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Disciplined play paying off

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    Casey Pearce
    Posted Nov 25, 2009
    The Chargers have committed just seven penalties in their last three games and are tied for the fifth fewest fouls in the NFL this season.

    Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson[​IMG] called it hidden yardage, a statistic that makes a huge difference even if it’s not always noticeable.

    “It helps you when you don’t beat yourself with penalties,” Tomlinson said Wednesday. “It’s hidden yardage. That’s something that’s not talked about a lot.”

    When it comes to the Chargers’ recent surge, it’s certainly something that should be discussed. In their last three games, the Bolts have committed just seven total penalties. In those three games, their opponents have been flagged 27 times for a total of 239 yards to just 66 against the Chargers.

    Last week against Denver, the Chargers committed one foul compared to nine by the Broncos.

    “I think we work hard at the pre-snap penalties and those are the ones you have the best chance of controlling,” Head Coach Norv Turner said. “We had a couple games early where we weren’t as good as you’d like to be. We’ve gotten better as the year has gone on. Some of the other penalties, it’s the luck of the draw in how things come up, but our guys have done a good job of controlling the ones that they can control.”

    The win in Denver marked the sixth time this season the Chargers have had four or less penalties in a game. It’s marked a big improvement from the nine they committed in Week 1 and 12 in Week 2.

    “Early in the year we had a number of penalties on the offensive line, busted protections,” Turner said. “We were playing a lot of different guys and it was hard to communicate with guys who hadn’t done it together before. We’ve improved.”

    Opponents have accepted 52 penalties against the Chargers this season. That’s tied for the fifth fewest in the NFL and is just two off the pace of Jacksonville, who leads the NFL in the category.
  2. Bergo23

    Bergo23 BoltTalker

    Sep 28, 2006
    I have also noticed Rivers' cadence has changed and he has gotten a few more offsides penalties of opponents who thought they had dialed up his formula on film.

    This team is peaking, I am hoping for some big games in Dallas, and Tennessee...as the other look sentirely winnable from this vantage point.:flag:
  3. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    Penalties flagging, wins rising for Bolts

    Fewer infractions are key in Chargers' improvement

    By Kevin Acee
    Friday, November 27, 2009 at midnight
    Before Philip Rivers could rescue the Chargers, they got some help from the New York Giants three weeks ago.
    On first-and-goal from the San Diego 4, as defensive end Luis Castillo jumped off the line of scrimmage and made a push toward ballcarrier Brandon Jacobs, weary Giants guard Chris Snee grabbed and tackled Castillo, drawing a holding penalty that set the Giants back 10 yards. Three plays later, the Giants settled for a field goal.
    The Chargers responded with a game-winning touchdown drive by Rivers and Co.
    “It should have been over,” Snee said afterward. “First-and-goal at the 4. It shouldn't have gone to (a loss). It should have been over.”
    The Chargers were outgained by the Giants and by the Philadelphia Eagles the next week.
    But those teams committed nine penalties apiece for a combined 174 yards while the Chargers committed a combined total of six for 51.
    The Chargers were penalized one time for 15 yards last week in Denver to the Broncos' nine for 65.
    Altogether, over the past three weeks, opponents have given back 239 yards to the Chargers' 66.
    “It's hidden yardage,” LaDainian Tomlinson said. “That's something that's not talked about a lot.”
    The Chargers are playing as well as they have, probably, since the end of 2007. They are running the ball, Rivers has completed almost 70 percent of his passes during the Chargers' five-game winning streak, the defense is making timely plays and getting off the field. The coverage teams are back to being dominant.
    But they've had some help, and they have in many ways helped themselves.
    The 52 penalties against the Chargers that have been accepted are the fifth-fewest in the NFL. The 66 actually called against them is eighth-fewest. The 394 yards they've been penalized is third-fewest.
    That's a marked improvement from the first two weeks of the season, when the Chargers' 21 penalties for 145 yards were, in both categories, the most in the league.
    “Guys are being more disciplined and being more professional,” linebacker Stephen Cooper said.
    While “discipline” is the word the Chargers choose to explain the disparity in penalties, their struggles early also had to do with a rash of injuries forcing young players into big roles and an entire team just not quite comfortable.
    A costly pass interference helped the Ravens to a touchdown early in the season's second game, but it was two delay of games inside the red zone by an offense not in sync that really cost the Chargers, forcing them to settle for two field goals in what ended up a six-point loss.
    “The first couple games we had a (large) amount,” linebacker Shaun Phillips said. “It's everyone understanding what they need to do, where they need to be. When you know your role, you can play at a higher level.”
    The Chargers had 14 pre-snap penalties (five offsides, five delay of game, four false starts) in the first three games. They've had two offsides, one delay and four false starts in the past seven games.
    “We work hard on the pre-snap penalties; those are the ones you have the best chance of controlling,” Norv Turner said. “ Some of it is luck of the draw, but our guys have done a good job controlling the ones they can control.”
    The Chargers' high level of play also has contributed to their opponents committing more penalties.
    Last week, a Denver roughing the passer penalty gave the Chargers first-and-goal at the 5 instead of the 10 en route to their first touchdown. Drawing Denver offsides on consecutive plays in the third quarter helped the Chargers to a field goal. And unsportsmanlike penalty flags twice cost the Broncos 15 yards on kickoffs, helping Nate Kaeding to two of his five touchbacks.
    Against Philadelphia, drawing the Eagles offsides with a hard snap count twice in four plays helped the Chargers to a touchdown in the third quarter of their 31-23 victory.
    And there was New York, where Snee's holding infraction was certainly precipitated in part by the Chargers' defensive line having dominated the game and worn down the Giants.
    “It's us playing fast and making them do things they don't do,” safety Eric Weddle said. “When you play fast the little penalties that sometimes maybe refs wouldn't normally see become bigger. When you're going faster, the incident happens in clear daylight rather than in a big scrum. Maybe a hold will be more blatant.
    “The front seven can do that. When they're shooting gaps, getting upfield, it gets offensive linemen on their heels, gets them off balance. They gotta pull, they gotta cut, they gotta grab.”
  4. IFiredCHart

    IFiredCHart Well-Known Member

    Nov 25, 2009
    I think the Bengals are the toughest trial ahead, without a doubt, with Dallas being a close second. We match up well versus a Young-led Titans with our speed on defense, but CJ can prove to be a problem.

    But the penalties have been few and far between, with many of them being PI against Jammer..but I will gladly take the penalties along with his coverage skills any day of the week.

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