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Bolts’ destiny is finally in their hands

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    Monday, Dec 22, 2008
    By Casey Pearce , Chargers.com

    Three weeks ago following a home loss to the Atlanta Falcons, the Chargers found themselves at 4-8, three games behind the AFC West-leading Denver Broncos with four games to go. It was the low point of roller-coaster season.

    The Bolts responded with a three-game winning streak in December, and thanks to a little help, the Chargers now face a win-and-they’re-in situation Sunday against Denver.

    “It’s just a blessing for us as a team,” tight end Antonio Gates said Monday. “Despite the situations throughout this whole season, we continued to fight and continued to claw and scratch through the playoff run and now we’re in a position where we control our own destiny.”

    The Chargers and Broncos will meet under the Qualcomm Stadium lights Sunday night after the league moved the game into the NBC prime-time spot. If the Bolts win, both teams will have identical 8-8 records but the Chargers will be crowned division champs due to their superior record within the division. Denver enters Sunday with a 3-2 record in the division while the Chargers are a combined 4-1 against the Raiders, Chiefs and Broncos.

    “It’s exciting,” Head Coach Norv Turner said. “That’s why you coach, that’s why you play, that’s why you’re involved in this, to be in a game that has great meaning. This game is as big as it gets for us at this point.”

    Some Chargers conceded Monday that they knew hope was bleak after falling to 4-8. Still, the prideful Bolts dedicated themselves to finding a way to win a couple of games while letting the chips fall as they would.

    “We knew we had to win some games,” wide receiver Vincent Jackson said. “We just wanted to finish the season strong for ourselves, regardless of the critics and everything else with the way we put ourselves in a slump early in the year. We’re excited to just finish this year strong.”

    Thanks to their three wins combined with back-to-back Denver losses, that strong finish can now include a third-consecutive AFC West championship if the Bolts continue their hot streak Sunday.

    On Monday, Turner praised his men for not only the way they’ve persevered the last three weeks, but also the way they’ve dealt with a season that has involved its share of drama. Turner cited the team’s difficult travel schedule that put them on the road in four out of five weeks, including a trip to London. He also referred to the four games his team lost in the final 30 seconds.

    Despite all the difficult circumstances, the Chargers prevailed to have themselves in position to advance to the postseason for the fourth time in five seasons.

    “I give a lot of credit to our guys,” Turner said. “They have hung in there and they have stayed in there. Playing that game the way we did I think got us to a point we said, ‘Hey, we can’t control what happens outside of this building but we certainly can control what happens over the next month.’ We found a way to win in Kansas City and played maybe our best game against Tampa. Now we have a real challenge.”

    The challenge comes in the form of a Denver team that ranks second in the NFL in total offense and boasts a Pro Bowl quarterback in Jay Cutler that has passed for 4,210 yards this season.

    “We’ve got to prepare for Denver,” Jackson said. “They’re a great team despite the last couple games for them. They obviously beat us early in the year. That’s all we’re focused on.”

    The Chargers’ current winning streak has seen them continue to get clutch performances from their offensive playmakers such as Jackson, Gates and Philip Rivers, but Turner also pointed out that the elevated level of play from his defense has been paramount.

    “One of the things that has helped us over the last month is we’re back to creating turnovers,” Turner said. “Stephen Cooper has four interceptions in the last three games. Luis Castillo makes a great play (in Tampa) running across the entire field to knock the ball out on the screen early in the game. That gives us great field position and stops their drive. We’re not giving up as many big plays and we’ve got to make sure we limit them Sunday.”

    When the Chargers left Denver’s Invesco Field earlier this season after suffering a disappointing one-point loss, Turner crossed his fingers that the Week 17 rematch would bring his team a chance at redemption. Sunday provides just that.

    “I had a feeling it would have great meaning,” Turner said. “We traveled a different road than I would have liked to have traveled to have it have great meaning but now it does. They know us, we know them. They were explosive in that game (in Week 2). They made big plays. They moved the ball. We know we’ve got our hands full. We’ve got to get ready to play the best game we’ve played this year.”
  2. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

    Mar 13, 2006
    Finally back in their hands.

    They had control of their own destiny before the Colts game.
  3. nickelbolt

    nickelbolt Fuggedaboutit

    Aug 20, 2006
    The Chargers have their destiny in their hands...

    While the donkey's have their ***** in their hands.


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