Tag Archives: San Diego Chargers

Three Things To Watch For This 2014 Chargers Season

With training camp now open the San Diego Chargers enter the upcoming NFL season with big expectations after a surprising wild card berth and visit to the second round of the NFL’s playoffs. The Chargers have stayed consistent with the plan, bolstering the overall depth of the squad at several important positions, especially on the defense. Here are three key things to watch as the Chargers training camp progresses.

Chargers Pass Rush, “The Freeney Factor”: if healthy Dwight Freeney is the rare type of edge rusher that can have a major impact on a defense. The veteran pass-rusher made a return to contract drills as camp started, a good sign that the Chargers will have a healthy Freeney as the season starts. After tearing his quad Freeney made just four starts last season, registering just a half a sack. When healthy he’s one of the best pass rushers in football, but coming off of an injury and at the age of 34 it’s hard to project what the Chargers have in Freeney for the upcoming season. Freeney isn’t the only Charger coming off of a major injury. Melvin Ingram tore his ACL in training camp and missed the majority of the regular season, while Donald Butler missed a handful of games due to a groin injury. If all three players are healthy, as they are currently, the Chargers pass rush should be greatly improved.

 The “other” Wideout: The Chargers struck gold when they drafted Keenan Allen last season. The rookie quickly become the top rookie wideout in football and arguably should have been chosen the NFL’s rookie of the year over Eddie Lacy of the Green Bay Packers. Allen had 71 receptions for over one-thousand yards and 8 touchdowns last season, forming a tremendous partnership with Philip Rivers. The Chargers entered last season with major questions at wide receiver, until Allen stepped up. This year the Chargers again have major questions at wide receiver, beyond the presence of Allen. Malcolm Floyd, returning from injury, is the likely number two starter, with Eddie Royal the best option in the slot and as the third receiver. The nine-year veteran has been a consistent second and third option throughout his career. Royal started the season strong but fell off towards the second half. He’ll be challenged by Vincent Brown and potentially by 7th rounder Tevin Reese. With the presence of a legitimate number one receiver, the Chargers have to feel a lot more comfortable about the position. Like the pass rush though, the big question is whether Floyd and Royal can stay healthy.

 An Elite Group of Defensive Backs?: With acquisition of Brandon Flowers and the draft of Jas Verrett do the Chargers now have an elite group of defensive backs? Elite defenses in the NFL are punctuated by a strong pass rush and good cover cornerbacks. Last season the cornerback position was a weakness for the Chargers. This offseason San Diego greatly upgraded the position through a bit of luck and the drafting of Verrett. When the Kansas City Chiefs cut Brandon Flowers for salary cap reasons the Chargers quickly pounced on the veteran who was motivated to say in the same division as the Chiefs. Flowers has regularly been rated a top ten corner by Pro Football Focus. His veteran presence and confidence could have a domino effect that helps the overall Chargers defense, especially the defensive back group. With Flowers in the fold the Chargers can now play Verrett, a talented cover corner, as a fifth defensive back and slot corner. In a division that includes the Denver Broncos and enhanced secondary is crucial.

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Chris M.

Who To Pick For Your 2014 Fantasy Football Draft

FFThe NFL season is right around the corner and with that comes fantasy football. With many drafts fast approaching here’s a look at the top ten NFL fantasy draft targets for 2014. The annual running back versus quarterback debate is in full force once again. Although Peyton Manning put together the greatest passing season in NFL history, value in fantasy football is driven by running backs. Here’s a look at this year’s top draft targets:

1. Adrian Peterson: The best running back in the NFL is still the top overall running back and top overall fantasy pick. Although he didn’t replicate his extraordinary 2012 season, Peterson had nearly 1300 yards and ten touchdowns last season, with an outstanding 4.5 yards per carry. “All Day” has been Mr. Consistent during his NFL career, topping ten touchdowns in every NFL season and rushing for over 1200 yards in six of his seven NFL seasons. In an era of past-first offenses the Minnesota Vikings are a run-first organization. This season Peterson will get the opportunity to play for one of the top offensive coordinator minds in the NFL in former San Diego Chargers head coach Norv Turner. Look for Peterson to have another massive season in a deep NFC North.

ffdraft2. Jamaal Charles: The veteran Chief had a tremendous season in 2013 in his first season under new Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid. Charles didn’t carry the ball as much as previous seasons, but had as many touches as in the past due to his receiving ability in Reid’s west coast offense. Charles had 19 total touchdowns, 12 on the ground and 7 through the air. With a new contract and the threat of a holdout no longer in the offering, Charles should have another outstanding season via the rush and the pass.

