Two NFL teams sharing a stadium is nothing new, but two teams from the same division playing in the same digs?
The Chargers and Raiders released a joint statement Thursday announcing the pursuit of a new stadium in Carson that will be home to the two AFC West rivals with one caveat. The plan will serve as a contingency as both teams continue to work on stadium solutions in their current markets. Both teams have been trying to get new buildings for years and are operating on year-to-year leases in their current homes.
“We are pursuing this stadium option in Carson for one straightforward reason: If we cannot find a permanent solution in our home markets, we have no alternative but to preserve other options to guarantee the future economic viability of our franchises.”
The venue, estimated to cost $1.7 billion, will be privately financed and have a projected capacity of 68,000, expandable to 72,000, according to the Los Angeles Times. One early concept that sounds pretty damn cool — clear seats to reflect the color of the lights shining on them. They could be silver and black for Raiders games and powder blue for the Chargers.
“We’re thinking about the project as a 21st century, next-generation stadium,” said architect David Manica, noting that the venue and renderings are still in the early conceptual stages. “We want it to be the ultimate outdoor event experience, which includes both sports and entertainment. And we want it to be uniquely L.A.”
The Chargers and Raiders have already purchased the land needed to build the stadium. Next they’ll launch a petition drive for a ballot initiative in hopes of getting voter approval for the construction. All signs point to a 2016 relocation target date.
Los Angeles, which has been without an NFL team since the Raiders returned to Oakland in 1995, now has three teams fighting to make the city their home. Rams owner Stan Kroenke proposed to build an 80,000 seat stadium in Hollywood Park in December to bring his team back to Southern California.
Photo courtesy of Manica Architecture
Division rivalries in the NFL are serious business. Earlier this season, we saw a Johnny Manziel dummy hung in effigy at a Steelers tailgate.
On Sunday, the Chargers were in Oakland to play the Raiders and fans of the black & silver let them know how they felt upon their arrival at O.co Coliseum. Courtesy of a member of the Chargers’ PR staff, we get a glimpse of the view from inside the team bus.
San Diego ultimately got the last laugh however, leaving town with a 31-28 victory and keeping Oakland winless (0-5) for another week. If the losses continue to pile up, Raiders fans may begin throwing eggs at their own team.
H/T Bleacher Report
The Seattle Seahawks really put on a show against the San Diego Chargers on Friday night. Russell Wilson and the first-team offense had their team up 24-0 before calling it a night in the second quarter. The domination Seattle showed, albeit in the preseason, was probably summed up best by the folks at NFL.com.
Hey, that’s one way of putting it.
In all seriousness, I have no idea how this happens. I’ve been trying to think of a headline that would come close to “Seahawks Giving the Dick” that could possibly explain a typo, but I just can’t come up with anything. Anyone have any ideas?
H/T Black Sports Online
San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews enjoyed a breakout season in 2013, rushing for a career-high 1,255 yards and appearing in all 16 games for the first time since he turned pro. Like any other running back in the NFL, Mathews could not have done it without the help of his offensive line. That’s why he decided to thank them all by giving them gifts.
According to Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego, Mathews gave each of his offensive lineman a Gucci watch last week. Center Nick Hardwick was thankful for the gesture but did not seem surprised.
“He’s awesome,” Hardwick said. “That is who he is. It’s not him being humble just to be humble. He truly is that. He’ll grab you and say, ‘Let’s get this done. Let’s get this going.’ He knows it takes all of us. It takes his fullback. It takes his tight ends. It takes the receivers to pop big runs. It certainly takes the offensive line, and he knows that. He’s fully bought into the team concept of ‘us.’”
What was a bit surprising, however, is that Mathews even gave a watch to veteran offensive tackle Willie Smith. Smith was signed as insurance in November and played just six snaps for the Chargers during the regular season.
“I was shocked,” Smith said. “I was like, ‘What the heck? Gucci? On my seat? At my locker? Wow.’ That was my response. I did not expect to get anything. … I didn’t know who it was from until I asked everybody, and they said it was Ryan.”
