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Preview: Chargers vs Redskins

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Nov 24, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    Source: <a href="http://www.chargers.com/news/headline_detail.cfm?news_key=2434" target="_blank">Chargers.com</a>

    <img src="http://bolttalk.com/images/chargersvredskins01.gif" alt="Chargers vs Redskins" />

    By Scott Yoffe

    Two of the most successful coaches in today's NFL – Washington's Joe Gibbs, who's already in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and the Chargers' Marty Schottenheimer, who may be headed there someday - will lead their respective teams into battle on Sunday when the Chargers face the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. Kickoff is set for 10:00 a.m. PST.

    With the 2005 playoff picture beginning to take shape, this game is important to both teams. The Chargers have won three in a row and six of their last eight and come into the game tied for second in the AFC West with Kansas City at 6-4. Both they and the Chiefs trail division-leading Denver (8-2) by two games. Washington comes into the game in third place in the NFC East, trailing the Dallas Cowboys (7-3) and the New York Giants (7-3) by two games.

    Drew Brees will try to lead the Chargers to their fourth road win in six tries. He's done a nice job for the Bolts on the road where he has completed 67.9 percent of his pass attempts. Brees is coming off a career outing, having completed 28 of 33 (.848) for 339 yards and four touchdowns in last Sunday's win over Buffalo. LaDainian Tomlinson, who rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns against the Redskins in his first-career NFL game in 2001, goes in search of his fourth 100-yard rushing game of the season on the road.

    The Chargers will be making a rare appearance in our nation's capital having last visited the Redskins in 1998, just one year after FedEx Field opened.

    The Chargers' lone win in the series came the last time they played the Redskins, a 30-3 win in the 2001 season opener.

    CBS Sports will televise the game live with Kevin Harlan calling the play-by-play and Randy Cross providing color commentary.

    The head coaches

    Marty Schottenheimer, who spent the 2001 season as the head coach of the Redskins, will face his former team for the fifth time on Sunday. He is 3-1 against the 'Skins during his career.

    With 183 career wins, Schottenheimer is the NFL's winningest active coach. He is the eighth-winningest coach of all-time and he needs just three more wins to move into a tie with Chuck Knox (186 wins) for seventh place on the all-time list.

    Schottenheimer and Redskins coach Joe Gibbs have combined for 318 career regular season wins between them while coaching in a combined 515 games. Interestingly in those 515 games, they have only coached against one another three times with Schottenheimer defeating Gibbs' teams two of the three. His Cleveland Browns went 1-1 against Gibbs' Redskins, losing 14-7 in 1985, before winning 17-13 in 1988. In 1992, Schottenheimer's Chiefs beat the 'Skins 35-16.

    High scoring

    The Chargers have scored at least 17 points in 23 consecutive regular season games, the longest active streak in the NFL. The last team to hold San Diego under 17 points was the Denver Broncos, who defeated the Bolts 23-13 last September 26 at Invesco Field. New England owns the league's second-longest streak at 20 games.

    Scoring leaders

    The Chargers are the NFL's second-highest scoring team with 300 points. Only the Indianapolis Colts (305) have scored more points than the Chargers. At the current pace (30.0 ppg), this year's Chargers will break the team's single-season scoring mark of 468 points, set in 1981.


    Keeping it close

    The Chargers are 6-4 this season, and the team's four losses have been by a total of 12 points. The Chargers have not lost by more than four points in 24 consecutive games, including playoffs. It is the longest current streak and tied for the fourth-longest streak in the NFL since 1950. The Washington Redskins own the third-longest streak, 26 straight games during the 1982-83 seasons. Here's a look at the league's longest streaks.

    34 - Green Bay (1965-67)
    32 - San Francisco (1988-1990)
    26 - Washington Redskins (1982-83)
    24 - San Diego Chargers (2004-05)
    New England Patriots (2003-04)
    San Francisco 49ers (1983-84)

    As the o-line goes

    As the offensive line goes in 2005, so goes the fortunes of the Chargers. In the Bolts' six wins this season, the offense has averaged 166.3 yards rushing (998 yards total) and quarterback Drew Brees has been sacked just four times. In the team's four losses though, the offense has only averaged 67.3 yards rushing and Brees has been sacked 10 times.

    The 14 sacks allowed by the Bolts this season are tied for the fourth-fewest in the NFL. During the current three-game winning streak, the offensive line has allowed only two sacks in 104 pass attempts.

    The Bolts' offensive line has played well despite trying circumstances. Due to injuries, the Bolts have started six different offensive lines this season in the first 10 games. Most recently, left tackle Roman Oben missed the last two games with a foot injury. Center Nick Hardwick returned to the starting lineup last week against Buffalo after missing Weeks 7-9 with a high ankle sprain. Left guard Kris Dielman moved into the starting lineup Week 3 for the injured Toniu Fonoti, who has since been traded, and Leander Jordan started Week 6 at right tackle for the injured Shane Olivea and Weeks 9-10 at left tackle for Oben. Right guard Mike Goff is the only lineman to start all 10 games this season.