3. LeSean McCoy: McCoy had a massive season in 2013 in his first season under Chip Kelly and there’s no reason to think the NFL’s leading rusher last season won’t repeat this coming season. To go along with his 1607 rushing yards McCoy had 11 total touchdowns. Under the innovative Kelly the Eagles will continue to put up points and feature McCoy, although there has to be some concern whether or not Nick Foles can repeat his surprising season from a year ago at quarterback. If Foles somehow struggles it could affect McCoy.

beerr_top_0_04. Eddie Lacy: The second-year Alabama running back is one of the fastest risers in fantasy football. Lacy had a solid rookie season that included 1178 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns in a season where the Packers played nearly have the regular season without star quarterback Aaron Rodgers. With a healthy Rodgers back under center and the return of right tackle Bryan Bulaga and Randall Cobb from injury the Packers should once again have one of the top offenses in the NFL. Look for Lacy to have a massive season, topping both his 2013 totals in rushing yards and touchdowns. With 35 catches in 2013 Lacy also proved better than expected in the passing game and should have more receptions this coming season. If the Packers offense is as good as expected Lacy could be the top player in fantasy by the end of the upcoming season.

5. Peyton Manning: Conventional wisdom still makes drafting a running back the most sound fantasy draft decision due to the value of the position. From a sheer point scoring dominance though, Peyton Manning had one of the most remarkable fantasy seasons in history last year. Manning shredded the NFL record book with 55 passing touchdowns and should have another dominant season in 2014, even with the loss of wide receiver Eric Decker to the New York Jets. Manning will be hard pressed to match the 55 touchdowns he threw a year ago, but should lead the league in touchdown passes once again.

6. Aaron Rodgers: Rodgers had a frustrating 2013 season after going down with a broken collarbone and missing half the regular season. When healthy Rodgers is a proven fantasy performer whose led the NFl in fantasy points in the past. With a healthy Randall Cobb and the presence of Eddie Lacy the Packers offense should once again be one of the best in football. Look for Rodgers to have a big season throwing the football, with an outside chance for 40 touchdowns, as well as a two or three rushing touchdowns.

kcdo7. Matt Forte: The Chicago Bears standout has quietly been one of the best running backs in the NFL for the past several seasons. Last year, his first under head coach Marc Trestman, Forte has yet another outstanding season with nearly 2000 combined yards and 12 touchdowns. Forte is a true every-down back, with 74 receptions in 2013. With a healthy Jay Cutler the Bears offense should be dynamic once again, with Forte leading the way.

8. Calvin Johnson: Megatron is head and shoulder above the rest of the receiving crop in the NFL. In a year where he battled multiple injuries Johnson still managed nearly 1500 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns. Although he was just the third ranked fantasy receiver in 2013, Johnson had arguably the worst luck of any NFL fantasy player last season, getting stopped at the one-yard line on numerous occasions. The league’s most talented receiver should have another massive season.

9. Marshawn Lynch: While Adrian Peterson and LeSean McCoy get all the headlines, Lynch has been the most productive NFL running back over the past three seasons from a scoring standpoint, with 35 total touchdowns. The defending Super Bowl champs are loaded once again and should have a big season, with Lynch leading the way.

ffr10. Drew Brees: The New Orleans Saints are loaded once again and Drew Brees should put together yet another massive season in 2014. The future Hall of Famer passed for over five-thousand yards for the 3rd consecutive season, en route to 39 touchdown passes and (5) thirty-point fantasy games. The resurgent Saints have a favorable schedule this coming season so look for Brees to put together yet another massive season. BY:

Who Is Your First Pick Your Fantasy Football Draft?

Chris M.


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Chance to see the Chargers Vs Cowboys Aug 7th On Us

Your chance to see the San Diego Chargers Vs Dallas Cowboys on August 7th 2014 at Qualcomm Stadium on us!

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Random Drawing Friday May 16th 2014! One Entry Per Person will be counted.
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Winner will receive Barry’s Bucks equivalent to the value of a pair of Chargers Tickets against the Dallas Cowboys at Qualcomm Stadium. No Purchase Necessary! Barry’s Ticket Service is not responsible for travel or lodging.

About the Chargers Vs Cowboys
The San Diego Chargers will kick off their 2014 preseason schedule on Thursday, August 7 when they host the Dallas Cowboys. With one of the most passionate fan bases in the NFL the Cowboys have long garnered tremendous support throughout the southwest. After a surprising finish in 2013, when they reached the second round of the playoffs after earning a wildcard, the Chargers just completed well regarded NFL draft. Chargers GM Tom Telesco received positive marks from a number of analysts, with the team picking up some key players in areas of need, starting with cornerback Jason Verrett of TCU. Verett joins Jeremiah Attaouchu and Ryan Cerrethers as positive additions to the defense. Offensively the Chargers picked up offensive lineman Chris Watt, regarded as a good interior blocker, as well as running back Marion Grice and receiver Tevin Reese. For a team with just six picks the Chargers worked the board well.