Mathews refused to talk about the gifts when asked about them, so you know he wasn’t doing it for the publicity. It is not uncommon for running backs and quarterbacks to buy gifts for their offensive lineman, but that doesn’t make it any less thoughtful. And hey, at least Mathews didn’t make his linemen do what Carson Palmer made the Arizona Cardinals hogs do.
H/T Pro Football Talk
The San Diego Chargers really lucked out on Sunday. The Chargers needed the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins to lose on Sunday, and then they needed to win in order to clinch a spot in the playoffs. Luckily for them, Cincinnati beat Baltimore and the New York Jets defeated the Dolphins to give them a great shot at making the postseason. All they had to do was win their game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs did everything possible to help out San Diego. They benched most of their top players — including quarterback Alex Smith, running back Jamaal Charles, receiver Dwayne Bowe and linebackers Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson — because they had nothing to gain from the game. Even without their top players, they should have won the game.
Kansas City led first and never trailed during the game. Ryan Succop missed a 41-yard field goal attempt with four seconds left that would have won Kansas City the game. Then in overtime, the Chargers ran a fake punt on 4th and 2 from their 28 that also should have cost them the game.
Eric Weddle took a direct snap and rushed straight ahead, but he lost the football and the Chiefs recovered it and returned it for a touchdown. However, referee Bill Leavy announced the Chargers got a first down on the play. Leavy didn’t explain why the fumble didn’t count. Reasons why the fumble wouldn’t have counted could have been because the referees determined Weddle’s forward progress had stopped prior to the fumble, or because his helmet came off, which would have made the play dead. The forward progress decision is not reviewable, but the helmet coming off is.
If the officials determined that Weddle’s forward progress was stopped before the fumble — which is what Pro Football Talk says happened — then FOX officiating guru Mike Pereira says that’s the wrong call.
Many people forget that Eli Manning was actually drafted by the San Diego Chargers in 2004. Less than an hour later, he was traded to the New York Giants after he made it perfectly clear that he had no desire to play for San Diego. The Chargers wound up with Rivers, the Giants got Eli and the rest is history.
At the time, it seemed fairly obvious that Eli’s father Archie Manning wanted him to play in New York. That was believed to be the driving force behind his refusal to play for the Chargers, but don’t expect Eli to admit that. With the Giants visiting San Diego this weekend, reporters asked Manning about the infamous trade on Wednesday. His response was classic.
“I forgot, I think,” Manning said, via Conor Orr of the Star-Ledger. “I just can’t remember, it’s been 10 years. It slipped my mind.”
Manning was pressed further when one reporter asked if demanding a trade was simply about maneuvering his way to the right organization.
“Ten years ago, I don’t know,” he said. “I can’t remember.”
Talk about your all-time classic copouts. You would think Manning would anticipate having to field these questions this week and have some better answers than “I don’t know” prepared. Still, he insisted he has nothing against the city of San Diego.
I have nothing against San Diego as a city,” Eli added. “We had our rookie symposium there and besides that, we’ve had a few other things, I know it’s a beautiful city and great weather. There’s a lot of great things to it.”
Eli was traded to the Giants on draft day nearly a decade ago, but don’t expect Chargers fans to let him live it down. He’ll likely be greeted with a chorus of boos on Sunday.
H/T Pro Football Talk
The San Diego Chargers are off to their usual hot start this season. Fans are hoping they can keep it together under head coach Mike McCoy and avoid the type of implosion that plagued the Norv Turner era. But for now, sticking it to Michael Irvin will have to do.
Irvin, an analyst on the NFL Network, said that he expected the Philadelphia Eagles and Chip Kelly’s new high-powered offense to hang at least 60 points on the Chargers. After watching what Philly was able to do against the Redskins last week and seeing San Diego blow a massive lead against the Houston Texans, the idea was not all that far-fetched.
Instead, the Chargers traveled east and defeated the Eagles 33-30 on Sunday. And from the look of it, some players were able to use Irvin’s bold prediction as motivation.
