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mesaSteeler
01-06-2009, 08:54 PM
Scifres gives Chargers big leg up against Steelers
Jan. 6, 2009
By Clark Judge
http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/story/11230461

CBSSports.com Senior Writer


The San Diego Chargers hold an enormous advantage over Pittsburgh at a position that could determine the outcome of Sunday's playoff game, and I'm not talking about quarterback, running back or tight end.

I'm talking about Mike Scifres, the team's punter.

Maybe you recognize him as the guy who almost singlehandedly took down Indianapolis last weekend. OK, so that's a stretch, but without him the Chargers never would have won.

All six of his punts wound up inside the Indy 20, four were inside the 10 and the last was a 52-yarder that jammed the Colts at the 1. If I'm Pittsburgh, that has me concerned.

The Steelers aren't exactly Air Coryell on offense. In fact, when they beat San Diego in November they failed to produce a touchdown. With Ben Roethlisberger coming off a concussion, that could happen again. That means we might be looking at a game of field position.

The Steelers better hope not. Because that's a battle they cannot win.

It doesn't take an Einstein to figure out why. Scifres is the league's third-ranked punter, averaging 40.9 yards in net and 45.7 in gross. Furthermore, only five of his 51 punts reached the end zone, while 19 landed inside the 20.

Draw your own conclusions. The Chargers already have.

"We have the best punter in the league," said coach Norv Turner.

Pittsburgh does not. In fact, the Steelers aren't in the same stratosphere. They went through two punters this season, with neither Mitch Berger nor Paul Ernster making much of an impact. They combined to average 39.8 yards per try and 35.6 in net average, and if those numbers seem low you're getting warm.

The first figure ranks 30th in the league, the second 25th, and both are reasons the Chargers can -- and should -- win the all-important struggle for field position.

That doesn't mean I expect San Diego to win, but it does mean the Bolts have the edge in a pivotal area. With one of their stars, running back LaDainian Tomlinson, almost surely out for Sunday's game and another, tight end Antonio Gates, hobbled with a sore ankle they're going to need a difference maker.

And Mike Scifres could be that man.

He has a strong leg, gets great hang time, knows how to kill punts near the goal line and fewer than half his kicks have been returned. All of that was there against Indianapolis, with the Colts returning only two of his kicks for six yards. They took fair catches on two others. The Chargers downed a fifth punt. And the sixth went out of bounds ... at the 1.

In short, they were pushed around by a punter who launched five of six kicks at least 50 yards and whose net average was a staggering 51.7 yards.

I can't imagine Scifres reproducing a performance like that this weekend, but, then, I can't imagine anyone reproducing it. It was the best playoff game by any punter I can remember.

"He was in the zone," said San Diego general manager A.J. Smith. "He has helped us a lot in the past, but that game he was unbelievable. What he did was the equivalent of a quarterback throwing for 450 yards and five touchdown passes, a back running for five touchdowns and 295 yards with 12 catches or a defensive end producing six sacks and 14 tackles, forcing two fumbles, recovering one and blocking a kick."

I think you get the idea. He was more than a punter; he was an honest-to-goodness bazooka. And he helped decide the game's outcome.

He might do that again, provided both teams have as much trouble finding the end zone as they did Nov. 16. The Chargers are handicapped because of Tomlinson's injury, because of Gates' injury and because they face the best defense in the league.

The Steelers are handicapped because they don't know which Ben Roethlisberger shows up, and because, frankly, he hasn't been all that good at home in the playoffs, anyway. Look it up: He has eight interceptions in three playoff games at Heinz Field, and he's won only one of them.

That means the door is open for someone to swing the pendulum, and tell me why that someone could not be Mike Scifres.

I don't say that because of what I saw last weekend. I say it because of what I see almost every weekend. I remember years ago when I asked then-coach Marty Schottenheimer why his Chargers were playing so well, and the first person he mentioned was Scifres -- because, he said, he gave them the field position to win.

That was why Smith chose him in the fifth round of the 2003 draft despite having Darren Bennett on the roster, and why the Chargers kept two punters that season.

"He was the best punter, talent-wise, I'd seen in my career," Smith said. "The only guy who was close was Sean Landeta, whom I scouted when I was with the USFL. He (Scifres) was a terrific punter, and I could not pass him up."

Good thing. The Chargers had him handle kickoffs in 2003, then wheeled him out as their punter one year later when Bennett left for Minnesota. It was, as Smith described it, "a little bit of a unique situation," but it all worked out in the end.