    Bolts run defense leads the league

    The Chargers boast the NFL's top-ranked rushing defense. They moved into first in the league following the games of Nov. 13-14 and have remained there since. The unit is allowing only 78.1 yards per game. This season, the Chargers have held two teams, Oakland (39) and Philadelphia (24), to less than 40 yards on the ground. The Chargers have held their last five opponents to an average of 62.4 rushing yards per game while going 4-1 during that stretch.

    Sack attack

    With 33 sacks in this season's first 10 games, the Chargers have already surpassed their total for the entire 2004 season (29). In last week's 48-10 win over Buffalo, the Bolts racked up a season-high six sacks, it's the most in a single game since Sept. 15, 2002 when they tallied nine against the Houston Texans.

    Rookie Shawne Merriman and second-year man Shaun Phillips are leading the way with seven and five sacks, respectively. More players are getting into the act this year as 15 different players have at least half a sack, the most since 1998. The Chargers are on pace for 52.8 sacks this season, which would be the most since the 1992 squad racked up 51 sacks. Since sacks became an official statistic recognized by the NFL in 1982, the Chargers have never had a rookie lead the team in sacks at the end of a season.

    Red zone defense buckles down

    The Chargers may rank 15th in the NFL in "Red Zone" defense, but lately the Bolts have put the screws to their opponents inside the 20-yard line. During the team's three-game wining streak, the Bolts have only allowed six touchdowns in 15 trips inside the "Red Zone," a .400 touchdown percentage. Of the other nine trips opponents have made inside the 20-yard line in the last three games, four ended in field goals, one on a fumble and four on downs.

    In the Chargers' last game against Buffalo, the Bolts held the Bills to just one touchdown in three red zone trips. Buffalo's other two possessions in the red zone both ended on downs.

    Top rushers collide

    Two of the NFL's premier rushers, San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson and Washington's Clinton Portis will share the spotlight on Sunday when the Chargers and Redskins meet at FedEx Field. There are some striking comparisons to the careers of these two young runners who have both rushed for at least 1,300 yards in each of the last three seasons.

    Once again this year, they are neck-and-neck among the league's rushing leaders with LT ranking fifth (902 yards) and Portis eighth (856 yards). It's been that way virtually every season since 2002 when Portis came into the league. Last season, LT ranked seventh (1,335) while Portis ranked eighth (1,315). In 2003, LT ranked third (1,645) and Portis ranked fifth (1,591) and in '02 it was LT second (1,683) and Portis fourth (1,508).

    Brees averages more than 300 yards

    In the Chargers' last four games, Brees has thrown for 1,232 yards, an average of 308.0 yards per game. It is the most yards he has passed for in a four-game stretch during his career. Included in the four-game stretch is a 339-yard performance last Sunday against Buffalo, the third-highest single-game total of his career.

    For the season, Brees has passed for 2,438 yards and is on pace for a 3,900-yard season. At his current pace, he would become only the second quarterback in team history to pass for more than 3,500 yards, joining Dan Fouts, who did it five times during his Hall of Fame career.

    Brees has thrown for more than 300 yards in a game seven times in his career during the regular season. The Chargers are 5-2 in games when he surpasses the 300-yard marker.

    McCardell passes Alworth

    On the day in which the San Diego Chargers retired jersey number 19 in honor of Hall of Fame wide receiver Lance Alworth, current Chargers wide receiver Keenan McCardell added to the nostalgia of the day by passing Alworth (10,266) for 21st place on the NFL's all-time receiving yardage list. He did it on a play the workman-like Alworth could appreciate, a 26-yard catch that helped keep a scoring drive alive. In fitting fashion, two plays later, McCardell caught a 29-yard touchdown pass to give the Bolts a 35-10 lead, a score reminiscent of some of the old AFL games that Alworth played in himself. McCardell now has 10,320 career yards, 52 shy of reaching Harold Jackson and cracking the all-time top 20.

    Gates leads the team

    Antonio Gates is the team's leading receiver with 56 catches and 784 yards. He's tied with Keenan McCardell for the team lead with seven touchdown catches. Gates leads all NFL tight ends in receptions, yards and touchdown catches.

    Among all players, Gates' 56 catches are tied for ninth in the league, his 784 yards rank ninth and his seven touchdowns are tied for 12th.

