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ESPN Scouts Inc: Chargers vs Bills

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by BFISA, Oct 17, 2008.

  1. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

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    Scouts Inc

    The Chargers are starting to flex their muscles on offense, throwing more -- and relying on RB LaDainian Tomlinson less -- to move the ball and finish drives. Tomlinson's toe injury forced the team's hand, but it could prove to be a blessing. With a recovering Tomlinson and newfound confidence in the passing game, the Chargers will be all that much tougher to stop.

    Coming off a bye week, Buffalo should regain the services of QB Trent Edwards, who was knocked out of the Arizona game in Week 5 because of a concussion. With a one-game lead over the Jets and Patriots in the AFC East, the Bills need to defend their turf. The Chargers need to continue their surge to stay in the playoff hunt and within range of the AFC West-leading Broncos.

    When San Diego has the ball

    The passing game is alive and well in San Diego. With Tomlinson limited, the Chargers have switched gears and allowed QB Philip Rivers to show he can carry the offense. Rivers has several long targets at which to aim and is getting more opportunities to throw in the red zone. Tomlinson appears to be recovering nicely, and should be close to 100 percent -- scary news for opposing defenses. Expect a balanced attack. Coach Norv Turner needs to get Tomlinson his touches, but he now has the flexibility to avoid becoming predictable in his play calling.

    DT Marcus Stroud's presence often forces opposing backs to the outside, but the Bills still figure to crowd the box (with SS Donte Whitner providing an eighth defender) against Tomlinson. Buffalo has created little pressure with its base defense (DE Aaron Schobel has just one sack), so an increase in blitz calls may be necessary to pressure the pocket and rattle the streaking Rivers.


    When Buffalo has the ball

    The Bills want to make a priority of avoiding second- and third-and-long situations, and they'll undoubtedly try to force their run game on the Chargers. RB Marshawn Lynch runs hard and shows good vision when he gets a chance to follow blocks, but he isn't getting enough help up front. The good news is that Buffalo's passing game has been able to carry the team in the meantime, which could be crucial in a matchup with NT Jamal Williams and a traditionally stout 3-4 Chargers front.

    Edwards, expected back at full strength this week, has been extremely efficient -- both in moving the chains and in avoiding interceptions. Also notable has been Edwards' ability to rise to the occasion, as evidenced by his 136.6 passer rating in the fourth quarter. With Chargers defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell starting to cut loose more often, the Bills need to find a way to stave off OLBs Shaun Phillips and Jyles Tucker and a heavy blitz package. CBs Antonio Cromartie and Quentin Jammer are talented cover men, but they'll have their work cut out for them against speedy WR Lee Evans (27.0 yards per reception).

    continued . . .
     
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  2. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

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    Matchup to watch

    Bills WR Lee Evans vs. Chargers CB Quentin Jammer
    Buffalo wants to control the clock with a strong ground game, but realistically the team's best shot at moving the chains and scoring is through the air. Evans can get downfield quickly and create separation or serve as a quick-strike weapon who can turn a short catch into a long gain in a blink. Jammer, who managed to contain WR Randy Moss last week (sometimes in single coverage), is playing very well right now. He can be physical in press coverage, but he will need to be very careful not to allow Evans to get behind him. Pressing a receiver off the line and re-routing him after the release is difficult enough, but staying with a player of Evans' speed after the fact takes rare ability.
    Keys to
    Success

    1.Focus on efficiency in the passing game: The Bills' defense has become one of the league's tougher units to run on, and the Chargers' ground game isn't yet firing on all cylinders. Rivers has been a big-play machine in recent weeks, but he needs to be more concerned about protecting the ball this week. San Diego has big pass-catchers who know how to use their size and strength to catch in traffic. And though Rivers knows those receivers can win most contested passes, he can't take too many chances and risk giving Buffalo's offense a short field to work with.

    2.Come out blitzing: Much like last season, the Chargers' defense played it pretty close to the vest early in the season before breaking out the big guns when defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell got desperate for a pass rush. With OLB Shawne Merriman out for the season, manufacturing pressure on the pocket by any means necessary becomes even more important for San Diego. Cottrell can't allow Edwards time to survey the field and go through his progressions, because he has the ability to keep the chains moving and strand Rivers, Tomlinson and their mates on the sideline.

