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In Super Bowl or bust season, Chargers must find a way

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    By Kevin Acee, Sporting News correspondent
    Friday, Jul. 9, 2010


    As if it matters, the San Diego Chargers are poised to win a fifth consecutive AFC West title. Yawn. Any success these Chargers have before January is moot. The Chargers -- whose 67 regular-season victories since '04 are third most in the NFL -- will be measured by their playoff triumphs.

    [​IMG]

    Philip Rivers runs a potent passing game, but running the ball won't be overlooked.


    In fact, anything short of a Super Bowl will be seen as failure. Into this ever-mounting pressure, San Diego will begin its season without two franchise cornerstones -- running back LaDainian Tomlinson and nose tackle Jamal Williams.

    While the rest of the division appears to have improved, it can't yet measure up to the Chargers' depth and diversity. So another foray into the postseason -- their sixth in seven seasons -- is likely. It is there that the core group of Chargers will cement their legacies.

    "If you want to be remembered," coach Norv Turner said, sounding a refrain he has often voiced to his team, "you have to perform in the postseason."

    What's new

    Offense: For the first time in nine seasons, someone besides Tomlinson will be the primary ballcarrier. This should have a minimal effect on the look of the offense, though. This is Philip Rivers' offense, and he has big-play receivers in Malcom Floyd, Antonio Gates and Vincent Jackson, though Jackson's status is unclear because of a three-game league suspension and contract issues. But the team would like to run the ball more than it did last season, particularly in the fourth quarter.

    The Chargers moved up 16 spots in the first round to find Tomlinson's replacement. And Ryan Mathews has many of Tomlinson's on- and off-field traits that prompted San Diego to invest so much in him. The Chargers also will rely on Darren Sproles at times, particularly on third down. Mathews likely will get about 250 carries this season, and Sproles could have as many as 100. Both will catch the ball plenty, too. The shifty and elusive Sproles will provide a contrast to Mathews, who is at his best between the tackles.

    Defense: Once the pride of the Chargers' defense, the linebacker corps is in need of polish. Not an overhaul, just a reassertion of its dominance. Now that Shawne Merriman is in his second year back from knee surgery, he should return to Pro Bowl form and help the Chargers bounce back as an upper-tier defense. A resurgence by Merriman also would benefit fellow outside 'backers Shaun Phillips and Larry English, the team's '09 first-round pick.

    Cornerback Quentin Jammer might have had his best season in '09. He should see fewer passes as opponents test Antoine Cason. The trade of Antonio Cromartie to the Jets hastened the ascension of Cason, a '08 first-round pick.

    Breakout player

    Buster Davis, WR
    [​IMG]

    If he stays healthy, Buster Davis will take minutes from Vincent Jackson.


    If he can stay healthy, Davis is poised to become a threat in the Chargers' offense. A '07 first-round pick, Davis was limited to 30 receptions for 299 yards in three seasons largely because of injuries. He has had a fantastic offseason, displaying his immense talent and speed. And he could get extended playing time in the wake of Jackson's suspension/holdout.

    "This is the best I've ever felt, especially my body. But I feel lot more confident, too. My attitude has changed as far as getting down on myself. Especially last year, it was hard not playing, but now I can't look backward anymore. It's not about the past. It's about what's in front of me. I'm still young. I have a bright future." -- Davis

    Opponent's view

    (An anonymous opponent breaks down the Chargers)

    "How has this team not won a Super Bowl? Every team has talent. What that team has had four or five years running is ridiculous. I think their window is closing, which probably means they'll win the Super Bowl this season. ...

    "Forget Tomlinson. You saw he wasn't the same runner in '09. They'll be fine on offense. But is Merriman going to be that great player again? Jammer doesn't get his due; he gets to everything. But they don't have anyone who can make plays back there in the secondary. They haven't been the same since Williams started getting hurt in '07 and wouldn't show up some games. ...

    "They're a little lucky their division is so weak."

