“If I were two faced, would I be wearing this one?” – Abraham Lincoln
If I were to say the name, “Two-Face,” most would think of the Batman villain. I’m here to tell you the NFL has its own version of Two Face and that man’s biological name is Philip Michael Rivers. (There’s a Miami Vice joke in there somewhere.)
The quarterback of the San Diego Chargers, Rivers is an extremely debatable player with a high level of physical talent yet never seems to get his team over the hump. There is good Philip and bad Philip.
Good Philip is a great teammate, encouraging and inspiring. He makes the right read, rarely turns the ball over, is a great sound byte after the game and, most importantly, he wins. He’s the kind of guy you want your daughter to marry. His face is smiling or fired up and genuinely appears like someone you want to have a beer with on a Saturday afternoon. Good Philip.
Bad Philip is a Debbie Downer of sorts, sulking with a look as though he’s judging you for farting in public. He turns the ball over, he shows up his teammates, he clams up after games and, most importantly, he loses. His face is rivaled only by Jay Cutler, the ultimate jerk-off face. The guy you know who wants nothing more than to bang your girlfriend, first chance he gets. Bad Philip.
The Super Chargers are going to need Good Philip for the stretch run of the 2014 campaign if they are going to make the post-season because their schedule is brutal. This Sunday, San Diego hosts New England. The following Sunday, they host Denver. After that, the Bolts travel to San Francisco for a Saturday evening game and finish off the year with a trip to Arrowhead Stadium to face Kansas City. Have I mentioned how brutal that schedule is? Brutal.
The Chargers are not only a team to keep an eye on Sunday, but the rest of the month. Here are a few other storylines to keep in mind as the NFL enters December in YOUR Week 14 What 2 Watch 4…
Will Dallas look past Chicago? The Thursday night game has the Cowboys traveling to Soldier Field. Most sound coming out of Dallas from the owner to the wide receiver seems like they are only concerned with their rematch with the Eagles in 10 days. The Bears may just be a live dog who have the passing game to eat up that awful Dallas secondary, not to mention it’s never easy to win in Chicago. The Bears play better at home and sport the only turf in the league not maintained by the team. The grass in Soldier Field is maintained and operated by the city of Chicago, which may be a reason it is one of the worst fields in the league.
Thank you, Coach Pettine, for exuding some sense in your current quarterback situation. The Cleveland Browns will stick with Brian Hoyer on Sunday against Indianapolis and, despite what you think of Johnny Manziel (douchebag), you simply cannot turn a team over to a rookie quarterback when you are 7-5 and within the grasp of a wildcard berth. Hoyer hasn’t exactly set the world on fire. He’s thrown 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions but he has won a couple games for the Browns in the fourth quarter. If Cleveland gets eliminated from playoff contention, go ahead and play Manziel, Shaw, DeGaetano, anybody for that matter. See what you’ve got at that point.
Baltimore at Miami. Surprisingly, this game boasts major AFC playoff implications. The Ravens are fighting for the AFC North division or a wildcard and the Dolphins are looking to sneak in as a wildcard. They won’t catch New England in the AFC East.
Speaking of New England, head coach Bill Belichick made a bold move following the Patriots’ loss at Green Bay. The team did not return to New England but, instead, traveled to the west coast to prepare for their game in San Diego against the aforementioned Two Face.
Can Kansas City get back on track? The Chiefs were 7-3 and had just beaten Seattle. Some thought they could win the AFC West. Since then, they’ve lost two straight to division rivals Oakland and Denver, sit at 7-5 and may not even make the playoffs. They travel to Arizona to face another reeling team, the Cardinals. This Arizona team could actually lose out and not make the playoffs.
Aaron Rodgers hasn’t thrown an interception at home in two years. The Packers host Atlanta on Monday night…wait a minute, are the friggin’ Packers home EVERY WEEK?!?!?
The game of the week. Seattle at Philadelphia. I’ve had this game circled since the schedule came out and am really looking forward to watching Seattle’s defense live. Make no mistake about it…this is the best defense the Eagles will face all year and they are playing at a very high level. That said, Philly should have success running the ball on them. The front seven, while lightning fast, is undersized. Head coach Chip Kelly needs to lean on the running game because the Seahawks’ secondary will have their way with the mistake prone Mark Sanchez if he drops back 40 plus times.
And finally, at my age with two kids and an endless amount of work, I don’t participate in too many bonsai missions. Got a call from Comcast Sportsnet’s John Clark at 3:30pm this past Monday who said, (and I’m paraphrasing here) “U2, Springsteen, Times Square, backstage passes, it’s free. I’ll pick you up in an hour.” Stunned, I didn’t know what to say. Gave the wife of the year a call who said, “absolutely, you should go.” So, we went. We were treated like band members. Free drinks, a private party, I got to spend some time with U2’s 85 year old tour manager, Dennis Sheehan. A nicer guy, he could not have been. So, raise a Guiness to spontaneity!
Tonight is the night! Or tomorrow morning is the morning, depending on how you look at it. I’m in studio with Big Daddy Graham on Sportsradio 94WIP from 2am to 5:30am getting you ready for the Eagles and the Legion of Boom!
Download this week’s Magnificent Bastards podcast with me and Brian Startare at tmbwildfire.podbean.com This week, we welcomed NBC 10 and Comcast Sportsnet’s John Clark and my buddy, Darren Atlee, stopped by for a few funny insights in to the TV production industry.
Check back here at Voodoobrown.com on Monday for my weekly NFL Notes & Musings getting you caught up on the weekend’s eye opening statistics and a few thoughts surrounding Week 14.
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