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For Chargers, it's been home, sweet home

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Nov 23, 2007.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    Messages:
    23,310
    Ratings:
    +1,703
    By Chargers.com

    Following last Sunday’s loss at Jacksonville, several Chargers talked about the need to play better on the road down the stretch. Equally important, they must continue to play well at home, which is where they’ll be Sunday as they host the Baltimore Ravens.

    “We’re excited to play and get another chance to go out and play in front of our home crowd,” linebacker Shawne Merriman said. “We’ve got to keep winning those games at home. We’ve got to keep that streak alive.”

    While the Bolts are just 1-4 away from San Diego this season, they’re 4-1 at Qualcomm Stadium. Including last season, the Chargers have won 12 of their last 13 home games.

    “It’s kind of been our saving grace,” offensive tackle Marcus McNeill said. “We’ve played well at home and won a few games to keep us in first place. Our fans have helped us a lot by being loud and giving us a home field advantage. We have to get it done again this week.”

    With the home crowd helping out, the Chargers’ defense has been significantly better in San Diego than on the road. The Bolts are giving up 15.6 points per game at home compared to 26.2 on the road, a big reason they’ve enjoyed the success that they have.

    The Ravens also have struggled on the road, going 1-4 like the Chargers. While the Bolts are battling to maintain their tie of first place in the AFC West, Baltimore is 4-6 on the season and fighting to stay alive in the playoff race as well.

    “It’s two teams with their backs against the wall that both really need a win,” Merriman said. “It’s going to come down to who wants it more.”

    Sunday’s game garners particular importance for the Chargers considering they’ll hit the road in Weeks 12 and 13. That adds a little extra spice to a battle that features two prideful, veteran clubs.

    “The mindset is just to get a win,” running back LaDainian Tomlinson said. “We need a win badly. Both teams feel like they can beat each other. We feel like we can beat them. I guarantee you they feel like they can beat us. It’s going to be a battle.”

    Hardwick questionable

    The Chargers will wait until Sunday morning to find out for certain whether or not center Nick Hardwick will make his return from a foot injury. Hardwick was limited in practice Friday and is questionable for Sunday’s game.

    “We’re going to go out and warm him up Sunday morning and if he can go full speed he’s got a good chance,” Turner said. “If he can’t, we won’t have him up.”

    Hardwick made it through practice this week but said he still isn’t where he’d like to be.

    For the Ravens, Pro Bowl tight end Todd Heap (thigh) did not practice Friday and is doubtful, and Pro Bowl cornerback Chris McAlister (knee), who also missed practice all week, is questionable. Four others are also questionable.

    Stepping up

    The Chargers got a lot of people involved last week at Jacksonville as seven different receivers caught passes. Rookie Buster Davis had a nice showing as he hauled in three passes for 39 yards. His growth has impressed his quarterback.

    “He looks like a different guy out there, just his freshness and confidence in his route running and how he believes what he can do,” Rivers said. “I think he can really help us down the home stretch. I think he showed some of that last week.”

    Turner said the performance came as no surprise to him. While Davis has been slowed by injury, he’s played well when he’s been on the field.

    “Buster has been fine,” Turner said. “He went in the game and ran well, he showed his suddenness. He made plays. He’s going to be a good player. We just have to keep him on the field.”

    Davis had built some momentum at midseason before an ankle injury kept him out of two games and slowed his production.

    Stepping forward

    Rivers said this week that although the numbers may not tell the whole story, he believes he’s getting better as a quarterback. He and others around him point to throws like he made on a 24-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Gates last Sunday, threading the needle between two defenders.

    The biggest difference between Rivers in his second year as a starter, he believes, is miscues. He has thrown 12 interceptions this season after throwing nine all of last season.

    “I watch games from last year where I wasn’t playing lights out necessarily but I wasn’t making key mistakes that were costing us,” Rivers said. “That’s one thing I’ve always taken a lot of pride in and been able to do is keep those to a minimum. This year I haven’t done that. That’s not because of a lack of emphasis. It’s just been some poor plays on my part. I’m going to keep working and get it taken care of.”
     
  2. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Get loud, boys & girls!! Time to pay the crows back for last year! :bolt:
     

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