In the preseason opener the Chargers will face a Cowboys team coming off of another disappointing end to the season in 2013. After losing quarterback Tony Romo the Cowboys lost the final game of the season to the Philadelphia Eagles to lose the division and the playoffs. They’ll have a healthy Romo back this coming season, with the usual variety of weapons on offensive. The Cowboys drafted tackle Zack Martin from Notre Dame to shore up the offensive line and then focused on defense with an effort to replace the departed Jason Hatcher and DeMarcus Ware. They drafted another Demarcus, Demarcus Lawrence from Boise State in the second round as a potential future replacement Ware.

The August 7th opener will give Chargers fans an opportunity to see an offense that returns virtually the entire starting unit from last season, including veteran quarterback Philip Rivers who had a comeback year in 2013. Returning for his second season is Keenan Allen, the top rookie receiver in 2013.

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Good Luck To All Who Enter Chris M.

Chargers Add Depth In Free Agency

San Diego Football Chargers Tickets

San Diego

It’s been a quiet free agency period thus far for the San Diego Chargers when it comes to signing big names. The Chargers have resisted the urge to spend big on free agents, instead adding depth in running back Donald Brown, tight end David Johnson, linebacker Kavell Conner and quarterback Kellen Clemens. The four signings come on top of the Chargers re-signing Donald Butler, Darrell Stuckey and Chad Rhinehart.

Chargers general manager Tom Telesco struck a late night deal on Tuesday to bring in Brown from the Indianapolis Colts. The Chargers GM has familiarity with Brown from his time with the Colts, who drafted Brown with the 27th overall pick in the 2009 draft out of the University of Connecticut. Brown is coming off of the best season of his career in 2013 when he rushed for 537 yards on a 5.3 yard per carry average while catching 27 passes for 214 yards. The former Colt will give the Chargers solid depth in the backfield and a nice alternative to Ryan Mathews, who has battled injuries during his Chargers career. Brown is a sure-handed player with just two career NFL fumbles. Johnson, who played the last four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers is a capable backup who has played fullback as well as tight end. He’s known as a solid blocker who will give the Chargers versatility in the run game as well as an additional option in the passing game. Like in his acquisition of Donald Brown GM Telesco went with familiarity in signing Kavell Conner away from the Colts. Conner is a bit of a reclamation project after not starting a single game with the Indianapolis Colts during the 2013 season. With Donald Butler and Manti Te’o manning the inside linebacker positions the signing of Conner is more of a depth move. Conner is known for his ability to stop the run. Looking to add depth at the quarterback spots the Chargers opted not to re-sign Charlie Whitehurst and signed Kellen Clemens, recently of the St. Louis Rams. Clemens, a former starter with the New York Jets ended up starting a majority of the season in 2013 for the Rams. The former Oregon Duck should be a solid backup for veteran Philip Rivers. Clemens has started 21 games in his NFL career, with an 8-13 record.

SD Chargers Vs Raiders Tickets

Chargers Raiders

With only $5 million in available salary cap the Chargers were never going to be major players, like the Denver Broncos, in free agency this offseason. Instead Telesco has wisely added some depth players while holding on to some key contributors who were free agent eligible. The Chargers re-signed Donald Butler and special teams ace Darrell Stuckey. They also locked up Chad Rhinehart to a two-year contract, providing stability on the offensive line. Telesco also was able to get wide receiver Eddie Royal and linebacker Jarret Johnson to re-structure their contracts, giving the team additional flexibility. The key now is success in the draft, like in 2013 where three key starters were found in the first three picks.

The Chargers moves may not match the Super Bowl or bust attitude in Denver, but GM Telesco is wisely maintaining his depth and core while emphasizing continued growth through the upcoming draft. They may not compete with the Broncos for the top of the division but the Chargers should be solid wild card contributors once again.

Barry’s Tickets stocks Chargers Tickets for all home games at Qualcomm Stadium with no service fees or hidden charges.Chris Michaels

Broncos Get Home Field Advantage

Denver Broncos

Broncos

Needing a win to take home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs the Denver Broncos went into Oakland and took care of business defeating the pitiful Raiders 34-14. The Broncos scored early and often, running out to a 31-0 halftime lead behind another incredible performance by soon to be MVP Peyton Manning. The Broncos veteran quarterback destroyed the NFL records for passing yards and touchdowns in a season, throwing four more touchdown passes in the Broncos victory. Manning finished the regular season with an incredible 5,477 yards passing and 55 touchdowns. As usual Manning spread the ball around, throwing two touchdowns to Demaryius Thomas and strikes to Eric Decker and Knowshon Moreno.

