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Chargers hope to match ‘D’ with ‘D’

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    Thursday, Jan 08, 2009
    By Casey Pearce, Chargers.com

    Throughout the week, the Chargers have seen the numbers, heard the media reports and answered the questions about Pittsburgh’s top-ranked defense.

    The Bolts’ offense knows what they’re up against, but San Diego’s defense also feels challenged by the group on the opposite sideline Sunday afternoon.

    “We have to match their defense’s intensity,” linebacker Stephen Cooper said. “They have the number-one defense in the league, we’re going into a hostile environment, and we know their defense plays at a high level. We have to make sure we go out there and play at a high level also. We have to get a lot of turnovers, get after the quarterback, and make sure we’re playing physical against the receivers.”

    During the regular season, the Steelers led the league in fewest points, total yards and passing yards allowed per game and finished second against the run. Pittsburgh did not allow a 100-yard rusher this season and it wasn’t until Week 16 in Tennessee that an opponent gained more than 300 yards against Mike Tomlin’s team. The Steelers performance throughout the season has set the bar high, and it’s a level the Bolts hope to reach Sunday.

    “Our goal is to go out there and try to out-play them,” linebacker Shaun Phillips said. “All we can control is our side of the ball and that’s what we try to do on defense is make sure we keep putting the ball in our offense’s hands because we know those guys can make plays and that’s the key to winning football games.”

    Chargers Defensive Coordinator Ron Rivera has four simple goals for his team each week. One-upping the opposing defense isn’t on that list, but the four clearly-defined objectives are ones that Rivera believes can dictate the outcome of the game.

    “I show them to the players every day,” Rivera said. “Hold the opponent to 17 points or less, force four or more three-and-outs, create two or more takeaways and score or put the offense in scoring position.”

    Last week against the Colts, the Chargers accomplished three of those four goals and got the desirable result. Indianapolis scored 17 points, went three and out four times, and thanks to defensive stops after Mike Scifres punts, the Bolts only had to go 44 and 45 yards on their first two touchdown drives of the night.

    The Bolts met two of those objectives against Denver the week before and three of four against Tampa Bay in Week 16. Those are all signs that the Chargers are playing their best defensive football at the right time.
    “We feel good about some of the things we’ve done lately, and this is certainly the time of year you want to be playing at your best,” safety Eric Weddle said. “We haven’t given up many big plays, we’ve been where we’re supposed to and we’ve created a few turnovers. We need to keep that up this week.”

    Former Giants quarterback Phil Simms, who will call Sunday’s game on CBS, was thoroughly impressed last week when he watched the Chargers’ defense against the Colts, particularly considering some of the struggles the Bolts had getting off the field earlier in the season.

    “They were all over the receivers,” Simms said. “They put pressure on the quarterback. They never sat back and just let themselves be picked apart. To me, that’s when that defense is at its best. It’s amazing that they’ve rounded it up here so late in the year.”

    In their Week 11 contest in Pittsburgh, Ben Roethlisberger and company racked up 410 total yards against the Chargers but scored just 11 points. The Bolts wouldn’t mind a similar performance, as long as the outcome is different.

    “We need to play with that same intensity,” Cooper said. “They’re a talented offense and they’ve won a lot of games. That’s what playoff football is all about, our best against their best and hopefully our best is better than theirs for three hours on Sunday.”

    Chargers v Steelers game time weather tracking

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

    Jul 11, 2006
    We win this game and it won't be a nail biter.:tup: :icon_toast:

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