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Chargers relatively healthy heading into crunch time

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    Friday, December 26, 2008
    By Kevin Acee

    After limping through the season's first two months, the Chargers would seem to have a distinct advantage in Sunday's AFC West showdown, and they appear to be in good shape should they advance to the playoffs.

    Among the starting 22 players envisioned at the beginning of the season, only linebacker Shawne Merriman will be out of the lineup Sunday because of injury.

    That's about as healthy as any team could expect to be in Week 17.

    “There are always things,” defensive end Luis Castillo said. “But if you look at the overall team over the last three years, getting to this point, we're as healthy as we've been.”

    Denver, meanwhile, will be without five of its September starters, and it will be working with its seventh different starter (Tatum Bell) at tailback.

    The Chargers did their injury time in September and October, when key players such as Antonio Cromartie, Antonio Gates, Nick Hardwick, LaDainian Tomlinson, Jamal Williams and others either missed time or were playing through significant injuries.

    Said coach Norv Turner: “We have a lot of guys that are physically better than they were in the first eight weeks.”

    Broncos beginnings

    The Broncos have scored six touchdowns on their first possession of games, most in the league, and their 100 first-quarter points are third in the league.

    “Denver gets off to a fast start,” Turner said. “They do a great job on the first possession, a great job in the first quarter.”

    The Chargers have not been the dominant first-quarter team at home that they were in recent years. They have outscored the seven visitors to Qualcomm Stadium 37-23 in the first quarter.

    Quarterback records

    Just as Philip Rivers is closing in on a hallowed team record, needing two touchdown passes to break Dan Fouts' 27-year-old mark of 33 in a season, Jay Cutler is on the verge of the same record in Denver.

    Cutler needs four TD passes to break the record of 27 in a season shared by Jake Plummer (2004) and John Elway (1997). Cutler, who already has thrown for a team-record 4,210 passing yards, tied his career-high with four TDs when the Broncos beat the Chargers 39-38 in September.

    Hester remains

    Turner likes what he has seen from Jacob Hester, and he isn't sure Mike Tolbert is 100 percent yet after suffering a shoulder injury in late November. So Hester remains the No. 1 fullback despite Tolbert being healthy the past two weeks.

    “He's come in and played well,” Turner said of Hester. “I think he's had something to do with the way we're running the ball. When a guy is doing good, I'm always hesitant to make a change.”

    Nuts 'n' Bolts

    – Receiver Malcom Floyd (lung) and linebacker Brandon Siler (foot) are listed as doubtful and not expected to play Sunday.

    – Should the Chargers win Sunday,the Broncos would be the first team since the NFL created divisions in 1967 to miss the playoffs after being three games up with three games to play.

    – The Broncos have completed 54 passes of 20-plus yards this season, third-most in the league, but also have given up 39 such passes, which is 13th-most. The Chargers have completed 48 passes of at least 20 yards, eighth-most, and allowed 36, which is eighth-fewest.
  2. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    Too bad Siler can't play. Could mean more time for Applewhite & Waters.
  3. Aggieman

    Aggieman I bleed blue and gold

    Aug 14, 2008
    Healthy Chargers - and a very unhealthy Denver squad...

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

    Jul 11, 2006
    Shades of the Houston game back in 79:icon_shrug::icon_huh::icon_eek:

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