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Divisional Playoffs: Chargers vs. Colts

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Concudan, Jan 7, 2008.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Back to business

    The Chargers have come off of their first playoff victory in 13 years. They played a physical game in which they were kept off of the scoreboard in the first half. You would expect that the players would be celebrating and enjoying their accomplishment.

    You would be wrong.

    The interviewers that met the Charger players after the game all commented on how the Chargers have already put the game behind them and have begun to focus on their next challenge, a rested and healthy Indianapolis Colts.

    Chargers star Running Back, LaDainian Tomlinson said in the post game interview last night:

    "It didn't come easy, but I tell you, I'm just happy to get that first one," Tomlinson said.

    "It's a relief, but at the same time, it's not like we're saying, 'OK, we won a playoff game, so let's get ready to lose,' you know what I mean? I'm already thinking about next week and how tough of a game we're going to have going to Indianapolis, facing the champs."

    The Chargers also won the game in an unconventional method. They did not do it on the ground, as the Titans defense held Tomlinson to 42 yards on 21 carries. Not LT like numbers at all. Nor did they lean on their excellent Tight End, Antonio Gates. Gates was forced out of the game with what is reported as a severe toe sprain. No the Titans played to stop the run, daring Chargers Quarter Back Philip Rivers to beat them.

    That is exactly what he did. Rivers was able in the second half to step up into the pocket and throw down field hitting his wide receivers to keep the ball moving and Vince young on the sidelines.

    Wide Outs Chris Chambers and Vincent Jackson had big games, hauling in Rivers’ passes. Between the three there were 6 passing plays over 20 yards, including a 25 yard, third quarter touch down to Vincent Jackson to put the Chargers on the board. This proved to be only the third time in Chargers team history in which two players surpassed the 100 yard receiving mark. The last time it was done, it was In their 41-38 overtime win against Miami on January. 2, 1982, Kellen Winslow had 166 yards, Charlie Joiner 108 and Wes Chandler 106. In a wild-card win over Pittsburgh on Jan. 9, 1983, Chandler had 124 and Winslow 102

    Now the Chargers have to go to Indianapolis to meet a very dangerous team that has had a week off to rest up. They are a high powered offensive team with a very strong defensive unit. They can put numbers on the scoreboard in a hurry, boasting this seasons 3rd scoring offense. Peyton manning is arguably the best quarter back in the league and with Wide Receivers, Marvin Harrison likely to play, and rookie Anthony Gonzales developing into a scoring threat he should have options to go to. For the first time in nearly a month they are a healthy unit, with all five starters who were inactive in their last game (against the Titans) are likely to play.

    Harrison practiced Wednesday and worked on his own during Thursday's light workout. Thursday Colts Head Coach, Tony Dungy stated that he believes the eight-time Pro Bowler will be in uniform for the playoffs regardless of the light workout.

    Getting the pieces back alone will not make the Colts better. These pieces have to work together well, and this could be a challenge as some of the players have missed a quarter of the season. Also history has not been kind of late to teams the have had their bye in the playoffs. The Colts will have to get momentum early, and avoid the turnovers. San Diego’s defense topped the league in the turnover ratio. This is something the Colts are sure to be aware of and may try to be more conservative on offense to begin the game to see what San Diego Defense will gives them.
     
  2. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Chargers on Offense, Colts on Defense:
    Quarterback Philip Rivers played an excellent second half against the Titans stout defensive unit. He was 19 of 30 for 292 yards 1 touchdown and 1 interception. That ranked him 2nd amongst the 8 quarter backs that played in the Wildcard weekend, his passer rating was 92.6.

    However this week it does not get any easier for him, as stated before the Colts have a very good defensive unit, finishing the regular season as the 3rd over all in the league. They were second against the pass but had a weakness against the run, coming in at 15th overall.

    Look for the Chargers to have confidence coming off of their win, and approach this with a business first outlook. They will try to establish the running game with Tomlinson and backup Michael Turner. They will use the run to set up the pass. If the Colts commit 8 or 9 players to the line of scrimmage to stuff the run, look for the Chargers to hit their wide outs to keep the chains moving.

    Even if star Tight End Antonio Gates, can’t play due to a sprained toe. The addition of WR Chambers to the offense, and the development of young WR Jackson can kept the passing attack working, as evident against the Titans.

    The Chargers can not start slow however. If they spot the Colts the first half the way they did against the Titans, they will be in for a long, frustrating day.

    Look for the Colts defensively to try and rattle Rivers, to make him throw an errant pass and to keep him frustrated. They have the speed and strength on the defensive line to do this. Their secondary players are good enough to provide the time for their big bodied players up front to get the coverage sack. However the Colts corners have been susceptible to speed routs and double moves this season. Look for the Colts to put a linebacker on Tomlinson and shadow him to prevent him from getting into the passing game.

