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Dolphins are Bolts' first obstacle towards return to postsea

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by ChargerRay, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. ChargerRay

    ChargerRay Producer/Host of BoltTalk Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    NC Times

    http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2005/12/06/sports/professional/chargers/12505193706.txt

    By: JAY PARIS - Staff Writer

    SAN DIEGO ---- Can't fault the Chargers for getting frisky over facing the Colts. It's possible the Chargers, winners of five straight, will be toasted by the 1972 Miami Dolphins for knocking Indianapolis (12-0) from the ranks of the undefeated.

    One small problem: The Chargers must first wrestle with the improving 2005 Miami Dolphins before they tango with the Colts ---- as well as the Chiefs and Broncos ---- in the regular season's final weeks.

    "We understand if we don't beat Miami, the last three games don't mean as much,'' quarterback Drew Brees said. "Because we might already be eliminated. We understand every game from here on out, it's one game at time. It's almost a must-win situation every time we go out.''

    The Chargers are trying to win out, and just four victories separate them from consecutive AFC West titles for the first time since 1980-81. But peering that far into the future requires binoculars.

    Right now, the Chargers are wearing blinders, restricting their vision to the Dolphins, winners of two straight.

    That much was evident in coach Marty Schottenheimer's media talking points, which inadvertently were included in Monday's press notes. Included in the message Schottenheimer was to stress:

    > We have a hard road ahead. The record of our next four opponents is 34-14.

    > This is a huge game this weekend if we hope to get to where we want to be.

    > Don't use the word "playoffs."

    If the Chargers follow the company line, the payoff could be another postseason berth. But again, that's peeking into the distance ---- something Brees declines to do.

    "Don't look too far ahead,'' Brees said, recalling what happened when the 2002 Chargers started 6-2 and finished 8-8. "Been down that road before and it doesn't work. Just one foot in front of another.''

    The Dolphins (5-7) have found their legs after blasting the Raiders 33-21 in Oakland and rallying to defeat the Bills 24-23 on Sunday.

    "When you look at that football team right now they're pretty good,'' Schottenheimer said of the Dolphins. "And the way this league is today, all it takes is a few wins in a row and all of sudden you might find yourself right in the middle of the race.'' Ý

    Added Brees, who threw two touchdowns in Sunday's 34-10 conquest of the Raiders: "They are coming off two big wins. They still have a chance in their division, so they are going to come ready to play, ready to win. So we have to do the same.''

    The Chargers will do so with Pro Bowl running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who gave the team a scare when he left Sunday's game with a rib injury. Schottenheimer said Tomlinson is fine, and won't miss any additional time.

    But the team must continue without wide receiver Kassim Osgood. He tore a left pectoral muscle against the Raiders and will undergo surgery, shelving him for the year.

    Osgood's numbers in the offense aren't much ---- two catches for 21 yards. But he was stellar on special teams, where his 19 tackles led the squad. He played on the punt and kickoff coverage and return teams and is probably the top blocking wide receiver on the Chargers.

    "Of course we'll miss him,'' Schottenheimer said. "We'll look to Vincent Jackson to step up and pick up the slack.''

    Another special teams concern is the lack of depth on Nate Kaeding's kickoffs. His average kickoff against the Raiders didn't even reach the 15-yard line.

    "We're still not getting the ball down inside the 5-, 10-yard line as we had hoped,'' Schottenheimer said. "We've gone to directionally kicking the ball and it's something that he is still in the process of working on and I don't anticipate any changes in that regard.''

    Any chance Brees might change his one-game-at-a-time mantra? Wouldn't it make for a juicy matchup in two weeks if the Colts sit at 13-0?

    But that means the Chargers would have to root for the Colts' Sunday opponent, the Jacksonville Jaguars ---- a team they are fighting for a wild-card berth.

    When asked which team he would be pulling for, Brees briefly slipped, admitting that playing an undefeated team at this stage in the season is tempting.

    "Maybe the Colts, so they will be undefeated when we go there,'' Brees said. "But other than that, I'm just worried about us.'' Ý

    CHARGERS NOTES ---- The Chargers have regained the No. 1 ranking in run defense, allowing just 79.4 yards per game. ... P Mike Scifres, who nailed a career-long 71-yard punt Sunday, is tops in the NFL with a 39.6-yard net average. ... Antonio Gates leads all tight ends with 63 catches. ... With 38 sacks, the Chargers are second in the league.
     
  2. Big Dave

    Big Dave BoltTalker

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    It just depends on which team shows up. Sometimes they are just flat and uninspired. Other times they just come out on fire and ready to play. Saban has his hands full with these guys.
     
  3. longeyes

    longeyes BoltTalker

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    And sometimes, like last Sunday, they are both flat and on fire on the same day.
     
  4. skyblue

    skyblue Well-Known Member

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    This is my first post. Wanted to see if I did everything right.
    Go C}{ARGERS! Phry the Phish!
     
  5. ChargerRay

    ChargerRay Producer/Host of BoltTalk Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    Hello Skyblue! Welcome to the boards! :kegger:
     
  6. skyblue

    skyblue Well-Known Member

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    Thank you!
    I actually found you in a Miami forum!
    Glad I did. I usually go to UT or Chargers.com.
    I'll try to get the word around about this fun and informative site!
    Thanks Charger Ray!
     
  7. ChargerRay

    ChargerRay Producer/Host of BoltTalk Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    Thanks "skyblue" I appreciate it! :good:
     

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