Morning Dump


Here we are on game day again and we all got that norvous feelings in our guts. We are all unsure of what football team is going to show up today. Whatever team shows up, we just need to find a way to get that ‘W’ against the Fins. Let’s put these guys away!

Enjoy your dump:

SAN DIEGO — Philip Rivers is a victim of his own excellence. The Chargers quarterback has a track record of efficiency, accuracy and ball security, so anything out of the ordinary seems to be cause for alarm.

Reggie Bush has been a disappointment. So he starts. Rookie Daniel Thomas leads the team in rushing and has played consecutive fine games. He’s the backup. Steve Slaton was brought in this week and has had the best single season of any Miami rusher. He probably won’t play and is simply a backup looking for a chance. Are you getting the feeling something is amiss with the way the Dolphins handle their backs? Eventually, once Thomas becomes proficient in his pass-protection assignments, he’ll probably start and get more playing time than he’s already getting.

Playmakers must deliver for Dolphins. The Dolphins who are making more than $4 million a season need to play up to their salary level. That means Brandon Marshall can’t afford to drop any more touchdown passes. Reggie Bush must contribute at least 80 yards of offense. Paul Soliai and Randy Starks need to be a run stuffing force. Yeremiah Bell has to do better covering the field, and inside linebackers Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett need to contain opposing tight ends and tailbacks, and make game changing plays.

1–JUST SHOW UP….OK, we’re kidding–a little. There is actually some truth to that statement. The Chargers have had a very talented team for a number of years, and 2011 is no different. Rivers is one of the toughest QB’s in the game, and is the NFL’s best fourth quarter passer so far this season. He’s 25 of 30 for 262 yards and three touchdowns. Ryan Matthews is quickly turning into an good running back, averaging 4.6 yards per carry with three touchdowns. Like fellow RB Mike Tolbert, he’s also a pass catching threat out of the backfield, pulling in fourteen Rivers’ passes for 186 yards. The Chargers need Matthews and Tolbert to produce every week, as the team is averaging under 100 yards gained in three games. A healthy Antonio Gates would be nice, but that may not happen until 2012. Plantar fasciitis is extremely painful and is a slow-healing injury. On defense, they must put pressure on Dolphins QB Chad Henne and keep him pinned on the backfield because he’s a serious threat to run. He leads all QB’s with an average of 7.7 yards per carry and ranks just behind Philadelphia’s Michael Vick with 100 yards on the ground.

The Chargers expect the Dolphins to match up Smith on Jackson and follow him all over the field. The Dolphins, I’m told, will oblige by doing exactly that. At least that’s what a club source is telling me is the plan.

Players don’t like talking about this possibility, and when it is brought up, they change the subject. Three teams in NFL history have started 0-3 and still reached the playoffs. One of those, the 1992 San Diego Chargers, fell to 0-4 before an 11-1 finish pushed them into the playoffs. That team is the only one since 1990 to reach the postseason after losing its first four games.