missing the playoffs, with a “win you are in” scenario on the last game of the season was epic, but it just didn’t quite finish like Chargers fans wanted it too, but lets move on an look forward to the new (and next) offseason. Read the rest of this entry
…what an uncomfortable game, with undesirable outcome. San Diego looked pretty good against the Saints, but in the final quarter, the game officials had an alternative agenda, favoring New Orleans. Multiple “home town” penalties seemed to outweigh reality, in favor of the win-less Saints. There were several questionable calls against the Chargers that made fans nauseous and grumble in disappointment (in remembrance of the old replacement refs). The calls (and non-calls) made me question a possible “fixed outcome” of the game.
Sure, the Melvin Ingram personal foul was valid (roughing the quarterback) and was the correct call, but how untimely was that penalty (taking away a Chargers interception). Ingram led with his helmet and hit Drew Brees right smack in the chin which is an instant penalty.
The Phillip Rivers interception was a horrible non-call. Rivers intended target Malcom Floyd was hit in the back before the ball arrived causing the ball to get tipped into the air, causing the turnover. It was a very close play (and possibly missed), but it was pass interference and should have been called pass interference, not an interception.
The Antonio Gates offensive pass interference call was a mystery and a phantom penalty. Gates was called for pushing the defenders hands off him, which is not a penalty. If anything, it should have been call illegal contact on the Saints, resulting in an automatic first down for San Diego.
The very next play was a ticky-tack holding penalty on center Nick Hardwick, eliminated a 25 yard Rivers to Floyd pass and catch. Then the next play was another flag on the Saints with illeagle hands to the face, automatic 1st down.
And with the finale turnover/strip: Chargers Left Tackle Jared Gaither (2nd game back, returning from a back injury and missed all of training camp) was not able to move well (due to stiffness, cramps, suggested groin pull) and Saints defensive end Martez Wilson knew something was wrong. Like a shark and with blood in the water, Martez Wilson blew by the stiff Gaither forcing a Rivers strip/fumble and Saints recovery, ending the game with 14 seconds on the clock, 3rd down on the Saints 33 yard line. In fact, fans watch knew Gaither was injured as television commentator Chris Collinsworth said before the play, to watch Gaither, something is wrong with him. “Gaither looks lame.”
Gaither should have been removed the play prior, since Gaither whiffed on another Wilson block (which hit Rivers after an incomplete pass). Gaither was clearly wounded, yet he could NOT go down with an injury as San Diego would have been charged their final timeout (with the NFL under two minute injury timeout rule). Either way, Rivers turned the ball over and ended the game, with an unused San Diego timeout. Phillip Rivers should have used that timeout to remove Gaither since he was injured. This is a team game, and if your team can’t block for it’s quarterback, then expect disaster.
Regardless of the outcome, timeouts, penalties, injuries & lack of substitutions, Drew Brees has a great game with 4 touchdown passes. Any team that gives up four big touchdown receptions deserves to lose. San Diego’s secondary was picked apart on Monday Night Football and Drew Brees looked very impressive (with a NFL record 48th straight game with a touchdown pass).
The 2012 NFL Season is near, and an opinionated, yet semi-educated, guess/prediction of what will happen this season needs to be noted, by me, for you to read. So I’ll make a few guesses and point out division winners (and losers) without TOO much invested in actual records, plus an estiamted playoff picture with MVP’s and seasoned indivdual award tacked in there too.
After this seasons Super Bowl, we can all look back and see how amazingly CORRECT I was, or how totally incorrect I can be. After all, this is only a guess, right?
MY DIVISION PICKS
1. New England
3. New York Jets
1. San Diego
2. Kansas City
3. New York Giants
1. Green Bay
2. New Orleans
4. Tampa Bay
2. San Francisco
3. St. Louis
Best regular season teams: San Diego & Green Bay, with a 12-4 record
Worst regular season team: Cleveland, with a 2-14 record
MVP: Phillip Rivers, San Diego
Defensive Player of the Year: Mario Williams, Buffalo
Offensive Player of the Year: Andy Dalton, Cincinnati
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Andrew Luck, Indianapolis
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Melvin Ingram, San Diego
Coach of the Year: Pete Carroll, Seattle
Most surprising team (positive): San Diego
Most surprising team (negative): Denver
First coach to be fired: Leslie Frazier, Minnesota
AFC wild card games: Houston over Cincinnati, Baltimore over Tennessee
Divisional round: San Diego over Houston, Baltimore over New England
AFC Championship Game: San Diego over Baltimore
NFC wild card games: Atlanta over Chicago, San Francisco over Philadelphia,
Divisional round: Seattle over Philadelphia, Green Bay over San Francisco
NFC Championship Game: Seattle over Green Bay
Super Bowl: San Diego over Seattle