Mike Scifres helped beat Indianapolis a week ago. He hopes he can help beat Pittsburgh this weekend. So go ahead and tell me again why punters don't matter and why they can't decide football games.

I know one who just did.

MasterOfPuppets
01-06-2009, 09:27 PM
:coffee:...... i'm thinking that punting the ball in a nice warm stadium in sandiego,just won't be the same as punting in pittsburgh in january......now lets see those stats on west coast teams coming to the east coast....:applaudit:

stillers4me
01-06-2009, 09:29 PM
Let me get this straight in my little blonde head. Punters get to punt when their team fails to drive the ball 10 yards in 3 attempts. And they fail to score.

Personally, I hope to see alot of this guy. :chuckle:

Crusty
01-06-2009, 09:29 PM
:coffee:...... i'm thinking that punting the ball in a nice warm stadium in sandiego,just won't be the same as punting in pittsburgh in january......now lets see those stats on west coast teams coming to the east coast....:applaudit:

Keep leaning on that sad weather crutch you lame Steelers fans love so dearly. You can't use that argument when you routinely get punked at home in the playoffs, and that when you recently won a Superbowl you did it completely on the road...

Crusty
01-06-2009, 09:31 PM
Let me get this straight in my little blonde head. Punters get to punt when their team fails to drive the ball 10 yards in 3 attempts. And they fail to score.

Personally, I hope to see alot of this guy. :chuckle:

And let me get this straight. You can't see how pinning bad offenses deep in their own territory, whether the punting team scored or not, might lead the even worse offensive team to have troubles scoring themselves?

If you can't bring yourself to admit that the Chargers have a huge advantage on special teams and how that might be big trouble for you, then you are obviously just a cheerleader and not really a fan of football.

TheWarDen86
01-06-2009, 09:34 PM
If he's thier #1 weapon, so-be-it.
I anticipate him getting a lot of work.
:coffee:

tony hipchest
01-06-2009, 09:34 PM
scifres had 2 punts for 43.5 yds against the steelers in pgh.

:coffee:

...its the least of our concerns. nice try clark.

a much superior team in the ravens pinned us down inside the 20 with less than 2 minutes to go. does clark take into account we have the most clutch qb left in the playoffs?

fansince'76
01-06-2009, 09:35 PM
Keep leaning on that sad weather crutch you lame Steelers fans love so dearly. You can't use that argument when you routinely get punked at home in the playoffs, and that when you recently won a Superbowl you did it completely on the road...

Expecting a punter to win you a game is the epitome of lame, pal.

stillers4me
01-06-2009, 09:36 PM
And let me get this straight. You can't see how pinning bad offenses deep in their own territory, whether the punting team scored or not, might lead the even worse offensive team to have troubles scoring themselves?



I'm quite aware of how that works. Our defense is perfectly capable of being the great equalizer........and giving our offense another chance with good field position, if not scoring some points themselves, (if the refs let them count).

X-Terminator
01-06-2009, 09:36 PM
And this Crusty idiot is still here because...?

Shoes
01-06-2009, 09:37 PM
Another "writer" that's spending too much time in the outhouse :coffee:

HometownGal
01-06-2009, 09:44 PM
The guy is an excellent punter- no doubt about it and the Steelers haven't been exactly blessed by great return yardage often this season, but as was already mentioned - punting in the warm weather in SD is a helluva lot different than punting in frigid temps in January in the Burgh.

ChargedUp
01-06-2009, 09:46 PM
Let me get this straight in my little blonde head. Punters get to punt when their team fails to drive the ball 10 yards in 3 attempts. And they fail to score.

Personally, I hope to see alot of this guy. :chuckle:

Do you trust Roth throwing the ball from inside the 5?

stillers4me
01-06-2009, 09:47 PM
Do you trust Roth throwing the ball from inside the 5?

Yes.

ChargedUp
01-06-2009, 09:48 PM
scifres had 2 punts for 43.5 yds against the steelers in pgh.

:coffee:

...its the least of our concerns. nice try clark.

a much superior team in the ravens pinned us down inside the 20 with less than 2 minutes to go. does clark take into account we have the most clutch qb left in the playoffs?

...and the chargers have the "best" QB in the playoffs.

tony hipchest
01-06-2009, 09:49 PM
And let me get this straight. You can't see how pinning bad offenses deep in their own territory, whether the punting team scored or not, might lead the even worse offensive team to have troubles scoring themselves?

If you can't bring yourself to admit that the Chargers have a huge advantage on special teams and how that might be big trouble for you, then you are obviously just a cheerleader and not really a fan of football.you guys arent the ravens. get over yourself. maybe your team should figure out how to actually make it to a championship game before you go flapping your gums. (last year dont count- LT bowed out before the game even began and with norv as a coach was their ever any doubt in the results?)

