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Chargers 23, Colts 17: Darren Sproles Reminds Us That Size Matter
by November 30, 1999 @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Jan 4th 2009 12:00AM by Will Brinson (author feed)
Filed under: Chargers, Colts, NFL Playoffs, NFL Coaching.

There’s going to be puh-lenty of analysis about Saturday night’s game between the Colts and Chargers. Most of it will center around two things: Darren Sproles and the eliminated league MVP, Peyton Manning. Sproles, of course, was beyond magnificent, piling up an absolutely insane 328 total yards (receiving + rushing + returning) as LaDanian Tomlinson was forced to the sidelines after the first quarter with a torn groin muscle (no one, by the by, should begrudge him this).

Philip Rivers was not all that spectacular, but neither was Manning; in fact, it was a game that really focused on some impressive defense and some odd choices re: coaches’ challenges. Tony Dungy really had no business trying to get Reggie Wayne’s catch back and, as a result, he couldn’t try and flip Chris Chambers’ probably-not-a-grab a few plays later.

Additionally, there was a whole bunch of bizarre business regarding a phantom “restored timeout” with 16 seconds left in regulation after Nate Kaeding finally didn’t shank an important postseason kick.

But back to Sproles — the kid was awesome from the start, and it was easily apparent at halftime that he deserves more credit for being an all-around back rather than just a kick returner. That type of flash continued throughout the second half — one shoddy fumble near the goal line with the Chargers trailing aside — and rolled right into overtime, when, following two crucial penalties by the Colts, Sproles ripped off a large touchdown run that quashed the Colts Super Bowl hopes and locked him in for some serious money later on.
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Norv Turner Just Wins, Baby
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Jan 4th 2009 12:15AM by Ryan Wilson (author feed)
Filed under: Chargers, Colts, AFC South, AFC West, NFL Fans, NFL Playoffs, NFL CoachingNorv Turner might not be the flashiest or the smartest or, hell, the best-looking coach in the league. But the guy knows how to finish games. At least since coming to San Diego, anyway.

Hired prior to the 2007 season to replace general manager A.J. Smith’s nemesis, Marty Schottenheimer (who was coming off a 14-2 ‘06 effort), Turner and the Chargers stumbled to a 1-3 record last year, and weren’t much better this time around.

And it’s not an exaggeration to suggest that FanHouse was pretty hard on Norval Eugene. Okay, really hard on him. Luckily, he doesn’t know now to operate an Al Gore Machine so he had no idea. (From a recent Q & A: “I know they’re there, but I haven’t had my kids teach me how to log on to them.” Classic.) But we know and, frankly, we feel very guilty about it. Hence this post.

Also, as Brinson pointed out previously, Norv’s 9-0 in December since coming to San Diego. And now he’s 3-1 in the postseason, too. The guy he replaced? Bupkis in five years with the Chargers, and his last playoff win came in 1993 with the Kansas City Chiefs.
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Chargers Thought Peyton Manning Was Reading Their Defensive Signals
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Jan 4th 2009 8:05AM by Michael David Smith (author feed)
Filed under: Chargers, Colts, NFL Media Watch
The biggest scandal of the 2007 NFL season was the discovery by the New York Jets that the New England Patriots were videotaping their defensive signals. In the end, the Patriots were docked a first-round draft pick, and coach Bill Belichick was fined $500,000.

But while every NFL player and coach now knows the league will deal harshly with the taping of signals, that doesn’t mean signal stealing has stopped. In fact, during last night’s Colts-Chargers playoff game, NBC announcer John Madden said the Chargers were convinced that Colts quarterback Peyton Manning had stolen their signals when the two teams played in November.

“Last time they used a lot of hand signals, and Ron Rivera, the defensive coordinator for the Chargers, thought that Peyton Manning had their signals,” Madden said. “So this time they’re trying to go without signals, or if they do, they’ve changed their signals. Now he’s talking directly to middle linebacker Stephen Cooper.”

As Mike Florio writes at Pro Football Talk, even if the Chargers were correct, Manning wouldn’t necessarily be breaking any NFL rules by reading their signals. The Patriots broke the rules by taping signals, but if Manning figured out the Chargers’ signals without the benefit of videotape, the NFL doesn’t consider that cheating.

And Madden doesn’t seem to think Manning is cheating either. Madden’s on-air partner, Al Michaels, referred to it as “paranoia-gate,” and Madden replied, “I think you’re partly right. You say, how much of that is true? Peyton Manning knows a lot of things, but knowing all your defenses and signals? I think part of it is Peyton Manning being smart, the other part is paranoia.”

Indianapolis Colts’ Peyton Manning Named NFL MVP by Associated Press Panel
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Jan 2nd 2009 11:37AM by Michael David Smith (author feed)
Filed under: Colts
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning has been selected the NFL’s 2008 Most Valuable Player by an Associated Press panel of sports writers.

Manning wins the award after a 2008 in which he played through knee pain and led his team from a rocky start to a 12-4 finish. On the season, he completed 66.8% of his passes, with 27 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. His 4,002 passing yards made it the ninth time in his career that he exceeded the 4,000-yard mark.

Of the 50 media voters, 32 selected Manning. Second place was a tie between Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington and Falcons running back Michael Turner, with four votes each. Via PFT, the other votes went to Steelers linebacker James Harrison (3), Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (3), Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (2), Titans running back Chris Johnson (1), and Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner (1).

Manning joins Brett Favre as the only player to win the AP MVP award three times. Manning shared the award with Steve McNair in 2003 and won it outright with 49 of 50 votes in 2004. Favre won the award outright in 1995 and 1996 and shared it with Barry Sanders in 1997.

Manning won’t have long to celebrate. The Colts are headed to San Diego for a wild card playoff game against the Chargers tomorrow night.

