Even when he wins, Philip Rivers still manages to scar you. Yeah, he throws footballs great distances, and sometimes they’ll land in the hands of the intended target, though often they bounce off of something else entirely, be it a helmet, a referee, or an over-sized pumpkin in the front row that isn’t a pumpkin at all, but is instead a man.
For those unfortunate enough to own him for fantasy purposes, he taunts you with his skill, harkening back to a far away time when he wasn’t throwing four interceptions in a game (two weeks ago against Denver) and he wasn’t averaging only 5.4 yards per attempt (last week against, um, Cleveland). He is simultaneously good and evil, with either of his two faces appearing on any given snap. His third face — the Philip Rivers face — is just a constant canvas of confusion. It’s delightful.
So when we fired up the ol’ video game box for this week’s Thursday night Madden sim, something incredibly unremarkable happened. Despite scoreboard domination, virtual Rivers was still both awesome, and awesomely stupid.
We’re still scared about our possession of a demon game with its accurate depictions of real-life, you guys. I’m never playing The Sims again, because virtual Sean Tomlinson will pee his pants in an office elevator, or something, predicting the same event a day later. My no pants peeing streak is at like three months, so I can’t deal with that.
Behold this week’s Madden moving pictures, a beautiful symphony of interceptions cut by master craftsman Scott Johnson. Chip shot field goals in a 22-0 game have never been this riveting.
Philip Rivers: 15 for 25, 246 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs
Matt Cassel: 15 for 27, 201 yards, 4 INTs
Ryan Mathews: 22 carries for 60 yards
Jamaal Charles: 14 carries for 45 yards
Peyton Hillis: 2 carries for 4 yards
Malcom Floyd: 4 receptions for 82 yards
Steve Breaston: 5 receptions for 79 yards
Antonio Gates: 5 receptions for 76 yards, 1 TD
Robert Meachem: 2 receptions for 71 yards, 1 TD
Tony Moeaki: 5 receptions for 47 yards
Dwayne Bowe: 2 receptions for 39 yards
Jon Baldwin: 2 receptions for 31 yards
Curtis Brinkley: 1 reception for 14 yards
Ogletree of the game: Stanford Routt and Takeo Spikes
Thoughts And Rants
Seven combined interceptions actually seems a little low for a Philip Rivers-Matt Cassel night of gun slingin’ action. Stanford Routt was made to look like some Frankenstein fusion of Darrell Revis and Deion Sanders with his two interceptions. The score and Rivers’ stat line distort the truth, because much of his effectiveness was directly tied to the Chiefs’ crappiness, an outcome that will surely be reflected in reality. Nearly a quarter of his passing yardage (57 yards) came on a heave to Malcom Floyd that hovered in the air for like nine minutes, after Rivers was permitted to stand, yawn, stand some more, scratch himself, stand more, and then finally throw.
While we’re providing loose translations of virtual time, Rivers consistently had about five minutes on every drop back. Yet somehow in a game his team won by more than three touchdowns, he still managed to throw three picks. That’s some serious dedication to his craft.
The Chiefs were, well, really Chiefs all game. Cassel’s passing attempts were inflated by the score, but for nearly three quarters virtual Brian Daboll kept calling dives and leads for Jamaal Charles, who decided that running into bodies wearing red was a great time. But hey, that’s good news for you, the Charles owner, because he received more than five carries, and virtual Romeo Crennel was aware of his presence on the Chiefs roster. Progress? Progress.
Also, Takeo Spikes was the Stanford Routt of the game for the Chargers, grabbing two picks of his own, because of course. Combined, reality Spikes and reality Routt had five interceptions throughout all of last season, and they had four in this game alone. That led to a prestigious dual honor and a historic 100 Yards and Running Madden sim moment, as they became the first defensive players to win the Ogletree of the game.
Three Things I Learned From This Simulation
1. Stanford Routt and Takeo Spikes are everything to everyone.
2. Phil Simms thinks that third and short is better than third and long.
3. Norv Turner cares little about your concept of time, and any management of that foreign devil science.