San Diego QB Philip Rivers not only wins games. He also wins the Terrible Sportsmanship triffecta: He's a bad winner, a bad loser and, I'd be willing to bet, bad when he ties.
Rivers has raised assholery to an art form, which only makes the 35-14 hurting he and the Chargers put on the Broncos last night that much tougher for Denver fans to gag down.
The ass-kicking Denver delivered to the Chiefs last week gave those of us who'd been lamenting the ways in which Josh McDaniels has destroyed the Broncos reason for hope -- and so did the team's first drive, when both Kyle Orton and Knowshon Moreno looked as they did against Kansas City.
But the Broncos' offensive mastery proved to be short-lived. In his play-calling, McDaniels overused gimmickry, silently sending the message that Denver's coaches knew they didn't have the horses to compete with the Chargers straight up. This lack of confidence mounted as the tricks failed and the sacks piled up. Just prior to the end of the first half, with time winding down and the Broncos needing to hustle to the line in order to save seconds, Orton and company looked heavy-footed, defeated, as if they'd been awakened from their dream world and didn't like the looks of reality.
Meanwhile, the Broncos came across as slow and old, particularly on the play in which receiver Patrick Crayton juked Brian Dawkins, who practically fell over his walker by way of transforming what should have been a no-gainer into a backbreaking touchdown.
Throughout, Rivers wore his cat-who-swallowed-the-ostrich grin, and why not? He could see that the Broncos couldn't compete, and he picked them apart with the sort of snarky glee that the likes of Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees are too smart to show. Stay classless, San Diego.
Then again, this year's Broncos invite such disrespect. At this point, they're clearly pretenders, boasting an offense that's not quite as clever as McDaniels thinks it is and a defense that couldn't put a scare into the Little Giants. This has already been a long season, and we've still got over a month to go...
More from our Sports archive: "Josh McDaniels likely to be left in London, 'cause Broncos coach is toast, says ESPN's PTI."
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