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Inside Slant

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Oct 17, 2006.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    Source: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/chargers/home.htm">USA Today</a>
    <div class="inside-copy"><img width="186" height="176" align="left" alt="LaDainian Tomlinson rushes against the Chiefs" title="LaDainian Tomlinson rushes against the Chiefs" src="http://www.nctimes.com/content/articles/2005/12/25/sports/professional/chargers/21_50_5312_23_05a.jpg" /> Coach Marty Schottenheimer is already busy building up the Arrowhead Stadium mystique.</div>
    <p class="inside-copy">The Chargers, fresh off their blasting of the 49ers on Sunday, 48-19, venture back into AFC West competition when facing the Chiefs.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">Not that a Schottenheimer team would ever sneak into his old stomping grounds, but the Chargers arrive with a bull's eye. They are coming off two impressive wins (Pittsburgh, San Francisco) and the Chiefs are smarting from getting shellacked by the Steelers, 45-7, on Sunday.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> "We look forward to the challenge this week, which is going to be a Kansas City team that has a little bur under the saddle, as it were," Schottenheimer said.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">Beware of the wounded animal was Schottenheimer's Monday message. He pointed out that a team often rebounds after being embarrassed.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"You look at most teams that have that kind of circumstance occur and there is a dramatic change in the subsequent week," Schottenheimer said. "That is the nature of most teams in the league because that competitiveness that is part of all us shows up in those situations.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">But the Chargers can't fret too much about the Chiefs' state. Instead, they have to keep their No. 3 offense rolling and their No. 1 defense smacking people in the mouth. They have to avoid a let up with Missouri's other team - the surprising Rams - awaiting the following week.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"We got to worry about us," Schottenheimer stressed. "We're not going to get caught up in what they have done or what may be thinking. We got our own business to take care of and that is the way we are going to approach it."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">The Chargers often tiptoe into Arrowhead. Why not, after losing there in nine of their past 11 visits. That stretch includes a seven-game losing streak to the Chiefs in K.C.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"In the final analysis, it really comes down to us," Schottenheimer said. "And it always does."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>NOTES, QUOTES</strong></p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LaDainian Tomlinson could almost hear his wife's words as he soared through the air in Sunday's game. Among his four TD rushes was a high-flying act where he cleared the line of scrimmage and crashed into the end zone. "Each time I do it, my wife is just killing me, man," he said. "I'm just going to wait and see what she says when I get home. Honey, I'm sorry."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-The Chargers' 21 sacks are the most in team history through the opening five games. Shaun Phillips' six is tied for second in the league. Shawne Merriman's 5.5 ties him for fourth.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-Rivers is the NFL's third-highest rated quarterback and one of only three players to have a rating in the 100s. Rivers, though, isn't getting caught up in his first 300-yard NFL game. "I don't put too much thought into it right now," he said. "The most important thing to me is the win, and that is what it is all about. It's all about winning."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Donnie Edwards gave credit to 49ers offensive coordinator Norv Turner for the Chargers defense being on its heels, allowing 19 first-half points. "There were different wrinkles in their scheme," Edwards said. "Norv Turner does a great job of scripting their plays and moving guys around, giving different looks that we haven't seen." Turner was the Chargers' coordinator in 2001.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-The running game isn't quite clicking Tomlinson is happy with the way the passing game is picking it up. "Of course I want to have more yards, but as long as we're throwing the ball like we are and we're winning, I'm happy." Tomlinson had four rushing TDs but just 71 yards.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-Schottenheimer counted only 10 "wins" in Tomlinson's 21 carries, citing too many mental errors in the run blocking.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-TE Antonio Gates wasn't surprised about Rivers' big game against the 49ers. He said there is more to come. "He's just being Philip," he said. "What is scary is that he's only at five games, so he has some room for improvement."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-Edwards remains on the trading block until Tuesday's deadline.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"></p>
    <p class="inside-copy">PLAYER NOTES</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LT Marcus McNeill underwent surgery Monday to insert a pin in his broken right hand; he aggravated the injury against the 49ers. McNeill will wear a heavy pad in practice and play on Sunday, according to the club. McNeill underwent a similar procedure when breaking his left hand during the preseason.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LT Roman Oben (foot) is eligible to come off the PUP list and start practicing if the club chooses.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-S Bhawoh Jue (knee) could be eased into practice this week.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-RT Shane Olivea (knee) appears to have dodged a close call with a serious injury. He got tangled up in a pile at Sunday's game and had to be helped from the field. But the Chargers are saying he will practice this week.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-Rookie QB Charlie Whitehurst took his first NFL snap and it was a kneel-down to end Sunday's game. Whitehurst has held off veteran Billy Volek for the backup job.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-ILB Tim Dobbins will be nursing sore ribs this week. Dobbins is a key special teams player and could be a future starter.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL</strong></p>
    <p class="inside-copy">REPORT CARD VS. 49ERS</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">PASSING OFFENSE: B - Philip Rivers (29-of-39) looked sensational - there's no other way to put it. He had a career-high 334 passing yards, threw for two TDs, had 13 straight completions and was perfect on four scoring drives. Rivers showed how he keen he is - despite it being his fifth start - at going through his reads and finding the most open receiver. Then he isn't forcing the ball into coverages. That speaks to his pass blocking - no sacks - and his trust in various receivers. He completed passes to seven different receivers; four had at least five receptions.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">RUSHING OFFENSE: C -As fluid as the passing game is flowing something was amiss here. The Chargers run-blocking wasn't stout enough and Schottenheimer spoke later of the mental errors up front. It would be easier to say the Chargers ran for only 87 yards and had but a 2.9-yard average. Tomlinson set a team mark with four rushing touchdowns, but he didn't crack the 3.5-yard average. It's more blocking here than the backs.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">PASS DEFENSE: B - Alex Smith was able to pinpoint two passes for touchdowns and collected 214 yard. The pass rush was true, as Smith was sacked five times. The 49ers scored on three of their first four possessions and much of that yardage was coming via the air. Not bad - LB Shaun Phillips had two sacks and a tip that led to an interception - but there were some hiccups.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">RUSH DEFENSE: B - Frank Gore came in with a share of the NFL rushing lead and was able to average 5.5 yards on 10 carries. Allowing two long runs of 22 yards was uncharacteristic of this defense. Donnie Edwards had five tackles, mostly on runs. DT Jamal Williams didn't make the stat sheet after a stellar game against the Steelers. Run defense will see more reverses and misdirection plays because it is playing so aggressive.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">SPECIAL TEAMS: B - The coverage units were solid and Mike Scifres was asked to punt but once as the offense was rolling. Nate Kaeding added two more field goals. What raised the red flag was two fumbled by kick returner Michael Turner. Schottenheimer later gave Turner a vote of confidence, but Schottenheimer will keep an eye on it.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">COACHING: A - Schottenheimer again puts some air in Martyball and the result is Rivers playing like a Pro Bowler instead of a first-year starter. The Chargers were confident they could attack the back end of the Niners' defense coming into the game and they seldom ventured from that attack. The defense got its act together after allowing 19 first-half points, then zilch in the second half. Coordinator Wade Phillips started pestering Smith in different manners - and Smith was in obvious passing situations - which helped flip the tide.</p>
     

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