Payton Manning

Manning

Where the game was won: It was all Manning once again. The future Hall of Famer completed 25 of 28 passes, the highest completion percentage in his career in a game where he threw at least 28 passes. Oakland, playing out the string in yet another tough season, provided very little opposition in the game. The Broncos had 458 total yards en route to resting Manning for much of the second half. In addition to the huge game from Manning the Broncos had another game of balanced rushing with Montee Ball, Ronnie Hillman and Moreno combined for 129 yards rushing. The Broncos defense, without star passing rusher Von Miller, was huge early, only giving up two late garbage time touchdowns to the Raiders. After re-setting the record for touchdown passes on a season last week when Manning passed Tom Brady’s record, the Broncos quarterback passed Drew Brees’s record for passing yardage in a season. Manning’s passing efficiency rating of 113 was a full 16 points over his career average. Victory in hand the Broncos will wait to see who comes out on top in the AFC wild card round before they host a divisional round game in two weeks time. The Broncos will face the lowest ranked winner between the Bengals, Chargers, Colts and Chiefs.

Up next for Denver: Based on the wild card games the Broncos would likely prefer to face anyone but the Colts who beat them behind in Indianapolis two months ago. The Broncos swept the Chiefs this season, and split with the Chargers. If the Bengals win the Broncos cannot face Cincinnati since they are the third seed in the playoffs. The interesting matchup for Denver could be San Diego. The Broncos lost at home to the Chargers two weeks ago behind a big defensive performance for the Chargers. San Diego did the best job of slowing down the Broncos offense of any team Denver faced this season. If San Diego can manage to defeat the Bengals they’ll travel to Denver. If Cincinnati beats the Chargers the Broncos are guaranteed to play either the Colts or Chiefs. By: Chris Cabrera

Chargers Pull Off Miracle Against Chiefs

SD Chargers

Chargers

Just when it looked like the San Diego Chargers would suffer a disappointing loss to a Chiefs team without quarterback Alex Smith the Chargers overcame a ten point fourth quarter deficit to win the game and make the playoffs in Mike McCoy’s first year as the team’s head coach. After Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop missed a field goal that would have won the game for Kansas City in regulation Chargers kicker Nick Novak nailed a game winning field goal in overtime. The Chargers moved the ball into field goal range after a gutsy fourth down fake punt call. Eric Weddle gained the fourth down for San Diego on the fake, extending the Chargers eventual game-winning drive. The Chargers were able to clinch a playoff spot after both Baltimore and Miami lost games that could have clinched them a playoff spot. The Chargers, one of three teams to make the playoffs from the AFC West, will travel to Cincinnati next weekend to take on the AFC North winning Bengals. Chargers Tickets for the all road playoff games are available now.

SD Charger Fans

Charger Fans

Where the game was won: The Chargers, who many counted out just a few weeks ago, had a tougher than expected time overcoming a game Kansas City team. The Chiefs were playing without their quarterback Alex Smith and star running back Jamal Charles. Chase Daniel, the former Missouri Tigers star, put together a solid game for Kansas City, leading them to an eventual ten point fourth quarter lead. The Chiefs defense held tight and scored the game’s only third quarter points on a Succop field goal to make the score 24-14. Down ten Philip Rivers and the Chargers pulled within a touchdown on an Eddie Royal six yard TD catch. The Chargers would score again on a Nick Novak field goal with just over three minutes left to tie the game. Succop’s miss would send the game to overtime where the Chargers prevailed.

Bengals Fan

Bengals Fans

Up next for the Chargers: The Chargers travel to Cincinnati to take on a physical Bengals team that defeated San Diego 17-10 in San Diego just a month ago. The Bengals have one of the most talented young rosters in the NFL, led by quarterback Andy Dalton, wide receiver AJ Green and running back Giovani Bernard. The Bengals held San Diego to a season-low in points in their last meeting, stymieing the running game while overcoming the Chargers with a solid running game. The combination of BenJarvus Green Ellis and Bernard gained 164 yards on 34 attempts. To defeat the Bengals on the road the Chargers will need to control the Bengals running game while not giving up any turnovers to Cincinnati. If San Diego can hold onto the football and play their usual ball control offense they can force Andy Dalton to beat them.

