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Chargers report: Strategy and personnel

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Nov 22, 2007.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
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    +1,703 / 0 / -0
    A couple players are worth watching for the Chargers.
    CB Quentin Jammer will start for the first time in three games after being slowed by a hamstring injury. Jammer will be asked to not only supply coverage but run support for a defense to be tested by Willis McGahee. If that hamstring gets fatigued, it could mean more playing time for Antonio Cromartie. Cromartie is a great talent, but not nearly the run-support force or cover guy that Jammer is.
    Also, DE Jacques Cesaire is still nursing a toe injury. The Chargers will be cautious in making sure he doesn't get overworked. Look for additional playing time for Ryon Bingham, and possibly DT Brandon McKinney.

    PLAYER PERSONNEL NOTES
    --QB Philip Rivers is looking for consecutive 300-yard passing games for the first time in his career on Sunday after going for 309 last Sunday. Rivers, though, has never had a 300-yard passing game at Qualcomm Stadium.
    --WR Chris Chambers could be in for another big day as he and Rivers become more comfortable with each other. Chambers, who came over last month from Miami on a trade-deadline deal, had his top day as a Charger in Jacksonville with 93 receiving yards.
    --TE Antonio Gates had three 100-yard receiving games in three of the first five games, but hasn't had one since.
    --P Mike Scifres has landed 19 of his past 26 kicks inside the opponents' 20-yard-line.
    --CB Antonio Cromartie will likely move back into his role on nickel and dime packages with Quentin Jammer returning to the starting lineup. Cromartie had started the past two games.
    --ILB Stephen Cooper, in his first year as a starter after replacing Randall Godfrey, leads the team with 110 tackles. He also has a sack and an interception.
    GAME PLAN
    The old Chargers -- last year's Chargers, anyway -- would have seen the Ravens' No. 3 mark in run defense and shrugged. Soon after, would have been a steady diet of power runs, their rival's ranking be damned.
    But with the offensive line not playing to the level it did last year, the Chargers can't be so cocky. So look for them to continue to try and move the ball through the air, even if the passes are of the short variety out in the flats to LaDainian Tomlinson or immediate routes to Antonio Gates.
    Philip Rivers had a pretty good game last week -- save for the two fourth-quarter interceptions. That's a bit like saying the ride of the Titanic was cool, save the iceberg, but at least Rivers is showing signs of getting out of his season-long stupor.
    MATCHUPS TO WATCH
    Chargers pass rush, with DE Jacques Cesaire and OLB Shaun Phillips on the right side, vs. Ravens pass protection, with Pro Bowl LT Jonathan Ogden holding down that side of the line. With the Ravens trotting out the sketchy Kyle Boller at quarterback, it behooves the Chargers to make him as uncomfortable as possible and force him to get rid of the ball before he wants. A key will be how well Cesaire, who is starting in place of Luis Castillo (ankle), and Phillips can get past Ogden.
    Chargers running game, with LaDainian Tomlinson and backup center Cory Withrow, vs. Ravens run defense, led by LB Ray Lewis. The Chargers are eager to get Tomlinson back on track on the ground; he hasn't rushed for 100 yards in four straight games and just twice all season. But running could be tough against a defense that allows but 78 yards per game and Lewis is coming off a monster game in the loss to the Browns. Withrow, who fills in for injured Pro Bowl C Nick Hardwick, will have to be stout at the point of attack -- as with FB Lorenzo Neal -- if the Chargers hope to make any headway against the Ravens' sturdy defense.
    Chargers return game, led by the shifty Darren Sproles, vs. Ravens coverage units, which had trouble last week. With the offense being so inconsistent, it's imperative the Chargers get some positive yardage -- and possibly points -- from their special teams. Sproles brought back a kick and a punt in the last home game for touchdowns, which helped the Chargers get past the Colts. The Ravens gave up a whopping 306 yards on returns in the loss to the Browns. The Chargers need to take advantage of that shortcoming.
    INJURY IMPACT
    C Nick Hardwick (foot) is out at least one more game. Withrow will replace him. That's a big task against the Ravens' run defense.
    CB Quentin Jammer (hamstring) is planning on starting Sunday after missing the past two starts.
    S Eric Weddle (knee) is expected to go Sunday. He's a key plug in the dime packages.
    Cesaire (toe) will be smart in practice and play Sunday.
    DE Luis Castillo (ankle) is out four weeks.

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  2. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    Ratings:
    +408 / 17 / -4
    PR has to play well so that the Ravens can't stack the box against LT. We should get more of MT & Legedu in this game, too. We need to wear the Ravens down. Soften up the middle with MT, hit 'em on the edges with LT & Legedu, burn 'em deep with Chambers & Gates.

    On defense - blitz, blitz, blitz, goddammit!!! :icon_evil: Kyle Boller should not beat us in the passing game.
     

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