Like/dislike: Welcome back, Aaron Rodgers


What we are talking about:

  • Russell Wilson

    Running out of rope as a fantasy starter

  • Aaron Rodgers

    Is he officially back?

  • Norv Turner

    Accurately remembering his Chargers tenure

I used to have this job where I worked at a local Rite Aid scooping ice cream. It wasn't that fun. But I had conditioned my mind to believe that it was a lot better than it was. But recently, one of my friends who worked with me reminded me of all of the terrible things we had to do while we talked about it on Facebook. For instance, we had (or strongly suggested) to work free overtime because our store was about to go through inspection. I remember the (expletive) attitude my manger gave me when I said I was leaving for the day.

Or should I say, morning. Because it was 6 a.m. and I wanted to leave so I could go home and shower before first period. Actually, this was my senior year and I had late arrival because I couldn't take early dismissal because of baseball practice. But that's not the point. The point is I was getting no overtime for this. I had clocked in at five in the afternoon the previous evening. And my parents were like, (forget) those jerks, come home. Actually, my mom let me sleep until noon and go to school at lunch. She's cool that way.

Bottom line, though. Rite Aid was awful. Mr. Johnson was awful. And I romanticized the entire thing. Which, I guess, is a human experience.

I bring this up because it seems a lot of people have romanticized just how good of a head coach Norv Turner was. I got a lot more heat for this tweet than I intended when I sent it out on Wednesday morning.

The majority of Chargers fans who lived through this period (and I had season tickets at some point) loved the tweet. But not everybody. One local newspaper reporter quote tweeted it and said, "This is the stupidest thing I've read on Twitter today. Come at me!"

That was hilarious for a variety of reasons. For starters, it's the election season. So obviously you don't read enough of Twitter if that was the dumbest thing you've read all day. It probably wasn't even the dumbest thing I tweeted on Wednesday. And second, begging somebody to respond to you might be one of the most pathetic things I've read on the internet, ever. And I read a lot of the internet.

It's like being the angry guy at the bar who wants to get into fights for whatever reason (mostly because he's sad). You know the guy, strutting around in a Tapout shirt, drinking Monster and Coors Light. "Did you say something, bro! COME AT ME!"

So I'm going to politely excuse myself here, and I'll let somebody else take your bait. Because I'm cool. (Well, not cool like I'm Ryan Reynolds or something. [Is it weird Ryan Reynolds is my definition of cool?] But I mean, we're good. In the Stella, no, we're not broken up kind of good. Though, I might actually be on Mosby's side here because I do want to break up with you, San Diego beat writer.)

Here's the thing; I was just trying to make some San Diego fans smile. I .. damn it, now I'm kind of mad. All right let me break this down for you.

Norv Turner was a disaster. He took over a loaded Chargers team that finished 14-2 and led them to three fewer wins the following season. He finished above .500 in just three of his six years in San Diego. Which isn't great. In fact, Turner's teams have finished with double-digit wins in three of his 15 years as a head coach. He made the playoffs four times in those 15 years.

I can just about guarantee you the only reason a San Diego beat writer would stick up for Norv is because he probably hung out with them at the sushi bar or something. Marty was kind of a jerk to them. Though, the San Diego beat writers kind of deserve it. I've hung out at Chargers Park a few times. They have this double-wide trailer in the back that served as the media room. And these guys would just sit around and complain about anything. I remember sitting there listening to them be just so upset with the world. And I was thinking to myself, 'these guys live in San Diego, one of the top five cities in the country and they are complaining?' I made eye contact with this kid who worked there and gave him one of those sympathy nods. So my conjecture is Norv made these guys feel good about themselves so he was given a free pass.

And Turner should not have been.

It should be noted, the Chargers interviewed Rex Ryan and passed on him for Norv. You might remember Ryan took an undermanned Jets team to two AFC Championship Games. Norv took a 14-win team to 11 wins. That's awesome. What do you think Rex would have done with the Chargers of that era? The minimum is set at two Super Bowl appearances. I'd give them the win over the Giants. Probably beat the Saints, too.