The Chargers pull the upset behind a solid performance by Rivers. The Chargers quarterback and running back Ryan Mathews lead a ball control offense that keeps the ball out of the hands of Bengals star receiver AJ Green. 24-23 Bengals. By:Chris Michaels.

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Broncos Look Super Bowl Bound

Broncos

Broncos

The Denver Broncos won their 11th game of the season Sunday afternoon, initially falling behind the Tennessee Titans before roaring back for a 51-28 victory. The story was once again Peyton Manning who threw for nearly 400 yards and four touchdowns in the victory, leading a balanced attack. The win sets up a division game with the San Diego Chargers next week in Denver. Beyond the stellar play of Manning the highlight for the Broncos was Matt Prater’s 64-yard field goal, breaking the NFL record held by Tom Dempsey and former Broncos kicker Jason Elam.

Where the game was won: The Broncos were sloppy early, allowing the Titans to build a 21-7 lead. As in so many games this season the Broncos offense dominated the second through fourth quarters, scoring over fifty points for the fourth time this season. Manning was as efficient as ever, throwing touchdowns to four different Broncos receivers. Eric Decker, Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas and Julian Thomas all caught touchdown passes for the Broncos. Decker, coming off a career game last week, caught 8 passes for 117 yards. The former Minnesota Gophers star has caught sixteen passes for nearly 300 yards and five touchdowns the past two weeks. While Manning and his receiving crew were dominating through the air the combination of Knowshon Moreno and Montee Ball was effective on the ground. The duo combined for 155 yards rushing on 29 carries and a touchdown each. With 551 yards the Broncos outgained the Titans by nearly 300 yards. The Broncos offensive line was perfect once again, not giving up a sack while their future Hall of Fame quarterback lit up the Titans through the air.

Up next for Denver: Denver hosts their division rivals the San Diego Chargers next weekend at Invesco Field. The Broncos defeated the Chargers 28-20 in a November matchup in San Diego. The Chargers are still alive in the playoff race after thrashing the New York Giants 37-14 in San Diego on Sunday. At 6-7 the Chargers likely need to upset Denver to have any chance at earning a wild card in the AFC. San Diego has an efficient, ball-control offense, but struggles defensively. Look for the Chargers to put points on the board behind Philip Rivers and the offense but the Chargers defense is unlikely to have much success stopping the Broncos. The win will put the Broncos one game closer to a division title and will keep them on top in the race for home field advantage in the AFC.

Prediction: Manning throws for over 300-yards once again as Denver manages a convincing victory over the Chargers. The Broncos earn their 12th victory of the season with a 41-31 victory over the Chargers. Broncos Vs Chargers Tickets are still available for the Dec 12th game at Invesco Field.
By:Chris Michaels

Where Would You Not Go To Watch Your Favorite Team Play?

Recently the NFL added a third London game to the regular season schedule. The three teams that will host home games at Wembley Stadium in London next year are the Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons and Oakland Raiders. Some experts have pointed out that all three of these organizations are not happy with their current stadium situations. This may or may not be the reason they will be playing games across the pond. It is interesting to note that most season ticket holders are not going to be able to attend a “home” game in another country. Personal seat license (PSL) ticket holders are not going to be happy as this is one of the games of the eight regular season home games in which they will be unable to attend. After shelling over tens of thousands of dollars over the course of a few years it is not a good thing to find out that a home game is going to be played thousands of miles away.

Will Fans Travel?

NFL fans are an interesting bunch. Some teams that have decades of tradition (Steelers, Packers and Bears) have fans that are willing to travel all over the United States to watch their team play. The last time I went to a San Diego Chargers game they played the Green Bay Packers. This was coming off the Super Bowl year so Packers fans were willing to do anything to watch their team play. When we got to the Chargers stadium over 70% of the crowd was pulling for the Packers. This was the first time I attended a professional football game that was so lopsided as it related to the opposing team’s fans. Green Bay fans were willing to fly from Wisconsin to San Diego but I can assure you that San Diego fans would not be willing to fly to Wisconsin.

The Jaguars and Falcons do not have a history of traveling well. Raiders fans are willing to travel but they are on the west coast so their flight to London will be even longer. I think it is safe to say that most season ticket holders are not going to be willing to take a weekend to fly overseas to watch their “home” team play. Even if this was a playoff game, or a very important game, I still do not think fans would make the trip. The economy has improved and attendance has increased in many sports but this does not mean fans are going to shell out $5,000 to make a trip to London to see the boys play.

The only way Americans will be willing to travel overseas for a game is to go to a better climate. If the NFL held games in the Caribbean or a beach tourist destination it would give fans a reason to take a fall or winter vacation. There is a reason the NFL Pro Bowl has been in Hawaii for so many years. That said, London is not going to have moderate temperatures during the fall and winter months. In fact, the temperatures in and around London could be worse than the Northeast. This is something fans will strongly consider before booking their plane tickets and making the game ticket purchases for Wembley Stadium.

