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Old 10-12-2009, 09:15 PM   #1
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Some optimistic reminiscing about ancient history ....

http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stori...acee12/?sports

SAN DIEGO – The Chargers have to beat the Denver Broncos on Monday.

Duh!

“We understand it,” tight end Antonio Gates said. “We're 2-2, and they're 5-0. It's a do-or-die game. We all know that.”

Never since the NFL went to its current four-division format in 2002 has a team started 6-0 and not won its division.

“They can really take charge of the division with this win,” tackle Marcus McNeill said. “We know what we face.”

Given the fact that a Denver victory would drop the Chargers 3-½ games behind the AFC West leaders and the Broncos seemingly would have proved themselves for real (not to mention the Chargers perhaps having been exposed as something less), there isn't much more to say that could add to the importance of this game.

“I don't know how you could have more urgency on this game,” head coach Norv Turner said.

Win Monday, they've changed the tone of this season. Lose, they're relegated to NFL afterthoughts.

“For us to go 3-½ games down,” safety Eric Weddle said before pausing and measuring his words. “It's just a hole you don't want to be in.”

As much as the deficit, the significance would be what a loss would say about the different directions the teams are heading.

The past two seasons, the Chargers have, while starting slow, been able to count on the Broncos not pulling away. And they've been able to count on beating the Broncos, having done so five of their past six meetings (the only loss came in the “Hochuli” game) and by a combined score of 123-44 the past three games at Qualcomm Stadium.

Denver coming here and winning would put an exclamation point on the fact that the dynamics between the two teams have changed.

While the Chargers are coming off a shellacking in Pittsburgh and have yet to put together a complete game, there is hope.

If the Pittsburgh abomination two Sundays ago was cause for discouragement, there is some other recent history to give faith the Chargers can salvage their season on “Monday Night Football.”

The Chargers have a penchant for winning games they have to, especially those played in prime time at Qualcomm Stadium.

They won four of their five regular-season night games last year, a last-second November loss to Indianapolis being the only blemish (they later beat the Colts at night in a wild-card playoff game). The victories were all imperative.

The Chargers were 0-2, and Denver was 3-0 when the Chargers faced the New York Jets on a Monday night last September. Chargers 48, Jets 29.

Three weeks after that game, the Chargers were 2-3 with Denver at 4-2. The Chargers routed the Patriots 30-10 on Sunday night.

The Chargers were 4-6, three games behind Denver, when they welcomed Oakland to town on a Thursday night and beat the Raiders 34-7.

And on a game changed to a Sunday night because of its importance, with the winner headed to the playoffs, the Chargers pretty much used the Broncos as a chew toy in a 52-21 victory on Dec. 28.

“Your back is up against the wall, we're going to come out swinging,” cornerback Quentin Jammer said.

Why the Chargers can't do that every game (or even most games) is a question for another time.

For now, there is urgency.

Monday's game is even more crucial than last year's Jets and Patriots games, and it is more important, too, than the December game against Oakland. Only the immediate ending that finale against Denver brought makes that game of greater consequence than this Monday.

A game in October meaning that much? Really?

Yes.

A team accustomed to peaking in December faces a game with monstrous implications two months early.

“This is as big as we've had in October,” defensive end Luis Castillo acknowledged.

A victory would give the Chargers confidence and put them back essentially in control of what happens. They would be 1-½ games back and have a game with Denver remaining.

“This game is huge, and we're going about it that way,” Weddle said. “We know this could be and should be the difference in our season – for the good.”

Players said Monday's practice illustrated the urgency they feel.

“You can see the focus of how important this game is,” Gates said. “The way we went about our business today, we understand it would be hard to give a team like Denver a (big) lead like that.”

Nuts 'n' Bolts

•The Chargers have been working players in different rotations at safety and cornerback since the Pittsburgh game, but no changes to the starting lineup are anticipated. Said Turner: “There are some situations we have some options, we can look at some things.”

•Defenders Jacques Cesaire (calf), Stephen Cooper (knee), Travis Johnson (groin), Shawne Merriman (groin) and Shaun Phillips (calf) remained sidelined during practice. All are expected back at practice later this week. The Chargers won't begin their regular practice schedule until Thursday since they have an extra day to prepare for the Monday night game.

•Linebacker Antwan Applewhite returned to practice for the first time since injuring his hamstring in the season opener.

•About 2,500 tickets remain to avoid the Denver games being blacked out on local television. The deadline for those tickets to be sold is 5:30 p.m. Friday.
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:19 PM   #2
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Reason A1 why they'll be going down in 7 days: Norv Turner.