    Chargers on Defense, Colts on Offense:
    No other way to put it. The Chargers will have to put pressure on Manning and not let up. They will not be able to allow the Colts to stop the rush at the pocket and give Manning an area to step up into to make the pass.

    The Chargers will have to have a balanced game from their four outstanding linebackers who will be tasked with adding to the pass rush while also defending against the run. The Chargers bend don’t break mentality will be tested, but in their last match up, the Chargers came away with 6 interceptions of Manning.

    The Chargers will have to pin their ears back, and go after the Colts signal caller like rabid wolves that have not eaten in a week. They will also have to bump the receivers at the line of scrimmage and put them off of their timing patterns.

    The Colts live off of the timing pass, relying on their speedy receivers to get to the point of the ball. They will use their running attack to keep the Chargers honest, forcing them to keep their speedy linebackers from blitzing in order to defend the run.

    If the Colts can establish a running game, look for that to lead to them trying some long downfield passes. Manning may even decide to test Chargers Corner Back, Antonio Cromartie who picked him off in the last game.

    Another thing to keep in mind in regards to this game. These are some of the leagues top scoring teams. The Chargers rank 5th in scoring, while the Colts rank 3rd. This game will see the scoreboard light up, that is assured.


    The monkey and the wrench:

    The Chargers have one key area where they are much better than the Colts. That would be Special Teams. In the last meeting the Charger burned the Colts kickoff and punt units for two scores. The Colts are not very good on special teams this season. However, this is the playoffs and the Colts have had an extra week to work on their coverage.

    If the Chargers are able to add a special teams score, you could be looking at a huge upset in Indy.

    Many of the media’s talking heads do not give the Chargers a chance in this match up. If the Colts make the mistake of approaching the game with that mentality, they could be in for a rude awakening.

    Concudan’s Prognostication:
    This game is not an easy one to pick. I draw a bit of comfort from the wins the Chargers have enjoyed of late over the Colts. The Chargers match up well against Indy, and have a better special teams unit.

    Chargers 27, Colts 24.
     
  3. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    Three points is probably close to the margin, but I'm thinking the point total might be higher. Rivers is going to have more confidence in himself and his receivers than ever before. Without Gates to lean on, he all of a sudden has expanded his field of vision.
     
  4. Showmeyourbolt

    Showmeyourbolt Well-Known Member

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    My prediction, PAIN! Make Manning curse the ground he walks on. We saw Cottrell's best gameplan during the last game, and I expect him to bring the heat again. We brought safety blitzes, corner blitzes, ILB blitzes, OLB blitzes, line stunts, and sometimes nothing at all! Manning didn't know what was coming, and we didn't even have Jammer or Castillo on D!!!
     
  5. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Indy isn't as physical as the Titans - we are. This game will ride primarily on LT (and MT & Sproles). Rivers just needs to manage this game & both lines HAVE to win the battle in the trenches. Knock Peyton around, disrupt his timing, & he'll get antsy. Addai can be handled.

    I think that LT lights 'em up in this game & Rivers performs well. I look for Chambers to get a TD in this one, Kaeding kicks 2 FGs, & LT has 2 rushing & one receiving.

    34-27, Chargers. :tup:
     
  6. Bolt Action

    Bolt Action BoltTalker

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    Seems to me you have to keep your LB's moving all the time so it limits Manning's pre-snap reads. Any team that's had success at slowing him down has used this approach.
     
  7. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    Death from above, death from the ground. Doesn't matter now 'cause we've proven we can kill 2 ways now.

    Bring it on! It's gonna be a great game.

    Chargers 24
    Colts 21
     
  8. Kwak

    Kwak ....

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    :yes:

    As Mickey said to Rocky "Don't let that ******* breathe!".

    Can't let him camp out.
     
  9. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    We absolutely have to disguise coverages and blitzes. Running on the Colts and keeping Manning off the field will be a key to the game, but after this weekends display, I figure we can throw more than we have in the past. In fact, I wondering if we don't we open up with the pedal to the metal if we get the ball first to put some points up as fast as possible. We suddenly look a lot more flexible, even with gates gimped.
     
  10. Showmeyourbolt

    Showmeyourbolt Well-Known Member

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    The Colts have been known to start slow in the past. They will not fold under the pressure, but if we can get them in a pass only situation, it can only benefit our bend but won't break defense. Harrison has struggled against physical corners, so hopefully Jammer will be up to the task, we all saw how Cro did on Wayne. The secondary might want to make a call to Ty Law as well.......
    I like how Cottrell made Coop the QB of the defense in the last game. He sat in the middle of the field, and he countered each one of Manning's audibles with one of his own. The defensive line will have to be big against that stretch play, because we can't let the Colts have success running the ball.