How Will PSL Ticket Holders Feel?

A personal seat license ticket holder has worked very hard to get seats in their home stadium. Some of these individuals have spent over $100,000 during the course of the last few decades trying to improve their seats for home games. Having spent a significant amount of time and money to get the ideal seats these fans cannot be happy that they are going to lose one of eight home games. If I were a PSL ticket holder at the home of my favorite stadium and I missed out on a Sunday of fun I would be livid. When I was in college we worked our tails off to make certain we had the seats we wanted on Saturday afternoon. If I worked all offseason to obtain these seats and I lost one of my games that year it would not sit easy with me.

NFL fans continue to come back no matter what. It is interesting to see just how popular the NFL has remained over the last several decades. I am of the age that it is hard to remember a time when the NFL did not own the sports industry. The NFL is so popular that the draft is the biggest event of the spring besides March Madness. Some would argue that major cities that have NFL teams actually gear up for the NFL Draft more than they get ready for March Madness. When looking at the number of searches for NFL related topics it is very obvious that the NFL is the biggest player in town when it comes to professional and semi professional sports.

Although I am an avid college football fan I fully recognize that the NFL is where the big money is. There is a darn good reason companies will pay $3 to $5 million for a 30 second TV commercial during the Super Bowl. Every single year the Super Bowl is the most watched event on TV. On any given Sunday the TV ratings for the best NFL game are through the roof. This means there are huge advertising dollars that go into the TV broadcast and at the stadiums. This brings up another very important point when it comes to teams playing in London. The home stadium will lose a large amount of advertising impressions by not hosting that game. Also, the TV ratings will likely drop because the time difference is so drastic.

The Time Difference for NFL Games

Last week the San Diego Chargers played the Oakland Raiders in a game that started at 11:30 pm est. This was 8:30 on the west coast but I do not live on the west coast. I am a Chargers fan so I stayed up for the first half, which was quite disappointing. I would imagine the ratings for this game were terrible. First of all, it was way too late for anyone that had to work on Monday morning. It was also available only on the NFL Network. To compound the problems the game was terrible from the very beginning. Before I knew it the score was 17-0 Raiders and I had no desire to watch. If this game started at 1:00 or 4:00 my time there is a good chance I would have left it on in the background while I did some work. By the time it was 17-0 it was close to 1:00 am and I had to get to bed to get up Monday morning.

As if this time difference isn’t bad enough, the time difference in London is even worse. The NFL tries to time it out where the game isn’t in the middle of the night but it is very difficult from a logistical standpoint. The NFL wants fans in Wembley Stadium so they cannot make this game kick off in the middle of the night or early in the morning. That would be the prime time in the United States. In all reality, the NFL has to walk a tight rope to figure out when they can air these games to please fans in London and please the TV companies that are making money on ad dollars.

I have always said I would love to live in Hawaii because of the time difference. The great thing about Hawaii is you can wake up on a Saturday or Sunday at 10 and it is around dinner time on the east coast. If you an early riser you can watch all of the college football and still be able to go out to dinner and a movie and not miss anything when it comes to the games. That said, Hawaiians struggle to enjoy lots of football because the best games are on very early in the morning and they are either just rising or still sleeping. This is what is going to happen to fans living in the eastern time zone if the NFL continues to play more games in London. Fans will either have to get up very early to watch the game live or attempt to avoid all score updates because they DVR’d the game while sleeping. This is not an easy thing to do in the age of smartphones and updates all the time. Definitely avoid Twitter if you are looking to avoid finding out the score before you watch the taped version of the game.

Ultimately, most fans are not going to travel to London to watch their team play. I would also imagine diehard fans are not going to be excited to lose one of their eight home games in the fall. These eight weekends are some of the most important weekends of the year for many sports fans so they will be brokenhearted when they know they will have to watch a home game on TV even though they have PSLs.

By Jesse Wojdylo

Is Mike McCoy the Right Coach for the San Diego Chargers?

At the end of the 2012-13 NFL Football season the San Diego Chargers decided to part ways with Norv Turner. The relationship with Turner and the Chargers fan base had been severed as many felt as if Turner walked into a very talented team left behind by Marty Schottenheimer. Schottenheimer was fired after winning 14 games and being one game away from the AFC Championship game. During the first few seasons Turner was in San Diego the Chargers won the division and went to the playoffs. As years moved on Turner saw his record get progressively worse and the Chargers ended up missing the playoffs for several years in a row. When Turner was let go many Chargers fans were left wondering what the front office of the Chargers would do. That question was answered very quickly when they hired the offensive coordinator from the Denver Broncos, Mike McCoy. Today, many Chargers fans are left wondering if this is the right coach for the job.

