December 2006 - Los Angeles Chargers Wiretap
Merriman Responds To Taylor
Shawne Merriman responded to Jason Taylor's criticism on Thursday. "He has a right to his opinion," Merriman told reporters in San Diego. "As for my suspension ... I think the league did what was appropriate and that was to suspend me for four games, even though I feel personally I didn't do anything wrong." Merriman, whose nickname is "Lights Out," also poked a little fun at Taylor. "I sent him a 'Lights Out' hat and a 'Lights Out' T-shirt and a bag of popcorn so he can watch us in the playoffs," said Merriman, whose 13-2 Chargers lead the AFC.
Merriman And Young Named Players Of The Week
Rookie quarterback Vince Young of the Tennessee Titans, linebacker Shawne Merriman of the San Diego Chargers and kicker Kris Brown of the Houston Texans are the AFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played the 16th week of the 2006 season (December 21, 23-25), the NFL announced on Wednesday.
Pro Bowl Rosters Announced
Nine members of the AFC roster are first-time All-Stars, including Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, in his first year as a starter, and three of his San Diego teammates. The Chargers own the conference's best record at 12-2. Helping Rivers at the AFC's quarterback position will be Indianapolis' Peyton Manning and Carson Palmer of Cincinnati. Manning leads the NFL in touchdowns (26) and passer rating (99.0) and will start for the AFC in his seventh trip to Aloha Stadium. The Colts' QB led all NFL players in Pro Bowl fan balloting with 1,183,468 votes. Palmer earned his second consecutive All-Star selection, standing No. 2 in the AFC to Manning in both TD passes (24) and passing yards (3,575). A pair of Chargers will start in the AFC's backfield: running back LaDainian Tomlinson and fullback Lorenzo Neal. Named to his fourth Pro Bowl, Tomlinson already has scored an NFL-record 31 touchdowns on the season. Playing in his third Pro Bowl and his second as a Charger, Neal has helped open holes for Tomlinson, who leads the NFL with 1,626 rushing yards. Neal boasts the NFL's best mark of seven-for-seven on third-and-one rushes for first downs. Adding to the AFC's backfield's punch will be Kansas City's Larry Johnson and Willie Parker of Pittsburgh. This is the second consecutive Pro Bowl trip for Johnson, who ranks second in the league with 1,516 yards rushing. Parker ties for third in the NFL with 11 rushing TDs and will wear the AFC Pro Bowl uniform for the first time in his three-year career. QB Manning will have familiar faces to throw to as Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne suit up for their eighth and first Pro Bowls, respectively. The Indianapolis receiving duo marks the first time that two Colts receivers have been All-Star selections. Harrison has five Pro Bowl TDs, tied for the game's career record. Starting at the team's wideout positions will be a "Johnson & Johnson" combination -- Andre Johnson of Houston, who leads the NFL with 97 receptions, and Cincinnati's Chad Johnson, whose 1,247 receiving yards top the league. The '07 game is the Texans' Johnson's second Pro Bowl while the Bengals' Johnson makes his fourth trip. Representing the AFC at tight end will be eight-time all-star Tony Gonzalez of the Chiefs and the Chargers' Antonio Gates, who will play in his third consecutive Pro Bowl and get the start. Equaling a Pro Bowl record for games played will be guard Will Shields, who will wear his Chiefs helmet under the Hawaii sun for the 12th time, tying Randall McDaniel (12) for the game's career service record. Joining Shields at the other starting guard position is Pittsburgh's Alan Faneca, making his sixth consecutive AFC squad. Shields' KC teammate Brian Waters was tabbed for his third straight Pro Bowl for the American Conference. This is the first time in history that a team has had the same two guards selected for three consecutive Pro Bowls. AFC starting center Jeff saturday will snap to Manning for the second consecutive Pro Bowl as he has for the past eight years in Indy. First-time AFC All-Star Nick Hardwick of San Diego is the conference's center of choice behind Saturday. Charged with keeping NFC defensive ends at bay are a pair of AFC North tackle mainstays: Jonathan Ogden of Baltimore, playing in his 10th consecutive Pro Bowl in his 11 NFL seasons, and Cincinnati's Willie Anderson, who will travel to Hawaii for the fourth consecutive year. Fans, players, and coaches also voted in Tarik Glenn of Indianapolis for his third Pro Bowl in a row. Starting defensive interior linemen Richard Seymour of New England and San Diego's Jamal Williams are the core of the AFC defensive unit. Seymour, the lone Patriot on the squad, faces the NFC's best for the fifth time. Williams will play in Hawaii for a second time. Casey Hampton, one