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ESPN: Upon Further Review: Chargers Week 10

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Concudan, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    http://espn.go.com/blog/san-diego-chargers

    SAN DIEGO -- An examination of four hot issues from the San Diego Chargers' 28-20 loss to the Denver Broncos.

    Tackling still an issue: For a second straight week, San Diego’s defense struggled to stop explosive plays. Denver finished with five passing plays of 18 or more yards, including two for touchdowns. A week earlier, Washington’s offense finished with eight plays of 20 or more yards against San Diego’s defense. The Chargers are struggling to take the proper angle to the ball, and not enough defenders are rallying to the ball. “It’s just tackling,” San Diego middle linebacker Donald Butler said. “You’ve got to tackle -- plain and simple.”

    That Peyton Manning guy is pretty good: Manning, the top-rated passer in the league, did not disappoint, finishing 25-of-36 for 330 yards and four touchdown passes. The Chargers managed to get some pressure on Manning, sacking him twice, including a strip sack by Tourek Williams that was recovered by Butler. Manning also suffered a right ankle injury on a hit by Corey Liuget. But Manning still finished with a 135.2 passer rating, and is 3-0 against the Chargers since his arrival in Denver.

    On the road again: Losers of two straight for the first time this season, the Chargers hit the road for a two-game stretch that begins in Miami on Sunday, and has the Chargers traveling to Kansas City to face the team’s AFC West rivals in two weeks. San Diego is 2-3 on the road this season. After back-to-back road games, the Chargers finish with four of their last five games at home. Even with the two straight losses, at 4-5 the Chargers are a game behind the New York Jets (5-4) for the final AFC wild-card spot.

    Fake punt works: San Diego’s fake punt attempt in the opening quarter worked, but it didn’t create the type of game-changing momentum the Chargers were looking for. At fourth-and-1 from San Diego’s 29-yard line, the Chargers lined up to punt. However, up back Eric Weddle took the snap and plunged down the middle of the line for 2 yards to pick up the first down. Weddle’s effort was wasted when the Chargers had to punt four plays later after failing to pick up a first down. “I had a nice little collision there, but I feel I can get 1 yard over anyone,” Weddle said. “If I can’t, I shouldn’t be in there.”
     
  2. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    SAN DIEGO – Even though Demaryius Thomas finished with a game-high seven receptions for 108 yards and three touchdowns, San Diego Chargers cornerback Shareece Wrightrefused to be in awe of the talented Denver receiver's impressive performance.

    Given another opportunity, Wright truly believes he can shut down the physical Thomas, who San Diego coach Mike McCoy calls one of the best receivers in the game.

    "When I was able to play man on him, I did a pretty good job," Wright said, following the Chargers' 28-20 loss. "And lining up against him, I can press him at the line. He's just strong, so he's going to finish a little stronger at the top of the routes. He's got some little tricks to his game, and now I know how to play him.

    "I'll be ready next time."

    While not exactly a reflection of what happened, Wright's words are refreshing. Pro football is a young man's game. And for a San Diego squad that over the years leaned on veterans like Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates and Eric Weddle to lead the way, at some point young players like Wright have to emerge and have an impact in order for the Chargers to once again to be playoff contenders.

    A third-round selection in the 2011 draft, Wright finally earned his opportunity to start this season after serving as a backup in his first two years. He's missed three games due to a hamstring injury, but during his time on the field Wright has flashed an ability to develop into a solid, NFL cover corner.

    Another young player that made an impact for San Diego was pass-rusher Tourek Williams, a sixth-round selection in this year's draft. The Florida International product got his third start with Jarret Johnson inactive. And Williams made the most of it, chasing down Peyton Manning from behind for a strip sack in the third quarter, forcing a fumble that teammate Donald Butler recovered.

    The momentum-changing play led to a 7-yard touchdown reception by Danny Woodhead, cutting Denver's lead to 28-13.