One other thing I would like to add to the record. Norv took the Chargers to three consecutive playoff berths. Which this Chargers' newspaper guy equated with the Cowboys dynasty of the 1990s. The final playoff team for the Chargers came in 2009. The team won the division at 13-3. Guess who eliminated them in the playoffs? Spoiler alert, it was the New York Jets.


So Turner took over a pretty great team and slowly made them worse, season after season. It's similar to Pete Carroll's tenure with the Patriots. He had some success, because he inherited a Super Bowl-caliber team. But he eventually made it worse. You'd be hard pressed to find a New England reporter who would contend those were the salad days of the Patriots franchise. They would actually look at those years with disdain.

Similarly, most San Diego fans should look at those Turner years as a wasted opportunity. To celebrate playoff seasons is garbage. You had that with Marty. I have higher hopes for the citizens of San Diego. Maybe your reporters are cool with playoff appearances for the Chargers. Playoff appearances for the Padres. An NCAA hoops bid or bowl game for the Aztecs. I think you should aim higher.

Don't settle for just a playoff season. I know at the current time it would look pretty cool. But don't buy into that. If the Cavs and Cubs have taught you anything this season, it's that you can achieve more and curses are (expletive). So be better. Even if your newspaper guys are not.

And without further ado ...

Derek Carr was pretty amazing last week with 513 passing yards. I really wish he would have had a chance to break the single-game record that was set by Norm Van Brocklin in 1951 when he threw for 554 yards.

The NFL Media Research Department (mavens, all of them) pointed out no quarterback has had back-to-back 500 yard passing games. What's weird, is I would have gathered it had happened, as strange as that seems. Like, if somebody posed that to you as a trivia question, wouldn't you have guessed Drew Brees or Kurt Warner or Jay Fiedler or someone?

Carson Wentz has not completed a pass of more than 15 air yards in his last two games (0-for-6, no touchdowns, 1 pick, 0.0 passer rating). He was better in his first five games. Duh.

The Giants have allowed just 11 sacks this season (second-fewest in the NFL), so what exactly is Eli Manning doing? He's got a tougher matchup this week against the Eagles who have 22 sacks this year (third-highest total in the league).

The Vikings offense line has been beset by injuries and Sam Bradford is a sitting duck. Or Viking in this case. He's been sacked 11 times in the last two games, after being sacked just eight times in the first four games.

Ben Roethlisberger is 2-5 in his first start after an injury, with nine touchdowns and 10 picks. I just hope one of those touchdowns go to Antonio Brown, because then we cool.

Russell Wilson's biggest struggle this year has been his inability to run the ball. He ranks 20th among quarterbacks in rushing yards. He should like, take a week off or something. Because until he gets healthy, he is going to continue to struggle.

Where is Jared Goff? Five other rookies drafted in 2016 have started games before Goff this season. Goff is the first rookie quarterback drafted first overall to see at least five drafted rookie quarterbacks from his class start before him in the common draft era.

Image A cool moment did happen this week that wasn't related to the Cubs. There is a weekly draft lottery for Rams tickets here in the office. I thought to myself, ooh, it would be cool to go see Cam Newton this week up close and personal. And then I realized I don't really want to go to an NFL game and the feeling went away. But I did have that initial feeling and thought it would be a cool thing, at least for a moment.

I would say the reason I lost interest is because of Jeff Fisher and the uniforms. Which is hugely lame. The uniform thing is. I know I mention this a ton, but it's such an easy fix and the league/team just won't make the commitment to the fans. And then there is Fisher. This is the most inexplicable coaching tenure since Norv Turner, as mentioned above.

I don't know where to wedge this in, but what a bummer for Jamie Collins who was traded from the Patriots to the Browns this week. That's like going from a Rolls Royce to a toaster.

Do you think the great people of London watched the Bengals and Redskins on Sunday and openly wondered which team was going to be relegated?

I'm rather confident I mentioned this last week, but if you're not convinced to adopt the college overtime rules, then nothing is ever going to convince you.

