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Defense had chances, couldn't cash them in

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    [​IMG]


    Just 11 blitzes, 1 sack in opener at Raiders

    By Kevin Acee
    Union-Tribune Staff Writer
    9:37 p.m. September 17, 2009


    SAN DIEGO – At first glance, the temptation was to say, “What the heck, Ron? Really?”

    The Chargers on Monday blitzed just 11 times on 31 passing plays, sacked Oakland quarterback JaMarcus Russell only once, knocked him down one other time and hurried him on just four passes.

    The pass rush, which coordinator Ron Rivera promised would get some spice once the season began, actually appeared to regress from vanilla to bland.

    Then you noticed all the silver hats that were around Russell so much of the night.

    An unofficial tally showed the Raiders twice kept eight players back to protect, six times had seven players blocking and 10 times had six protecting plus a tight end or back chipping before breaking into his route.

    (Five other times, with just the offensive line blocking, Russell threw on a three-step drop.)

    That's called max protection, and it's tough to break through.
    Still, Rivera was not pleased with the results.

    “We had some one-on-ones we should have won,” he said. “When you are singled up, you have to win. That's the bottom line. Kudos to (the Raiders) for doing some things that were good. But we had our opportunities, and we didn't take enough advantage.”

    But Rivera also knew why the Chargers didn't harass Russell more. Rivera even essentially made it so by the way he called the defense as the night progressed. Why keep running your players into a brick wall?

    Two of the times the Chargers did send a jailbreak at Russell, the quarterback completed long passes to tight end Zach Miller.

    It wasn't that Rivera didn't introduce any new looks.

    On a half-dozen plays, the Chargers showed their “15” defense, with just one lineman (Luis Castillo) in the game with five linebackers, including Shawne Merriman, Shaun Phillips and rookie Larry English.

    On one such play, Kevin Burnett hit Russell as he hurried a bad throw. Another time, on the overturned touchdown in the second quarter, English and Merriman were both a half-second from leveling Russell.
    “That was promising, to see some of the things we designed we were close to getting,” Rivera said. “A couple times, too, (in the future) hopefully we get a few five-man protections as opposed to seven-man.”

    When they don't, the Chargers need their back end to hold up.

    “At that point you've got to shore up your coverage and try to be as secure as possible,” Rivera said. “That's what we tried to do. I thought our guys handled it well.”

    Save for two long plays by Miller, which were broken coverages in the middle, and the fourth-and-14 breakdown in the fourth quarter, on which the Raiders scored a go-ahead touchdown, the Chargers were mostly stout.

    Inside linebacker Stephen Cooper refused to be taken out of plays. Free safety Eric Weddle was everywhere and disallowed every pass near him. Cornerback Quentin Jammer broke up three passes and had an interception.

    “With the exception of what happened on the (Raiders') last play, the coverage is exactly what we've been working for,” Rivera said.

    Rivera at first agreed Thursday that he expects the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday's opponent, to attack the Chargers with the pass. Quarterback Joe Flacco is certainly superior to Russell in accuracy and acumen.
    “But they could come out and run the ball based on what happened, too,” he said quickly.


    Probably not. The Chargers were quick to fix their overpursuit and gap assignment problems. After allowing 81 rushing yards in the first quarter, they allowed just 67 over the final three.

    Flacco was 26-for-43 for 307 yards in Sunday's 38-24 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

    Ultimately, the Chargers were fortunate Russell is so inaccurate. But, really, maybe that's why they didn't do more on defense.

    Rivera refused to bite on three different questions regarding the Chargers perhaps not showing everything they have because they didn't need to. But neither did he deny they played based on who they were facing.

    “It depends on the team you're playing,” he said. “Look at the personnel out there. There are some guys you have to get to and there are other guys ... You just say there are some concerns you have and some things you have to adapt to. It is based on who you're playing in terms of quarterbacks and schemes and routes they run and personnel they have. There are some things you have to guard against.”
     
  2. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like my golf game,

    shoulda coulda woulda


    :lol:
     
  3. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    I don't know much about them golf's, I can't seem to ever get the shells off. I've boiled em, roasted em and even tired a hammer but those shell's just don't want to come off.:icon_shrug: :icon_huh:
     
  4. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    they're made to pickled in a pond


    :tup:
     
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  5. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

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    This really concerns me. If Zach Miller can get all those yards, what would Todd Heap do? If you thought our safeties looked bad in the Faider game, this could be a nightmare!
     
  6. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    :lol::icon_rofl::icon_toast:
     
  7. TheBeast

    TheBeast BoltTalker

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    I'd actually take Miller over Heap, both very dangerous tight ends though, especially to us.
     

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