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Key to the season is beating playoff teams

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Sep 5, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://www.sdboltreport.com" target="_blank">SD Bolt Report</a>

    The San Diego Chargers have a brutal schedule it would seem. But the schedule is what it is and the Bolts will have to not only beat the teams they should, but start the process of beating teams with winning records on a consistent basis.

    The Chargers enter the season on an optimistic note, and why not?

    The AFC West defending champions return all 22 starters, as well as their kicker and punter.

    "I like our football team," coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "I like the makeup of it, the personality that the players have."

    But the reality of it is a demanding schedule awaits, which includes seven games against 2005 playoff teams and eight opponents which produced winning records last year.

    And while the Chargers' mark of 12-4 was impressive in 2004, they were 1-5 against playoff teams and 2-5 against winning teams.

    Still, after making the playoffs last season for the first time since 1995, the Chargers are confident they can build on that success and gain a return invitation to the postseason.

    <strong>Three keys for the season:</strong>

    1. QB Drew Brees must prove last year's Pro Bowl season wasn't a fluke. Brees is at the helm of what should be one of the NFL's most productive and versatile offenses. But he can't revert to his 2002-03 form if the Chargers want to repeat.

    2. RB LaDainian Tomlinson needs to stay healthy, and the Chargers have to resist the urge to overuse him. Tomlinson is what makes this offense so special.

    3. CB Quentin Jammer, at some point, has to live up to his status as the fifth overall pick of the 2002 pick. Jammer was touted as a premier shutdown corner receivers would fear -- that's not the case.

    <strong>Buzz players:</strong>

    RB Darren Sproles: This rookie has lit up the Chargers' summer, with his shifty moves and nose for picking up yards. The undersized fourth-round pick will return kicks, punts and be involved in third-down packages.

    LB Shawne Merriman: The draft's 12th overall pick was to give the lukewarm pass rush a boost. But various injuries have slowed his ascent, and he has a sprained knee which puts the season opener in question. He says he will play. The coach says different. The coach usually wins.

    WR Keenan McCardell: At 35, some wonder if McCardell can still outrun Father Time. Despite his age, he's the Chargers' top wideout.

    K Nate Kaeding: Haunted by missing a game-winning kick in last season's playoffs, he hit but 3-of-7 attempts in the exhibition season. To be fair, his misses were from at least 44 yards. Still, his confidence and accuracy is a concern.

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