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Game Review: Chargers at Patriots

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Sep 16, 2007.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    <img src="http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/sp/getty/11/fullj.getty-75557852tl021_san_diego_cha.jpg" title="FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 16: Ladainian Tomlinson #21 of the San Diego Chargers runs against the New England Patriots during their game at Gillette Stadium September 16, 2007 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)" alt="FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 16: Ladainian Tomlinson #21 of the San Diego Chargers runs against the New England Patriots during their game at Gillette Stadium September 16, 2007 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)" height="211" width="285" />

    By Curtis Egan
    <em>BoltTalk Staff Writer</em>

    <strong>The Hype:</strong>
    These two teams do not like one another. The Patriots have had a difficult week, with their head coach embarrassing the team by cheating. Putting the best part of the Patriots history in question. The Chargers are ready to avenge the playoff loss to the Patriots, and to get reacquainted with the Patriots Cornerback, Ellis Hobbs whom Chargers Quarterback had proclaimed ‘The Sorriest Corner in the League' when Hobbs decided to do his little dance on the Chargers helmet at centerfield after the Patriots beat the Chargers in January.

    The Patriot players also do not have a sense of friendship when the League's reining MVP, Chargers Running Back LaDanian Tomlinson is mentioned. It was Tomlinson who stated in January that the lack of respect and class the Patriots players had shown must have come down from their Coaching staff. Tomlinson was also quoted as saying in recent interviews that he was not surprised with the allegations of cheating in regards to the Patriots.
    <blockquote><strong>Tomlinson: </strong> "Not really, because there's been stuff that's been going on for the last couple of years. People in Miami, the Jets, have been complaining about something that the Patriots have done. Either get in their playbook somehow, or bringing a player in just because they're playing them that week. So it really doesn't surprise me that they're trying to gain an edge any way they can."
    <strong>Mason: </strong> "LT, do you consider that cheating?"
    <strong>Tomlinson: </strong> "I guess it's a form of cheating. Yeah, I guess. I don't know if there's a particular rule that says you can't do that, but everybody knows it's really not right to do it. So it is a form of cheating even though it's not said to be."
    <strong>Mason: </strong> "So this stuff doesn't surprise you because people have been talking about it with Belichick for a while now."
    <strong>Tomlinson:</strong> "Yeah, it's been topic of conversation for the past couple of years or so. "
    Neither team likes the other, the game should feature some big hits. Patriots Wide Receiver Randy Moss gets reacquainted with the Chargers after leaving the Raiders. Patriots Quarterback had all day to allow Moss to get open in triple coverage. The Jets put not pressure on him what so ever. He will not have that luxury against the Chargers however. This game will feature two teams trying to knock the other out.</blockquote>
    The Patriots have has quite a bit of distractions to work thought this week. Will that be a factor that pulls them together, or an excuse they use when they lose? We shall soon find out. More and more allegations come out as the pregame show goes one. It is unfortunate that this is taking time when a great game should be discussed. New England Patriots Head Coach, Bill Belichick has robbed us all of something, not just the Patriots fans.


    <strong>The Game:</strong>
    This game is being played in a cool Foxborough, registering a nice 57 degrees about 15 minutes prior to game time. There can be no more talk. No more scrutiny of allegations of cheating, or breaking the rules. Now the teams players have to make a case for which team is better than the other.

    Bill Belichick walks the sidelines looking like a rooster that has been kicked out of the hen house. Norv Turner did not give the his team the first 15 plays until Sunday morning and no New England locker room attendants are allowed in the Chargers locker room.

    The Patriots won the toss and receive the ball. The sorriest corner in the league, Ellis Hobbs brought the ball out to the 30, where Brady opens up the game passing. The Patriots open up with no huddle on offense picking up a first down on the second game. Rand Moss gets involved next as the first five Patriot plays were passes.

    Chargers Defensive End, Igor Olshansky pressures Brady into a spike of the ball. Two games later Brady, who had an unmolested five seconds in the pocket his a wide open Tight End Benjamin Watson in the end zone for 6 points. All passes, not one run.

