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Concudan's AFC West Preview

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by Concudan, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Meh... Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 5, 2006
    Lighting strikes San Diego

    2011 schedule
    Week 01, Minnesota
    Week 02, at New England
    Week 03, Kansas City
    Week 04, Miami
    Week 05, at Denver
    Week 06, Bye
    Week 07, at New York Jets
    Week 08, at Kansas City
    Week 09, Green Bay
    Week 10, Oakland
    Week 11, at Chicago
    Week 12, Denver
    Week 13, at Jacksonville
    Week 14, Buffalo
    Week 15, Baltimore
    Week 16, at Detroit
    Week 17, at Oakland

    You have to look at the 2011 schedule for the San Diego Chargers and feel that this is going to be a make or break season for the Chargers, and their head coach Norv Turner. The Chargers are tied for the 3rd toughest schedule when you look at the win-loss record of their opponents last season. Before you factor that into how they will do this season, realize that the Chargers play 5 of the 6 remaining teams that are tied at 3rd toughest schedule (Chiefs, Broncos, Jets, Jaguars, and Lions), if we played the Colts we would play all 3rd places teams. You can look at the teams stuck at 3rd place with us and see that two of the three divisional rivals are there too. No team will have an easy schedule this season, only Oakland is ranked lower than 3rd for team strength of schedule, they are tied for 19th.

    You can also look at the schedule and see where the Chargers may have dodged a bullet… They have in the last quarter of their schedule some teams that play in cold winter venues, Baltimore, Buffalo, and rival Denver. But guess what, they are coming out to sunny southern California to play the Chargers. Only Detroit is a cold weather team the Chargers travel to in December, but they play in a nice dome. There are two games that have the potential for cold weather, they are Chicago on November 20th, and Green Bay on November 6th.

    All in all it could have been much worse. But as I mentioned this is going to be a season that tells if the Chargers should be mentioned in the same sentence as teams who are a threat to lift the Lombardi or not.

    Their season starts out with two games that should be a solid ruler to judge them by, Minnesota Vikings, and the New England Patriots. The Chargers have little love for either team, especially the Patriots who will have big, nasty Albert Haynsworth on their D-line, and brash wide out, Chad ‘is he still Ochocino?’ Johnson on offense.

    They have a bye that comes earlier than I would like, but that is the way the cookie crumbles sometimes. All in all it is a tough schedule, one that will separate the men from the boys. They Chargers have shown the ability to win tough games under Philip Rivers, but the team cannot lean on the offense. The Defense will have to actively get the ball back and impose their will on the other team. Further, the Special Teams will have to do better than they did last season.

    The Chargers lost 2010 Defensive Coordinator Ron Rivera in the offseason. Ron moved on to Carolina where he took the head coaching job. They also parted ways with beleaguered Special Teams Coach Steve Crosby. To replace them the Chargers brought back Greg Manusky as Defensive Coordinator. Greg was with the team before as the Line Backers Coach, before heading to San Francisco where he was the Defensive Coordinator. In San Francisco Manusky also ran the 3-4 defensive scheme that the Chargers employ.

    Manusky is known to be an attacking Coach. He appears to like his linemen to plug the lanes and allow the Linebackers to move around and make the plays. The focus on the line will be containment, allowing the middle and secondary of the defense to roam the field and make plays. That said, opposing Quarterbacks had better be prepared to look over their shoulders. Manusky loves the blitz. With the Chargers holding on to Weddle, and getting Travis LaBoy, the aforementioned Spikes, and Bob Sanders, Manusky is going to have some tools to work with.

    One of the biggest and most embarrassing reasons the Chargers did not win their division, and make the playoffs last season was the historically bad play of their special teams unit. The 2010 special teams set the standard for bad play in the NFL, and are officially and statistically the worst special teams unit in the history of the NFL. That is a fact that is hard to write, hard to read, even harder to swallow, no?

    Well the Chargers addressed that as well, as stated before, they parted ways with their Special Teams Coach and brought in one of the most respected ST Coaches in the League. Enter Rich Bisaccia. Rich was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers since 2002, and is widely respected as a Coach who knows what he wants and is able to verbally lambast a player until he gets it.

    Reports have come out of camp that the two new Coaches are ‘salty’. They use colorful language and expect things done their way, the right way. As a fan, I for one am glad to hear that! Many people have said that they felt the Chargers training camps in the past have been too much like Club Med. Well if Coaches Manusky and Bisaccia have anything to say about that, by all report that will be an issue of the past.

    The Chargers entered the lock out shortened off season on a mission. They made several additions to the team including bringing 13 year veteran Line Backer Takeo Spikes, to provide fire and leadership on the defense. They brought back several veterans and one could conclude that the focus of the Chargers draft, and off season signings was to improve the defensive side of the ball and maintain the status quo on the offensive side.

    Key Additions:
    SS Bob Sanders
    LB Takeo Spikes
    LB Travis LaBoy
    RB Frank Summers
    DT Corey Liuget (1st)
    CB/KR Marcus Gilchrist (2nd)
    LB Jonas Mouton (2nd)
    WR Vincent Brown (3rd)
    CB Shareece Wright (3rd)
    OT Steve Schilling (6th)
    RB Jordan Todman (6th)
    OLB Andrew Gachkar (7th)

    CB Donald Strickland
    WR Buster Davis
    TE Kris Wilson
    LB Jyles Tucker
    Brandon Lang
    Antwan Applewhite

    I think that most fans of the Chargers are going to enter the season in a ‘cautiously optimistic’ frenzy. They will wear the jerseys, paint their faces and scream their heads off. But they will expect results and turn rabid if they do not get them. Well I believe the Chargers will rise to the occasion. The top 3 teams in the division are dealing with tough schedules and even the Raiders do not have an ‘easy’ schedule (if there is such a thing as an easy NFL schedule). The Chargers, Broncos, and Chiefs all have a .520 percentage win-loss record. The Raiders have a .492 percentage so there is no big drop off there. Further strength of schedule is never a good measuring stick. We do not play last season over we move ahead with the new season and every team starts out with the same record. That said, I see the Chargers ending at 10-6, or 11-5, which should be enough to give them the AFC West.

    Most intriguing matchup of the season:
    Week 7, Chargers at New York Jets. I know, there are bigger marquee games, more famous names coming in, but these two teams have grown to dislike one another in a very short time. Rivers will have to get past ‘Revis Island’. This will be a donnybrook, one that I am sure jets head Coach Rex ‘my mouth is bigger than my game’ Ryan will fuel the fire for.

    Attached Files:

  2. Concudan

    Concudan Meh... Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 5, 2006
    Oakland and Kansas City to follow.
  3. ThunderHorse17

    ThunderHorse17 Lone Wolf

    Apr 10, 2010
    Need to read over post 1 a little. Bottom of ur subtractions list, and ill let you find the rest of them if you feel the need.!! :poop::x3:
  4. Concudan

    Concudan Meh... Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 5, 2006
    Thanks for the feedback.
  5. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Nice write up Conc! Definitely liked reading your season analysis!

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