Monday 23 October 2017 / 06:07 AM

Airing it Out: Week 9 – Chargers on the slide?

Not long ago Philip Rivers was the darling of San Diego and an MVP hopeful. Remember? When the Bolts were (5-1) and tied with the Broncos atop the AFC West?

Well, all that’s changed now that the Chargers have dropped three straight, including Sunday’s embarrassing 37-0 shutout at the hands of the mighty Dolphins.

Just yesterday we were discussing how far this team could really go, and now we’re wondering if they’ll even be able to squeak into the post-season. As of today, they’re tied for sixth place in the Wild Card standings. They’re even half a game back of the Cleveland Browns and the Buffalo Bills. Yes, those Browns and Bills.

San Diego is old news and Miami has jumped square into the spotlight.

And it’s been a while since the Fins were the talk of the town. Hell, even their own fans can’t believe it:

Team on the Rise

Speaking of the Dolphins, they’re currently riding a three-game win streak and keeping pace with the New England Patriots in the AFC East – but the Steelers have won three straight as well, and in emphatic fashion.

Guess what? We featured Pittsburgh as the Team on the Rise last week, too. But they’re just that hot – and we’re talkin’ about them again.

So…if you think that you’ve got a big dick, check out this guy:

Big Ben has been on a ridiculous tear, so much so that in just two weeks he’s probably saved the Steelers’ Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley’s job.

When’s the last time you saved someone’s job?

That’s what I thought.

To follow up on their 51-34 creaming of the Colts, the Steelers doubled down and crushed their rival Baltimore Ravens 43-23.

Pittsburgh’s next two games are against the Jets and the Titans. This team is going to the playoffs, one way or another.

What happened to the Red Hot Ravens?

The Baltimore Ravens have only lost two straight, against good teams (Pittsburgh and Cincinnati), but they’ve dropped into fourth place in the AFC North and looked helpless on defense Sunday night as the Steelers racked up six offensive touchdowns.

A win or two and they’ll be right back in the thick of things but for now this is a team headed in the wrong direction.

Team on the Decline

Controversy or not, the Niners have dropped two in a row and are now (4-4) at the mid point of the season.

Next Sunday they travel to New Orleans to face a Saints team that has won two games straight and is undefeated in 2014 at the Super Dome. Should San Francisco fail to stop Drew Brees’ high-powered aerial attack, the 49ers will be in serious danger of missing the playoffs for the first time under Head Coach Jim Harbaugh.

San Francisco may have finally dug themselves a hole that they won’t be able to climb out of.

There’s no questioning Colin Kaepernick’s talent and athletic prowess, but his leadership abilities will truly be tested over the course of the rest of this season in the face of adversity.

Commentary Box Sports Top 10 Power Rankings

Rank 1 – Patriots     Up 5

Yes Tom…yes, you do.

Sorry Cards, but after embarrassing the Broncos the way they did in Foxboro, New England’s got to be #1-

Rank 2 – Cardinals     —

Hold DeMarco Murray under 100 yards: Check.

Grab sole possession of the best record in the NFC for the first time since 1974: Double-check.

Rank 3 – Broncos     Down 2

In the preseason an NFL great predicted the Broncos to have a pretty special season.

They won’t go undefeated, but Denver fans need not be crapping their pants yet, either.

Rank 4 – Eagles     —

Nick Foles Version 2.0 has looked nothing like the guy who tossed 27 TDs to 2 interceptions in 2013.

Don’t be surprised if Mark Sanchez is able to get it done in Philly. Stranger things have happened and the guy did lead the Jets to back-to-back AFC Championships before he started butt-fumbling.

Rank 5 – Colts     —

Indy got back on track this week, dropping 40 points on the Giants.

Andrew Luck can’t be stopped.

Rank 6 – Steelers   New to List

Some franchises just refuse to go down. The Pittsburgh Steelers are one such franchise.

Rank 7 – Cowboys     Down 4

There’s a reason why Brandon Weeden hasn’t tweeted since July of 2013. Check out his profile – he’s still listed as the quarterback for the Browns.

Seriously, how the %&#@ was this the best option the Boys could find to back up a fragile Tony Romo?

Rank 8 – Lions     —

The Lions were on BYE last week and they’ll have their hands full on Sunday against the suddenly relevant Dolphins.

But Megatron could be back in the line-up.

Rank 9 – Seahawks     Down 2

At one point the Hawks led the hapless Raiders 24-3. They were forcing turnovers and dominating an inferior team as the champion ought to.

By the time it was over they were recovering an onside kick that nearly gave Oakland a chance at a last-second miracle.

Seahawks 30–24 Raiders. A win is a win but play this sloppy won’t cut it against quality teams.

Rank 10 – Packers     —

BYE week. Yawn.

Expect a fresh Packers team to demolish the Bears this weekend in Green Bay

Fell out of the top 10: Chargers

Not funny. I started Philip Rivers last week. He notched -2.3 fantasy points – suh-weet!

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Michael Airhart

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