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Christmas coming too soon for Chargers

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    Tuesday, December 22, 2009

    Merry Christmas. Now get to work.
    The Chargers crammed two days into one yesterday, going over what went right and wrong against Cincinnati, installing the game plan that is usually saved for Wednesday and going through a scaled-back, walk-through version of a Wednesday practice.
    At least a couple of players probably won’t practice at all this week. Extra study on Thursday and even Friday morning before that night’s game will be necessary.
    “It’s tough,” quarterback Philip Rivers acknowledged. “ … Certainly, it’s a different routine. It’s makeshift. You don’t really have a routine plan for this. You’ve got to find a way to feel as prepared as you feel in a normal week.”
    The Chargers will practice today and tomorrow and head to Nashville tomorrow afternoon for their Christmas contest against the Tennessee Titans, a game with playoff significance for both teams.
    “We understand what this can get done,” Rivers said. “It will allow for a nice weekend.”
    It would make for a nice week and following weekend, too.
    What the Chargers would like to do is wrap up the AFC’s No. 2 seed Friday with a victory and be able to rest some key players for all or part of the regular-season finale Jan. 3 against Washington.
    “I think that’s the biggest thing,” outside linebacker Shaun Phillips said, “to be able to get a little rest, to rest some of the players we have banged up.”
    With Scott Mruczkowski out at least this week and likely for an extended period with an ankle injury suffered Sunday, Nick Hardwick will return to start at center Friday as long as the week goes according to plan. Hardwick, who has not played since injuring his ankle in the season opener, participated in yesterday’s walk-through and will practice today.
    Defensive end Jacques Cesaire, who left the Cincinnati game with an elbow injury, and cornerback Quentin Jammer, who left with a bruised knee, are expected to practice at some point and play Friday.
    Phillips (ankle) and Shawne Merriman (foot), who have rested at least a day most weeks since the start of November, could well miss the next two days of practice.
    The short week complicates preparation, for sure.
    “The hardest thing is everybody talks about the game plan and coaching and that’s not the problem. We’ll get that done,” said head coach Norv Turner, whose staff actually began breaking down the Titans and preparing a game plan Saturday. “The hardest thing is the players. The players have played in a lot of football games and they’re banged up. We kind of managed this a year ago when we played at home (on a Thursday in early December).
    “We’re going to do everything we can to be as fresh as we can. Take care of them during the week and do everything we can to get them ready to play. We’re playing another very good football team that is alive and on a roll. We’re going to have to be at our best.”
    Turner promised, “We’re not going to be tired on Friday. We’re going to be fresh and ready to go.”
    The Chargers need only a win or a loss by New England to clinch the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye. Should the Patriots win out against Jacksonville and Houston while the Chargers finish without another victory, however, New England would get the second seed based on having a better record against common opponents.
    The Chargers have always known Friday’s game presented a challenge, primarily for the prospect of facing Titans running back Chris Johnson, who is 270 yards from becoming just the sixth man to rush for 2,000 yards in a season.
    While the teams don’t face each other often, a game late in the 2007 season sparked a minor rivalry for the accusations that arose out of it of dirty play on both sides. After winning that game in December in Nashville, in which $32,500 in fines were doled out and a number of Chargers suffered significant injuries in a 23-17 overtime victory, the teams met four weeks later in a first-round playoff game in San Diego won by the Chargers.
    Now, this game is bigger than could have been predicted for Tennessee. After starting the season 0-6, the Titans are 7-7 and mathematically alive for a playoff spot. They need to win out and have several losses by other teams.
    “I don’t know if there are gonna be any hugs and gift exchanges going on,” Phillips said. “There might be some elbows and knees going on, but it’ll be fun.”
  2. Chargers-Superhero

    Chargers-Superhero Just win the Damn SB !!!

    Mar 10, 2007
    I hate the fact we play on Christmas, let alone a road game. :tdown:
  3. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard FORMER Charger fan at 7000'

    Jul 12, 2007
    Me too. I especially hate it because I had this circled as a road trip game before the schedule came out.
  4. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    The Titans got an eyeful of the Chargers at work in their two-minute drill — er, their sub-one-minute drill — last week. Certainly, they saw enough to know they need to play keep-away from San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers, who has led the Chargers to three game-winning drives in the fourth quarter this season. He did it against the Cincinnati Bengals without a timeout.

    “All those quarterbacks over the years,” said Tennessee head coach Jeff Fisher, “the ones you just don’t want to leave time before the end of the first half or don’t want the ball before the end of the game, the Joe Montanas or the Brett Favres, you don’t give them 20-30 seconds before the end of the first half because they’re going to get points. Philip’s right up there with them.

    “It becomes a deflating issue. There’s 20 seconds left to go and you think you’ve got some momentum, and all of a sudden, there’s a couple plays and a timeout and they kick a field goal and they’re going into the half with momentum.”
  5. Pro19

    Pro19 BoltTalker

    Dec 6, 2008
    I think it's kinda fun to be playing on Christmas.

    Gives me something fun to look forward to following the days festivities.

    Go Bolts!
  6. Aggieman

    Aggieman I bleed blue and gold

    Aug 14, 2008
    Jeff fisher gets it, Rivers is dangerous.
  7. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

    Mar 13, 2006
    Sounds like me last year after I circled New Orleans for a road trip...

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