    The Chargers offense take the field and Quarterback Philip Rivers throws an interception on the first play. That set the Patriots up with excellent field position. The Patriots offense gets a delay of game call and then an incomplete pass. Two plays later Chargers Linebacker Shawne Merriman dropped back into coverage on the next play to force the Patriots to go for the field goal which they missed.

    On the next offensive possession for the Chargers they start with an offensive false start. Then they run Tomlinson up the middle, on the play Offensive Guard Shane Olivea was injured which lead to a injury time out. His back was bent the wrong way in the pile. He walked off the field with the help of the trainers. To this point I cant recall Chargers Head Coach Norv Turner calling a run to the outside as of yet. Rivers throws again on second down and nearly gets another interception. On 3rd and 12 they hit Tight End Antonio Gates for 10 yards leading to a punt.

    The Patriots offense continues to move down the field against a largely ineffective Chargers pass rush. Only Patriot penalties slow them down on the drive. Wes Welker began looking like an all pro receiver as he made the Chargers defenders repeatedly miss. The Chargers to this point have no answer for the Patriots passing attack as the Patriots are moving the ball at will through the air.

    With 4 minutes left in the first quarter, the Charges had 13 yard of offense and the Patriots had nearly 150. The Patriots go up 14 to nothing with 4 minutes left in the first with a Brady TD pass to Moss-

    The Chargers came back out and Running Back, LaDanian Tomlinson rand for ten yards on two plays, as the Chargers try and get into the game. Norv Turner is running into the teeth of the Patriot defense trying to establish the offensive game. Tomlinson rushes for another first down as the Chargers begin to get a working drive in motion. On the play that LT gets the first down, though New England Linebacker Adalius Thomas was injured leading to another injury timeout.

    On the drive Vincent Jackson makes a catch for a first down, using his height and body to block the ball from the defenders. On the next play a rush proves too much for Rivers who loses the ball. Brady throws for a first down again as the Chargers defense tries to come up with an answer for the Patriots passing game.

    Chargers stopped the Patriots on the drive and then gave the Patriots a fist down with a roughing the passer call. The Chargers then started pressuring Brady, and nearly stripped the ball from Brady on a sack. However Brady continued to hit his receiver and moved towards the end zone. Chargers end the drive on a third and two play, and caused the Patriots to go for a chip shot field goal, moving the Patriots ahead 17 to 0.

    In the second half the Chargers find themselves in a position where they have to score to keep in the game. Darren Sproles brings the ball out to the 30 yard line. The Chargers go back to the ground with Tomlinson, Rivers then hits Tomlinson on a swing pass to move the ball up field. They go to Tomlinson yet again on third and one, which leads to the punt. The Chargers are not able to get it going on offense and to this point the Patriots have owned the field.

    The Patriots start on their 20 yard line where Brady takes a huge sack from Chargers Linebacker Shawne Merriman, dropping Brady at the 10 yard line. Brady threw the ball to his Tight End on a 3rd and 20 play, and the Chargers stopped the Patriots forcing the punt.

    The Chargers came in passing and Rivers hit Jackson for a long gain. The Chargers are attempting to get the wide outs involved in the game, as another pass to Gates moves them down near a first down. On the next play Adalius Thomas intercepts Rivers, returning it 65 yards for 6 points. The Chargers at this point are not in the game and have no continuity on the offensive side of the ball. Rivers is making some poor choices and is not reading the defenders and continues to try and force the ball where there is no space and costing the Chargers points.

    The Chargers come out and try to get into the game and Tomlinson runs for ten yards, as the Chargers offense tries to get into the game. They run several running plays, then Rivers is forced into a quick check down pass and the Chargers are forced to punt.

    The Patriots continue to move, as the Chargers try and prevent further scoring this half. The Patriots got a phantom Pass Interference call as the Chargers tried to shut the Patriots offense down. Something they did when Strong Safety Clinton Hart intercepted Brady with seven seconds left in the game.
    At half time, Chargers were behind 24 to nothing and not looking like they are in the same time zone. They will have to come out hot next half and score quickly to get back into the game. Philip Rivers has to settle down and direct the offense and not act like he is hopped up and out of control.