TheWarDen86
01-06-2009, 09:52 PM
...and the chargers have the "best" QB in the playoffs.

And the Steelers have the only SB winning QB left in the AFC. What's your point?
Sounds like you're trying to put lipstick on that 8-8 pig to me. :chuckle:

tony hipchest
01-06-2009, 09:57 PM
...and the chargers have the "best" QB in the playoffs.... and the wost defense... :sofunny:

put those 2 together and you have a real recipe for success. congrats! you guys are the arizona cardinals only with a suckier qb. :thumbsup:

defense wins championships.

""best qb in the playoffs" only wins individual awards and pro-bowl appearances (unless youre philip rivers, of course) :rofl:

i thought i put you to bed in the blast furnace. seriously, you guys are EXACTLY like bunglefans bragging about carton palmer wining the pro bowl mvp award. :chuckle:

ChargedUp
01-06-2009, 09:59 PM
Yes.

The 24th rated QB starting inside the 5 vs. the top rated QB in the league throwing from the 40 (thanks to Sproles returns). Yikes! I will keep the smack in the smack forum but just some food for thought.

tony hipchest
01-06-2009, 10:00 PM
Do you trust Roth throwing the ball from inside the 5?
who gave up a safety on nov. 16?http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q23/shortyshane_2006/ono_whap.gif

SteelCityMom
01-06-2009, 10:02 PM
The 24th rated QB starting inside the 5 vs. the top rated QB in the league throwing from the 40 (thanks to Sproles returns). Yikes! I will keep the smack in the smack forum but just some food for thought.

How about the 24th rated QB going up against the #2 rated defense in the league from the 8 yard line and putting together a 92 yard drive to win the game, a game in which the division leader would be decided. Yeah BR would NEVER be able to do something like that.

stillers4me
01-06-2009, 10:03 PM
How about the 24th rated QB going up against the #2 rated defense in the league from the 8 yard line and putting together a 92 yard drive to win the game, a game in which the division leader would be decided. Yeah BR would NEVER be able to do something like that.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/sueincinci/ono_whap.gif

:chuckle:

ChargedUp
01-06-2009, 10:08 PM
who gave up a safety on nov. 16?http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q23/shortyshane_2006/ono_whap.gif

I wonder who will get the most penalties! (ehh hemm.. 13-115).

stillers4me
01-06-2009, 10:09 PM
I wonder who will get the most penalties! (ehh hemm.. 13-115).

And we still won.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/sueincinci/ono_whap.gif

SteelCityMom
01-06-2009, 10:10 PM
I wonder who will get the most penalties! (ehh hemm.. 13-115).

Oh wow, really, a Chargers fan bringing up penalties, when we won the game DESPITE all those penalties AND having 2 TD's called back. Aren't you the same fans that whined ALL SEASON over ONE bad call when Denver beat you? Hahaha, funniest smack talk yet!

ChargedUp
01-06-2009, 10:12 PM
And we still won.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/sueincinci/ono_whap.gif

218 yards of offense vs. 410, I would hope so. Should have won by 35 points! :doh:

ChargedUp
01-06-2009, 10:14 PM
Oh wow, really, a Chargers fan bringing up penalties, when we won the game DESPITE all those penalties AND having 2 TD's called back. Aren't you the same fans that whined ALL SEASON over ONE bad call when Denver beat you? Hahaha, funniest smack talk yet!

Sorry mom, gotta continue this in the smack forum lest I get banned! The mods on this forum have been patient with us visiting fans so far, I won't push it.

tony hipchest
01-06-2009, 10:15 PM
218 yards of offense vs. 410, I would hope so. Should have won by 35 points! :doh:awww...

poor little guy. looks like youre still bleeding from that ass whoopin...

http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q23/shortyshane_2006/tampax.gif

....time to put a cork in it, quentin jabberjaw.

SteelCityMom
01-06-2009, 10:17 PM
218 yards of offense vs. 410, I would hope so. Should have won by 35 points! :doh:

You're right, and everybody knows that, too bad you guys caught a lucky break getting a TD due to a botched PI call that put you on the 3 yrd. line and we had 2TD's called back or else that game would have been 25-3.

It all goes back to how lucky you were that the flag happy refs were only flagging the Steelers. Can you imagine how lopsided the score would have been if the Chargers actually had to lose some yards when they were holding Harrison in a choke hold on every play?

