The Chargers defense is flying under the radar, but performing at the top of the charts. Ryan Mathews officially Mike Tolbert's backup this week, and is Philip Rivers the best QB in the NFL right now?
TOP RANKED CHARGERS DEFENSE UNDERRATED?
The Chargers, statistically, have been ranked near or at the top of the league for multiple weeks now. But after 11 games, the Chargers still find themselves with the top ranked defense. As impressive as that may be, the kudos and accolades the Bolts receive seem almost always directed towards MVP candidate Philip Rivers. Fair enough.
But beyond the masterful performances of Rivers and the offense, there are multiple players on defense who are quietly having great seasons. Shaun Phillips is tied for third in the NFL with 10 sacks, has 1 interception and has defended 8 passes. Antoine Cason is also having a big year with 4 interceptions and 17 passes defended. A healthy Kevin Burnett has proven to be the exact type of player the Chargers need at weakside inside linebacker. And Antonio Garay has emerged as a more than capable nose tackle, showing tremendous power and stoutness at the point of attack.
The Chargers are most certainly lead by an elite signal caller in Philip Rivers, potentially the most valuable player in the NFL right now. But as a unit, the Chargers defense is quietly playing at a very high level. Let's make sure we give them their props as well.
RYAN MATHEWS, THE FORGOTTEN MAN?
Plagued by nagging injuries almost the entire season, Ryan Mathews went from a potential rookie of the year candidate to essentially Mike Tolbert's back-up.
"I'm more interested in getting Tolbert going and being the lead guy, and Ryan being there to give him some support," Head Coach Norv Turner stated earlier this week.
The guy who is still listed on NFL.com as a fullback is now the Chargers clear-cut lead rusher. This fact is quite interesting when you consider the fact the Chargers made a big splash moving up to the 12th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft to select Mathews.
The coaching staff at this point has much more confidence in Tolbert's abilities not only running the ball, but also his ball security, the knowledge of the offense, and his ability in pass protection. Tolbert has a punishing running style, and with being built so low to the ground, he's incredibly difficult to tackle one-on-one.
Tolbert has been a pleasant surprise and has proven durable. Already with 9 touchdowns on the year, he could finish the season with 1000 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns - impressive indeed.
PHILIP RIVERS; BEST QB IN THE NFL?
Trent Dilfer believes Philip Rivers is the best quarterback in the NFL. And as Chargers fans, it's easy to agree with him. But looking at it objectively, is Rivers really the best QB in the league? Sound off in the comments section below!
Labels: NFL Season 2010 Week 12
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