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Inside Slant

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/chargers/home.htm">USA Today</a>

    <img width="307" height="203" title="Charger girls, sort of." alt="Charger girls, sort of." src="http://photos.signonsandiego.com/gallery1.5/albums/060917titans/JBchgTen17sep1h261951x028.jpg" />
    <div class="inside-copy">The Chargers are 2-0 but there are no cartwheels to go along with it.</div>
    <p class="inside-copy">Heading into the bye week undefeated never feels bad. But the Chargers are trying to keep their good vibrations to themselves, keeping what they've accomplished in perspective.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">Bolting from the gate with two convincing wins is never a bad thing. The Chargers, though, also realize they've played probably two of the NFL's worst teams in the Raiders and Titans.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> And up next could be two of the NFL's top teams.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">Awaiting the Chargers the Sunday after next are the Ravens, in Baltimore. After that, the Chargers entertain the world champion Steelers, a road team with few peers of late.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">The Chargers are still upbeat - to a point.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"We've got something going here," quarterback Philip Rivers said. "We've got to understand it's two games and we've done nothing yet. But we've got something going here."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">What's going on is the defense is playing like few others: seven points allowed in eight quarters, which included seven straight quarters with no points. It dominated the Titans on Sunday in the same fashion it did the Raiders the previous Monday night.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">In two games, it's 67 for the Chargers and 7 for the other guys - that's not bad.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">The Chargers have also gotten off on the right foot at home. They pounded the Titans, 40-7, and started erasing that sour taste of going but 4-4 at home last year.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">They'll stay home this week, resting up for a 14-week stretch. And everyone among the Bolts knows they'll be some rough patches somewhere along the way.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"Our defense dominated," guard Mike Goff said after Sunday's whipping of the Titans. "Of course, we'll have tougher tests."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>NOTES, QUOTES</strong></p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-TE Antonio Gates summed up the Chargers' impressive defense best: "Fast, physical, unstoppable."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-The Chargers continue to monitor the availability of Titans backup QB Billy Volek. The Chiefs and Raiders, two of the Chargers' AFC West foes, are also said to be interested.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Shawne Merriman had zero sacks after collecting three in the opener. But what he did get was his first NFL interception. "I want to be known as a complete player," said Merriman, a Pro Bowler last year. "Now, I'm a cover linebacker."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-WR Keenan McCardell slipped past Larry Centers to become the ninth all-time leading receiver with 831 catches. McCardell also eclipsed Stanley Morgan for 18th place in yardage at 10,756 yards.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LaDainian Tomlinson was asked if the Chargers' defense should be considered among the NFL's best. "No doubt," Tomlinson said. "People are going to start to say that after dominating performances like in these two games. I don't care who you play. I'm happy I don't have to play against them."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-If the Chargers could have kept the Titans from the end zone in the fourth quarter, they would have had their first consecutive shutouts in team history.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LT Leander Jordan (shoulder) is still keeping him down. He will try to go the following week.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-K Nate Kaeding has started fast, hitting all six of his attempts. He tied a career-best on Sunday with four field goals.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-WR Keenan McCardell will rest a tender hamstring this week and not practice.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-Rookie LT Marcus McNeill hasn't allowed a sack this year and has been solid.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-QB Philip Rivers has yet to be sacked.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-RB Michael Turner continues to prove his worth. He had a career-high and game-best 138 rushing yards.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL</strong></p>
    <p class="inside-copy">REPORT CARD VS. TITANS</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">PASSING OFFENSE: A - The handcuffs were removed and Philip Rivers was actually involved in the offense. One week after throwing only 11 times, he heaved it 35 times and completed all but 10 of his passes for 235 yards and a score. He looked good throwing on the run and showing more evasiveness than some people thought he had. The pass-blocking was excellent, as Rivers hit nine different receivers with passes.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">RUSHING OFFENSE: A - LaDainian Tomlinson goes for two touchdowns and 71 yards rushing in about three quarters of work. Backup Michael Turner was off the charts, averaging more than 10 yards on 13 carries. The run blocking was fine; that was especially true of the lead blocks by FB Lorenzo Neal. Backup QB Charlie Whitehurst even added a 14-yard scoring run.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">PASS DEFENSE: A - The real news after two games is how improved the secondary is. Once again it supplied good coverage and even contributed a turnover when Quentin Jammer snagged an interception. The pass rush didn't record a sack, but that's not to say they didn't pester Kerry Collins and Vince Young. S Marlon McCree gets a lot of credit for getting the secondary in the proper positions.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">RUSH DEFENSE: A - Great work in the middle, where DT Jamal Williams more than held his own against fellow Pro Bowler, C Kevin Mawae. That set the tone for a run defense which didn't allow the Titans to crack the 55-yard barrier. The inside play of Donnie Edwards and Randall Godfrey is solid.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">SPECIAL TEAMS: A - Nate Kaeding is starting on a hot streak, as he matched a career-high with four field goals. Mike Scifres continues to be a weapon, PR Eric Parker is making some tough yards but one wonders if his slight body will keep up. Can't overlook how important the legs of Kaeding and Scifres are to this team.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">COACHING: A - Marty Schottenheimer has stressed this year that the Chargers must flip their home mark - they were but .500 in San Diego last year. His team bought into his theme-of-the-week and responded with a complete, dominating performance. Don't forget the job defensive coordinator Wade Phillips continues to do as he brings different players from different angles to cause havoc with offenses.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"></p>
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