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Chargers matchups

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2005/09/18/sports/professional/chargers/23_33_059_17_05.txt" target="_blank">North County Times</a>

    By: JAY PARIS - Staff Writer


    OPPONENT: Denver Broncos

    CHARGERS ON OFFENSE (Edge to Chargers)

    All-Pro TE Antonio Gates' return should add another dimension to this unit. Hopefully, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron can rally, as last week wasn't his best effort with the X's and O's. Even with Gates back, QB Drew Brees must prove to the Broncos he can beat them with the pass. Denver, taking a page from Dallas' defensive approach, likely will blitz on passes and load the box to stop the run. The run defense up front is mostly imported from last year's Cleveland squad ---- which was terrible. But FS John Lynch, a Torrey Pines High graduate, will be sticking his nose near the line of scrimmage to try and intimidate the Bolts. The passing game could get a boost if Broncos CB Champ Bailey (shoulder) isn't at full strength.

    CHARGERS ON DEFENSE (Edge to Broncos)

    The Chargers' stout run defense ---- likely facing former Camp Pendleton Marine Mike Anderson ---- could be compromised with run-stuffing end Igor Olshansky (thigh) unavailable. That would give Luis Castillo his first NFL start, which is asking a lot in going against the well-oiled and zone-blocking scheme of the Broncos' front line. The good news from last week is the Chargers' pass rush had four sacks. They collected only 29 all of last year. The bad? Despite the heat, Dallas QB Drew Bledsoe threw for three TDs. Jamal Williams, the interior line's anchor, has to stand strong against five-time Pro Bowl C Tom Nalen. It's a safe bet QB Jake Plummer will take on a Chargers secondary that is deflecting criticism better than passes. Rod Smith is good for at least one key possession catch. One of Ashley Lelie's highlights last year was his game-turning scoring catch, as he beat Quentin Jammer in single coverage.

    SPECIAL TEAMS (Edge to Chargers)

    Rookie Darren Sproles was everything the Chargers thought he would be on kick returns ---- his 36.5-yard average is second-best in the NFL. The Broncos were no more than OK in covering kicks in their opener, so this could be an advantage for the Bolts. P Mike Scifres has to rebound from a shank that led to Dallas' game-winning drive. K Nate Kaeding appears back on track, and he can pierce the thin air for some long-distance attempts. Denver K Jason Elam is among the NFL's best. Broncos rookie Darrent Williams was mediocre in his first game bringing back kicks and punts. The Chargers' kickoff coverage teams were excellent vs. Dallas.

    WHAT TO EXPECT (Edge: Broncos)

    Want a scary Rocky Mountain view? Check out the Chargers' past 18 visits here, which yielded only two victories. Much of that had to do with John Elway's skills, but there's no denying the rabid Denver fans and the city's air, which has players gasping in the fourth quarter. That being said, it's a determined Chargers squad making the trip, still upset about Dallas getting the best of them in the opener and looking to snap a five-game skid in Denver. Plus, Gates is back in the offense and that swings open additional running room for LaDainian Tomlinson. But the Broncos are just as peeved after being embarrassed by Miami in their opener ---- at least it was on the road. At home, this is a different team. Just can't wiggle from the thought of "The Snake" ---- Plummer ---- having his way with the Chargers' secondary.

    PICK: Broncos 31, CHARGERS 27


    Bill Williamson, Denver Post

    Chargers win the battle of the defeateds and snap the Curse of Invesco Field.

    PICK: CHARGERS 28, Denver 24

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