Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers calls plays at the line of scrimmage against the Seattle Seahawks during their NFL preseason game on August 11, 2011 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California.
NFL Training camp season is always a time for irrational exuberance. Every team thinks it can win the Super Bowl, even though 31 of those teams will end being horribly wrong. And so, to preview the upcoming NFL season, which could be the most unpredictable ever, we now give you five reasons why your favorite team could win the Super Bowl. Today, it's the San Diego Chargers.
1. MARMALARD!!!!! If you watched the Chargers play the Seahawks last night, and you took everything that Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski said about Philip Rivers at face value, you'd probably be running to the MGM Grand as we speak to plunk down your mortgage on Marmalard taking San Diego to the Super Bowl. And while Gruden and Jaworski have a tendency to... I don't know... LIE and speak very loudly for no reason, it is true that in Rivers, the Chargers have a QB who CAN take them to a Super Bowl, in theory. Having a franchise QB means the hardest part of assembling your team is over and done with, and that's a nice feeling to have. So for now, let's ignore the fact that Rivers is a hothead and the fact that leprechauns will come shooting out of my backside before this team wins a Super Bowl under Norv Turner. They have the centerpiece, and many other teams do not. Yay!
2. Your best players play better when they aren't holding out. Well, loogie here! Seems Chargers GM AJ Smith finally decided that having players hold out for nearly the entirety of a regular season is kind of a bad thing. So the Chargers will finally have both WR Vincent Jackson and OL Marcus McNeill in the fold for the entirety of the preseason and the regular season. I'm sure Rivers was overjoyed to spend 3/4 of last year without them, so much so that he probably shortsheeted Smith's bed every Tuesday night.
3. TAKEO SPIKES GRRRRRR!!! I have no clue if 56-year veteran linebacker Takeo Spikes will actually help the Chargers defense, but come on, now. Who's gonna turn down a chance to have Takeo Spikes on their roster? It's the most football name of all football names. He may as well have been named Armsaw Bonegusher, his name is so perfectly fitted to his profession.
4. Mike Tolbert will run over your kids and not apologize for it. The Chargers still want Ryan Mathews to become an everydown back this season, but already there are signs it'll be Tolbert again doing most of the heavy lifting (he started over MAthews last night). Tolbert scored 10 TD's and averaged a solid 4.0 YPC on the ground last season, and with Jackson back, there ought to be even more room for the Chargers running game to do some damage. The Chargers may not be much on defense. Or on special teams. REALLY bad on special teams. But offensively? Yeah, they'll be real good.
5. Norv has snookered us all. Before you go thinking that poor Norv Turner can't win anything resembling a meaningful game, do take the time to remember that he took this team to an AFC title game. And if he can stumble his way into winning two playoff games in a row, what's to say he can't stumble into an even longer playoff run? It could happen, right? Couldn't it? Maybe Norv has us all tricked, and has waited until just now to unveil his secreted genius. What's that, you say? The Chiefs are better and the Chargers will still have to fend off the likes of Indy, New England, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and the Jets? And Norv still stinks? Yes, that's true. But let's ignore those details for now. For now, there's still hope. Until the inevitable happens.