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Inside Slant - 12/05/08

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=teamreports-2008-nfl-sdg&amp;prov=sportsxchange&amp;type=team_report" target="_blank">Yahoo Sports</a>

    <a href="http://assets.espn.go.com/media/apphoto/143d5b20-956f-4b68-aa9f-551261913478.jpg"><img class="alignleft" title="San Diego Chargers LaDainian Tomlinson is pushed out of bounds by Oakland Raiders Nnamdi Asomugha on a 6-yard gain during the first quarter of an NFL football game Thursday, Dec. 4, 2008, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)" src="http://assets.espn.go.com/media/apphoto/143d5b20-956f-4b68-aa9f-551261913478.jpg" alt="" width="150" height="172" /></a>The Chargers had a good day-after feeling, less than 24 hours from thumping the Raiders, 34-7, on Thursday night.

    The victory snapped a two-game home skid and was a welcome tonic for a reeling team which had lost five of its past six.

    But considering the hole the Chargers have dug-three games behind AFC West-leading Denver with three games remaining-the triumph was hardly a cause for a parade.

    "It's a win and we take it no further than that," running back LaDainian Tomlinson said.

    "We don't want to make it more than it really is. It's one win; we got three games to go with two divisional games. But it was a good confidence boost."

    The Chargers defeated the Raiders for the 11th straight time, bursting to an early lead then cruising to just their fifth win of the season.

    Two of those wins have come at the hands of the Raiders; another one over the Chiefs. It's the Chargers' trouble with teams outside the AFC West which have them in a pickle.

    The Chargers rebounding with such a fine showing didn't surprise quarterback Philip Rivers.

    "We got a real good group of guys here that have a lot of pride and play for one another and I think that is evident when you are 4-8 and play with the energy and excitement and the care for one another that we did."

    After two games in five days, the Chargers have three days off before starting to prepare for their trip to Kansas City. This Sunday, the Chargers will be rooting for the Chiefs-they play the Broncos-instead of trying to beat them.

    The Chargers were just happy those beating up on them will have to take a break.

    "We're excited to finally get back on track," linebacker Stephen Cooper said. "It's taken a while. We've had to go through a lot of ups and downs."

    Notes, Quotes

    •"  WR Vincent Jackson had a career-high 148 receiving yards one week after getting shut out in the loss to the Falcons. "I had more opportunities," said Jackson, who had a 59-yard touchdown catch. "I think I had only three or four catches the past few games. I got opportunities and got involved early in the game and took advantage of that."

    •"  While Jackson enjoyed a big game, the Chargers' top wide out, Chris Chambers, didn't have a reception. But he wasn't bumming after the game. "Not at this point," he said. "We're just getting wins anyway we can."

    •"  OLB Shaun Phillips said the difference Thursday night was the Chargers collecting four turnovers. "That's the one thing we've been lacking," said Phillips, who had a career-high 2.5 sacks. "I think we have been losing games because of our inability to create turnovers. When we see that we can create turnovers, we can win games."

    •"  ILB Stephen Cooper, who had career-high two interceptions, gave coordinator Ron Rivera kudos for his aggressive game plan. "Coach Rivera did a great job calling great defenses, trying to come from the weak side and strong side, trying to get different looks. It was just a good job with the play-calling.

    •"  Coach Norv Turner was impressed in how the Chargers bounced back after a draining loss to the Falcons last Sunday, which put a serious dent in their playoff hopes. "We had a very short week," he said. "Guys came back in on Monday and a number of them were beat up and had a lot of things they had to handle physically. And then we had to get ready for a game over a short period of time. Obviously our guys did a great job of preparing. They weren't distracted from a stand point of the way things have been going."

    •"  RB Darren Sproles scored two touchdowns for the third time in his career - it was the first time the two came on receptions.

    Strategy And Personnel


    •"  SS Clinton Hart hopes to return for the next game after sitting this one out with a neck injury.

    •"  LB Anthony Waters (hamstring) could miss some practice time next week.

    •"  OLB Jyles Tucker (hamstring) was also ailing Friday, but could be OK by the next game.

    •"  FB Mike Tolbert (shoulder) could return this week after missing the last two games.

    •"  SS Steve Gregory got his first NFL start with Clinton Hart ailing. Gregory played well, tying for the team-high with seven tackles.

    •"  OLB Marques Harris will test his ailing hamstring probably the middle of next week after missing the Raiders game.


    Passing Offense:" "  B - Philip Rivers completed 10 of his 22 passes, but he was able to throw for three touchdowns and 214 yards. The Chargers backed off throwing the ball in the second half; otherwise his numbers would probably be better. Vincent Jackson had one of his better days as a pro with a 148-yard performance which included a 59-yard touchdown. Rivers was effective on screens, finding Darren Sproles (three catches, 34 yards and two touchdowns). Pass protection was on the mark as Rivers was never sacked and hit but once.

    RUSHING OFFENSE: A - The offensive line rebounded after getting beat on the past couple of weeks for its passive play. LaDainian Tomlinson continued his domination against the Raiders with 91 yards and a score on 25 carries. But more important was the line letting the Raiders know it planned on being physical from the start to the finish. Great job up front by the big uglies.

    Pass Defense:" "  A - This unit played with the passion and production the Chargers expected all season long. It got after JaMarcus Russell and Andrew Walter in a big way, forcing three interceptions, a forced fumble and snagging three sacks, Stephen Cooper got two of the picks; Matt Wilhelm had the other. OLB Shaun Phillips shook off an unproductive stretch by collecting 2.5 sacks-he had four sacks in the previous 11 games. CB Quentin Jammer, with two passes defensed, had a solid game.

    Rush Defense:" "  A - The Chargers allowed but 54 yards rushing, their second-lowest of the season. DT Jamal Williams continues his second half which has him playing stellar, and inside linebacker Stephen Cooper had seven tackles to go with his two interceptions. SS Steve Gregory was active with seven tackles filling in for Clinton Hart. Once the Raiders fell so far behind, their running game disappeared.

    Special Teams:" "  C - This could have easily been an ‘A' but a penalty by Antoine Cason wiped out a kickoff return touchdown by Darren Sproles and the Chargers allowed one to be brought all the way back just before the half. Sproles did show a 29-yard kickoff return and 14-yarder on a punt. P Mike Scifres was keen in averaging 45.4 net yards on five efforts.

    Coaching:" "  A - Coach Norv Turner has taken his share of abuse, so he deserves praise for keeping the Chargers focused despite the playoff window all but closed for the year. He got back to what the Chargers once did best - run the football. Not only did Tomlinson collect 49 first-quarter rushing yards but in doing so he knocked the will out of the Raiders as well. Defensive coordinator Ron Rivera's plan was to attack the quarterback and the Chargers responded with four turnovers. It was a solid job by the coaching staff in not letting the Chargers pack it in.

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