    The Second half opens with the Chargers on offense going in the air with a short gain to Gates. The Chargers look like Coach Turner may have settled them down a little bit, but still the Chargers refuse to run to the outside. Another pass to Gates and the Chargers get a first down, on the next play Rivers throws a deep ball that is almost another interception. The Chargers run a slant to the outside, and the Patriots cover it well.

    With a pas to Gates the Chargers move the chains and keep the ball moving the right way. Another 3rd down is converted this time to Jackson as the Chargers move in toe the Patriots red zone. The Patriots are stuffing Tomlinson up and not allowing him to get running, and again Gates pull out another first down putting the ball on the four yard line. The Chargers find themselves with a fourth and goal on the one yard line. With a pass to Fullback Lorenzo Neal the Chargers score their first points of the night, narrowing the lead to 17 pints with eight minutes to go in the third.

    The Patriots go back to offense behind Brady, as the Chargers defense focuses on shutting the Patriots down and getting the ball back into River's hands. Brady continues with the passing attack on the Chargers defense, and the Patriots begin to work in a few runs to begin to grind seconds off of the clock. The Chargers can find no answer for Brady as he hits Moss for yet another touchdown.

    The Chargers on the next drive continue to mix the pass and the run, using the screen pass to make the Patriots to pay for blitzing mixing Tuner and Tomlinson to give the Patriots defense different looks. Rivers hits Gates for a 12 yard touchdown pass. The Chargers keep fighting and now have to rely on the defense to stop the Patriots offense.

    On the next kickoff the ball is punched out from Hobbs and recovered by the Chargers setting the Chargers up in great field position. The Patriots came in on a blitz and registered a 10 yard sack on Rivers. The following play delivers another sack moving the Chargers to 3rd and 30 at the 50 yard line. The next play and the Chargers are punting the opportunity away.

    The remainder of the game the Chargers defense continued their inability to stop the pass, as Brady moved his team down the field with little difficulty. The Chargers will have to hit the film and figure out how to pressure the quarterback with an injured Nose Tackle Jamal Williams and teams passing on their secondary at will.

    On the offensive side Coach Turner will have to figure our how to get the offensive line to open holes for the running backs or start thinking of something other than run up the middle. So far the play calling has been much more vanilla than I would have expected from a coach with Turner's offensive pedigree.

    <strong> The Good!:</strong>
    <em><strong>Merriman: </strong></em> Dropping into coverage and breaking up passes, then rushing the QB and making huge sacks. Cottrell released the beast tonight! 4 solo tackles, one assist, 2 sacks and a forced fumble. He came to play.

    <em><strong>Gates: </strong></em> Our real receiving threat. It seems like no matter what he cannot be covered. Second week as the Chargers leading receiver. 7 receptions for 77 yards and a touchdown.

    <em><strong>Hart: </strong></em> Three solo tackles, a sack and a game where he was around the ball and making plays. He had a great first game in the NFL. 3 solo tackles, 3 assists, and an interception.

    <strong>The Bad!</strong>
    <em><strong>Pass rush: </strong></em> It was spotty at best. Brady had way too much time in the pocket to allow the receivers to get open and pick apart the secondary. 24 first half points, 21 on passes from Tom Brady. Not good to say the least.

    <em><strong>Penalties: </strong></em> The Chargers were not focused and had a lot of yellow hankies thrown their way.

    <em><strong>Rivers:</strong></em> Rivers needs to settle down. No other way to put it. He is too high strung out there and I don't think it is sending the right message to his team. When you see a Tom Brady on the other side calm and in control it makes you want to see that level of stability in the Chargers back field. 19 completions in 30 passes for 179 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions and a bundle of high strung emotions that is not helping the team.

    <em><strong>Offensive Line: </strong></em> They were off kilter all night. They allowed too much pressure to get the Rivers.

    <strong>In Closing:</strong>
    This is only one game, however, this was to be a sounding rod as to how the Chargers will match up against the best teams in the league. The Chargers came away from this game wanting. They did not account well for themselves in this game.

    The key will be how Coach Turner and his coaching staff respond to such a game. Do the Chargers look better next week or do the breakdowns continue. That will not be answered until we meet the Packers.

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