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Chargers Team Report - 09/21/10

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by ChargerRay, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. ChargerRay

    ChargerRay #FireMcCoy #FirePagano Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    Source: USA Today

    On to Seattle, but only after taking a deep breath that things really are going to be OK.
    The Chargers enjoyed their rebound win over the Jaguars, less than a week after looking sloppy in an opening night loss to the Chiefs.

    The Seahawks will welcome the Chargers Sunday, a Chargers team feeling much better.

    "We have a lot of good players on this team," linebacker Brandon Siler said.

    Added running back Mike Tolbert after his two touchdowns against Jacksonville: "We didn't lose our confidence but we felt like we got punched in the gut Monday night," Tolbert said. "So to come back out swinging and fighting was a good feeling for our team."

    The Jaguars proved to be the perfect tonic to what ailed the Chargers. They were inept — committing six turnovers — and on the West Coast, where they usually plop an egg.

    Add that to a revved home crowd and the Chargers had their way.

    But there were still some anxious moments before kickoff and early in the game. The real Chargers team would eventually show up, right?

    "We always talk about being consistent at home," tight end Antonio Gates said. "That was a point of emphasis for us this offseason. With all the things that went on in Kansas City, we felt that it was imperative to come home here and get a win."

    Now the Chargers have to regain that road mojo that saw them win a franchise-best seven away games last year. So far this year they are 0-1.

    But they depart for Seattle later this week, at least, at 1-1.

    "We need to have another great week of practice and go on the road and be ready to have a tough game, and be ready to play," Philip Rivers said.

    But only after evening the balance sheet in San Diego.

    "We expect to win at home," Rivers said. "We've done well on the road and we're going to do well this year. But certainly, it was nice to play here at home."

    NOTES, QUOTES

    —The team declined to update any of their injuries, including RB Ryan Mathews' sprained ankle and how OLB Shawne Merriman's tender Achilles' tendon held up.

    —Coach Norv Turner said he wasn't tempted to insert RB Ryan Mathews back into the game after he left in the first quarter with a sprained ankle. Turner said he didn't want a one-week injury turning into a six-week injury. Plus, Mike Tolbert was killing the Jaguars. Mathews said he could have returned. "I feel like I could have (returned)," Mathews said. "But the coaches didn't want to risk anything."

    —Tolbert, at 5-9, 245 pounds is a load and kind of a hybrid. He started as a fullback and has morphed into a running back. Wonder what kind of mileage he gets? About 7-10 miles per gallon," he said. "It depends on the play."

    —TE Antonio Gates said the Chargers running backs' play is paying dividends for the pass-catchers. "They were able to give us such a lift offensively and that's what sprang the passing game,' he said. "It gave us an opportunity to make plays in the passing game."

    —Turner is a bit testy about the lack of credit LT Brandyn Dombrowski is getting in replacing unsigned Pro Bowler Marcus McNeill. "We give (Dombrowski) someone else's number and you guys would be raving about how he's playing," Turner said.

    —The Chargers didn't sell out their home opener, breaking their 48-game streak to force a local TV blackout.

    STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

    PLAYER NOTES

    —TE Antonio Gates continues his hot start with another solid game. No longer bothered by foot problems, Gates already has three TD receptions.

    —WR Patrick Crayton is seeing the field more as he gets more comfortable in the offense. Crayton had his first reception Sunday.

    —QB Billy Volek got some mop-up work in the rout. Volek is moving around better after taking a beating in the preseason.

    —LT Tyronne Green got a handful of snaps Sunday, briefly spelling Brandyn Dombrowski.

    —FB Jacob Hester has morphed into a fullback from a running back, but he could get some carries depending on Ryan Mathews' injury situation.

    —DT Cam Thomas continues to be a healthy inactive. The Chargers were looking from some run support from the fourth-rounder, but he's yet to dress.

    REPORT CARD VS. JAGUARS

    PASSING OFFENSE: B — QB Philip Rivers rebounded from the loss to Kansas City with three touchdowns and 334 yards passing. He did get picked twice but both come off tipped passes — still, Rivers owns them. He was flushed from the pocket on occasion, but the pass protection continues to hold up better than many predicted with the absence of LT Marcus McNeill. Rivers got eight different receivers into the mix and even when moved from the pocket, was going through reads and usually finding the right target.

    RUSHING OFFENSE: A- — The minus here only because heralded rookie Ryan Mathews lost the ball again — he's lost it twice in two games. Mathews' day was short with an ankle injury but Mike Tolbert was sensational in filling in with his brand of hard-nosed, bruising running: two touchdowns and 82 yards. Darren Sproles had some holes as well with a 7.4-yard average on five carries. The offensive line was doing a good job creating some seams; it seems bent on proving last year was a fluke.

    PASS DEFENSE: A — Antoine Cason had a dream day with two interceptions and a forced fumble. Solid coverage all around and when combined with how bad the Jaguars' quarterbacks played, there's little to pick at. Even a run-stopping linebacker, Brandon Siler, got an interception when drifting back in coverage. The pass rush was up a notch from Kansas City. S Steve Gregory had a team-high 13 tackles.

    RUSH DEFENSE: A — The Jaguars' offensive line was getting mauled by the Chargers' front; only 71 rushing yards allowed. The defensive front rotation was effective and Siler in the middle — he was replacing Stephen Cooper (knee) — had a physical presence. Kevin Burnett, another run-stopping linebacker with an interception, was solid.

    SPECIAL TEAMS: B — P Mike Scifres had a rare block; the Chargers were on their third long snapper in a week, but that didn't seem to be the issue. A nice confidence shot for Nate Kaeding as he connected from 41 yards — those playoff memories can be tough to shake. Kickoff coverage team did allow a long of 29 yards, but was much truer than in the opener. Nothing special yet from the Chargers' return game.

    COACHING: A — After taking that big roundhouse in Kansas City, coach Norv Turner went Joey Sunshine and promised everything would be OK — it was as the players believed him. He's found a weapon in Tolbert and appears more confident to use him — especially with Mathews ailing. Ron Rivera's defense, according to the Jaguars, showed some alignments they didn't expect and it was clear their offense was off-kilter.
     

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