    Bottom line

    There is little reason to believe San Diego can't follow the Colts' path to a Super Bowl victory -- as in, just keep reaching postseason and eventually win. But the Chargers no longer can be considered the most talented team in the NFL, as they have more roster holes than in the past.

    However, the team still has several core players -- including a franchise quarterback -- in their prime and a number of young players who got experience last season because of the rash of injuries the team sustained. It might be imprudent to continue to give this group the benefit of the doubt, but it is hardly a stretch to predict the Chargers have a shot at going deep into the postseason.

    Depth chart

    * - Unsigned player whose status is unclear
    OFFENSE
    QB: Philip Rivers, Billy Volek
    FB: Mike Tolbert, Jacob Hester
    RB: Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles
    WR: Vincent Jackson*, Buster Davis
    WR: Malcom Floyd, Legedu Naanee
    TE: Antonio Gates, Kris Wilson
    LT: Marcus McNeill*, Tra Thomas
    LG: Kris Dielman, Brandyn Dombrowski
    C: Nick Hardwick, Scott Mruczkowski
    RG: Louis Vasquez, Tyronne Green
    RT: Jeromey Clary, Dombrowski
    DEFENSE
    DE: Luis Castillo, Alfonso Boone
    NT: Antonio Garay, Cam Thomas
    DE: Jacques Cesaire, Vaughn Martin
    OLB: Shawne Merriman, Antwan Applewhite
    ILB: Stephen Cooper, Brandon Siler
    ILB: Kevin Burnett, Donald Butler
    OLB: Shaun Phillips, Larry English
    CB: Quentin Jammer, Nathan Vasher
    CB: Antoine Cason, Donald Strickland
    SS: Steve Gregory, Darrell Stuckey
    FS: Eric Weddle, C.J. Spillman
    SPECIAL TEAMS
    K: Nate Kaeding
    P: Mike Scifres
    KR; Darren Sproles
    PR: Darren Sproles
    LS: Dave Binn



    http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/art...er-bowl-or-bust-season-chargers-must-find-way
     
  2. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    These feel good stories are always nice but I'm tired of all the empty word's, just win the damn thing.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Woe is me, the window is closing.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    IMO we are right where the Colts were before they broke thru. Timing is everything.

    Soon.
     
  5. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Charger fan since 1979

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    no OG in the depth chart? :icon_shrug:
     
  6. Kwak

    Kwak ....

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    OG, Original Gangster?

    There are LG(Left Guard) and RG(Right Guard) on the depth chart.
     
  7. Boltdiehard

    Boltdiehard Well-Known Member

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    Whatever
     
  8. Aggieman

    Aggieman I bleed blue and gold

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    Oh look! More hope in Buster...IF he can stay healthy". He won't. This point will be moot.
     
  9. bigmike.x.09

    bigmike.x.09 Well-Known Member

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    no foo, Og, our d-lineman? ogemdi nwagbuo or some ****?
     
  10. Kwak

    Kwak ....

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    :lol:

    He is on the roster so Acee must have goofed that up.
     
  11. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Charger fan since 1979

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    thanks for explaining that to me :tdown:

    what he said :tup:
     
  12. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    We said the same **** about VJ.
     
  13. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    Every season has been "Super Bowl or bust" for the Chargers since 2006 because the proverbial window is apparently about to slam shut every year since then.

    Still, they better win it sooner rather than later.
     
  14. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    As for Buster, he's not the only one who gets a better opportunity to prove himself with VJ out and/or gone.
     
  15. LV Bolt Fan

    LV Bolt Fan Well-Known Member

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    And Malcom Floyd. :yes:
     
  16. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    He was healthy for a good chunk of last season, he just couldn't crack the depth chart. If he is now with Jackson's status up in the air, he has a golden opportunity to become the #2 behind Floyd. And if he doesn't then he's gone at the end of training camp, if that. Last call for the Buster, and if the last game of the season is anything to go on, he has finally got it all together
     
  17. Chargers-Superhero

    Chargers-Superhero Just win the Damn SB !!!

