Third And Short Defense, Revisited

Because it's such an important fact that gets lost on people, I felt it was necessary to dig up this post from back in January where I point an area that needs to be addressed:

Something that has been bugging me about the Chargers defense in the has been their inability to stop the third-and-short run plays. When teams run the ball on the Chargers during third-and-short, opponents are a perfect six for six in converting the third down.

The Indianapolis Colts ran the ball twice on third and short and both times they gained enough yards for the first down. The Tennessee Titans, a much more run-oriented team, ran the ball on third and short four times against the Chargers and all four times they got the first down.

Stopping teams on third down is crucial to a team’s ability to win a game and the Patriots are going to be an incredible challenge. There is no question in my mind the Chargers have what it takes to win on Sunday, but its going to take a special effort from all eleven players on defense to stop such a high-powered offense. Re-watching the Titans and Colts games points to some shoddy tackling on the part of the safeties in third and short... especially from the strong safety spot. In the words of Shawne Merriman "You cannot know what a team is going to do and not stop it. This is football!"

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March 28, 2008

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2 comments:

Anonymous said... Mar 28, 2008, 1:05:00 PM

I thought they were soft up the middle all year. I'm less concerned about the middle linebacking as I suspect Waters will be healthy enough to add good depth; but I am very concerned about NT depth and safety depth. Hart all too often looked lost and late to the party against the run.

Rob Zepeda said... Mar 29, 2008, 11:11:00 AM

Very well said, Mr. Anonymous!

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