Monday Musings: Rivers, Chargers Send Toughness Message VS. Seahawks

There was a play in the first quarter of the Seattle-San Diego game Sunday where Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers was given a sly shove by Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner as he went out of bounds, a shove the officials didn't see.

Rivers, in his typical on-field demeanor, turned and gave Wagner an earful.

The message: Try that on other quarterbacks and other teams because the Chargers aren't backing down. And they didn't.

San Diego went on to beat the Seahawks 30-21 and did it like few expected, which is to move the football consistently against a defense that some were saying might be the best ever after their season-opening domination of the Green Bay Packers.

The Chargers dominated all the numbers. They had 26 first downs to 14 for Seattle, controlled the time of possession -- which Seattle usually does -- 42:15 to 17:45 and limited Marshawn Lynch to 35 yards on six carries.

Beast Mode was Least Mode

Take away a 51-yard touchdown run by Percy Harvin, which should have been shorter and a non-score since he stepped out of bounds, and Seattle had 12 rushes for 51 yards, and that included 18 yards on two scrambles by Russell Wilson.

Rivers threw three touchdown passes to Antonio Gates and made it feel like the old days, showing that both can still get it done.

The Chargers also threw at Seattle's top cover corner Richard Sherman, which Green Bay avoided in Week 1. That's smart. Keenan Allen caught a few passes against Sherman, nothing huge, but they did attack him some, even if they didn't expose him as some Chargers said they did.

Going at Sherman is how Rivers ticks. He is as fierce a competitor as there is at quarterback and the Chargers take on his persona. Were it not for a fourth-quarter collapse at Arizona, the Chargers would be 2-0 heading to Buffalo next week.

Memo to the Bills: Don't try and bully this team. Seattle tried and the bully got pushed around.

Bad day for injuries

It makes me sick when I see so many good players -- or any players -- go down with injuries. It seemed they came in bunches Sunday. The biggest hit was the Redskins losing quarterback Robert Griffin III with a dislocated left ankle when he hurt it while rolling out to make a throw. The guy just seems jinxed. We also saw A.J. Green go down, as well as Knowshon Moreno and Jamaal Charles and a slew of others. I know it's part of the game, but it's the part we all hate.

Rating QBs

Don't judge Kirk Cousins on what he did in relief of RG3. There were a ton of wide-open receivers for him to hit against the Jaguars. I still think his passes float too much and he doesn't anticipate well enough. Time will tell. I know a lot of Redskins fans are happy he's playing, even if they can't like what happened to Griffin.
  • If the Falcons are to put up big numbers in the passing game, the line has to be better. Matt Ryan had no chance against the Bengals. He was harassed all day and those deep routes he loves to throw could never get going. Right tackle Lamar Holmes appeared to have a rough outing. The Bengals had just two sacks, but had nine hits on Ryan. Carlos Dunlap, lined up over Holmes, had one sack and five hits of Ryan. The Falcons, on the other side, did not have a sack.
  • Matt Cassel, you are what you are. Four picks. Time to sit down. It should be Teddy Bridgewater time.
  • Chad Henne, you are what you are. Time to sit down. Play Blake Bortles. Yes, he was sacked 10 times, and had constant pressure, but he holds the ball to help it.
  • Josh McCown, you are what you are. At 0-2, can Mike Glennon time be coming?
  • Jake Locker looked like Jake Locker against the Cowboys. That's not good. Last week, he looked like he was past that. Not this week.
  • Tom Brady threw for 149 yards and the Patriots won 30-7. Really?

Getting defensive

Rob Ryan's defense sure doesn't look good. With all the money the Saints spent to amp that unit up, especially signing safety Jairus Byrd, it's been a tough two weeks for Ryan. The Saints are now 0-2 after having Brian Hoyer drive the Browns to a winning field goal in the closing seconds Sunday. Ryan has to be feeling the heat.
  • So the Panthers de-activate Greg Hardy for the Lions game, and they still end up with four sacks. Mario Addison, who was waived by three teams before signing with Carolina in 2012, had 2.5 sacks. Addison had 2.5 sacks all of last season, but he has speed off the edge.
  • The more I watch Arizona defensive coordinator Todd Bowles call games, the more impressed I am with him as a coach. Even undermanned, he gets it done. Somebody will hire him as a head coach in a year or so.
  • Ravens corner Jimmy Smith is off to a fast start. I thought he could be a Pro Bowl player this year, and so far he has played like it.
  • Ryan Kerrigan had a team-record four sacks for the Redskins. He destroyed Jacksonville right tackle Cam Bradfield.

More Musings

That was a heck of a throw from Bengals wideout Mohamed Sanu to Brandon Tate. It was a dart on the end around. Then he came back and caught a touchdown pass on a great throw by Andy Dalton. When the Bengals have A.J. Green, Marvin Jones and Sanu all on the field -- probably in a few weeks -- they are going to have chance to be explosive on offense.
  • Why did the Dolphins, down 9-0, get the ball back with 2:21 left in the first half and run it six times and head into the locker room? You have Mike Wallace. Take some shots. That's a formula for trying not to lose rather than to win.
  • Whenever I see Bills running back C.J. Spiller rip off a play like his 102-yard kickoff return, my initial thought is this: Get him the damn ball. If I had him in my backfield, he would get way more in terms of touches than what the Bills give him. You can't teach that explosive ability.
  • I am shocked the Houston Texans are 2-0. I didn't see that coming. Props to first-year coach Bill O'Brien. When I saw them in camp, I thought they'd be lucky to win four games.
  • We've seen a lot of complaints about grass playing surfaces early in the season. I think it's time the NFL eliminated grass fields and went completely to Field Turf. Grass gets to torn up, and it can lead to injury issues. Some Texans players thought the field contributed to Jadeveon Clowney getting hurt last week in the opener. Grass is too hard to keep up.
  • Victor Cruz needs to catch the football. He had a handful of drops against the Cardinals.
  • DeMarco Murray sure ran the ball impressively against the Titans for the Cowboys. He rumbled for 167 yards and a touchdown and averaged 5.8 per rush. With so much concern about the Cowboys defense, it makes sense for them to try and keep them off the field.
  • J.J. Watt had as many touchdowns as he did plays on the defensive stat sheet against the Raiders. He had one touchdown catch and one quarterback hit. That's it. But you know the tape will show how impactful he was as a defensive player.