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Heroes and Zeros - Game 8

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Nov 7, 2006.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    By MadMike
    <em>BoltTalk Staff Writer</em>

    <img width="193" height="240" align="left" title="San Diego Chargers' LaDainian Tomlinson gives the victory sign after his second of his three touchdowns in the Chargers' 32-25 victory over the Cleveland Browns in their football game in San Diego Sunday, Nov. 5, 2006." alt="San Diego Chargers' LaDainian Tomlinson gives the victory sign after his second of his three touchdowns in the Chargers' 32-25 victory over the Cleveland Browns in their football game in San Diego Sunday, Nov. 5, 2006." src="http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061106/capt.ae9799d14e57412b90fa7285f199b93c.browns_chargers_football_cali115.jpg" />So after about 40+ minutes of pretty poor play calling and poor execution, the Chargers offense got it rolling and racked up their 6<sup>th</sup> win 32 to 25 against the "Better than their record" Cleveland Browns. The Q was rocking and rolling especially after the Defense scored and it exploded once LT started hitting his stride. With Chargers fans outnumbering Browns fans about 15-1 we had complete control of our "House", and with LT ripping massive runs we had complete control of our field. This game wasn't pretty. It wasn't very well executed for the majority of the game. We had a bunch of nagging little injuries. We had a lot of 2<sup>nd</sup>, 3<sup>rd</sup>, and even 4<sup>th</sup> stringers hitting the field. But unlike the last few years where we would have not had the heart to play through the mess, we pulled it out and took a decisive win in the 4<sup>th</sup> quarter and kept ourselves perfect at home. Let's get to the Heroes and Zeros:


    <strong>Ladainian Tomlinson – </strong>Almost unfair that this guy gets to be a hero almost every week. But what can you say about the best player in football. He is one of the very few players who can completely take over a game, put the rest of the offense on his shoulders, and blast a team that knows he's coming at them. 18 carries for 172 yards, 3 TDs and 3 catches for 20 yards, a 9.6 yard average on the ground, and another onside kick recovery. This guy can do everything. But probably the best part about LT is his attitude. He is a 100% team player. The guy will always try and put the team 1<sup>st</sup>. He doesn't go out bragging about who he is, what he's done, or how great he is. In this league of high paid adolescents, he is the mature big brother they should all emulate. Great job LT, keep it up!
    <strong>Igor Olshansky – </strong>What a boost the run D got with Igor back in the lineup. He was all over the place making tackles and closing holes while occupying 1 or 2 guys every play. He got pressure on the QB, made 5 tackles, and made J-Ball and Castillo's day by solidifying the D-Line again. I think I'm going to start calling him the "Eastern Block" as he is completely unmovable off his end.
    <strong>The Front 7 Rotation – </strong>Man, with all the little dings, scratches, and full on injuries these guys have taken over the last few weeks, this unit has remained cohesive and special. 41 sacks this year? Already? These guys are making plays no matter if its one of the Shawne's, Harris, Polk, AGB, Edwards, Godfrey, Coop, or Wilhelm. And all if it comes back to the insane play of our front 3. J-Ball is such a monster in the middle that most O-Lines can't even handle him effectively with 2 guys. Castillo is no longer a rising star in this league, he is a star and well deserving of a Pro-Bowl spot. Igor made sure we realized how much we missed him with the game he played on Sunday. Not to mention the great play of the backups like D-Rob, Ryon Bingham, and especially Jacques Cesaire.
    <strong>O-Line – </strong>While they may have been a little flat coming out, they sure played one hell of a second half. The run blocking for LT and Turner in the second half was outstanding. Special note goes to Mike Goff who pulled through the hole a few times clearing out the junk. Add in Kris Dielman who seemed to be on a mission to hurt someone in the second half. He was like a caged dog that got out and man did he lay some smack out. Hardwick did a good job handling the up front rush and the rookie was showing why he will not be relinquishing his job to Roman Oben any time soon. Top that off with a solid performance by my boy Shane Olivea and we have one heck of solid game of blocking. The pass blocking could have been better, we could have started to run earlier, but man when the calls were made late in the game, this unit came up big.
    <strong>TNT – </strong>TNT was in effect on Sunday. They were Dynamite. Tomlinson obviously had a huge game, But Michael Turner's 21 yard run was a thing of beauty and a great change up from LT's stutter and strike. Lorenzo Neal playing in his 200<sup>th</sup> straight game as a FB! How can you get through 200 games at FB hitting like Lo Neal does every game? Nothing short of a miracle that this guy is here, as good as he still is, healthy, and making hits like he did in this game. Anyone else notice on his 21 yard swing pass catch and run that instead of just stepping out at the end of the run he dropped his head and laid waste to the Browns safety? Very few people in this league have the brass ones to lay wood like he does every game. He was in front of LT on a few of those carries he broke for big gains and blasted LBs, Lineman, and pretty much anything else in his way.
    <strong>Donnie Edwards – </strong>No matter where you stood on the pre-season hoopla surrounding Donnie Edwards, you have to be happy this guy is still wearing a Bolt helmet. He is playing great ball, covering better than any other LB, and his been around the ball making plays every game. 9 tackles and an INT this game. He got hurt during that INT but came back out later in the game and made some more big tackles. I tell you now that I believe Cooper and Wilhelm will be outstanding in the middle of our D next year but we will feel the loss of Donnie Edwards.
    <strong>The Kickers – </strong>Nothing much being said about Scifres and Kaeding which is good. They are doing their jobs well. Kaeding has been solid in PAs and FGs, and his kickoffs have been solidly inside the 5 all year with good height. Mike Scifres had better be the Pro-Bowl starting punter this year. He is quietly having an outstanding season. His net yards dropped this week mostly do to horrible coverage team's play. The lawn dart he hit in the third quarter that dropped at the 2 was a thing of beauty and the 66 yard bomb he blasted was absolutely mind boggling. Normally when you see a punter hit a 60 to 70 yard punt, you know he got a good bounce and roll. Very few are hitting those in the air the whole way with 5+ hang times. What a weapon we have in Scifres.
    <strong>Antonio Cromartie – </strong>I tell you what. D-Flo keeps making costly penalties like that, AC's starting days will be coming sooner than later. Granted he forgot they had just called a timeout when he signaled for a second one and drew the personal foul call. But the kid was thinking. He saw that the Chargers had 12 men on the field and was trying to save us from the 5 yard penalty we would have taken for that. The kid continues to play excellent CB, batting balls down and staying on top of his man. If anyone ever questioned this kid's speed, just go back and watch the Browns game and watch Dennis Northcutt's 81 yard punt return. As Northcutt is motoring through the Chargers abysmal coverage teams, AC has the afterburners on taking the angle and running him down before he can take it in for 6. That was a big time play. I for one think its time to give AC the ball on kick return. We need to get a speedy playmaker back there and AC fits the bill. I know the Chargers brass think Darren Sproles is the man for that job and that Michael Turner is just the caretaker for that position but we need some special teams plays this year.

