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Chargers Underrated, Balanced Attack Proves Crucial in Playoff Run

Discussion in 'American Football' started by wrbanwal, Nov 20, 2009.

  1. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2005

    Bowe Fertig

    After the demoralizing loss to the Denver Broncos Week Six, the Chargers were considered by most to be down and out. The Broncos beat the Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium in every aspect of the game and looked like they would take their three-game lead to cruise through the rest of the season in first place.

    Oh how the tides have turned in San Diego.

    After starting the season 2-3, the Chargers now on a four-game winning streak look to recreate the magic of last year and gain four games in as many weeks on the Broncos to regain first place in the AFC West.

    An era of where the quarterback has taken over, Phillip Rivers has taken the reign for the Chargers. This season, the Chargers' most valuable player has led the team on two winning drives and could have been three if Norv Turner wouldn’t have taken the ball out of Rivers' hands against Baltimore on the 4th-and-1 play Ray Lewis blew up in the backfield.

    But because of Rivers' success and the Chargers' trouble to run the ball, many are tricked into believing that the Chargers offense soars through the arm of Rivers, but many will realize that the Chargers offense still runs through the legs of the backfield.

    Through the first nine games, Rivers has averaged 33 pass attempts per game. The Chargers are 2-3 when Rivers throws more than 33 times and 4-0 when he throws below his average.

    Behind Rivers is the most underrated running game in the league. Rivers is undefeated through four games when throwing under his average of attempts because the Chargers ran the ball effectively. Due to injury and being last in the league in rushing, averaging 75 yards per game, many have overlooked the Chargers backfield as a threat.

    There are a few reasons why the Chargers have lacked production from the backfield through the first half of the season. The first and most obvious is due to injury and inexperience.

    Pro-Bowl center Nick Hardwick has been sidelined since Week One and rookie tackle Louis Vasquez is still getting acclimated to the speed of the game. The injuries have made it more difficult for the inexperienced line because, which many seem not to realize, opposing teams remain to stack the box against the Chargers.

    Coaches aren’t mystified by the Norv Turner way of pounding the ball, but with a healthier line and LaDainian Tomlinson, the Chargers look to run the rock more successfully.

    The Eagles are one of the best in bringing up an extra defender to stuff the run and the Chargers saw one of their better offensive attacks through a balance of 28 rushes and 25 passes. This is when the Chargers are at their best.

    In fact, three of the Chargers last four wins have come when the Chargers ran the ball more than passed and in all three of the Chargers losses they have had their biggest gap in pass-to-rushing ratio. Against the Broncos they passed the ball a dozen more times. When they played the Steelers they passed 36 times compared to eight rushes. And at home against Baltimore, the Chargers threw it a season high 45 times to 21 rushes. Tomlinson was injured in both the Steelers and Ravens game.

    The Chargers have cracked the century mark in rushing only twice this season and both games resulted in wins with their highest scoring output of 31 points against Philadelphia and 37 points against Kansas City.

    Yes the Chiefs are in the bottom half of almost every defensive category imaginable, but the Eagles had only allowed one other team to score more than 17 points and rush for more than 100 yards in a game and that was the Saints.

    Even though these stats are true and the Chargers are better when they run well, the Chargers should be a pass-first-run-second team.

    For many teams the run opens up the pass but for the Chargers the pass opens up the run. The Chargers are a better passing team on offense because of Rivers and his targets. I hope Norv Turner realizes this next time he faces a third- or fourth-and-short.

    The Chargers have the best short-yardage tight end in the game with Antonio Gates, receivers Vincent Jackson and Malcolm Floyd can out-jump or gain possession on any smaller corner, and when all else fails throw it to the backs Darren Sproles and Tomlinson.

    It seems like a no brainier. Tomlinson or Sproles in the flats one-on-one with a corner or even better linebacker have a better shot of getting a few yards over Tomlinson or Sproles trying to escape three big guys in the backfield with no room to run.

    Thus, if it comes down to one play for short yardage it is in the best interest of the Chargers to pass the ball. This stance is taken because of the simple fact that it is easier to pass block than run block and a team must adapt to their own strengths and weaknesses. Rivers is the strength of the offense and you want the ball in his hands when the game is on the line.

    Rivers has come into his own lately making a name for himself as one of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL. This is great for the Chargers because when Rivers completes 80 percent of his passes like he did against the Eagles, eventual cracks will open up into huge holes for the running game.

    Last year, the Arizona Cardinals were the first and only team to reach the Super Bowl while being last in the league in rushing so it is possible for the Chargers. But in order for the Charger offense to reach its potential, the offensive line needs to open up holes and give Rivers time to throw the ball.
  2. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    Someone should do some editing for this guy.

    OK article, but I'm no fan of Bleacher Report. Conc does a much better job. :tup:
  3. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2005
    as I said in my previous thread

  4. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    Kiss *** :lol:

  5. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

    Jul 27, 2007
    True dat! :yes:
  6. ntman68

    ntman68 Well-Known Member

    Aug 16, 2006
    Not exactly high praise.
  7. Riversdaman17

    Riversdaman17 BoltTalker

    Nov 23, 2009
    Looks to me like the article is accurate. The author who wrote this article was on to something. The numbers speak for themselves, 28 rushes for 203 yards and 22 passes for 145 yards sounds like a good balance attack to me. Now the Chargers have rushed for more than 100 yards in three games and have scored more than 30 points in each of those three. A coincidence?:no:

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

    Jul 11, 2006
    I don't know who this guy is that wrote this piece but is he just now learning about the San Diego offense? It started with Gillman, then was worked through Coryell to perfection. Now Norv has it going, we establish the passing game and kill you with the run.

    Denver's D, was sucking hard to get air in their own stadium last Sunday. They were tired and beat by the time the fourth Qtr. came along, oh what a joy it was to witness.

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