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Chargers matchups

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Oct 10, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    Source: <a href="http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2005/10/10/sports/professional/chargers/10905191412.txt" target="_blank">North County Times</a>

    By Jay Paris

    OPPONENT: Pittsburgh Steelers

    CHARGERS ON OFFENSE

    The Steelers are stout on defense, which presents a huge challenge for the Chargers. But seldom has the Chargers' offense been on such a high, playing with such confidence. Since going more to the no-huddle and up-tempo approach the past two games, the Chargers have collected 86 points ---- with six from the defense. The Steelers have shown some vulnerability, more through the air than on the ground. It's a high-risk, high-reward venture the Steelers use on passing downs as they blitz with a vengeance. How well the Chargers handle that blitz ---- keep an eye on Pro Bowl SS Troy Polamalu ---- will help determine this game. Also, look for TE Antonio Gates to have a big day as QB Drew Brees uses him as a safety value on blitzes. How well the Steelers contain Gates ---- he might be guarded by old friend Larry Foote ---- is critical.

    CHARGERS

    CHARGERS ON DEFENSE

    Get ready to get the ball run down your throats, boys ---- or least the Steelers will attempt to do so with Willie Parker, Jerome Bettis and possibly Duce Staley. It's imperative that NT Jamal Williams holds his ground, the linebackers keep the speedy Parker from the edges and Bettis doesn't steamroll everyone inside. WR Hines Ward could be ailing as he nurses a sore hamstring; that helps the Chargers' secondary greatly. The Chargers have to be wise in their blitz packages as beefy QB Ben Roethlisberger is difficult to bring down. If the Chargers' blitzes fail, Roethlisberger can hit big plays in single coverage. Don't expect many mistakes from this unit. The Chargers' mantra is: stop the run, stop the run!

    STEELERS

    SPECIAL TEAMS

    Darren Sproles is hopeful his balky ankle can withstand his shifty returns. The Steelers are merely average in covering kicks and awful on punts. So the Chargers could gain some valuable yardage here. The Chargers' coverage units ---- which have been OK ---- face Ricardo Colclough on kicks and the much more dangerous Antwaan Randle El on punts. Chargers K Nate Kaeding has hit five straight field goals; Pittsburgh K Jeff Reed has but one miss in seven attempts, it coming from 52 yards.

    CHARGERS

    WHAT TO EXPECT

    We took one on the chin here last week, picking against the Bolts. Now here comes "The Jaw" in Steelers coach Bill Cowher. It's obvious the Chargers are on a roll, and maybe that's what is so scary ---- something has to go wrong, right? The Steelers had an extra week to prepare and are still blue from losing at home to the Patriots. So if the Steelers can't beat the visiting Pats, it's clear they can't defeat the Chargers ---- who beat the Patriots on the road last week. If only it was that easy to figure this one out. Instead, let's go out on a very short limb and take the Steelers, who have won 16 of their past 17 regular-season games.

    PICK: Steelers 20, Chargers 17

    ANOTHER VIEW

    Joe Bendel, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

    Last weekend's bye might have served as a wake-up call for a Steelers offensive line that played its worst game in two years. The unit, which features Pro Bowlers Jeff Hartings, Marvel Smith and Alan Faneca, got manhandled by the Patriots' front four. Their pride was hurt. Their egos bruised. Expect the Steelers to improve on their 79-yard rushing output. Parker, Staley and Bettis are healthy. One of those three should come to life ---- and keep that lethal Chargers offense off the field just enough to squeak by.

    PICK: Steelers 27, Chargers 24
     

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