Looking at the San Diego Charger team and their performance these last few seasons, it seems like the team has one of the best offensive lineups ever in football. Just watch the team at Qualcomm Stadium and see what I am talking about.
Last season’s Patriots may have scored the most points ever in a season, but over the course of many seasons that team will come back down to Earth, with or without Tom Brady. Philip Rivers, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Antonio Gates are names that make a defense wakeup.
Philip Rivers has dealt with injuries and replaced a very good quarterback in his own right in Drew Brees. With all the possible ill effects of the pressure and the doubts in his early career it is amazing that Rivers has become the force that he is. He is tall enough to see over the line for the easy dump off pass and to see the passing lanes for the mid- and long-routes. His arm strength has been questioned throughout his professional career as has his quickness, but he has that quarterback mentality that makes him so good. People forget that many of the greats have had their skills questioned. Joe Montana did and so did players like Dan Fouts. Instead these players have to wait until they retire and several “perfect” quarterbacks fail before they get their due. That is going to be Philip Rivers.
Anybody with Chargers tickets in the 21st century can tell you that this back will go down as one of the best in history. He owns the single-season touchdown record and has rushed for 1,000 yards or more for seven straight seasons. He is the perfect height at 5 foot 10, he has great breakaway speed, and terrific quickness to find any whole, and he can catch out of the backfield. In 2003 he had 100 catches and over 1,600 yards rushing. If there is a better balanced back in the league I do not know it.
Antonio Gates is a receiver masquerading as a tight end. His rapport with Rivers makes him a great target in the middle of the field. He can block for the running back, but can also outrun any linebacker put on him. He is big enough to take advantage of a safety or cornerback. He is the model for the new NFL tight end. His career has already been mentioned among the greats at his position and he still has quite a few seasons left.
These three Pro Bowl players are going to be fondly remembered in the future and should someday come out of the AFC to play in the Super Bowl. The team can hurt you any way it wants. Vincent Jackson is developing into the deep threat to complete the arsenal and Chris Chambers is an excellent possession guy. These two receivers may not make the top of anybody’s receiver list, but with the other three skill players they are made just as dangerous.
San Diego sports fans are once again enjoying the high octane football that used to reside in the city during the ‘70s and ‘80s and can brag about seeing one of the best scoring machines in the 21st century right here at Qualcomm Stadium.