Mike McCoy’s Background

Mike McCoy has been an offensive guy since becoming a coach. He spent many years with the Carolina Panthers with Jake Delhomme before moving to the Denver Broncos. Interestingly, prior to one season with Peyton Manning most would agree that the Denver Broncos did not have the best offense in the AFC. Some would argue the Denver offense was downright bad. So much so that they had to start Tim Tebow at quarterback and win games with their defense. Even though this was the case the San Diego Chargers felt as if he was the man for the job.

AJ Smith was the general manager for the San Diego Chargers through the rise and fall over the last decade. Many felt as if AJ was way too controlling of the team. When he interviewed a coach that wanted to control a certain part of the organization AJ went another way. In fact, he was actually nicknamed the “Lord of No Rings” because he was able to spot amazing talent such as Antonio Gates and Philip Rivers but he was never able to put a full team and coach staff together that could win a Super Bowl. After the Norv Turner debacle the San Diego Chargers let AJ Smith go as well.

The fact that AJ Smith would not be doing the interviewing for the new San Diego Chargers head coach position made many feel as if they would go out and get a coach that wanted to control certain aspects of the team. A common name that kept coming up was Jon Gruden. When all was said and done they went with Mike McCoy who does not seem like a coach that wants to run the entire organization. We are still waiting to see if this is good or bad. I personally feel as if the San Diego Chargers need a more controlling coach like Bill Parcells or Jon Gruden. The Chargers have had a very weak team over the last few years. There is not much intensity and they tend to get pushed around. Some people relate this to the overall atmosphere of the city of San Diego and the fans. I have been to several games in San Diego and the fans are not the best. They have other options like plenty of beaches and golf. To get Qualcomm Stadium full during any game on Sunday there has to be some fans from the away team in attendance. This filters through to the organization and some of the players on the field. This is not the atmosphere that Pittsburgh or Green Bay has when it comes to the NFL team in each town.

Mike McCoy did not start his coaching career with a team that had a strong football history. The Carolina Panthers were a newer organization and fans in Charlotte were still learning about the team. The Denver Broncos have a much stronger football tradition as they won Super Bowl championships with John Elway. It will be interesting to see how Mike McCoy tries to change the culture of the San Diego Chargers. Interestingly, Philip Rivers is a very emotional guy that has a passion for the game of football. Even when I was in college I could see Philip change the atmosphere of a team that was not known for winning. I have quite a bit of knowledge about Mr. Rivers as we were very good friends at NC State in the early 2000s.

Mike McCoy and Philip Rivers

Philip Rivers is one of the most emotional quarterbacks in the NFL. In fact, some would argue that his emotions sometimes get the best of him. While at NC State from 2000-2004 ACC fans knew that Philip was going to talk the talk but, most of the time, he backed it up. He holds many ACC passing records and still holds the most touchdowns in a career at NC State and in the ACC. During his first two years in the NFL he sat behind Drew Brees and learned from watching. As soon as he got a chance to start he was immediately successful. He went to the playoffs his first few seasons in the NFL and he was throwing for 300 yards a game what seemed like every game. His first season as a starter the Chargers went 14-2 and won the AFC West division.

Unfortunately, after that season Marty Schottenheimer was let go. Not only was Schottenheimer let go but offensive coordinator Cam Cameron was let go as well. The Chargers brought in another offensive mind as head coach in Norv Turner. During Turner’s first few years in San Diego Philip Rivers thrived. He made the Pro Bowl and led the NFL in passing yards. Unfortunately, the San Diego Chargers front office let many of his favorite wide receiver targets go. It was also the case that the Chargers running game disappeared as LaDainian Tomlinson was getting old. This allowed defenses to focus on Philip Rivers and his stats started to suffer. He threw way too many interceptions and the Chargers found a way to lose games in the 4th quarter. This was the main reason Norv Turner was let go and Mike McCoy was brought in.

Some have wondered if Mike McCoy would help Philip Rivers get his confidence back. Through the first few weeks of he NFL season Philip Rivers has played much better but the Chargers are coming up just short when it comes to winning games. In all the early season games the Chargers have had a chance to win in the 4th quarter but they have only been victorious versus the Philadelphia Eagles. In all reality, the Chargers were better than the Tennessee Titans and the Houston Texans but they did not get the wins. Philip Rivers is not throwing as many interceptions and he is back to his old self when it comes to throwing for 300 or 400 yards a game. This is interesting because the Chargers still do not have a dominant wide receiver in which Rivers can go to in a crucial situation.

