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One more time

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Dec 29, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://www.chargers.com/news/headline_detail.cfm?news_key=2501" target="_blank">Chargers.com</a>

    By Hank Bauer

    Bah, Humbug! I felt like I swallowed a box of nails upon leaving Kansas City knowing that our team is out of the playoffs. This year has been tough to digest.

    I'll remember it as the "GIVEAWAY YEAR". It's a simple fact in the NFL: if you lose the battle of turnovers, you lose way more games than you win. Case in point - the Denver Broncos. Yes, they made wholesale changes in their defensive front, but the truth is their turnaround is linked directly to quarterback Jake Plummer, who threw 20 interceptions last year, and only 7 this season. As a team, the Broncos are second in the NFL in turnover ratio at +18. Last year they finished at -6, a difference of 24 giveaways/takeaways.

    Conversely, our Chargers finished +14 in '04, this year they are -6. How many of those five losses by a total of 14 points would have gone the other way had it not been a case of "giveaway?"

    Offensively, it's vintage, run, waggle, play action and control the clock. Oh, and not have your quarterback give it away!

    To be 9-6 and no playoffs it's not acceptable, not by anyone here. The bar has been raised from ownership to management, certainly the coaches and players. This team is too good for it. Yes, you can speak to the toughest schedule in the league, playing in the toughest division in the league, the four games against opponents coming off bye weeks, the five road trips to the East Coast. Certainly they're all tangible facts, but you'll not hear that as an excuse from any of the aforementioned. All you hear is 10-6 and the "import" of it. For me, maybe with the tenth win, I'll be able to pass my nails finally.

    Still, I'm going to look back at a lot of great things from this season. I can find comfort knowing that this front office and coaching staff will make the changes necessary to make sure that this doesn't happen again. It's also great to know that this team is ascending and not descending. This team has a great near future ahead of itself.

    Saturday is the perfect opportunity for guys to go out and let it loose, have fun, take all of their anxiety out on an opponent. The fans can let it go one more time. The fans need to show a great deal of appreciation for what these guys have done. They've fought. I fully expect this team to go out and beat the Broncos.

    That's not to say that Denver is going to go out and lay down because they're not going to. It's not to say that they're not a formidable opponent because they are. They're the champions of the AFC West. This one more barometer to gauge where the Chargers are, where they need to be and how they need to get there. With our athletes that are so prideful led by the strong leaders within that locker room, I expect nothing less than a Colts type effort.

    I hate that Al Wilson is going to be out this week because I love to watch him play. Even though they've got a couple guys out, Denver's defensive system is very difficult. They'll put eight or nine guys at the line of scrimmage. They'll come from every angle, every line stunt, every blitz. Sometimes they'll drop eight guys into coverage. They do an incredible job of keeping you off balance, keeping you guessing, pressuring you and really making you look bad. We saw both of that in Week 2. You really have to stay patient with the run. You've got to pound, pound, pound and then take some shots down the field.

    Defensively, there's no secret that Denver's success is predicated by them running the football successfully. They're still going to move the pocket and take their shots down the field. But it's a classic example of the league's best run defense giving up a bunch of yards last week and having a chance to atone for that performance. It's a great run offense against a run defense.

    Happy New Year, thanks for the great support this year. Let's live and learn, and not be so generous in '06!

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