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Chargers report: Strategy and personnel

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 border=0><TBODY><TR vAlign=top><TD noWrap>Oct. 11, 2007
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    Strategy and personnel

    WR Craig Davis will get the majority of looks opposite starter Vincent Jackson. Jackson has come on of late and will get more attention from the Raiders secondary -- if his sore shoulder holds up. Davis was nursing a sore ankle last week and didn't have the speed he needs to stretch the field. The Chargers should look Davis' way after establishing the run, possibly going to Davis on the play-action.

    PLAYER PERSONNEL NOTES
    --RB LaDainian Tomlinson always loves going against the Silver and Black. Tomlinson has rushed for 1,455 yards, the most yards he has against any opponent. He also has 12 rushing touchdowns in the 12 career games against Oakland. His seven 100-yard games are the most he's had against any rival as well.
    --TE Antonio Gates leads all tight ends with 40 receptions for 489 yards. Gates had his third 100-yard receiving game in just five contests last Sunday.
    --With the Broncos getting just 72 rushing yards, one of the game balls went to DT Jamal Williams.
    --ILB Matt Wilhelm did well in his first start last week after missing the previous two starts with a strained calf. The Chargers run defense appreciated his contribution of six tackles, the most by any San Diego linebacker.
    --With Wilhelm back, his replacement, Carlos Polk, turns his attention to special teams, where he shines. It was Polk's crushing hit on Brian Clark that forced a fumble that was returned for a touchdown by Brandon Siler.
    --WR Malcom Floyd, who is having a tough time getting on the field, could see some additional action if Vincent Jackson's ailing shoulder acts up. Jackson will start, but he's worth watching as the game wears on.
    --K Nate Kaeding, with two field goals in Denver, now has 73 in his career. He takes over third place on the team's all-time made field goals list.
    GAME PLAN
    The past three teams have tried to spread the Chargers out. The Raiders, however, are built more to pack it in, run the ball and give veteran QB Daunte Culpepper plenty of protection. So the Chargers should sell out against the run and not be overly concerned about Culpepper hurting them with the pass. Culpepper proved, too, he can still scoot, scoring three rushing touchdowns in their last game.
    MATCHUPS TO WATCH
    Chargers run defense, led by DT Jamal Williams, vs. Raiders running game -- The Chargers figure to get a heavy dose of a resurgent Oakland running attack. LaMont Jordan's availability will be iffy, but Dominic Rhodes is back from his suspension, and Justin Fargas has shown promise. The key is the Chargers, behind Williams, being able to solve the Raiders' new zone run-blocking scheme. That's where Williams must win his battles with the interior of the Raiders' rebuilt offensive line. If the Chargers can stone the running attack, that could open up Daunte Culpepper for a full heaping of the Chargers' pass rush, which had its way with the team last year.
    Chargers passing game, behind Philip Rivers, vs. Raiders pass defense, which includes the pass rush of Gerard Warren, Thomas Howard and Derrick Burgess -- The Chargers were stout in protecting QB Philip Rivers last week, as the Broncos didn't sack him and seldom pressured him. That played a big part in keeping Rivers away from those costly turnovers. The protection will be put to a test by the Raiders. Warren has resurrected his career and leads the team with three sacks. LT Marcus McNeill is coming off a good game after struggling early in the season. He needs to be on his mark.
    Chargers running game, with Pro Bowl FB Lorenzo Neal and C Nick Hardwick leading the way, vs. the Raiders run defense, with LBs Kirk Morrison and Thomas Howard -- The Chargers running attack showed some signs of life last week, but the Broncos stink against the run. This week, they will get a better feel for where their all-important run game is against the active linebackers of the Raiders. The Raiders are allowing 129.5 rushing yards per game, and the Chargers will see if they can increase those numbers. Look for SS Mike Huff to lend a hand in trying to prevent that as well.
    INJURY IMPACT
    WR Vincent Jackson (shoulder) didn't work on Wednesday but is expected to go Sunday.
    ILB Brandon Siler (back) didn't practice Wednesday but should be OK for Sunday.
    DT Jamal Williams (coach's decision) didn't practice Wednesday. He is fine, but the Chargers are keeping him well-rested.
    FB Andrew Pinnock (knee) is out two to three more games.
    WR Eric Parker (toe surgery) is out two to three more games.
     

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