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Keys to the Recent Success in San Diego

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The Chargers have won 3 straight and are on their way to clinching the AFC west and locking up a playoff spot. After a frustrating start to the season filled with questionable coaching and scheming along with a truckload of underachievement, the Bolts are almost back.

The key to their success on offense has obviously been giving LT more than 20 carries a game. It is almost unbelievable that it took Norv Turner almost half a season to learn that the San Diego offense lives and dies by LT, and most often lives. San Diego is 6-1 when LT carries the ball more than 20 times this season and 2-4 when he gets 20 or fewer carries.

Especially with the recent struggles of QB Philip Rivers, it is essential that the Chargers continue to hand the ball to LT and let him lead the Bolts through the final stretch of the season. It’s quite simple; The more LT carries the ball, the more success he will have, the more success LT has, the more opposing defenses have to load the box which opens things up for Rivers and his WR’s. Despite some analyst’s doubts Antonio Gates, Chris Chambers and Vincent Jackson are a solid group of pass catchers.

The key to San Diego’s success on defense has been blitzing more than one LB at a time. Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips are almost unstoppable when both are blitzing from opposite ends of the line. San Diego started to do this more frequently following their loss to Jacksonville in week 11. In the 3 games since the loss to the Jaguars the Chargers have tallied 13 sacks, an average of 4.3 a game. Throughout the first 10 games, when the Chargers rarely blitzed more than 1 LB at a time they totaled just 21 sacks, an average of 2.1 a game. San Diego has averaged twice as many sacks since they started blitzing more than one LB at a time. They must continue to pressure the QB with 5 and 6 man blitzes. Now that Merriman looks like he will miss some time it is even more important for the Chargers to continue blitzing to compensate for the loss of one of the leagues best pass rushers. Leave the DB’s in single coverage and make them earn a paycheck.

The Chargers seem to be finding their rhythm at the perfect time and are gaining momentum as they make a push for the playoffs. There is no doubt that the Chargers have enough talent to play with any team in the league, but there are question marks surrounding their consistency and coaching; two things that are necessary to make any sort of playoff run.


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3 Responses to “Keys to the Recent Success in San Diego”

  1. Paul says:

    I agree with you partially, but I will say that I think Turner is TRYING to make this team less 1-dimensional. There are going to be growing pains when you try and do that, but I’d say we’ve seen some (not much) great passing by Rivers, and I hope the team can be more well rounded by playoff time. That said, the season has been tough to watch (at times), but if we can accomplish being multi-faceted in our offensive attack, that will spread D’s out more effectively, thus giving LT more/ better options when running! Nice commentary!

  2. Jim Dubenetzky says:

    Paul makes a good point about Norv trying to make the offense less one-dimensional. If they were able to achieve that they would be a better team. But I still think they have to keep pounding the ball if they want to be succesful. Their running game is too vital to their success and I just think the ground game shouldn’t suffer because of Norv’s attempts to create a more balanced offense.

  3. Paul says:

    True Jim- I’m someone whose favorite “part” of the game is running the football, but I think it’s obvious that running the football gets a little tougher every season that goes by. Make Rivers a bit stauncher with the pass, and then LT has a field day running down everyone’s throat! Go Bolts!

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