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Chargers-Rams review

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Aug 18, 2007.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
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    By Curtis Egan
    <em>BoltTalk Staff Writer</em>

    <p id="post_message_270112"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070819/capt.8093e22405d54097a4b03d2f74bbd6db.chargers_rams_football_mojr106.jpg" title="San Diego Chargers' Darren Sproles (43) slips past St. Louis Rams defender Todd Johnson on his way to an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown during the second quarter of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 18, 2007, in St. Louis. " alt="San Diego Chargers' Darren Sproles (43) slips past St. Louis Rams defender Todd Johnson on his way to an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown during the second quarter of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 18, 2007, in St. Louis. " align="left" height="185" width="235" />Under the climate controlled, florescent lighting of the dome the Chargers took on the St. Louis Rams. Again, preseason is less about winning and more about working the kinks out of things, and getting to see how the young players work within the system. Quarterback Philip Rivers promised that Chargers fans would see a crisper performance from the team when they took the field.

    The offense came out and fulfilled River's promise moving down the field for an eventual touchdown to Vincent Jackson in the first quarter. They began to show that they can continue success under Norv Turner. However the offensive line did raise some concern. At times the pocket seemed to collapse quickly. On one series the Rams had two sacks for big losses. However they did open some holes against the Rams starting defensive line, a fact that Michael Turner took advantage of.

    Darren Sproles excited Charger fans with a spectacular punt return just before the end of the first half. He showed why he should be the return man for the Chargers, and in my opinion has solidified the job as belonging solely to him. On the evening the return game looked very good. If this can translate to regular season play, then our Offensive unit will have good field position to work with.

    As time was running out in the half the Rams managed to move down the field for a field goal. The defense though was not in a prevent coverage; it appeared that Bulger found a few gaps in coverage and the Rams took what they were given. A big change over last seasons defensive stands, when in the final minutes of the half the Defense would leave wide open areas for the opposition to work in.

    But all in all the Chargers seemed more prepared for this game than the one they played against the Seahawks. With a final score of 30 to 13, in a meaningless preseason game, the Chargers get a win and more footage that contains elements they must work to correct before the regular season opener against Chicago.

    <strong>So let's look at the game. Who was looking good?:</strong>

    <strong>Sproles;</strong> With a punt returned 86 yards just before the end of the first half Darren Sproles solidified his hold on the return position. He found the gap in the coverage and took it all the way. Antonio Cormartie escorted him into the in zone for the second Charger score on the evening! Sproles also showed the ability to juke and get the first down. All in all, I would be extremely shocked to not see Sproles on the regular season roster at this point.

    <strong>Philips;</strong> He was moving around quite a bit, getting an early sack. The other guy, and the main guy are giving use reason to look forward to the regular season.

    <strong>Hart;</strong> On the first defensive series, Hart came in and put a big hit on the Rams RB at the line of scrimmage for a stop. On the second he ended the Rams drive by intercepting Bulger in the in zone. He was hitting hard when in the game. Hart showed he was playing for his professional career as well as his starting position. If he continues to play at this level, he will be a starter by week one.

    <strong>Merriman;</strong> He is picking up where he left off, in the offensive backfield causing havoc and recovering fumbles. If he is ‘small' this season, I can't say it has hurt him.

    <strong>Rivers;</strong> looking through his progressions well, dumping off when he had to. He is running an efficient offense while on the field. He scrambled out of pressure and tossed a beauty to Gates, who went up and got it on the four! Rivers finished the evening with 82 yards and a touchdown going 9 of 13.

    <strong>Turner;</strong> thank goodness AJ did not trade the burner. Best running back tandem in the league! Turner finished the evening with 9 carries for 48 yards, including a run of 17 yards.

    <strong>In the middle:</strong>

    <strong>The offensive line;</strong> the pocket collapsed too often for my taste, and I do not like seeing the QB taken down as much as we saw on the evening.

    <strong>Pass Rush;</strong> ‘<em>Calling all cars, calling all cars be on the look out for a missing pass rush, last seen in 2006.</em>' The pass rush is anemic so far in the preseason, I tend to believe this is by design. We will find out for sure in three weeks.

    <strong>Who was looking bad?:</strong>

    <strong>Jammer;</strong> He keeps going for the HIT, instead of the tackle. Leonard brushed off of him on one play for five extra yards because Jammer did not use his arms to wrap up. Then a few plays later Jammer erased a nice stop by drawing a defensive holding flag. Another first down to the other team; can't have that from our veteran starters.

    <strong>Jackson;</strong> he needs to concentrate more, took an early 1st down away by being off sides. That is not a condemnation of him, but something to watch from a receiver many Charger fan's believes should be our first receiver- However he had a nice catch in the back of the in zone for a score early in the first. The man has talent, no denying that, lets just see the coaches work on concentration and reducing the hankies we have seen our guys draw in the first two games. Jackson had two false starts and a holding penalty on the evening. It is the penalties that drop him down to the bad category, but on the bright side they are all correctable.

    <strong>Injuries:</strong>

    In the fourth after a rush 8 yard rush, Tyrone Gross (22) was on the field holding his right knee which appeared to be hyper extended as it got stuck in the artificial turf. He was removed from the field on a cart. Before the injury Gross had racked up 27 yards on 6 carries.

    <strong>In conclusion:</strong>

    The Chargers answered some questions. They came out looking better than they looked against Seattle. They have shown tonight that they can function and prepare under Head Coach Norv Turner.
    On the evening the Chargers racked up 111 yards rushing, 147 yards passing and had no turnovers. However they also had 7 hankies thrown at them for a total of 35 yards.

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