The Indianapolis Colts did a great job stopping LaDainian Tomlinson in their game earlier this season.LT couldn’t use his most fearsome weapon against the Colts—the cutback run. Why? Because of the rain.
LT is not nearly the same threat on a slick field as he is on a dry one. Norv, listen to me—you’ve got to use Michael Turner in the rain.
When the Chargers played the Titans last Sunday, the rain stopped LT from cutting back, giving the Titans a legitimate shot at winning the game. Unfortunately for the Titans, Philip Rivers is historically a big game quarterback, who plays at the top of his game when the pressure is on. I wasn’t surprised to see Rivers make several big plays to win that game.
Linebacker Gary Brackett of the Colts says that Peyton is going to have a dry ball to work with, and that will give the Colts an advantage. That may well be true—but LT is going to have a dry field to run on, and it is a fact that Tomlinson will an advantage. If you look at rainy games in the past, LT has not fared well:
2007 Rain: Tennessee Titans: 21 carries for 42 yards, Win
Dry: Tennessee Titans: 26 carries for 147 yards, Win
Rain: Indianapolis Colts: 21 carries for 76 yards, Win
2006 Rain: Kansas City Chiefs: 15 carries for 66 yards, Loss
Dry: Kansas City Chiefs: 25 carries for 199 yards, Win
Rain: Seattle Seahawks: 22 carries for 123 yards, Win
(over half the yardage was on one run)
2005 Rain: Kansas City Chiefs: 14 carries for 47 yards, Loss
Dry: Kansas City Chiefs: 17 carries for 69 yards, Win
2004 Rain: New York Jets: 26 carries for 80 yards, Loss
Dry: New York Jets: 19 carries for 87 yards, Loss
There will be no rain this time, but it is going to be tough for LT to get going early because there will be eight or nine men in the box to stop the run—before Rivers forces them out of it.
Rivers is the ultimate competitor. He will get it done against the Colts. All of these talking heads that keep going on about how horrible and inconsistent Philip Rivers has been playing are commenting about two months too late.
This game will not be a repeat of the last game these teams played, when LT was stuffed on seemingly play.