    On offense we need to attack the inherent weaknesses of the cover two. If Gates can't play, I want to see VINCENT JACKSON USED AS A TIGHT END. He already blocks like one, and he could attack that hole in the middle with great effectiveness. The deep ball won't be there against the Colts, so we will need to take advantage of the underneath routes to move the ball down field. Take your time and continue to move the chains. Remember, at any time LT and the offensive line can have a huge day. This is the playoffs, and any team can win. If the coaches can prepare a great a gameplan, and the players execute it without the pressure of the Titan's game, we can win. The talent difference between the two teams is not some huge margin by any stretch of the imagination.
     
  11. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    I agree that we will be able to establish a running game better but we have to do it by running AT the Colts - this defense has Speed over everything else and so trying to outrun them would be foolish. The Chargers have to out-power the Colts and above all else they must keep an eye on Bob Sanders

    I think there are also mismatches one-on-one between our WRs and their Corners but there again the run game will play a role because we need to get their safeties out of position
     
  12. Skuzzlebutt

    Skuzzlebutt BoltTalker

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    Good write up. I like it.

    I think if this game were played on a nuetral field, then it would be a coin flip. Given the Colts have home field advantage, I think the Bolts will need to make/get a couple of breaks to win the game. No reason to think they can't make that happen.

    30 - 27, Chargers.
     
  13. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    Heavy doses of LT, MT, & Sproles.
     
  14. Kwak

    Kwak ....

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    If anyone was wondering, we are currently a 9 point underdog vs Indy.
     
  15. Showmeyourbolt

    Showmeyourbolt Well-Known Member

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    It was 8 1/2 yesterday, but now it's been bumped to a nine.......


    Do you think it will go up or down as the week unfolds?
     
  16. maestro876

    maestro876 BoltTalker

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    It probably depends on Gates's status. If he looks better as the week goes on, it will go down. Worse, up.

    Personally, I think they'll play it close to the vest, and then they will numb his toe and he will come out roaring.
     
  17. Kwak

    Kwak ....

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    Heck if I know, I just moderate/post the lines. I pull the numbers from other betting sites. :lol:

    Depends on how the public feels about those lines and what side the money falls, but in general the points will not move that much unless there is some major change/injury to a player during the week.

    All of the home teams this week started at 9 point favs, with NE being he exception at 13.
     
  18. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Thanks for the information Betmeister...:tup:
     
  19. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    Chargers 27
    Colts 14
     
  20. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    Might be a chance to make some money off this game
     
  21. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    I think we fire up the grill with Sproles on Special Teams,


    Put MT in there to tenderize the meat,


    give a big dose of Shawne and Co. marinade,



    then let LT feast on a main course of BBQ Pony!!


    :icon_toast::icon_toast:
     
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  22. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    VJ blocks in space like a TE, but it's different if your the strong side blocker on the line of scrimmage. He can run the same patterns as Gates and fill the same down field roles, but I'd be more comfortable with someone like Chandler as an LOS blocker. Naanee appears to be ready to fill the receiver slot of Gates as well. Granted, Gates is used primarily as a receiver, so replacing him with VJ in the patterns he runs is a good idea.
     
  23. maestro876

    maestro876 BoltTalker

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    I think really the only difference you will see on our offense is more 3-WR sets with Davis in the slot, and our base offense with Brandon filling in for Gates to block.
     
  24. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    When we faced the Colts they were without their two starting tackles and one was a PS dude who filled in and we barely won.

    Their DE Freeney is out so that helps.

    Lego-land and Scott Chandler need to step it up and so does Manu.

    Kaeding will have to be nails on EVERY OPPORTUNITY.

    If our defense does not harass Manning from the gun, it will be a long day.

    Jabba needs to let the dogs loose.
     
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  25. Buck Blincoe

    Buck Blincoe BoltTalker

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    Any word around about Marvin Harrison? If he gets to play, I seriously doubt he can shake enough rust off to be much impact.

    Freeney gave the Patriots fits the entire game. Matt Light couldn't deal with him well at all.
     
  26. TheLash

    TheLash Well-Known Member

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    agree!
     
  27. foober

    foober BoltTalker

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    Chargers over match the colts in almost every way. The colts qb is pretty good though. But if the chargers play smart football and the refs aren't paid off the chargers will win.:yes:
     
  28. PhilipRivers#1

    PhilipRivers#1 BoltTalker

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    I BELIEVE !!! :bolt:
     
  29. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    Harrison is playing from what I read.
     
  30. Chelsea

    Chelsea Well-Known Member

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    Yup! Yup! and a major YUP!:flag:
     

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