of four Steelers in the game, fortifies this AFC DL position in his third Pro Bowl. A trio of double-digit sack artists will aim to hurry NFC passers: Buffalo's Aaron Schobel (13.5), Jason Taylor (12.5) of Miami, and Oakland's Derrick Burgess (11.0). Schobel, a former college teammate of Tomlinson's at TCU, joins him on the AFC sideline in his first Pro Bowl selection. Starting opposite Schobel is five-time All-Star Taylor. Burgess represents the Raiders in Hawaii for the second consecutive year. Outside linebacker Adalius Thomas, who has added to his sack total of 10.5 in eight of the past 10 games, is one of four Ravens on defense. Playing in his second Pro Bowl, Thomas is joined by fellow outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, free safety Ed Reed and cornerback Chris McAlister. Thomas and Reed, in his third NFL All-Star Game, have starting assignments. This marks McAlister's third Pro Bowl and Suggs' second. Joining Thomas and Suggs at outside linebacker and starting is San Diego's Shawne Merriman, participating in the game for the second time in his two-year career. Patrolling the middle of the AFC defense will be middle linebackers Al Wilson of Denver and Miami's Zach Thomas. Wilson gets the start in his third Pro Bowl while Thomas represents the Dolphins a seventh time -- the most All-Star distinctions by any defender in team history. A total of 15 interceptions are shared between starting cornerbacks Champ Bailey (eight) of Denver and Jacksonville's Rashean Mathis (seven). This marks Bailey's seventh consecutive Pro Bowl and his third in a Denver uniform. Mathis makes his All-Star debut and is the first corner in Jaguars history selected to the AFC roster. Along with the Ravens' Reed in the defense's deep center is free safety John Lynch of Denver and starting strong safety Troy Polamalu of Pittsburgh. This will be Polamalu's third consecutive Pro Bowl trip and the eighth such honor for Lynch, his third consecutive as a Bronco. The AFC special teams feature three first-time Pro Bowl honorees. New York kick returner Justin Miller tops the NFL with a 28.7-yard average and is the only player in the AFC this season to return two kickoffs for touchdowns. San Diego wide receiver Kassim Osgood, who will serve as the AFC's special teamer, makes his Hawaii debut as will teammate Nate Kaeding, who has split the uprights on 22 of 25 field-goal attempts (88.0 percent) on the year. The All-Star veteran of the group is Buffalo punter Brian Moorman, who earned his second consecutive honor. Moorman tops the AFC with a 39.5 net average and has placed 29 of his 83 punts inside his opponents' 20-yard line. The Chicago Bears placed a conference-high seven players on the National Football Conference All-Star team that will face the American Football Conference All-Stars in the 2007 Pro Bowl on Saturday, February 10 in Honolulu, Hawaii (CBS, 6:00 PM ET), the NFL announced today. Thirteen NFC players will participate in their first Pro Bowl, including Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, who has won six of his first eight career starts and guided the Cowboys to a playoff birth. Three of the Bears' Pro Bowl players -- special teamer Brendon Ayanbadejo, kicker Robbie Gould and rookie kick return specialist Devin Hester -- are also first-time All-Stars. They join six-time All-Stars Olin Kreutz and Brian Urlacher and two-time All-Stars Lance Briggs and Tommie Harris to form the largest Chicago contingent in Hawaii since seven Bears were chosen to participate in the 1987 Pro Bowl.
Chargers Send Nine Players To Pro Bowl
A team-record and NFL-leading nine players from the San Diego Chargers were voted by NFL players, coaches and fans to participate in this season?s Pro Bowl in Hawaii. The previous high was eight players voted to the game following the 1980 season. The Pro Bowl, pitting the best players of the AFC against the best of the NFC, will be played on Saturday, Feb. 10 in Honolulu. Heading the list is NFL MVP candidate LaDainian Tomlinson who caps his record- breaking season with the fourth Pro Bowl selection in his first six seasons. Tomlinson received 1,111,684 votes from the fans to rank second overall for the NFL All-Stars. He played in the game following the 2002, ?04 and ?05 seasons. From the offense, first-year starting quarterback Philip Rivers, fullback Lorenzo Neal and center Nick Hardwick were voted to the squad along with tight end Antonio Gates. Defensive tackle Jamal Williams and linebacker Shawne Merriman will represent the defense, and they?ll be joined by kicker Nate Kaeding and special teams standout Kassim Osgood. Neal and Gates will be playing in their third Pro Bowls while Williams and Merriman will be making their second trip to the Aloha State. Rivers, Hardwick, Kaeding and Osgood earned the recognition for the first time.
