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Chargers to Raiders: Just run, baby, run

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Oct 12, 2007.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Since '04, no team has faced fewer rushes


    By Kevin Acee
    UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

    October 12, 2007


    Norv Turner has told his team to expect a physical game against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. He has stated publicly he believes the Raiders will run and run some more.
    “It's going to be a little different game in terms of what we've played,” Turner said.
    It seems obvious. Running is what the Raiders do under new head coach Lane Kiffin and new offensive coordinator Greg Knapp.
    A revamped offensive line employs a simple and effective zone blocking scheme identical to that of the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons (from whom Knapp came) and has ignited the Oakland running game.
    The Raiders are running the ball an average of 37 times a game, tied with Tennessee for most in the NFL. And they are doing it well, leading the league with an average of 5.3 yards a rush.
    Conversely, they are passing an average of 23.75 times a game, fewest in the league. Their 154 yards passing per game is fourth-lowest in the league.
    Chargers defenders have responded somewhat incredulously to the notion any team will come to Qualcomm Stadium and stick with the run.
    “Pack a lunch,” linebacker Shawne Merriman said through a smirk. “You want to come to work, pack a lunch. If that's what they plan on doing, we're ready. Let's put up their strong, physical guys, put up our strong, physical guys, and let's bang some heads.”
    See, no one runs against the Chargers. Moreover, teams hardly even try.
    Only seven teams have faced fewer rushes per game than the Chargers this season. Since 2004, no team has faced fewer rushes than the Chargers – an average of 23.5 a game. And since the start of '04, only Pittsburgh has allowed fewer rushing yards per game than the 89.3 average the Chargers have surrendered over the past 53 games.
    “With them being ranked No. 1,” linebacker Matt Wilhelm said, “we take it personally that we stop the run first and force teams to beat us with the throw.”
    The Chargers do face a lot of passes – a total of 165 this season, 10th-most in the league. Since the start of 2004, no defense has seen more passes attempted against it than the 35-plus per game the Chargers have.
    “They'll try to run,” defensive end Igor Olshansky said of the Raiders. “Hopefully, they'll lose the momentum. That's what happens with teams that run the ball on us. They lose momentum. They can't sustain.”
    The Chargers would love to see a team come at them on the ground.
    “That's what we pride ourselves in,” defensive end Luis Castillo said. “As much as you like to see the pass rush, there is nothing like playing the run. There is nothing like taking a man on one-on-one and outbalance, outleverage, outphysical him. It's a competition like no other. If that's what they want to do, we'll enjoy it.”
    But will the Raiders really continue to run the way they have? Maybe.
    The Raiders (2-2) have run 90 times in the past two games, mostly because they were protecting late leads. They ran 24 times for 198 yards in the second half at Miami two weeks ago, their most recent game. If they can get up on the Chargers or keep the game close, they will run. If not, they won't be able to.
    Plus, they might not want to. Ever since New England essentially reinvented the wheel by spreading the Chargers out, diminishing their pass rush and burning them with quick passes, every Chargers opponent has followed suit to some extent. Chargers players expect the Raiders to do the same – at least passing more than they have through their first four games. The Raiders had a bye last week and undoubtedly spent time installing specific plays for the Chargers. “They're going to still come in and run,” linebacker Shaun Phillips said. “They're definitely going to have a wrinkle for us. I'm sure they're going to have some formations to spread us out. Daunte (Culpepper) has a strong arm, and they have some good receivers. I still believe basically what they're going to do is run the ball.”
     
  2. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    Unfortunately, that might be because as long as I have been a Chargers fan, it's always been fairly easy to pass on us.
     
  3. loweezy

    loweezy BoltTalker

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    Last year was easy to pass on us?

    Don't think so.
     
  4. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    The pass defense has always been our D's weak spot. I've lost count of the number of times we make a stop on 1st down, then on 2nd, and then give up the first down on a pass play.
     
  5. loweezy

    loweezy BoltTalker

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    Yeah. But everybody has weaknesses. It's not like teams exploited a weak pass defense last year. The Chargers D overall was VERY GOOD last year.
     
  6. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    I'll give you that it was better last year, but it certainly looks like we have backslid this season.

    As stated, I just can't remember a time when we weren't weak against the pass. We have had a few teams that were great against the run, even back when we went to the Super Bowl. But I just don't remember a time when I thought "damn, teams just can't pass against us."
     
  7. TBF

    TBF BoltTalker

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    I can't count the times that I have turned to my brother in law when our D is protecting a 3rd and Long (8+ yards), and I told him..."they got us right where they want us"...

    We stuff the run, and play bend don't break behind them...Kills me. Including last year. Maybe we did a bit better, stats wise, but I agree w/the point that our secondary has been our weakest link on this "D" unit for a real long time.

    TBF
     
  8. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    Precisely. I hate 3rd and long, it seems like most of the time it takes an incomplete pass to avoid the 1st down.
     
  9. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    Get Culpepper.
     
  10. Boltdiehard

    Boltdiehard Well-Known Member

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    Merriman and Phillips need to step up and make plays. :yes: :bolt:
     
  11. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    the leash needs to be taken off of them
     
  12. Boltdiehard

    Boltdiehard Well-Known Member

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    I agree but fuc it hit somebody including the guy trying to block them. Punish those fucers. :bolt: :yes:
     
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  13. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    take the leash off and that'll fix it
     
  14. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Damn straight! Our best defense is an attacking defense. :tup:

    Didya hear that, Teddy-boy? Release the hounds!! :yes:
     

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