|12-25-2008, 11:06 AM||#1|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: May 2003
Location: The Ville
Winning in December
ENGLEWOOD — The Chargers don't give anybody anything in December — except problems and checkmarks in the loss column.
In fact, the Chargers have won 13 consecutive December games, seven at home, six on the road, and the most recent team to beat them in the 12th month was the Broncos, in the 2005 regular-season finale.
"I think people can get too much into that stuff sometimes, look too close that this team does this at this time of year and all of that," Broncos wide receiver Brandon Stokley said Wednesday. "But that is a little impressive. We know what we're getting into and what it will take to win."
The Chargers' current three-game winning streak in the month — to go with Denver's recent stumbles against Carolina and Buffalo — has taken them from a 4-8 record as November drew to a close, with virtually no hope of a postseason spot, to needing only a win against the Broncos to win a division title.
The Broncos had a three-game lead in the division race with three to play.
"Just one game, that's how we look at it, that we gave ourselves a chance with how we've done in December," Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson said. "It's hard to say what we envisioned earlier this season, we just know we put ourselves in a tough spot and we had to claw out."
December hasn't been kind to the Broncos in recent seasons. They currently are 1-2 this December, were 2-3 last December and 2-3 in December 2006.
And with the loss to the Bills on Sunday, the Broncos are in a position where a loss keeps them out of the postseason after they led the division from the opening week of the regular season.
"We talk all the time about playing your best football in December," defensive end Ebenezer Ekuban said.
"We need to do that."
Asked what has been the difference for his team in the season's final month — the Chargers were only 6-5 when December began in the 2007 season until winning all five of their games that month to finish 11-5 as division champions — Chargers coach Norv Turner said:
"(It's) something these guys have done in the past. We have good football players and we try to gear things from a practice standpoint, from a preparation standpoint to continue to keep getting better.
"Who you play and when you play them might have something to do with it. Don't know that you could pinpoint one thing."
The Broncos' previous win in Qualcomm Stadium is long enough ago that seven starters for the team that day now are retired, a total that includes Jake Plummer, who played only a half at quarterback because the Broncos had clinched their playoff position. John Lynch, Rod Smith, Matt Lepsis, Stephen Alexander, Ian Gold and Keith Burns — all retired — also were in the Broncos' starting lineup.
Lynch had two sacks in the game — one resulted in a safety — and Burns now is an assistant special-teams coach for the team.
The Broncos are 4-3 on the road this season, including wins over the Jets and Atlanta.
"It's win or go home, there," running back Tatum Bell said. "I'm relaxed, excited to play. ... I have a chance to get in the playoffs. That's what I want, that's what we all want."
|12-25-2008, 11:17 AM||#2|
Long live the Mane!
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Silt, Colorado
Give them a win and a check mark for us in the loss for us. 8 point favorite? We won't be within 10!
|12-25-2008, 12:13 PM||#3|
Join Date: Apr 2008
That's an impressive stat, 13 straight in December. Post Thanksgiving football is what it's all about. Let's hope we end the streak on Sunday.
|12-25-2008, 12:41 PM||#4|
Join Date: Nov 2002