Three quarterbacks were chosen in the first 11 picks of the 2004 NFL draft and two, Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger, have won two Super Bowls apiece. The other one, Philip Rivers, is still trying to claim his first ring. With each failed attempt at reaching the Super Bowl, the shadows of Manning and Roethlisberger grow longer over Rivers and the Chargers’ franchise. Particularly because unlike them, the former N.C. State star has yet to put his signature on a memorable playoff win (page 46).
Rivers preaches patience and says his primary motivation is helping his Chargers teammates achieve a big win together, but as Manning and Roethlisberger have both two-upped him in the Super Bowl ring department, Jim Trotter wonders: Can Rivers really believe the journey is as enticing as the destination?
Also in this week’s Sports Illustrated: The Chargers’ inability to win in the east, Clemson football is dancing with joy and David Beckham’s future in Los AngelesPosted: October 26, 2011
You’ve seen our World Series cover featuring the Rangers and Cardinals, read JaMarcus Russell’s side of the story and found out who the NFL’s fastest player is according to our weekly Players Poll. Here is what else awaits readers in the Oct. 31 issue of Sports Illustrated, on newsstands today.
PILE ON THE CHARGERS – DAMON HACK (@si_damonhack)
The Chargers’ 27–21 loss to the Jets on Sunday was the latest misstep in their recent history, when they have looked like a Super Bowl contender only to travel east and lose. Since 2000 they are a meager 8–18 on the road against the teams now in the AFC East and AFC North, including 1–4 at New England, 0–4 at Pittsburgh and 0–2 at Baltimore. For starting quarterback Philip Rivers, Sunday’s loss was his 10th in 11 road starts against the AFC East or AFC North since 2007. All of which solidifies a sentiment that has shadowed San Diego teams of recent vintage: that they are supremely talented and chronic underachievers (page 38).
On the Tablets: This week on his NFL podcast, senior writer Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) interviews Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray and Colts vice chairman Bill Polian. Plus, the Week 8 edition of his “Last Word on the NFL.”
Ten Things You Need to Know from This Week’s Issue: Peter King’s NFL Awards Forecast, the Best Quotes from Training Camp, the Best Tacklers of Today and All Time, The Smartest Players in Baseball and MorePosted: August 31, 2011
You’ve seen the six regional covers for the NFL Preview and read Peter King’s regular and postseason predictions. Here are ten other things you’ll learn from this week’s Sept. 5 issue:
- If Peter King’s soothsaying abilities hold true from last year (when he correctly predicted a Steelers–Packers Super Bowl), put your money on Philip Rivers. He’s King’s pick for MVP and Offensive Player of the Year.
- King is also high on the Lions. Jim Schwartz is his Coach of the Year, and Matthew Stafford is a runner-up for Comeback Player of the Year.
- “I’m a winner. I don’t care about stats. I never have. In the first game of the year, if I catch no balls and we win, I’ll be thrilled. If they tell me the game plan is to go out and block the safety in the mouth 60 times and we win, I’ll be thrilled. To me, football’s been about winning and nothing else.” – Falcons WR Julio Jones
- Ravens–Steelers might be the fiercest rivalry in the NFL. Want proof? LB Terrell Suggs says his team refers to the Steelers as “that team from Pennsylvania. It’s forbidden to say their name around here. It’s an unspoken word.”
- Speaking of the Ravens, Ray Lewis is listed by senior writer Tim Layden as one of the five best tacklers both today and in history.
- Among Layden’s list of five best tacklers in history, four are linebackers; among his list of the five best tacklers today, only two are linebackers.
- If you’re an okay quarterback but not a great one, the NFL will kick you to the curb. So says senior writer Phil Taylor, who writes, “So, kids, you want to grow up to be an NFL quarterback? A word of advice: Don’t.”
- Pirates starting pitcher Ross Ohlendorf is baseball’s smartest player—according to 24% of the 281 MLB players who responded to SI’s survey.
- SI’s fans thought differently. On Facebook, fans overwhelmingly voted Derek Jeter as the smartest (37%), followed by Roy Halladay (20%).
- Senior writer Lars Anderson says that the seasons of four traditional college football powers—Alabama, Texas, Penn State and Notre Dame—will hinge on who wins their respective quarterback battles.
Read on for more after the break.