Updated Playoff Scenarios
AFC EAST DIVISION New England can clinch division with: 1) NE win or tie, OR 2) NYJ loss or tie. New England can clinch playoff berth with: 1) CIN/DEN tie. AFC NORTH DIVISION Baltimore has clinched division. Cincinnati can clinch playoff berth with: 1) CIN win + BUF loss or tie + NYJ loss, OR 2) CIN win + BUF loss or tie + JAX loss. AFC SOUTH DIVISION Indianapolis has clinched division. Indianapolis can clinch first-round bye with: 1) IND win + BAL loss. AFC WEST DIVISION San Diego has clinched division. San Diego can clinch homefield advantage with: 1) SD win + BAL loss or tie, OR 2) SD tie + BAL loss + IND loss or tie. San Diego can clinch first-round bye with: 1) SD win, OR 2) IND loss, OR 2) SD tie + IND tie, OR 3) SD tie + BAL loss. Denver can clinch playoff berth with: 1) DEN win + KC loss or tie + NYJ loss, OR 2) DEN win + KC loss or tie + JAX loss. NFC EAST DIVISION Dallas has clinched playoff berth. Dallas can clinch division with: 1) DAL win. Philadelphia can clinch playoff berth with: 1) PHI win, OR 2) PHI tie + NYG loss or tie, OR 3) PHI tie + ATL loss. New York can clinch playoff berth with: 1) NYG win + MIN loss or tie + ATL loss + PHI win or tie + SEA win or tie, OR 2) NYG win + MIN loss or tie + ATL loss + PHI win or tie + SF loss or tie. NFC NORTH DIVISION Chicago has clinched homefield advantage. NFC SOUTH DIVISION New Orleans has clinched division. New Orleans can clinch first-round bye with: 1) NO win + DAL loss. NFC WEST DIVISION Seattle can clinch division with: 1) SEA win or tie, OR 2) SF loss or tie.
LT: Jaw Injury Nothing Serious
LaDainian Tomlinson said X-rays on his jaw showed nothing serious, and that he simply had his TMJ (Temporomandibular joint disorder) aggravated by a hit late in Sunday's game. ?It's nothing that is significant,? he said. ?After taking a shot there it kind of came back. I've dealt with it before. I'm going to continue to play.?
Favre Breaks Completions Record
Brett Favre passed Dan Marino to become the league leader in completions with a 21-yard pass to wide receiver Carlyle Holiday in the Packers' game against the Detroit Lions. Favre found Holiday over the middle with 1:42 left in the second quarter for the 4,968th completion of his 16-year career. Favre needed 14 completions coming into the game to top the list. Favre, who has also started a quarterbacks-record 255 consecutive games, tied Marino's mark with a 5-yard pass to Ahman Green before completing his sixth consecutive pass to Holiday on the next play.
L.T. Breaks Alexander's TD Record
LaDainian Tomlinson broke Shaun Alexander's NFL single-season touchdown record of 28 when he scored three times Sunday in the Chargers' game against the Broncos. With the fans chanting for Tomlinson, the star running back took a handoff from Philip Rivers and scored on a 6-yard run with 3:57 left to tie it. After Denver fumbled, Tomlinson got No. 29 on a 7-yard run just 47 seconds later.
RealGM Team Rankings
Here?s your RealGM Rankings, everybody. Notice a small change, do you? Yep, that?s San Diego at the top. Please, hold your applause until all the teams have finished the swimsuit competition.
L.T. Could Make Touchdown History Against Broncos
LaDainian Tomlinson's touchdown binge could carry him into the NFL record book and the Chargers to a division title in Week 14. Tomlinson continues his march toward the single-season record for touchdowns Sunday when the Chargers host the Broncos in a key AFC West matchup.