The Chargers Playoff Chances

Unfortunately, the San Diego Chargers are in the same division as Peyton Manning. When Peyton Manning came to the Denver Broncos most Chargers fans knew it was going to be tough to win the AFC West. The Broncos offense looks amazing this year and they are already a few games ahead of the Chargers. Unless the Chargers start winning these close games or Peyton Manning has his arm fall off it is unlikely the Chargers are going to win the AFC West in the 2013-14 season. Most San Diego Chargers fans do not expect this team to win the Super Bowl this season. That said, they would like to see this team improve and not lose games in which they are more talented than the other team.

Once of the big arguments against Norv Turner was that he lost games in which the Chargers had better players than the opponents. He was also known for losing games early in the season and having to go on long winning streaks at the end of the season just to have a winning record. While the Chargers have not started the season great in 2013 they are still playing better than they did under Norv Turner at the outset of the season. Having been a Chargers fan long enough I have become accustomed to the Chargers playing very bad at the beginning of the season and putting themselves in a terrible position.

I have also noticed that the Chargers are not turning the ball over as much this year. Philip Rivers threw way too many interceptions in the past two years and the running backs often fumbled in key situations. If the Chargers can play fundamental football and live up to their potential Mike McCoy might be just the right guy for the coaching job.

NFL Football in Los Angeles – Deja Vu all over again or something better?

From 1946 to 1980, the Los Angeles Rams roamed LA’s Colleseum with players like Rosey Grier, Merlin Olsen, and Deacon Jones stalking opposing quarterbacks. The Ram’s Eric Dickerson rushed for a then NFL record 2,105 yards in the 1984 season. The Rams appeared in the 1980 Super Bowl XIV, losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Rams remained close by in Anaheim from 1980-1994. In 1982 the Raiders joined the Rams in LA. The Raiders won the 1984 Super Bowl XVIII as the Los Angeles Raiders.

But by 1995 both teams were out of Los Angeles. The Rams relocated to St. Louis, and the Raiders moved back to Oakland. Now football is on the cusp of being back in L.A. The questions is, will it work this time?

Recently significant progress in building a privately financed football stadium in L.A. has been made. The city counsel approved a plan to build Farmer’s Field, a $1.5 billion dollar stadium. The new project will connect to and expand the Los Angeles Convention Center. Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said in a statement, “We are a giant step closer to bringing NFL football back to Los Angeles.”

The NFL Network reported that NFL league offices sent letters to all 32 franchises advising teams of the potential time-line for moving a team into Los Angeles. The NFL advised teams to apply for relocation by February 15th, 2013. It’s been rumored that the San Diego Chargers, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the St. Louis Rams, among others are in the mix relocate to Los Angeles.

The St. Louis Rams are unhappy with their stadium and would consider a move back to Los Angeles. Presumably, the Rams already have a fan base in Los Angeles leftover from the Ram’s long stint in the city. However, bitterness from the Ram’s relocation to St. Louis remains among some fans.

Perhaps more importantly, Los Angeles is a notoriously fickle city when it comes to supporting its sports franchises. There are underlying reasons that both the Rams and the Raiders left Los Angeles that go beyond the stadium facility issues. Gaining and keeping fan interest has proven difficult in the past. Hollywood is a unique and formidable competitor that no other sports city must face. The lure of Hollywood attracts a large population from all over the country that is either uninterested in sports or maintains loyalties to other sports teams outside L.A. Additionally, Los Angeles is far from a blue collar town which typically supports sports franchises as in Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh.

The L.A. Lakers have a rabid following and are considered by many to be the only game in town. The L.A. Dodgers have long standing tradition and have made gains in previous years. U.S.C. is very popular among southern California sports fans. Competition and general apathy towards sports in L.A. raises attendance concerns for the NFL and potential owners. T.V. blackouts were a problem in the past.

Why is the NFL desirous of moving not only one, but potentially two franchises back to Los Angeles? The question is likely answered by the $3.1 billion dollar average annual television rights the league receives annually. That’s more than enough to withstand some poor attendance issues. The NFL is king of the hill when it comes to television. Unlike other sports leagues that are more dependent on attendance for revenues, the NFL makes the majority of its revenue from television. Having a presence in the second largest television market not only makes sense, but increase the value of the NFL’s TV package for the next round of negotiations with broadcast networks.

Despite the troubled past history of Los Angeles football, look for at least one NFL franchise to reappear in L.A. as soon as the 2012 season.

Mike Knapp
Knappernation.com