Streaking Chargers Appear More Dangerous Each Week


Continuing to build upon their impressive streak of wins, the San Diego Chargers beat the Dallas Cowboys in an exciting back-and-forth battle of wills, and now sit at 10 wins, 3 losses. The Bolts are riding high, opening eyes across the NFL landscape as they appear to be growing into world beaters. In the playoff hunt and in control of the division, the Chargers are making it known each week that they can play with anyone.


(Photo Credit: Mike Nowak/San Diego Chargers)

DEFENSE PLAYS BEST WITH BACKS TO THE WALL

Often criticized for giving up too many yards, the real story of the Chargers defense is that they keep plays in front of them and don't allow big plays down the field.

In fact, the Chargers defense allows the 3rd fewest big plays (plays of 25 yards or more) in the AFC. They only allow 19.9 points per game, often forcing team to kick field goals instead of scoring touchdowns. The Chargers have been doing a better job of blitzing different guys and generating pressure on the Quarterback, and they play stoutly near the goal line.

“Any time you can get down there and keep a team from getting in the end zone, it’s unbelievable,” Norv Turner said. “Our guys take great pride in it. It’s a collective group that has a mindset that they’re going to stop them but there’s got to be individuals that step up and make those plays.”

In Dallas, the Chargers defense made crucial plays at pivotal times. The linebackers played a big role in stopping the Cowboys down near the goal line, and they brought pressure on the quarterback from the edges and from the inside. Brandon Siler in particular played excellent football and was an impact player, notching a sack and some QB hurries.

The Secondary saw contributions from a number of players. Kevin Ellison, Paul Oliver, and Steve Gregory all tied the team lead with 6 tackles each. Coverage units played solidly, not allowing Jason Witten or Miles Austin to gain 100 yards, both of whom have passed the century mark in each of the teams previous two games.

The Chargers have allowed 21+ points in only 5 games this season (only 3 of which they lost). Coaches and players will tell you, if you can keep a team to 21 or fewer points, you give yourself a strong chance to win games. The Chargers have done just that.

CHARGERS THE HIGHEST SCORING TEAM IN THE AFC

The Chargers continue to light up the scoreboard as Norv Turner dials up creative plays in which to attack the opposing team's weakness. He'll call for a deep pass if he thinks he can catch the defense off guard.

Philip Rivers remains in the mix for MVP candidacy, but while he might be the most deserving (the Chargers have the 2nd worst rushing offense in the entire league), he'll unfortunately not receive the consideration he deserves, as bigger name QBs such as Farve, Manning, and Brees take the spotlight.

Rivers has done an excellent job finding the open man, not forcing plays, and taking what the defense gives him. Luckily for Rivers, he is surrounded by talent, which makes it tough for defenses to key in and try to take a guy away.

“We’ve got super competitive guys but very unselfish guys,” quarterback Philip Rivers said. “They have been a couple weeks where Gates has been hot. Then today they were jamming him like crazy to try not to let him get the ball. Vincent was able to make some big plays. He was huge.”

Even though the Chargers have not gotten the production out of Ladainain Tomlinson that they are used to getting, they nonetheless are able to score points. As frustrating as it might be to the fans, the Chargers have found a way to win games without a ground game, and that's just fine with LT, so long as they keep putting up W's.

“If we’re winning, it doesn’t matter how many yards I get,” says Tomlinson. “At this point, I’m missing a championship, and this is the best team I’ve been on as far as being able to get that done.”

If the Chargers can get past the Cincinnati Bengals this week, they'll win their 11th game of the season and will clinch a playoff spot, putting themselves that much closer to attaining the ultimate prize, a Super Bowl victory.


December 14, 2009

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7 comments:

Anonymous said... Dec 14, 2009, 4:23:00 PM

It was awesome to see LT score a big touchdown in his home state, and for Norv to really stick it to the team that didn't want him as a head coach. GO CHARGERS!!!

hellodncerepair said... Dec 14, 2009, 5:03:00 PM

Loved this article Rob. Weddle, Boone, Garay, and Runyan will hopefully be key players this week. Dombrowski is apparently set to start but lets not forget how D. Ware got hurt, Dombrowski was being blown up. Not a big fan of his. He is versatile like Mooch, but nowhere near as good. wish we would have gotten Michael Oher, but English has shown to be great.

Anonymous said... Dec 14, 2009, 9:54:00 PM

michael oher is a lt and if you didnt know we have a premier in left tackle with marcus mcneil but yes we definitly need to get runyan in the mix... LETS GO CHARGERS!!!! ROAD TO THE SB BEGINS NOW!~!!!1

Anonymous said... Dec 14, 2009, 11:00:00 PM

This seriously feels like a true Super Bowl team. The only missing parts are consistency at the D-line, O-lines and running game. Otherwise, this team would bead the 2006 immature squad of Marty's 7 games to 3 out of 10.

Anonymous said... Dec 15, 2009, 5:26:00 AM

Fact Check re: "Michael Oher is a LT (left tackle) and if you didn't know we have a premier in left tackle with Marcus McNeil..."
Actually, Oher startted the season at RIGHT tackle for the Ravens, and moved over to Left tackle for only two games in cover for injured line-mate Jared Gaither. In week eight, he *returned* to right tackle.
Oher has started every game for the Ravens this season.
I'm just sayin... (I wish we would have drafted him).

Mark said... Dec 15, 2009, 10:54:00 AM

This definitely feels like a Super Bowl team. I hope I am not thinking too far ahead, but it seems like things are aligning that we may have that chance. The two teams that have given us problems in the playoffs in the past are fading (Steelers and Patriots). Although I think our team can still beat those teams, I like our chances against the Colts and Bengals and Dolphins- who I think may be the wild-card. We just need to stay focused, and watch out for a dangerous Tennessee team on Christmas day. IMAO, that is toughest game left on the schedule.

Phil Rivers is showing true poise and leadership during this amazing run. He is arguable the best QB in the league right now. In hindsight, I think we chose the right QB after the 2005 season. Although, arguably, we could have had the same success or better if we had Brees.

jasper said... Dec 17, 2009, 1:05:00 AM

The biggest SD weakness is not just run defense, but 3rd down defense. They have been flat and unable to make stops at times this year, but some of that could be the soft zone they used more. That was not the case as they took care of business on the road in Dallas, which i think was key to the win.

SD's secondary plays much better in attack mode and man coverage. Cromartie has been flat out nasty of late, and Jammer is probably our most consistent player on D (phillips too). Look to see lots of rookie Ellison at the line of scrimmage, where he has been very effective.

Carson Palmer has been bland and Cinci has only scored 20 a few times this year, while for the Chargers that is the minimun. I see SD making the few big passing plays that Cinci, like Dallas, wont be able to match. 24-16 CHARGERS

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