    <strong>Coming out flat at home – </strong>We may be able to battle back against a team like the Browns, but we come out that flat at home or away against Denver and it is over. Whatever needs to be done to get the energy and motivation up early better get done as we go into a couple of tough road games.
    <strong>The Referee's – </strong>Piss poor. That's all I can say. They made questionable calls. Overturning that McCardell catch was ridiculous. They spotted the ball badly. Just a complete mess.
    <strong>The Initial Game Plan – </strong>I somewhat understand going after the backup CB's that the Browns were fielding, but coming in the Browns were the #5 pass defense in the NFL and in the bottom 5 on rush defense. I'm sorry but if I have TNT and the #28 rushing D coming in, I'm trying to control the drool. Once Cam realized he needed to go back to smash mouth running, we ruled the day.
    <strong>Kellen Winslow II – </strong>Say all you want about his 11 catches but this guy was a non-factor in this game. Most of his catches were made late after the game was put away. He averaged less per catch than LT did per run. And he never even sniffed the end-zone. The kid better learn to keep his mouth shut until he has a few years of experience to fall back on.
    <strong>6-2. Tied for first in the AFC West.</strong> Well we have hit the half way point. 6-2 is good, although we really should be 8-0. Our team is in good shape to make a run and hit the playoffs hard. We need to take Denver down away and at home. We need to stay unbeaten at home. We need to come out hot in games and make the other teams play from behind. We need to invade the Q every home game and make sure our team gets the benefit of the 12<sup>th</sup> man. We need to stay healthy. We need to not stomp on someone's head or knee them in the jewels. No more positive tests. No more cough syrup. No more bullet holes. Stay focused, play hard, dig deep, protect our house, and make sure I have playoff tickets to buy come January! Lets Go Bolts!

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