    Recently, Gates was named to Pro Football Weekly's Midseason All-Pro Team

    Chargers-Redskins connections

    * Chargers Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer posted an 8-8 record as the head coach of the Redskins in 2001... offensive coordinator Cam Cameron served as quarterbacks coach in Washington from 1994-96 under Norv Turner... linebackers coach Greg Manusky began his playing career in the nation's capital and spent three seasons (1988-1990) with the Redskins... Manusky also worked on Schottenheimer's staff in Washington in 2001... quarterbacks coach Brian Schottenheimer held the same position with the Redskins in 2001... assistant wide receivers – quality control coach Pete Carmichael served as an offensive assistant – quality control coach with the ‘Skins in 2001... strength and conditioning coach Dave Redding and assistant strength and conditioning coach Matt Schiotz held the same positions on Schottenheimer's staff in 2001... coaching administrator John Wuehrmann served as Washington's manager of team operations in 2001.
    * Chargers head athletic trainer James Collins hails from Lothian, Maryland... director of guest services David Anderson is a native of Hampton, Virginia.
    * Chargers wide receiver Keenan McCardell was a 12th round selection of the Redskins in the 1991 NFL draft... he spent the 1991 season on injured reserve... safety Bhawoh Jue is from Chantilly, VA and maintains an offseason home in Fairfax, VA... offensive tackle Roman Oben grew up in Washington, D.C. and prepped at Gonzaga High School before attending Fork Union Military Academy... defensive tackle Jamal Williams is also a native of the nation's capital and was a Super Prep All-America at Arch Bishop Carroll High School.
    * Chargers rookie linebacker Shawne Merriman hails from Upper Marlboro, MD where he played high school basketball with Eric Arrington, the younger brother of Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington... Merriman frequently refers to LaVar as his "big brother."
    * Redskins Head Coach Joe Gibbs attended San Diego State and began his coaching career at his alma mater under former Chargers Head Coach Don Coryell... Gibbs was part of a team that went 11-0 in 1966... he returned to San Diego in 1979 to coordinate the "Air Coryell" offense (1979-1980) with the Chargers.
    * Redskins Assistant Head Coach – Offense Joe Bugel spent four seasons (1998-2001) as the Bolts' offensive line coach... offensive coordinator Don Breaux played quarterback for the Chargers from 1964-65... running backs coach Earnest Byner played for Marty Schottenheimer with the Cleveland Browns from 1984-88... strength and conditioning coach John Dunn held the same position with the Chargers from 1990-1996... strength and conditioning coach John Hastings held the same position with the Bolts from 1995-2001... linebackers coach Dale Lindsey was the Chargers' defensive coordinator from 2002-03... he also coached San Diego's linebackers from 1992-96... tight ends coach Rennie Simmons played center for Coryell at San Diego State... national scout Joel Patten played offensive tackle for the Chargers from 1989-90.
    * Redskins Director of Player Development John "J.J." Jefferson was a first round draft pick of the Chargers in 1978 and played three seasons at wide receiver for the Bolts.
    * Chargers fullback Lorenzo Neal played for the Tennessee Titans in 1999 and 2000 when Redskins assistant head coach – defense Gregg Williams was the team's defensive coordinator... Bolts linebacker Randall Godfrey played for Williams in Nashville in 2000... Neal was also a teammate of Redskins defensive tackle Joe Salave'a and passing game coordinator – safeties coach Steve Jackson in Tennessee.
    * Redskins center Cory Raymer played for the Chargers from 2002-03... defensive tackle Joe Salave'a attended Oceanside High School in Oceanside, Calif. and played for the Chargers in 2003.
    * Redskins long snapper Ethan Albright played for Chargers defensive coordinator Wade Phillips when Phillips was the head coach of the Buffalo Bills... Chargers offensive line coach Carl Mauck tutored Redskins offensive tackle Ray Brown when the two were with the Detroit Lions from 2002-03... Chargers wide receiver Keenan McCardell caught passes from Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell in Jacksonville from 1996-2001... Chargers tackle Leander Jordan was also a teammate of Brunell's from 2002-03.
    * The following players were college teammates: Chargers safety Bhawoh Jue and Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington at Penn State... Chargers kicker Nate Kaeding and defensive end Derreck Robinson with Redskins running back Ladell Betts at Iowa... Chargers guard Mike Goff with Redskins safety Matt Bowen at Iowa... Chargers running back Darren Sproles and linebacker Ben Leber with Redskins running back Rock Cartwright at Kansas State... Chargers linebacker Randall Godfrey and Redskins defensive end Phillip Daniels at Georgia... Chargers cornerback Quentin Jammer and Redskins guard Derrick Dockery at Texas... Chargers wide receiver Reche Caldwell and Redskins wide receiver Taylor Jacobs at Florida... Chargers cornerback Jamar Fletcher and Redskins center Casey Rabach at Wisconsin... Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman and Redskins wide receiver Rich Parsons at Maryland... Chargers fullback Lorenzo Neal and Redskins safety Omar Stoutmire at Fresno State.
    * Redskins defensive tackle Ryan Boschetti is a native of Belmont, Calif. (Carlmont High) and attended UCLA... defensive back Ade Jimoh prepped at El Camino Real High School in Canoga Park, Calif.

    Chargers-Redskins series history

    The Chargers and Redskins have only met seven times since their first game in 1973. The Chargers have played four games in the nation's capital but have yet to win a game there. It would be an opportune time for the Bolts to capture their first win in D.C.
     

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