    3.Contain Buffalo's special teams: The Bills have had one of the NFL's most explosive special teams units for several years. Special teams coach Bobby April is one of the best at his craft and consistently gets his crew to play with intensity and discipline. Roscoe Parrish, who ranks second in the league in punt returns (15.2 yards per attempt) and who has a 63-yard touchdown to his credit, could be back for the San Diego game. This group consistently gives Buffalo's offense and defense great field position.

    Keys to
    Success

    1.Protect the quarterback: The Chargers have a lot of weapons they can use to collapse the pocket and pressure Edwards, and they are willing to bring pressure from any angle. Though LT Jason Peters missed training camp and most of the preseason, the Bills' offensive line has otherwise enjoyed continuity and good health -- which makes their 16 sacks allowed all the more confounding. With Cottrell finally amping up his pressure packages, it's more important than ever that Buffalo solves its problems up front.

    2.Go long early: Though coach Dick Jauron's overriding philosophy is to establish the run in order to throw the ball effectively, he has a tremendous weapon in Evans that could allow him to tweak his strategy. Evans is one of the league's most explosive weapons, and Edwards won't need to connect (or even nearly connect) often to convince Cottrell to commit more defenders to coverage. If Edwards and Evans are able to hook up deep early in the game, it could soften a strong Chargers run defense considerably.

    3.Rediscover the ground game: After a strong start, Buffalo has slipped to 23rd in the league in rushing (98.4 yards per game). Jauron wants to run the ball at least well enough to set up the play-action fake. But if the Bills can't get a push against the Cardinals and Rams (Lynch: 3.3 yards per carry), they're going to have to get creative against the Chargers' heavy front. Peters can be a dominating drive blocker, but he has yet to regain his form of 2007.

    Scouts Edge

    Buffalo will have had two weeks to create a game plan for this contest, and few coaches can prepare a team for a single game as well as Jauron. Now that Tomlinson's toe is healing, San Diego's ground game is starting to (literally) regain its footing. Expect the Bills to concentrate on containing Tomlinson and forcing the Chargers into obvious passing situations. Both teams should be able to move the ball with some success through the air, but in the end special teams should give Buffalo the edge.
     
  3. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

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    ygbsm
     
  4. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    Interesting how they don't mention our Special Teams at all, despite the fact that Sproles has a better kick return average than Parrish and also has a kick return TD this year. But I guess that is all trumped by Parrish's superior 15 yard punt return average, compared to Darren's inferior 13 yard average. Apparently, Scouts Inc. thinks those two yards of field position will make all the difference. :lol:
     
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  5. Fam_1st

    Fam_1st BoltTalker

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    Umm ok Parrish does'nt return Kickoffs and has never in his career,only punt returns and he's underated playing in Buffalo.Either way they're both 2 of the absolute best in the NFL.I just hope Sproles can start getting a few more carries out of the backfield and catch a few more passes.Im a Bills fan but im also from the same area as Sproles,actually im from the exact same neighborhood as Barry Sanders so I've always been a Sproles fan and he was amazing at K-state almost running for 2,000 yards one season and I wished the Bills would have drafted him and gave him a chance to get more carries cause the guy is amazing and the closest comparison in running styles to Barry Sanders as you'll ever see.
     
  6. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    I spose we'll find out Sunday afternoon.
     
  7. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    Parrish is a good punt returner, but so is Sproles. My point is that to suggest one has a significant advantage in that area is BS.
     
  8. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

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    To suggest that Buffalo's ST will tip the scales in the Bills' favor is BS.
     
  9. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Another Northeast team bites the Bolt bullet this week. It won't be as close as some may think. Jammer will handle Evans, Jamal will handle the run, & PR will light up the Bills' secondary.

    My humble opinion, of course. :abq1: :abq2:
     
  10. cranberry

    cranberry BoltTalker

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    When you look at the statistics of the last six weeks alone,
    there might be a slight favor for the hometeam, USA today
    sports edges Bills with 26-24 too.

    But when you notice the maximum possibilities of both teams
    Chargers will be the winner.
     
  11. Buck Blincoe

    Buck Blincoe BoltTalker

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    I agree.

    They'd better...I need a good Charger bucks winning streak.
     

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