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Chargers scouting report: vs. Denver

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    Source: <a href="http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2005/12/28/sports/professional/chargers/21_14_4012_27_05.txt" target="_blank">North County Times</a>

    By Jay Paris

    > Denver Broncos

    > 1:30 p.m., Saturday, Qualcomm Stadium

    > Series: The Broncos lead 51-39-1. Denver won the last meeting 20-17 at home Sept. 18.

    PLAYER TO WATCH: RB Tatum Bell

    With RB Mike Anderson nursing a sprained ankle, Bell will replace the former Camp Pendleton Marine in the starting lineup. While Anderson proved himself as the team's top back, rushing for 1,014 yards and 12 touchdowns, Bell is no slouch. In 156 carries, Bell has gained 869 yards and five touchdowns. His running, as well as Anderson's, is a testament to fine zone blocking provided by the Broncos' front line. The Broncos' running game is second only to the Falcons in the NFL.

    OFFENSE

    QB Jake Plummer has provided a steady hand, which is why the Broncos' offense is ranked No. 5 overall. Plummer has thrown for 18 touchdowns against seven interceptions. But with a first-round bye secure, the Broncos will give Plummer some rest and allow Bradlee Van Pelt to throw his first NFL pass. With Bell and that front line, Van Pelt won't have to carry the offensive load. When he does pass, he will look for ageless WR Rod Smith, who has turned in another standout season: 84 catches, 1,094 yards and six touchdowns. Ashley Lelie, a former first-round pick, was to supplant Smith as the go-to receiver but has yet to fill that role. Lelie has 751 yards and a score on 40 catches. The surprise here has been the production of FB Kyle Johnson. He has five touchdown catches after having but two his first three years. Again, what makes this lineup go is the fine run blocking and Plummer's ability to move and avoid sacks.

    DEFENSE

    The Chargers get a break on this side of the ball, too, as standout LB Al Wilson and Pro Bowl CB Champ Bailey are taking the week off because of injuries. LB Ian Gold will play; he's among the top of the list the Chargers mention as being among the NFL's most underrated players. Gold has a team-high 85 tackles to go with two sacks and two fumble recoveries. CB Nick Ferguson is having a good year with 75 tackles, one fumble recovery and five interceptions. Bailey, whose pick to open the second half derailed the Chargers' hopes in Denver earlier this season, has a team-high eight interceptions. Old friend John Lynch, a Torrey Pines High alumnus, hasn't lost much of his pop in his 13th season. Lynch has 56 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions on the NFL's 16th-ranked defense.

    NOTEWORTHY

    Former Chargers tight ends coach Tim Brewster, who was instrumental in Antonio Gates' rise in becoming a two-time Pro Bowler, is the tight ends coach with the Broncos. ... DL Ebenezer Ekuban is a cousin of Chargers LT Roman Oben. ... K Jason Elam is the first player in NFL history to score 100 points in his first 13 seasons. ... The Broncos will host a playoff game in mid-January, their first at home since John Elway was leading them to back-to-back Super Bowl titles during the 1997 and '98 seasons. The Broncos are 0-3 in playoff games since Elway retired, including two blowouts by the Colts the past two years.
     

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