Again, we’re talking about the Chargers. If they’re still winning games on the road in November, people might start taking them seriously. Until then, they’re simply singing a familiar tune.
Image via Twitter/SDFAN2378
The San Diego Chargers lost to the Houston Texans on Monday night in typical Chargers fashion, blowing a 21-point lead in the second half. While the play of Philip Rivers and company down the stretch was inexcusable, a bad call from the officials may have cost San Diego the win.
On Tuesday, NFL VP of officiating Dean Blandino admitted that a referee incorrectly called Chargers defensive tackle Cam Thomas for an illegal hit on Texans longsnapper Jon Weeks in the third quarter. The penalty erased Houston’s field goal and instead resulted in a first down. Matt Schaub hooked up with Owen Daniels for a 9-yard touchdown on the very next play to cut San Diego’s lead to 28-21.
“No, this was not a correct call. This is not the intent of the rule as it was written,” Blandino explained on NFL Network’s NFL Total Access. “The rule is to protect the snapper on a field goal or extra point from a direct forcible blow to the head or neck area, or with the crown/forehead/hairline parts of the helmet to the body. It was not designed to prohibit any contact with the snapper, which is what happened on this play.”
The mistake essentially handed the Texans four points in a game they won 31-28. Blandino went on to say that the play can only be called using the umpire’s judgment.
“It’s a judgment call by the umpire, he’s looking at that, and in his judgment, he felt that it was enough for a foul,” he said. “And in our review today, we felt that it was not.”
Did we flash back to 2012 for the NFL’s opening weekend this year? In addition to the incorrect call from the Texans-Chargers game, the NFL also admitted that it should not have allowed the San Francisco 49ers to replay third down after a brawl broke out because of Clay Matthews’ late hit on Colin Kaepernick. That’s two blown calls that may have affected the outcome of games. And these were not replacement refs. Tisk, tisk.
The San Diego Chargers blew a 21-point third quarter lead and lost 31-28 to the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football. Does that storyline sound familiar? It should, because San Diego blew a 24-0 halftime lead and lost 35-24 to the Denver Broncos last year on MNF (giving us this precious GIF for the ages).
This time around, an ill-timed penalty help swing things in favor of the Texans.
The Texans were down 28-14 early in the fourth quarter and were going to settle for a 37-yard field goal on 4th and 8. They made the kick, which would have changed the score to 28-17. But Chargers defensive tackle Cam Thomas was penalized 10 yards for unnecessary roughness for making contact with the center on the field goal attempt. Thomas was penalized as part of a new rule that states the snapper is defenseless and cannot be contacted “in the head or with the crown, hairline or forehead parts of the helmet to any parts of the body.”
The 10-yard penalty gave the Texans first down at the nine, and Matt Schaub threw a touchdown pass to Owen Daniels on the next play to make it 28-21. Both teams punted on their next possessions, and then Texans linebacker Brian Cushing made a beautiful interception on Philip Rivers and returned it for a score to tie the game. The Texans kicked a winning field goal as time expired to win 31-28.
The penalty wasn’t as bad as the one Lavonte David committed to hand the New York Jets a victory in Week 1, but it was nearly as critical.
Just when it appeared that the smoke from the Manti Te’o fake girlfriend hoax may have nearly cleared, he went and began his career as an NFL linebacker. When the story first broke, the jokes were a dime a dozen. Some were hilarious and others were not all that creative, but Te’o was getting it from all angles.
The heckling has died down a bit, with more of the recent focus having been placed on his poor performance at the NFL Combine or what type of NFL prospect he really is. However, Steve Breen of the San Diego Union-Tribune has gotten things started again with his latest cartoon:
Not bad. As one NFL player mentioned last month, Te’o is bound to be the butt of a lot of jokes in the locker room. Apparently the media is going to get in on the action as well. Like we said before, Te’o had better develop some incredibly thick skin if he wants to succeed at the professional level.
H/T Eye on Football