    But Williams wasn't overly excited about the play, showing more concern that his team couldn't find a way to battle back for a victory.

    "It feels good," Williams said. "But when you lose a game, I haven't even thought about that play since I left the field. So you've just got to play the game. The next time in that situation, we'll make the game-changing play and we'll finish."

    Along with Williams, other players from San Diego's draft class this year have played well. Offensive tackle D.J. Fluker and receiver Keenan Allen deserve rookie of the year consideration. Middle linebacker Manti Te'o continues to improve with each game. And even someone like quarterback Brad Sorensen, a seventh-round selection out of Southern Utah, showed promise when he played in the preseason.

    At 4-5 on the season, the Chargers are a team that is being developed for success down the road. But that doesn't mean young players like defensive lineman Corey Liuget are willing to except moral victories by playing elite teams like Denver tough on their home field.

    "We don't care for moral victories," Liuget said. "Those don't get you where you want to be. We've just got to be prepared for the next one, and keep fighting and clawing."

    And while the Chargers are building for the future, for guys like Weddle the future is now.

    "We've got seven games left," Weddle said. "The whole season is right there in front of us. If you guys on the outside think the season is done, then don't come talk to me because we still have everything there."
     
  3. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Red zone woes continue for Chargers

    SAN DIEGO -- Heading into Sunday's contest against their AFC West rival Broncos, Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers understood that his team's offense couldn't settle for field goals.

    But ultimately that's what happened, as their offense stalled three times on Denver's side of the field. San Diego kicker Nick Novak finished field goals of with 40 and 24 yards in the first half, and he missed from 37 yards out.

    Meanwhile, Peyton Manning led Denver on three touchdown-scoring drives to help the Broncos take a 21-6 lead at halftime.

    “That was really the difference there,” Rivers said. “If we could have scored a couple of times in those early drives, we would have been right there in better shape late in the game.”

    Heading into Sunday's contest, the Chargers were tied for 21st in the NFL in red zone efficiency at 50 percent. San Diego maintained its average, finishing 2-of-4 in red zone efficiency against Denver.

    “You look at the three opportunities, and you get six points,” San Diego coach Mike McCoy said. “They scored 28. If you score three touchdowns, that's 21. As you go along, that's critical. You've got to finish for touchdowns. But there are certain situations where you wish you could go back.”

    Chargers' reunion: Three former San Diego players returned to Qualcomm Stadium to face their former team for the first time.

    Outside linebacker Shaun Phillips and cornerback Quentin Jammer signed low-risk deals with Denver during the offseason after the Chargers decided to move on from both aging veterans.

    Jammer, 34, barely made Denver's 53-man roster out of training camp, and has played sparingly. However, Jammer served as an honorary captain and got a rare start against his former team. Normal starter Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie hatched a plan for Jammer to be out there with the starting unit without telling interim head coach Jack Del Rio.

    “It felt great, especially with the win,” Jammer said. “I don't know what I would have felt without a win.”

    Phillips, 32, has a team-high 7.5 sacks for the Bronco. Phillips took down Rivers, his former teammate, for a sack in the second half, hearing a chorus of boos.

    “It's cool, 70 sacks here and they should be happy enough that I got them 70,” Phillips said. “There is no ill will. I do not have anything negative to say about San Diego, nor their fans. They are great fans. I am a Bronco now, and I am happy to be where I am at.”

    Offensive lineman Louis Vasquez signed a four-year, $23.5 million deal with the Broncos in free agency. The Texas Tech product has started every game for the Broncos.

    Injury update: Fullback Le'Ron McClain (ankle), left tackle King Dunlap (concussion), centerNick Hardwick (neck stinger) and outside linebacker Larry English (biceps) all suffered injuries during the game and did not return.

    Outside linebacker Jarret Johnson was inactive for the contest because of a groin injury, the third game he's missed because of the injury.

    McCoy said he'll have updates on those injuries when he finds out more information next week.
     

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