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Chargers bolt to top of Super Bowl contenders

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by HollywoodLeo, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    Sorry if this is already posted, I didn't see it on the first page.

    http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=434210

    When last we saw the Chargers, quarterback Philip Rivers was playing with a torn ACL, tight end Antonio Gates was playing with a bum toe and running back LaDainian Tomlinson wasn't playing at all.


    A strained MCL forced L.T. to take a seat on the bench after two series in the AFC Championship Game against New England.

    Tomlinson and Gates are red-zone weapons. So when San Diego moved to the Patriots' 8-, 5- and 6-yard lines during that game, it had to settle for field goals and eventually lost, 21-12.

    Imagine what might have happened if Tomlinson, Gates and Rivers were able-bodied that day. Could San Diego have beaten the Patriots? We think so.

    That's one reason Sporting News is picking the Chargers to win Super Bowl 43 in Tampa.

    After years of falling short of expectations, the Chargers made a breakthrough last season when they won two playoff games (including a victory over the Colts in Indianapolis). Let us tell you while they're poised to win it all in 2008:

    1. Tomlinson is the league's best all-around running back. He won his second straight rushing title in 2007, he's a top-notch receiver and -- if you don't pay attention -- he'll knife you with a touchdown pass.

    2. Rivers is an ascending quarterback who is starting to maximize his skills. He performed superbly during the Chargers' eight-game winning streak going into the AFC championship game, and demonstrated leadership and courage by playing in that contest with a torn knee ligament.

    3. The arrival of Chris Chambers, acquired in a trade with Miami last October, and the development of Vincent Jackson give Rivers more receiving weapons and will make defenses think twice about trying to suffocate Gates.

    4. The Chargers were first in the NFL last season in takeaways and turnover margin. Cornerback Antonio Cromartie led the league with 10 interceptions, including three picks of Peyton Manning during a regular-season game and another in the playoffs.

    5. San Diego has seven players who were voted to the Pro Bowl last season: Tomlinson, Gates, Cromartie, linebacker Shawne Merriman, defensive tackle Jamal Williams, guard Kris Dielman and special-teams star Kassim Osgood.

    6. The drafting of Arizona's Antoine Cason gives San Diego three cornerbacks who were first-round picks. The others are Cromartie (2006) and Quentin Jammer (2002).

    7. Norv Turner, who, in his previous stops in the NFL, had forged a reputation as a great offensive coordinator but a mediocre head coach, proved to be a guiding light in his first year at San Diego. He preached patience and perseverance -- even after the Chargers lost three in a row early in the season -- and the players eventually bought into his program.

    8. The Chargers have a bunch of players entering the prime of their NFL careers. Of the 53 players who finished last season on the active roster, 41 were in their fifth season or less.

    Yes, the Chargers must overcome the loss of super-sub running back Michael Turner. They face a challenging schedule that includes non-divisional games against the Patriots, Colts and Steelers; four cross-country trips to the East Coast; and an overseas game in London.

    And they might have to open the regular season without Gates and center Nick Hardwick, who is recovering from a foot injury.

    But there are many more reasons to like the 2008 Chargers. If you miss them during the regular season, you can catch them in Tampa come February.

    Dennis Dillon is a writer for Sporting News. E-mail him at ddillon@sportingnews.com.
     
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  2. Skuzzlebutt

    Skuzzlebutt BoltTalker

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    Must. Not. Get. Too. Excitied.

    Must. Control. Self.

    Still. Month. To. Go.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I prefer to not make Super Bowl predictions this early, but I figured I'd post this for conversation sake since the guy wrote the article.
     
  4. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

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    I don't like to make predictions either......o.k. I lied. I agree with this guy totally. This IS the year fellas. I think we know it, the players know it and the rest of the league knows it. This team is poised and positioned to win it all. :yes:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    Health. That's all that really stands in our way. That and certain refs.
     
  6. foober

    foober BoltTalker

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    If the o-line plays strong and solid the chargers will easily win the super bowl. If the o-line struggles like last year the team will struggle. It about comes down to that.

    The chargers have emmense talent all through the roster. But the o-line has to give Rivers time to throw and make room for ladanian and hester to run.
     
