Whats a guy got to do to get noticed nowadays? Sure you have a defense dealing a shutout and an UDFA running back stealing the show, but really c’mon!
In the couple of days following the Chargers blowout of the NY Jets the media has been filled with articles talking about San Diego’s surprise defense and the special day Branden Oliver had, but not a lot of talk about Felipe Rios the Gunslinger.
In case you had not noticed it… he nailed it again.
Sure maybe it was not his most spectacular performance – he only had twenty completions for 288 yards. But did anyone notice the 71.4% completion rate, 3 TDs and 125.3 rating. I guess you have to throw for over 350 yards to get noticed in this league anymore. No Fed Ex Air Player of the Week Award this week. Its unfortunate that we live in a era where the NFL experts are all about the big numbers. I bet their analysis went something like this, “Rivers only threw for 288, he must of had an off day. Hey who had over 350?”
our hero The Gunslinger Felipe Rios
But as you go back and watch the game you see our hero, The Gunslinger Felipe Rios, making plays in the face of danger.
At the 12:00 minute mark in the first quarter Felipe motions Royal to the right side to see how the defense would adjust. The CB is already committed to covering Gates. The OLB comes out of his stance to cover Royal. Felipe hides a smirk on his face, its too easy. A simple out route and 8 yards later the Bolts have a first down.
Less than 2 minutes later the gunslinger faces a 3rd and 9. His arm feels a little tight. Like it needs to be stretched. So he stretches it. Down field Floyd extends over the DB’s head to snatch a 49 yard bomb. Cheers erupt for our hero.
Oct 5, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) drops back to pass during the first quarter against the New York Jets at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Then with 7:41 left in the quarter the Jets show blitz on the left side bringing both LBs. But that would leave Gates with single coverage. Felipe hides a smile. “Simple toss and catch,” he says to himself. The gunslinger is on a roll.
With 13:00 minutes left in the second the Jets have had about all they can stand. They bring 7 guys. Felipe retreats from the onslaught. It is too much. He heaves a desperation pass. Wait! Its not a desperation pass, it hits Royal in stride. Oh, this day is special.
But the gunslinger is not done. Less than two minutes later he threads a bullet right between two Jet defenders and into Ladarius Green’s hands. The Jet defenders looked at each other with hands on their heads and that, “Are you freaking kidding me look on their faces.” But alas, the Zebras intervened they wanted to see more. Do not send the Gunslinger to the bench! Make him stay on the field! We want more.
Oct 5, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers cheerleaders perform during the second quarter against the New York Jets at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Two plays later, the Jets bring 6. The gunslinger back peddles. He steps to the right. His enemies are on him. A desperation shot is fired as our hero is tossed to the ground. But was it in desperation? Or was it a perfect volley to the corner of the endzone for his trusted right-hand man Gatesy. The crowd celebrates! The gunslinger can not be beat. Not this day. He chuckles as he gets up from the ground and dusts off his pants.
He kept dealing for the rest of the day, scrambling, escaping the grasp of his enemies and hitting his mark. The crowd cheered and hollered for what he had done for them. The analyst, however, just looked at the 288 yards on the sheet and said, “Eh, a ho-hum day for Rivers.”
Too bad, because they missed an excellent performance by Felipe Rios The Gunslinger.