NFL Live Chat: Previewing Wild Card Weekend
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Jan 2nd 2009 12:30PM by Ryan Wilson (author feed)
Filed under: AZ Cardinals, Chargers, Colts, Falcons, NFL Fans, NFL Playoffs

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It’s playoff time, people. Four great games this weekend, starting with the Falcons-Cards and Colts-Chargers on Saturday, followed by Ravens-Dolphins and Eagles-Vikings Sunday afternoon. And the best part: the LIons can’t lose.

In any event, we’ll be chatting it up at 1PM EST. In the meantime, you can see FanHouse “experts” pick the winners here. (”Experts,” indeed. Feel free to point, gawk, mock … we deserve it.) Back in a bit.Continue Reading

NFL Playoff Picks: FanHouse’s ‘Experts’ Predict Wild Card Round Results
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Jan 2nd 2009 1:30PM by Tom Mantzouranis (author feed)
Filed under: AZ Cardinals, Chargers, Colts, Dolphins, Eagles, Falcons, Ravens, Vikings, NFL Playoffs

It’s an interesting week to begin shaking the Magic 8 Ball here, as these games each have interesting storylines but no clear-cut favorite. Not only are, shockingly, all of the road teams favorites in Vegas, but none of the spreads venture past three points.

That indecision amongst oddsmakers and bettors is reflected in our picks; very rarely is the same four-team combination picked, there’s a nice variety in the selections. It’s hard not to imagine a myriad of possibilities in all of these contests, and that’s the way the playoffs should be — competitive and intriguing.

See who we all picked, and add your own predictions, after the jump.Continue Reading

FanHouse Preview: Colts at Chargers
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Jan 2nd 2009 3:00PM by Matt Snyder (author feed)
Filed under: Chargers, Colts, AFC South, AFC West, NFL Playoffs.

Considering they reside in two different divisions, the Colts and Chargers are quite the familiar foes. Last season the Chargers won a regular season game against Indy when Adam Vinatieri shanked what should have been a gimme game-winner, and then the Chargers went into Indianapolis and shocked the Colts in the playoffs. This season, the Colts went into San Diego and knocked the Chargers to an extremely disappointing 4-7 — this time on the strength of a clutch Vinatieri kick. At the time, you would have been crazy to think the Colts would have to travel out there again this season.

Instead, the Chargers come into the playoffs winning four straight, and — by virtue of an embarrassing division — get the pleasure of hosting a team which holds a four game lead and head-to-head victory in the W column. I’m sure arguments can be made about whether or not this is “fair,” but life ain’t fair.

You can bet Peyton Manning and Tony Dungy aren’t bringing their Colts into San Diego feeling sorry for themselves. If anything, this will light a fire under their bellies.Continue Reading

NFL Playoff Fantasy Football Guide
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Jan 2nd 2009 3:45PM by Matt Snyder (author feed)
Filed under: AZ Cardinals, Chargers, Colts, Dolphins, Eagles, Falcons, Giants, Panthers, Ravens, Steelers, Titans, Vikings, AFC East, AFC North, AFC South, AFC West, NFC East, NFC North, NFC South, NFC West, Fantasy Football, NFL PlayoffsThere are several different fantasy playoffs models, so it’s difficult to accommodate everyone when doing any set of fantasy advice for the real playoffs. Most common models require you to do a bit of prognosticating as far as the actual game winners. To that, I say good luck. This isn’t like last year, where we all knew the Patriots were going to the Super Bowl. This season the playoffs are wide open, and no, I don’t think the Giants are a sure thing to make the big game. They are the surest bet, but it’s still a bet.

Anyway, we’re going to analyze some of the players.

First, here are the regular-season defensive rankings for the teams playing this postseason.

Pittsburgh Steelers (1, 2, 1, 1)
Baltimore Ravens (2, 3, 2, 3)
Philadelphia Eagles (3, 4, 3, 4)
New York Giants (5, 9, 8, 5)
Minnesota Vikings (6, 1, 18, 13)
Tennessee Titans (7, 6, 9, 2)
Indianapolis Colts (11, 24, 6, 7)
Miami Dolphins (15, 10, 25, 9)
Carolina Panthers (18, 20, 16, 12)
Arizona Cardinals (19, 16, 21, 28)
Atlanta Falcons (24, 25, 22, 11)
San Diego Chargers (25, 11, 31, 15)Continue Reading

Colts Have Learned to Live Without Sanders
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Jan 2nd 2009 9:28PM by JJ Cooper (author feed)
Filed under: Chargers, Colts, NFL PlayoffsFor years we’ve seen different Colts myths exploded.

First it was that Peyton Manning couldn’t win the big game, but now that he’s wearing a Super Bowl ring, it’s hard to say that.

Along the way, we also found that the undersized Colts defense could stop the run. And we’ve discovered that Reggie Wayne can fill the No. 1 wide receiver role that used to be Marvin Harrison’s domain.

But even now, there is a general understanding that the key to the Colts defense is safety Bob Sanders. When Sanders is out, the Colts defense is soft, but Sanders’ tackling and his ability to play in the box gives the Colts a toughness that otherwise is lacking.

It sounds great, but this year, it just hasn’t been true, at least statistically.

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Behind Enemy Lines: Talking Wild Card With a Chargers Blogger
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Jan 3rd 2009 1:20AM by Sportz Assassin (author feed)
Filed under: Chargers, Colts, AFC South, AFC West, NFL Fans It’s a minor miracle, no team has ever come back from 4-8 to make the playoffs. The Chargers showed an incredible amount of heart and grit to play as hard and well as they did when everyone, even some Charger fans, wrote them off for dead. I’m thrilled because this is what we were expecting at the start of the season and now the real work for the Chargers can begin.

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Michael Coe Name: Michael Coe
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