  7. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    Any injuries will create some problems. I'm really waiting to see what Robertson does in camp.
     
  8. Enormo

    Enormo BoltTalker

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    Completely agree, Foobs. One other addition though. Big J.

    If the 5 guys up infront of Rivers can perform and Big J. can stay healthy to anchor the D there is not a team that the Chargers can't beat.
     
  9. Enormo

    Enormo BoltTalker

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    ALL ALL!!! WE WIN IT ALL!!!!
     
  10. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    LOMBARDI OR BUST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    :icon_banana: :icon_banana: :icon_banana:
     
  11. Boltdiehard

    Boltdiehard Well-Known Member

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    No worries. We're good. :yes: :bolt:

    Gonna be a big party folks. :yes: :bolt: :abq2:
     
  12. Osmekaman

    Osmekaman BoltTalker

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    Oh no............the kiss of death.

    Hate to state the obvious but 2006 was our year and Marlon blew it (what do you mean, that one's been discussed b4?!!).
    We should be sitting on 2 in a row, going for a third.

    The only thing that'll stop us now is injuries to a couple of key players in the playoffs............now that can't possibly happen 2 years running, can it?

    :tup:
     
  13. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

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    Good news Osmekaman, Marlon and almost ALL the idiots who caused that loss to NE in 2006 are GONE. This group is gonna get it done.
     
  14. Osmekaman

    Osmekaman BoltTalker

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    I hope Norm Chow's just a year out with his prediction and this is this year.
    There's too many good teams out there for it to be easy though.
     
  15. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

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    I hear ya man. I think the Chowmaster meant Riverss 3 years as the starter. If that's the case we're right on schedule! :yes: Yeah, there are a lot of good teams, esp. in the AFC, but I feel we're the best of the best. This is our chance to get it done. It wouldn't be satisfying if it was too easy right? :tup:
     
  16. Osmekaman

    Osmekaman BoltTalker

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    Agreed

    While secretly hoping they implode and finish 1-15, it will be sweet to dominate the Pats in the AFC championship game and right the wrongs of the past 3 seasons.

    (I'll settle for the Raiders finishing 1-15!!)

    :lol:
     
  17. Dublin Bolt

    Dublin Bolt BoltTalker

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    I see Ben Curtis is wearing a Charger cap today at the The British Open, v nice too. Unfortunately he started 6, 7 and was 5 over par after 2. Seems like the SD cap is the kiss of death for him. :tdown:
     
  18. Osmekaman

    Osmekaman BoltTalker

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    What's with the Ben Curtis link? is it a sponsorship deal or has he seen the future and is backing a Bolt Lombardi triumph?!!

    :icon_toast:
     
  19. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    Just good won't be good ENOUGH to beat us this year. I get the feeling we are the most feared team in the league right now, not so much with the numbnuts pundits, but among the organizations. It will work to our advantage.
     
  20. Osmekaman

    Osmekaman BoltTalker

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    I like the positive vibes coming from Normski.
    ususally teams talk up their draft picks to tell fans that the picks weren't wasted, however normally you don't hear them single out vets for praise before camp. The article in Yahoo where he says Merriman should come out the blocks flying is a real confidence booster for me and lays down a marker for Shawne and the rest of the league, I think.
     
  21. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    This is one of the few teams in the league that probably won't lose any surprise names off of the roster. The key draft choices are replacing guys who have already departed. The only wild cards I see in the deck are on the O Line and include Robertson who would make an impact if he plays like I suspect. There is no logic in my Dielman like suspicions about him, just a gut feeling from the beginning. Big, strong and nasty on the field, but a mellow dude in civvies. An intelligent ruffian. Like those guys who play that weird game of sitting at a chess board between rounds in the ring.
     
  22. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

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    If the 2008 Oline can become as mostly dominant as the 2006 Oline, nothing can stop us. Rivers' two injuries in 2006 and 2007 came as a result of pass protection breakdowns. Then his playoff injury was a result of continual overcompensating on the other knee for what happened during the Tennessee game in regular season when a defensive lineman knifed through and smashed his knee.

    If Rivers gets sacked less than 24 times this season, and there are no serious injuries to our starters, we're golden and shopping for rings in February.
     

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