HometownGal
01-06-2009, 10:17 PM
http://buffalobillsreview.com/articles/uploaded_images/refs-719507.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/sueincinci/ono_whap.gif

SteelCityMom
01-06-2009, 10:18 PM
Sorry mom, gotta continue this in the smack forum lest I get banned! The mods on this forum have been patient with us visiting fans so far, I won't push it.

No we really don't need to continue it anywhere, since you have no argument at all concerning this issue.

tony hipchest
01-06-2009, 10:23 PM
Sorry mom, gotta continue this in the smack forum lest I get banned! The mods on this forum have been patient with us visiting fans so far, I won't push it.

http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q23/shortyshane_2006/youathingofthepastiya5.jpg

tony hipchest
01-06-2009, 10:26 PM
No we really don't need to continue it anywhere, since you have no argument at all concerning this issue.

http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q23/shortyshane_2006/whap.jpg

ChargedUp
01-06-2009, 10:26 PM
:blah:No we really don't need to continue it anywhere, since you have no argument at all concerning this issue.
:blah:

SteelCityMom
01-06-2009, 10:30 PM
:blah:
:blah:

Well seriously, what's your argument. All you've said so far is that Roethlisberger won't be able to put together long drives to score when he's already proven that he can against very good defenses. Then you go on to argue that the only reason the Chargers lost such a close game to the Steelers in week 11 is because the Steelers had 13 penalties for 115 yards vs. the Chargers 2 penalties for 5 yards (the second one taking away a Steelers TD). What does that say for our defense and what does that say for your "high powered" offense?

stillers4me
01-06-2009, 10:31 PM
Well seriously, what's your argument. All you've said so far is that Roethlisberger won't be able to put together long drives to score when he's already proven that he can against very good defenses. Then you go on to argue that the only reason the Chargers lost such a close game to the Steelers in week 11 is because the Steelers had 13 penalties for 115 yards vs. the Chargers 2 penalties for 5 yards (the second one taking away a TD). What does that say for our defense and what does that say for your "high powered" offense?

But Mooooooooommmmmmmmm........they have that awsome punter. :wink02:

SteelCityMom
01-06-2009, 10:33 PM
But Mooooooooommmmmmmmm........they have that awsome punter. :wink02:

:nw:

tony hipchest
01-06-2009, 10:38 PM
:blah:
:blah:get over it, a mom is smacking you around on a football forum...:chuckle:.... (although im pretty sure you are used to it in real life).

back to the basement for you, bub.

nighty nite!

SteelCityMom
01-06-2009, 10:45 PM
get over it, a mom is smacking you around on a football forum...:chuckle:.... (although im pretty sure you are used to it in real life).

back to the basement for you, bub.

nighty nite!

I can hear the wheels in his head grinding from here...

:coffee:

WWIIOwheelz
01-06-2009, 10:49 PM
LOL... I've seen just about everything, now

We've been drive-by punter-hyped

El-Gonzo Jackson
01-07-2009, 12:16 AM
scifres had 2 punts for 43.5 yds against the steelers in pgh.

:coffee:

...its the least of our concerns. nice try clark.

? No Kidding. I cant understand how everybody makes fun of kickers as non athletes and when a guy has a good game, he is suddenly the next big thing. We are talking about a KICKER?!?!?!?!?!?

Steelman16
01-07-2009, 12:40 AM
Can anybody feel an Andre Fraiser punt block coming?

:popcorn:

Polamalu43
01-07-2009, 12:46 AM
Keep leaning on that sad weather crutch you lame Steelers fans love so dearly. You can't use that argument when you routinely get punked at home in the playoffs, and that when you recently won a Superbowl you did it completely on the road...

Let me ask you someething dude? why are all charger fans so C***Y and your douche bag QB, when you guys have never won squat!! :thumbsup:

so i guess we should be scared of the punter now, WOW HAHAHA .. bring it on!!

SteelersinCA
01-07-2009, 01:52 AM
A punter and 5'6" RB, I'm liking this more and more every day!!!

BehindSteelCurtain
01-07-2009, 03:31 AM
I'd rather see him than SD scoring.

Edman
01-07-2009, 05:02 AM
A Charger fan talking smack on the Steelers playoff failures?

Jesus Christ. At least the Steelers have accomplished something in their history. The Chargers only shining moment was getting destroyed in the Super Bowl.

markymarc
01-07-2009, 07:38 AM
Can we just get to Sunday already :chuckle:

stlrtruck
01-07-2009, 07:59 AM
Can we just get to Sunday already :chuckle:

AMEN Brother, these freaking san diego :troll:s are starting to wear me thin!!!

