On Sunday, November 8th the San Diego Chargers will travel to East Rutherford, New Jersey to take on the New York Giants. It will be the first meeting between Eli Manning and Philip Rivers as starting quarterbacks since they were traded for each other during the 2004 NFL Draft. The Chargers emerged as the clear-cut "winners" of the deal, in which they sent the Giants Eli Manning for a package that included Rivers, a 3rd round pick (Kaeding), a 2005 1st round pick (Merriman) and a 2005 5th round pick (traded to TB for Oben).
Manning has faced the Chargers since the deal, in the 2005 season with Rivers on the bench behind Drew Brees, and lost 45-23. That was certainly a different NY Giants team than the Super Bowl Champions of 2007-2008. Instead of showing off a strong defense and running game, the Giants allowed Drew Brees to complete 19 of 22 passes for 2 touchdowns. LaDainian Tomlinson chimed in with a 26 yard TD pass of his own to go with his 192 rushing yards and 3 rushing TDs (in only 21 attempts!). Despite going 11-5 in that season, the 2005 Giants were embarrassed in the Wild Card round by the Carolina Panthers (losing 23-0).
Here's a statistical side-by-side of the QBs' career numbers:
These numbers may seem hard to compare because Manning has played 23 more games than Rivers, so lets take a look at some averages.
Now we're on some even ground. I understand Eli Manning is in more of a run-oriented offense, but that should be to his advantage. The Giants still make an effort to put good receivers and TEs on the field for him to throw the ball to and with the defense focusing on stopping the run his averages should be higher than Rivers. However, the only way in which he appear to be a better QB than Rivers is that he gets sacked on 5% of the Giants passing plays rather than 5.1%. Then again, the strong focus on the running game may be helping him in that regard.
As much fun as these numbers are, they don't prove a damn thing. And although one game in the middle of the season shouldn't be looked at under a microscope, this game will be. The team that wins and the QB that outperforms the other will be praised and heralded. The QB that withers under that pressure will be seen as a "loser", if only for a few days. So, this sound like a fairly exciting game to attend, yes?
Since this game will be part of the NFL's week 9 schedule, it is not eligible to be "flexed" to Sunday night (flex scheduling starts in week 10). It is locked in at it's 1:15pm EST start time and I happen to have an extra ticket. Would you like to join me? Here's how you can:
As a member of BFTB, write a new FanPost that states any and all reasons why you should be my choice. We're going with a freestyle setup. I will be the sole person choosing the winner, but readers will be able to influence my vote with their responses in the comments of each FanPost. You can post a heartfelt story, something funny, a bribe or maybe some way in which taking you may benefit BFTB. Everything is fair game. Here are your official rules and prizes:
- You will receive 1 free ticket to the 11/8/09 game between the San Diego Chargers and the New York Giants at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
- You're responsible for finding a place to stay and getting to the game. It might be a good idea to include a partial plan as part of your FanPost. The easier it is for me, the more likely it is that I'll pick you.
- Open Bar! Drinks at the game are paid for by me, but I reserve the right to cut you off if you're openly taunting Giants fans. (Must be over 21 and show valid ID to receive alcoholic beverages)
- Chargers fans only. NY Giants fans are ineligible. Don't even try it, I'll know.
- FanPosts must be posted before 5pm EST on May 22nd, 2009 (that's this Friday) to be considered.
- If after winning you cannot make it to the game I will pick another winner. You cannot sell the ticket or have a friend go in your place.
- Keep in mind that this is November in New Jersey. There's a good chance that you're going to need a winter coat of some sort.
- Face and/or chest-painting is not allowed.
- You are encouraged to use graphs in your FanPost. Why? Because graphs are awesome, that's why.
- I am not a sexist, and this is not a men-only competition. Women are eligible, but keep in mind that I'm happily married to a Chargers fan who will probably be peeking at your FanPosts and helping me decide.
- Got any other questions? Put them in the comments to this post.
Do you have any thoughts about Bolts From The Blue? Any tips you want to send our way? Whenever you have something to say, don't hesitate to e-mail me directly.