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Previewing the AFC

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Sep 9, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    <blockquote>Source: USA Today

    San Diego Chargers

    Last season: First in AFC West. Lost to New York Jets 20-17 in wild-card round.

    Coach: Marty Schottenheimer (fourth season, 24-25; overall, 182-129-1).

    Key additions: Top pick Shawne Merriman can boost the defense on the outside, yet he had to overcome a bum knee once reporting to the team after a holdout.

    Key losses: Fan favorite Doug Flutie no longer will be around to excite the Qualcomm faithful with cameo appearances at quarterback, but Philip Rivers made him expendable.

    Keep an eye on: Third-year punter Mike Scifres, whose 38.4-yard average was third in the league and had only 23 of his 69 punts returned.

    Upside: Where to begin? Breakout quarterback in Drew Brees, top-flight running backing in LaDainian Tomlinson, nice deep threat in Keenan McCardell and ultra-reliable tight end in Antonio Gates, to name but a few. The Chargers believe in themselves and are eager to pick up from a year ago.

    Downside: There still is work to be done on defense, particularly in the secondary, where the Chargers finished 31st against the pass, and San Diego also was hampered by minimal pressure on the quarterback. Overall, the Chargers suddenly have become a marked team and will sneak up on no one.

    Reality check: General manager A.J. Smith talks a lot about building teams one year at a time, and he likes this latest effort, with good reason. Assuming Brees continues his excellence from a year ago and the defense manages some improvement, the Chargers appear well-prepared for another strong run.</blockquote>
    <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/2005-09-08-afc-preview_x.htm" target="_blank"><strong>
    Article Link</strong></a>

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