HometownGal
01-07-2009, 08:05 AM
AMEN Brother, these freaking san diego :troll:s are starting to wear me thin!!!

Don't fret my Steelers brother - come Sunday night, the trolls (and I do realize that not all of the Bolts fans who have been visiting are trolls) will be slithering out of here after their neutering with their tails between their legs.

http://www.clipartof.com/images/clipart/xsmall2/18947_scared_dog_at_the_vets_office_cowering_with_ his_tail_tucked_between_his_legs_protecting_his_te sticles_before_getting_neutered.jpg

GodofGridiron
01-07-2009, 10:12 AM
Boy.............i'll say this: Theres a lot of us here selling woof tickets about this game.......i just hope this team and Ben can back all of us up on Sunday or we're gonna be a very disgruntled and depressed bunch come Sunday eve/Monday am.

Im hopin for the best, but damn.........if we get upset at home, the talk from the media and other fans will be unbearable and the mods around here are gonna be very active. This is why i stay grounded in reality. I have not a f'kin clue whats about to occur on Sunday. I havent the slightest idea how Ben plays, how there could be a miscalculation on a read..........the footing on the field.......a tipped pass (on an errant throw) taken back for six.............ya just never know about these things. Im not gonna building my expectations so high that if they fall on Sunday, ill become crushed. I'll just hope they play there best, no one gets hurt and we can advance to the Conference championship game. Tempered............

Hines0wnz
01-07-2009, 11:57 AM
Keep leaning on that sad weather crutch you lame Steelers fans love so dearly. You can't use that argument when you routinely get punked at home in the playoffs, and that when you recently won a Superbowl you did it completely on the road...

And let me get this straight. You can't see how pinning bad offenses deep in their own territory, whether the punting team scored or not, might lead the even worse offensive team to have troubles scoring themselves?

If you can't bring yourself to admit that the Chargers have a huge advantage on special teams and how that might be big trouble for you, then you are obviously just a cheerleader and not really a fan of football.

So you are debating how your punter will win the game for your team? Sounds like defeatist talk to me, some fan you are. I'm thinking if Scifres has more than 8 punts in the game, the Chargers are in worse shape than the Steelers. But hey, if he nets over 50ypp again, good work! :thumbsup:

Hines4ever
01-07-2009, 03:20 PM
A Charger fan talking smack on the Steelers playoff failures?

Jesus Christ. At least the Steelers have accomplished something in their history. The Chargers only shining moment was getting destroyed in the Super Bowl.

AMEN TO THAT :applaudit:

The_WARDen
01-07-2009, 03:23 PM
So you are debating how your punter will win the game for your team? Sounds like defeatist talk to me, some fan you are. I'm thinking if Scifres has more than 8 punts in the game, the Chargers are in worse shape than the Steelers. But hey, if he nets over 50ypp again, good work! :thumbsup:

They can punt 8 times and the Steelers'll kick off 8 times. Works for me...

FEAR THE PUNTER?? Gimme a break....

:rofl:

memphissteelergirl
01-07-2009, 03:37 PM
To be perfectly honest, guys, I think a lot of you are dismissing this too quickly. I think Scrifes(sp) performance was essential in the Chargers' win. Pinning the Colts back in their own territory set up their defense to give Manning headaches all afternoon. And how many times have we b*tched and moaned about the yardage our scrub punters have given up all season? (God, I miss D-Sep :doh:)

It could very well be that this game could come down to field position, and that squarely falls on the shoulders of special teams.

markymarc
01-08-2009, 06:35 AM
AMEN Brother, these freaking san diego :troll:s are starting to wear me thin!!!

So true. And it's a shame especially for the Charger fans who actually come here to talk football.

Shoes
01-11-2009, 11:48 PM
Yep that big leg punted right to #10 for a :tt:

SteelCurtain7
01-12-2009, 03:07 AM
Well said, Shoes. :tt:

markymarc
01-12-2009, 07:58 AM
Well the Scifres flavor of the week didn't last too long. Great job ESPN calling that one.

LittleTank
01-12-2009, 08:35 AM
Shame the punter wasn't play defense. I guess he is a good punter but not a good tackler?? Damn chargers fans have to learn not to let ESPN dictate the hype of the week.
Deion Sanders said if the chargers went to the superbowl he would give away his tickets. espn fails hard.

fansince'76
01-12-2009, 08:36 AM
Deion Sanders said if the chargers went to the superbowl he would give away his tickets. espn fails hard.

"Prime Time" is a douche.