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    I don't see us winning any SB this year, I just have that feeling. We should have won one in the recent previous years, especially in 2009.

    Division title, then another playoff loss in the 2nd round.
     
  18. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Well **** - I might as well cancel my NFL Ticket then. :yes:

    Thanks for the heads-up! :tup: :icon_tease:
     
  19. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    Well **** - I might as well cancel my season tickets then. :yes:

    Thanks for the heads-up! :tup: :icon_tease:
     
  20. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    I didn't foresee the Padres being in first place heading into All Star weekend and they looked much worse going into the baseball season this year than the Chargers do going into the 2010/11 NFL season minus a WR and a LT.

    There's no point in speculating about the possible good or the bad.

    Speaking as a Chargers fan, the Chargers "should" win the SB every year. But not having done so in previous seasons doesn't mean their chances are somehow shot in future seasons.
     
  21. Aggieman

    Aggieman I bleed blue and gold

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    I think we'll win the division and then anything can happen after that, to be sure. But I sense another Playoff loss unless VJax and McNeil are on the team, or fully replaced. With Rivers, it's not far fetched to predict a Superbowl especially because the team has been knocking on the door for a while.
     
  22. Scott the Rock

    Scott the Rock BoltTalker

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    Two things are for sure. We will all feel a lot better should our running back prove to be a monster. Secondly, come playoffs the entire Charger fan base will be holding its breath when and if Nate's number is called. That one makes me cringe just thinking about it:no:
     
  23. Chargers-Superhero

    Chargers-Superhero Just win the Damn SB !!!

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    Comparing the Padres (UGH) to the Chargers is like comparing a Boss Mustang to a 76 Pinto with the Padres being the Pinto. :lol:
     
  24. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    How so?

    Both franchises have the same number of championships. (as in none) edit: The Chargers did win the AFL in 1963...of course, the Padres won a few PCL championships so I guess we can still call it even.

    Both franchises have been embarrassed the only time they've even made it that far. (Although the Padres have at least been that far twice)

    Both franchises have had a recent run of success only to be embarrassed in the playoffs every time they've made it. (granted, the Padres fell off the last two seasons and by "recent" I mean over the course of this past decade)

    The Padres are currently in first place (which was the crux of my point. It had less to do with comparing the two teams and more to do with highlighting the fact that just because you don't expect something doesn't mean it won't happen.)

    If you ask me, the two franchises couldn't be any closer in comparison if you remove all the preseason hype the Chargers get and the Padres never got.
     
  25. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    The Chargers won the AFL Championship in 1963 51-10 against the Patriots.

    To say we have not won a "championship" when we took the Patriots apart is not right. It disses our only freaking accomplishment 47 years ago.

    Never forget. :bolt:
     
  26. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    They won a championship in a league with 8 teams that was considered to be the "B-league" of its time. That hardly compares to competing against 25-31 other teams for years on end.

    I'm not trying to diminish their Championship that year, and yeah it was nevertheless a faux pas for me to say they don't have one, but for all intents and purposes the two franchises still compare as practical mirror images of each other.
     
  27. LightEmUp

    LightEmUp Banned Banned

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    More talk of Buster Davis.

    Why o' why are they pushing this kid so hard on the fans. It would be easier to stomach the 1st round bust if they quit saying "this could be his year".


    It is interesting to hear the media say that regular season success is a yawner. So many hang our hats on that success.
     
  28. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Every year is a SB or bust. Tir
     
  29. foober

    foober BoltTalker

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    I don't know if many remember just a couple years ago when we were trying to just get into the playoffs.

    Now were in about every year. Chargers have a good team. WE just need a bit of luck and some good mojo to get us our first super bowl championship.
     
  30. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    The NFL which was in it's 44th season in 1963 had a total of 14 teams. So I reckon a championship in the NFL should also be counted as worthless. It's also still debated to this very day that the very "B" team you describe could have beaten the 63 Bear's, I'd guess the Bolt's would have won. The NFL had nothing close to an offensive powerhouse as the Bolt's were.
     

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