Posts Tagged ‘Nancy Kerrigan’

Ever think where the San Diego Chargers might be if they didn’t have Philip Rivers on their team?

Um, no, smartass, saying “in Los Angeles” isn’t the proper answer.

They also wouldn’t have been in the game against the unbeaten Green Bay Packers if not for Rivers having a superb contest.

The Chargers suffered a painful 27-20 loss to the Packers on Sunday in what was an absolutely stellar effort by the veteran quarterback.

Rivers had the most prolific game by a quarterback in Chargers history – the type of performance that would even make Hall of Famer Don Fouts blush.

Rivers set clubs records for completions (43), attempts (65) and passing yardage (503). He broke his own club record for passing yardage – 455 against the Seattle Seahawks in 2010 – while becoming only the 17th player in NFL history to top 500 yards in a single game.

Receiver Keenan Allen caught 14 passes – one short of the franchise record he shares with Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow – before leaving with a hip injury.

But all that production didn’t equate to a victory. The Chargers only scored 20 points despite accumulating 32 first downs, possessing the ball for 38 minutes and running 89 plays to Green Bay’s 49.

The Chargers had a chance to force overtime but a third-and-goal run by Woodhead was halted for a 1-yard loss and Rivers’ fourth-down throw into the right flat never reached Woodhead as the pass was broken up by Green Bay cornerback Damarious Randall.

Just like that, Rivers’ big game wasn’t enough.

Here’s the number why the Chargers head home disappointed – 20.

All that production and San Diego only scored 20 points.

Rough way to drop to 2-4 and pretty much know that you are out of the AFC West race with the Denver Broncos being undefeated.

The Packers remained unbeaten with the victory and recorded their 13th straight home win. Oh yeah, they are also 10-1 lifetime against the Chargers.

So the history wasn’t good as San Diego’s lone win against the Packers came on Oct. 7, 1984 and you may know it is also one of the most-ignored victories in franchise history.

That’s because the Padres beat the Chicago Cubs to reach the World Series for the first time that same afternoon. Winslow set his franchise record during that contest but the only receptions most San Diegans saw were on the Monday Night Football halftime highlights the following night.

So considering the history, it wasn’t looking too good for the Chargers when they spotted Green Bay a 17-3 lead.

Aaron Rodgers threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to James Starks in the first quarter and Starks later added a 65-yard touchdown run. Starks appeared stuffed in the middle of line before reversing to the right and taking advantage of the fact the Chargers backside defenders over pursued and meandered down the field for the score.

But the Chargers regrouped and scored a significant touchdown right before halftime. Allen caught a pass near the goal line with 12 seconds left – a review confirmed he was a foot short – and San Diego nearly let time run out before using one of its two timeouts.

Nearly a pretty major gaffe by coach Mike McCoy, who has made a habit of curious decisions during his head-coaching stint. There was no reason to be scrambling to the line and trying to get set to snap the ball at the last second. He had TWO timeouts.

If the play gets reviewed, the result can only be improved for the Chargers. The replay officials may have ruled Allen got in as opposed to being a foot short. So no need to hurry and get a play off.

Then weirder, McCoy ran in the field-goal kicking team while the play was under review. It is OK if you used your Nancy Kerrigan “WHYYYYYYY?” voice because that was even sillier than the timeout fiasco.

Finally, San Diego got the offense back on the field and cashed in as Rivers threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Dontrelle Inman. Trailing 17-10 at halftime in Lambeau Field provided hope and that was infinitely much better than trailing 17-3 or 17-6.

Helping matters more is that the Chargers continued to play strong at the outset of the third quarter and tied the contest on Rivers’ 19-yard scoring pass to Ladarius Green.

But Rodgers finally got Green Bay moving again after going more than 20 minutes without a first down. Once the Packers went ahead 24-17 on Rodgers’ 8-yard pass to James Jones with 46 seconds left in the third quarter, it wouldn’t have been a surprise if things fell apart.

It didn’t happen as the Chargers moved back within four points on Jeff Lambo’s 32-yard field goal and were able to make the Packers settle for a 28-yard field goal by Mason Crosby with 2:37 remaining.

But the final drive didn’t produce the tying points. Rivers drove the Chargers down the field but the offense stalled after reaching the 3-yard line. Two Woodhead runs and two incomplete passes later, San Diego walked off the field with its third road loss of the season.

Just don’t put any blame on Philip Rivers.

Sure, he only guided his club to 20 points but what more could he do?

He did it all on Sunday and it still wasn’t enough for a victory.

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San Diego State is rolling up football superlatives. Hey, seriously, a real live 2-0 start is something that makes long-suffering Aztecs’ fans and alums feel giddy.

You see, 2-0 starts don’t often occur at San Diego State. Well, at least that has become the norm since the Don Coryell and Claude Gilbert coaching tenures ended three decades ago.

San Diego State defeated New Mexico State 41-21 on Saturday night for its first 2-0 start in 16 seasons. No lie.

The big accomplishment comes one week after the Aztecs won their opening game over Nicholls State to be above .500 for the first time in 2,164 days.

Freshman running back Ronnie Hillman fueled the program’s first victory in its initial road game of a season since 1992 by rushing for 150 yards and four touchdowns.

So yeah, 2-0 for the Aztecs. I remember the last time well – I was covering the Aztecs when they started off 2-0 in 1994.

San Diego State got pounded in the third game by Minnesota and the 1994 season disintegrated into a lackluster 4-7 campaign.

The Aztecs visit Missouri this Saturday so I suppose the 1994 formula could again be looming on the horizon.

But gosh, 1994 was a long time ago. You remember 1994, don’t you?

Marshall Faulk, the top San Diego State player of all-time, was an NFL rookie. All-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman was in his first full season with the San Diego Padres and the Bobby Ross-coached San Diego Chargers were embarking on their lone Super Bowl season behind running back Natrone Means and a young Junior Seau.

That was also the year when Tonya Harding conspired with her slimy friends to have figure skating rival Nancy Kerrigan whacked in the leg shortly before the Winter Olympics. Also the year when a baseball strike canceled the World Series (thanks, Bud Selig).

Oh yeah, 1994 also was the year in which O.J. Simpson went from beloved athlete to disgraced (alleged) killer. At least O.J. now lives in jail with other murderers.

Ponder all that and it seems like a century ago since San Diego State last started 2-0.

What San Diego State really needs to do this season is end two other lengthy droughts that extend back to 1998 – the program’s last winning season and the last bowl game appearance.

Think about that bowl game streak – even programs like Idaho, UNLV and San Jose State go to bowl games in this easy era of bowl eligibility. San Diego State’s last bowl appearance occurred before it moved into the Mountain West Conference.

Aztecs coach Brady Hoke is striving to dig the program out of such residue. And until he does, silly things like boasting about beating Nicholls State (a lower-division program) and New Mexico State (last bowl appearance was 50 years ago) will have to suffice.

Then eventually talk can move on to bigger things – like breaking that streak of not winning a conference title since 1986.

Now that would be something long-suffering San Diego State fans could really feel good about.