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News » San Diego Chargers Strategy and Personnel 2008-12-30


San Diego Chargers Strategy and Personnel 2008-12-30


San Diego Chargers Strategy and Personnel 2008-12-30
PLAYER NOTES


--RB LaDainian Tomlinson underwent an MRI exam Monday that showed a groin strain. He said he is not 100 percent and could be compromised in practice. He'll likely play, but Tomlinson didn't dance around how an injury like his hampers a running back cutting and changing direction as much as he does.

--WR Malcom Floyd (collapsed lung) will try to increase his practice time this week and has a shot at playing Saturday.

--TE Antonio Gates (ankle) should be OK for Saturday, although could miss some practice time.

--DE Luis Castillo (groin) could miss some practice time, but he will play Saturday.

--OLB Shaun Phillips (knee) should be OK this week.

--LB Brandon Siler (foot) should be able to go this week.

REPORT CARD VS. BRONCOS

PASSING OFFENSE: B-minus -- Philip Rivers didn't make the Pro Bowl, but his play helped the Chargers make the postseason. He completed 15 of 20 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns. He got some great catches by Vincent Jackson and steady routes by Chris Chambers. Darren Sproles had a nifty 13-yard screen for a touchdown. The pass protection was fine -- he was sacked twice -- as Rivers continued to have time to go through his reads.

RUSHING OFFENSE: A -- LaDainian Tomlinson was awesome, jumping around, making cuts and making defenders look foolish. Tomlinson had a season-best 6.9 yards per carry and finished with 96 yards and three TDs. Sproles was equally solid, rushing for a season-high 115 and a score. The run-blocking was strong, probably the best it has been all season.

PASS DEFENSE: B -- Considering how lethal Jay Cutler's right arm can be, the Chargers did a well holding him to 316 passing yards and two touchdowns. They didn't sack Cutler, but they did make him uncomfortable in the pocket. Brandon Marshall had six receptions -- 12 fewer than he had in the last matchup. An interception by Paul Oliver was huge near the end of the first half, and Luis Castillo got one off a tip by Shaun Phillips.

RUSH DEFENSE: C -- The Chargers made Tatum Bell look good, and that shouldn't be done at this stage of the season -- and his career. Most troubling were 37-yard and 26-yard touchdown runs by Bell. The Broncos ran only 10 times -- including two by Cutler -- but managed to gain 90 yards in the process.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A -- Sproles contributed 112 return yards and continues to be one of the most dangerous players in the league at that position. The coverages were fine; P Mike Scifres had only one punt for 43 yards. The key to this unit remains Sproles, as he consistently gives the offense good field position.

COACHING: A -- Norv Turner continues to give more credence to the running game, and the results have been spectacular. With Tomlinson running as in years past and the offensive line buying into the more physical play, the entire offense is looking better and more diverse. Turner also gets credit for keeping the Chargers engaged down the stretch, and that was evident Sunday night when they demolished and demoralized the Broncos. Ron Rivera, the defense coordinator, mixed up his coverages to keep Cutler under wraps for the most part.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 30, 2008

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Clinton Hart Name: Clinton Hart
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