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It's a new (run) game

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    By Kevin Acee , UNION-TRIBUNE
    Monday, August 23, 2010 at 9:37 p.m.

    It’s so fresh, so new and exciting, the Chargers are actually laughing about it on the field between plays and telling jokes about it afterward.
    “They’re wondering who’s next,” Chargers’ rookie running back Ryan Mathews said.
    After running up on guard Kris Dielman behind the line a couple times the previous week, Mathews on Saturday trampled center Nick Hardwick, who was blocking downfield after a screen.
    “He’s just a playmaker trying to make plays,” Hardwick said, then added while laughing, “I probably looked like I was going faster than I was.”
    Said Norv Turner: “It’s hilarious. He’s a bull in a china shop. He’s so anxious.”
    Turner has no doubt Mathews will get his timing down and with experience will become a “great” screen receiver because of his exceptional burst.
    But even when he stops giving them reasons to laugh and joke, the Chargers are confident that Mathews will make them smile, given his sensational start, running through and bouncing off defenders at a clip of 4.9 yards per carry in his 18 preseason runs and a total of 20 yards on two receptions.
    “It’s great having a guy run up on me,” Hardwick said, smiling but absolutely serious.
    There is so much unsaid by this offensive line. The linemen have seemingly made a vow to show the world that it wasn’t just them that caused the Chargers’ run game to nosedive to the bottom of the NFL rankings last season but to do it solely with their play.
    “That’s a fair assumption,” Dielman said when it was mentioned recently that it appears the offensive line is on a mission this season. “…We are a good offensive line. We are one of the best offensive lines in the league. Just because certain numbers aren’t as high as they have been in the past, there are others numbers that are out of the roof.”
    Philip Rivers has passed for 8,263 yards over the past two seasons, the second-highest two-season total in franchise history. The 51 sacks in 1,048 drops the Chargers have allowed over the past two seasons make for the fifth-lowest sack-per-pass play ratio in the NFL in that span. Also, over the past two seasons, Rivers has had time to complete 43 passes that traveled 21 or more air yards, more than all but Drew Brees.
    “Obviously, people want to know what happened in the run game,” Dielman said. “When you have a quarterback like Rivers and outside receivers like Malcom (Floyd) and Vincent (Jackson) and you have (Antonio) Gates. You’ve got to hit it where you want to hit it. We’ve pass protected our (rear ends) off.”
    Those days aren’t over. But now the first thing new left tackle Brandyn Dombrowski was talking about after Saturday’s game is how “we did a lot of running today. We showed we can run. I love it.”
    Indeed. The Chargers have perhaps achieved the balance they have sought for so long. In the 37 snaps Rivers took against the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday, he handed off 21 times.
    A team that has been second in the AFC in scoring but been unable to consistently sustain drives and been 10th in time of possession in three seasons under Turner, was on the field 23½ minutes in the first half against Dallas.
    In their four drives directed by Rivers, they had three that were 5:17 or longer. They had just 21 drives that long all last season and never more than two in a game.
    Suddenly, the question is about where the shots up the field have gone.
    “I don’t like having three 10-play drives,” Turner said. “If we’re going to score points, we better make some big plays up the field. I like running it like we’re running it, but I want to get some big pass plays … I like some of the four-play drives that end in a touchdown. We are an explosive offense, and we are going to make big plays. It is nice to get the running game going.”
    Now, it appears, they at least have the option.
    “We’ve got a great quarterback that can read a defense, we’ve got some great receivers that are fast that can open and make the deep ball catch,” Dielman said. “Now we have a running back in here … some fresh legs in here.”
  2. ThunderHorse17

    ThunderHorse17 Lone Wolf

    Apr 10, 2010
    LOL This guys Nick is gonna be Rhino in no time.

    OO jus realized with Sproles being tank and rhino will be like some GTA3 on a football field.

    Also on other side im glad our D hasnt given up any rushing TDs yet speaks on how well they are doin at improving the Run D.

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