1. Welcome to Los Angeles Chargers NFL Football Podcast and Forum!

    Bolt Talk is one of the largest online communities for the Los Angeles Chargers. We host a regular Chargers podcast during the season. You are currently viewing our community forums as a guest user.

    Sign Up or

    Having an account grants you additional privileges, such as creating and participating in discussions. Furthermore, we hide most of the ads once you register as a member!
    Dismiss Notice

Broncos defenders hope to dam up Chargers QB Rivers

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    Chargers QB has been dominant in past four meetings

    Rocky Mountain News

    Basically, when it comes to the Broncos defense, a Rivers has thrown through it.
    A Rivers has been comfortable, productive and largely undisturbed. And Philip Rivers has won all four of his starts against the Broncos heading into Sunday's game in Invesco Field at Mile High.
    So, the Broncos might not always like how the Chargers quarterback carries himself on the field - and the video clip the Broncos have rolled all week of Rivers pointing at the scoreboard and shouting at Denver players are certainly proof of that - but the numbers don't lie.
    Numbers like 41-3, 23-3, 35-27 and 48-20, the scores of those four Rivers starts; numbers like 4-0, those Chargers wins all added up.
    "They embarrassed us. Hopefully, we will play a lot better than the last two games," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said. " . . . They kicked us pretty good."
    And if the Broncos were graded by the grass stains on Rivers' uniform the past two seasons, they likely wouldn't get a passing mark for getting to the passer.
    Rivers has been sacked only three times in the teams' past four meetings combined.
    And he also hasn't been pressured enough in between the sacks to slow him all that much.
    Rivers has thrown seven touchdown passes in those four games and been harassed into only two interceptions, but none of those interceptions has come in the past three times the two teams have played.
    "Pressure's big," Broncos defensive end Ebenezer Ekuban said. "Sacks or pressure? Selfishly, you could say sacks. But winning? That's pressure. To win as a defense, it's always getting pressure.
    "And the key to pressure is just beating your man off the ball and just having that quarterback reset. If he has to think about somebody in his face, it could be an errant throw, which causes interceptions, it could be happy feet, which causes him to scramble, which gives us another opportunity to get him.
    "There's just so much that happens from getting somebody in his face."
    The Broncos are looking to force Rivers to move, even in the pocket, from where he was intended to be when the play was designed.
    "So we have to work as a unit, not as individuals," Broncos defensive line coach Bill Johnson said. " . . . Seventy, maybe 80 percent of all sacks come when a quarterback comes off of his spot and resets. So the whole moral of the story is work as a unit rushing the passer, make him reset, whether it's with four rushers, five rushers, three rushers, whatever the case.
    "If you rush two, then you have to do it with two. But sacks, most of the time, come when the quarterback did not go down where he was set to be in the protection. It's guys working as a unit, forming a box, a square, a fence, whatever you want to call it, around him."
    The Chargers' passing attack, with Rivers running it, is also far more productive than the Raiders showed themselves to be in their Monday night loss to the Broncos. In the Chargers' opening-week loss to the Panthers, Rivers still threw three touchdown passes and averaged 8 yards an attempt.
    "I'm not sure there's a tougher game than having to go to Denver against a division opponent the way they played Oakland the way they did," Rivers said.
    There is also the matter of intent. Raiders coach Lane Kiffin, with quarterback JaMarcus Russell making the second regular-season start of his career, leaned hard on Oakland's running game for the most part to keep Russell out of harm's way, even in passing situations.
    On third down, for example, the Raiders ran the ball eight times, five times when they were facing third-and-4 or more, three times when they were facing at least third-and-10.
    On the other five third-down plays, Russell threw three incomplete passes, was sacked - by Kenny Peterson in the second quarter - and lost a fumble in the first quarter.
    The Chargers figure to be far more aggressive than that in those kinds of situations.
    "I know we've made a lot of improvement," Johnson said. "But I can't say I know what we are yet, so there is probably still some question there. But I know I've seen the plan, I've seen us work and I know we're improved."
    "It's all about everybody making it happen," Ekuban said. "It's nice if you have three guys up in the quarterback's face, but even if you get one - and cause him to reset his feet, have to adjust - it pays great dividends."

Share This Page