Le'Veon Bell has yet to score a touchdown this season (99 touches). That's the most touches without a touchdown this season.

I have Spencer Ware in 85 percent of my leagues, but I didn't get Charcandrick West in a single one of them. I would certainly play West. The matchup is good (I even wrote this in the other ledger). But the Jaguars are going to show some pride, right? This seems like the kind of game where you expect a ton from a guy and he doesn't come through. I've seen this before.

Whew, I almost forgot to put Melvin Gordon in this ledger. For those of you new to this space, I have panned Gordon for pretty much the entire season. Actually, the entire season. And pretty much every week I've had to wear it. So as a service to Gordon holders everywhere, I have to dislike something about him. So I will say the Titans rank fifth against the run.

Image The release of the college football playoff rankings was rather predictable. Well, maybe Texas A&M wasn't. That was a bit of a curve. But you just knew Washington was not going to start off in the top four (I thought Louisville). It just couldn't. Now, don't misconstrue what I said, I believe the Huskies are a top four team right now. Absolutely. But the committee becomes like a WWE booker to create a little drama and to get people to tune into the rating show every week. It's a made-for-TV event because so much is going to change from now until December 4. So they get all hot-takey with the rankings. It's stupid. Well, it's also stupid I still get upset about such things.

Image Speaking of the WWE, why must they punish Rusev like this? He has to be the one who eats the pin from Goldberg? I get it. The Miz isn't on "RAW" so it's not like he was available to be humiliated, but why Rusev? I guess I get the point that you need a huge monster to prove Goldberg still has it. (Though a nod to the Jericho rivalry would have been huge.) But now that I'm talking through it, I guess there was no choice. I would have said Sheamus. I have the feeling though Cesaro and Sheamus will be a thing once The New Day sets the record for longest tag-team title reign. I guess I should just be happy Goldberg didn't beat up The Club. Not that I should give the WWE any ideas.

I'm not excited to play Doug Baldwin, but then he went out and called out the Seahawks offense. Now, some might suggest he's suffered some regression this year. But it's obvious Wilson is playing in pain and not the same guy he was last year. But I have a feeling, at some point, Baldwin is going to go on a tear. I'd actually suggest you buy-low on him this week.

Jeremy Maclin has battled a groin injury this week. So I would leave him on the bench even though it's a pretty good matchup.

You've probably thought about dropping Cameron Meredith this week to make room. And if it's between hanging on to him or taking a zero, clearly, go pick up a player. But if you can keep him, realize the Bears play the Bucs in Week 10. So he's going to have some value.

Jay Cutler is the best! He made another clutch start and a lot of you were surprised. He always wins on Monday night, as his record improved to 6-2 in Monday night games. And I'm going to take this unpopular opinion. The Bears should bring back Cutler. This team would be, at worst, 4-4 at the break right now if Cutler had not been injured. I still believe this team could end up at 9-7 this year. Being 10-6 is reasonable, but at worst this team finishes 8-8. What I would do if I was in charge of the Bears (not a terrible idea) would be to keep Cutler. Draft a quarterback in the first-round for the future. Cutler will be 34 at the start of next season. So I'd keep him and let the rookie redshirt his first year before we get after it. Although, this is highly unlikely and I hope Cutler enjoys Arizona next season.

ImageIt's funny, a lot of people have said people turned on the Red Sox fans after they started winning. But that's not true. Nobody liked Red Sox fans before they started to win. As an Angels fan, we had no love for the Red Sox for how much they tortured us during the 2000s. Plus there was a Lakers vs. Celtics rivalry, too. But seriously Cubs fans, don't change. You can win, but be cool. Although, I don't remember this being a problem for Bulls fans in the 1990s. So it's all good.

At least my Theo Epstein joke mentioned the Bears. The Browns was too easy.

Be sure to watch "Fantasy and Friends" at 6 p.m. ET on NFL Network, Monday-Wednesday and Friday. (Sorry, the Thursday night game preempts us. But you can be a part of the show by going to Also follow Adam Rank on Twitter @adamrank.