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Scouting report: Chargers vs. Broncos

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    October 13, 2009
    Union Tribune

    No one really should be that surprised by the Broncos starting fast this season. After all, they almost always start fast – 5-1 every season from 2003-06 and 4-1 in 2008. Plus, they had the Bengals (although they turned out to be good), Browns and Raiders on their early schedule.
    Then again, this was a Broncos team that pulled off one of the all-time collapses last season, blowing a three-game lead over the Chargers with three games to play and missing the playoffs for the third straight year. That cost Mike Shanahan his job.
    The new coach is Josh McDaniels, at 33 the second-youngest coach in the NFL, and so far it's hard to argue with anything he's done, even trading franchise QB Jay Cutler. Kyle Orton has played well in leading a very talented offense, and more importantly, a defense that was among the league's worst has allowed a league-low (by far) 43 points in five games.


    Brandon Marshall, WR. Maybe you remember Marshall last year against the Chargers. He caught 18 balls in one game, six in another, giving him more catches in those two games than all but four of his teammates had all season. Had an attitude, uh, problem earlier but appears cured after starting with 24 catches for four TDs in first five games.
    Brian Dawkins, S. There's a very good chance Dawkins and cornerback Champ Bailey will each be in Canton some day, and while Dawkins surely isn't what he used to be, he's been a primary reason for Denver's defensive improvement. He's liable to make a big play at any time to change a game.
    Elvis Dumervil, OLB. Talk about someone adjusting to a new defense. An undersized end in Denver's old 3-4 defense, Dumervil has been a terror in Mike Nolan's 4-3 alignment. He didn't get a sack last week against New England but had EIGHT in the previous three games.


    Defensive line coach Wayne Nunnely spent the past 12 seasons in that role for the Chargers, while tight ends coach Clancy Barone served in that role for the Chargers the past two seasons. Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer (he was the one you might have seen getting screamed at by Josh McDaniels on Sunday) is is the son of former Chargers special teams coach Chuck Priefer (1992-96). And, backup tackle Brandon Gorin was the Chargers' seventh-round draft choice in 2001.


    Running back Correll Buckhalter (ankle) and linebacker Spencer Larsen (shoulder) did not play against the Patriots. Some reports said Buckhalter suffered a high ankle sprain, which if true would make it unlikely he would play against the Chargers. That would clear the way for No. 1 draft pick Knowshon Moreno to start again. Larsen definitely won't be back for this game.


    The Broncos lead the overall series 53-44-1, but the Chargers have won five of the past six games, with the five victories coming by an average of 25.0 points. The only San Diego defeat was actually a win until Ed Hochuli suffered momentary blindness or something. Denver is 2-6 in its past eight trips to San Diego, losing the past three by scores of 48-20, 23-3 and 52-21.


    Denver held Oakland, Dallas and New England without a third-down conversion in the second half, becoming the first team in the NFL since the 1992 Cowboys to hold three consecutive opponents without a third-down conversion in the final two quarters.


    “I can't speak for somebody else. I don't know the answer as to why other people may enjoy or celebrate or share that with somebody else differently, but I grew up the son of a coach and losing stinks. We work too hard to not enjoy the wins or we work too hard to try to minimize any success we might have in a weekend.” – Denver's Josh McDaniels, asked why other coaches don't act as excited after a win as he does


    0 – Points allowed by Broncos in second half of past four games
    4 – Teams that have missed the playoffs after starting 5-0, with only one (2003 Vikings) coming after the 2002 division realignment
    59-7 – Broncos' scoring advantage in second half this season
    71.1 – Kyle Orton's passer rating before this season
    97.4 – Orton's passer rating this season

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