You thought I forgot about this, didn't you? Nah, just got busy yesterday and most people weren't in front of their computers anyway. Get ready for a fun couple of days at BFTB....
Philip Rivers - 19/26, 310 pass yds, 3 TDs, 1 Int
The best statistical proof I have that Philip Rivers was playing most of this season injured:
In 2010, Rivers had a QB rating of 100+ in 9 out of the 16 games (or 56.25%) he played in. In 2011, he did so in just 5 out of the 16 games (or 31.25%) he played in. Starting with the Jaguars game on Monday night, when El Capitan finally looked like himself again, Philip posted 100+ QB ratings in 4 out of 5 games (or 80%).
Malcom Floyd - 7 catches, 127 yards, 1 TD
Towards the end of November on High Boltage Radio, I asked Michael Gehlken if there was any way that Malcom Floyd would be on the Chargers in 2012. "I can't see it happening" was his response and it matched my own feelings. At that point, Floyd had had 2 good games, 5 mediocre games and had missed 4 games due to injury. It was the same old story with the injury-prone Floyd.
In his last 5 games, Floyd caught 24 passes for 455 yards and 4 TDs. If he could do that for an entire season, he'd catch 77 passes for 1,456 yards and nearly 13 TDs. Those numbers would put him somewhere between Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson as one of the 5 best WRs in the game.
Yes, Malcom Floyd will be back. Yes, we'll once again be hoping that he can find a way to stay healthy.
Antonio Gates - 5 catches, 106 yards, 1 TD
Not too different from Floyd, Gates had an injury-plagued year but really turned it on at the end of the season when he got healthy. The difference is that, outside of the last two seasons when he was fighting the same foot injury, Gates has always been a picture of good health on the field. A long offseason could very well put him back in position to play 16 games in 2012.
Donald Butler - 10 tackles
This guy is a monster. In his "rookie" season, Butler was one of the three best players on the defense seemingly every week. A bright future ahead of him.
This seems like it could almost go either way. Neither QB was sacked a single time all game. However, I put that down as a bigger achievement for the Chargers (who have lots of fill-ins on the Offensive Line and have a notoriously bad pass-rush) than the Raiders (who were playing with two healthy lines and tortured Rivers earlier this season).