Thanks.
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prunch View Post
Some optimistic reminiscing about ancient history ....

http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stori...acee12/?sports



•About 2,500 tickets remain to avoid the Denver games being blacked out on local television. The deadline for those tickets to be sold is 5:30 p.m. Friday.
2.5k left for a division rival on MNF? Did the Chargers faithful know something we didnt know? How do you not sell this game out the day they go on sale? I am soooooo glad i dumped my 50 season tickets for the Chargers. If this team slides any worse, look for premium seats to go under face value. I dont see much action on the Tailgate thread section and hope you local SoCalers are heading down there with tickets a lot cheaper than anticipated.
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:31 PM   #4
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The new Denver Broncos should win at home but this game in in San Diego. This is the game all along that I felt will be the measuring stick of the Broncos. If we can go in there a win it will take a complete team effort to do it. I almost stayed in San Diego an extra 3 weeks to see this game and now I wish I had.
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:59 PM   #5
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The new Denver Broncos should win at home but this game in in San Diego. This is the game all along that I felt will be the measuring stick of the Broncos. If we can go in there a win it will take a complete team effort to do it. I almost stayed in San Diego an extra 3 weeks to see this game and now I wish I had.
Unless we have a complete let down, i don't see us losing. With Shanny as the coach, i could easily see that happening but with McD and company, the team will be focused and ready to take a commanding lead in the division. The biggest difference in this game is the two defenses. Ours is MUCH MUCH improved over last year while their's seems the same, which wasn't/isn't good! Our offense seems to have finally started to click and is much more consistent then last years O...and oh yea, we don't turn it over! I could see this game getting out of hand in our favor! Something like 34-13!

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Old 10-12-2009, 10:02 PM   #6
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Now the Chargers have a Broncos passing game to consider. Makes Denver tougher to defend, but much like the old days, if the Broncos pound the middle of the Charger defense they can force safeties to come up, leaving gaps in their zones...maybe alot of PA passing on monday. But considering no two McDaniels game plans look alike, we probably come out with 4 wides and throw a ton of screens and run draws.

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Old 10-12-2009, 10:08 PM   #7
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They premise for the article, and the hope of the Charger fans, is that we'll fade like we used to. The thing is this is a completely different team with a completely different mindset. It's a team that has improved in all aspects every week and they're facing a glove-less Orton that is starting to sync up with his receivers. You can already tell this is a team that will be playing it's best football six weeks from now. That in itself could prove an advantage for the Chargers; We're not quite there yet.

Now Norv's inevitable conversion of this team into a bunch of soft guys is complete, and AJ knows that. However they are still extremely talented and have their backs up against the wall.

Beating the Patriots at home in OT was nice, but we're going to be in their house, and I would expect just as much of a challenge from the Boltz. It's MNF and every team gets up for prime time games and Rivers is still a great QB.

They'll bring it, but count on them being shocked when they see what a completely different team they are facing and we aren't rolling over like they're used to - especially on defense.
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:22 PM   #8
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Cover Gates, Jackson and Sproles, and it's in the bag.......
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirhcyennek81 View Post
Now the Chargers have a Broncos passing game to consider. Makes Denver tougher to defend, but much like the old days, if the Broncos pound the middle of the Charger defense they can force safeties to come up, leaving gaps in their zones...maybe alot of PA passing on monday. But considering no two McDaniels game plans look alike, we probably come out with 4 wides and throw a ton of screens and run draws.

we had this the last few years but couldnt put the whole thing together or some gave up.
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:45 PM   #10
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Wild Horses will keep their D staff up late all week..... lol
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:49 PM   #11
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Cover Gates, Jackson and Sproles, and it's in the bag.......
Not to mention a healthy dose of Moreno up the middle. Based upon what i saw against the Steelers, they can't stop the run, and probably won't against us. I also don't think they have the horses to contain our receivers either.

I think the keys to the game is to contain Rivers like we did against Brady, and ST's have to play better than they did this week. If we do those two things well, we win.
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:52 PM   #12
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Given the fact that a Denver victory would drop the Chargers 3-½ games behind the AFC West leaders and the Broncos seemingly would have proved themselves for real (not to mention the Chargers perhaps having been exposed as something less), there isn't much more to say that could add to the importance of this game.
Really I mean come on really. There is still people that don't think we are for real.
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:52 PM   #13
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Wild Horses will keep their D staff up late all week..... lol
You know, one of the things I thought of while watching the "wild horses" plays was that not only does it give the team your playing fits, it now gives the team your going to play next week one more thing to prepare for.

Good thing they had 2 weeks to prepare for us, they are going to need it!
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:55 PM   #14
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I really believe our offense will have a breakout game on Monday.

I really noticed the Orton timing with the receivers to be spot on for the most part. We now have a near undefendable O unless you have a complete D like , well, us. Too many receivers to cover and our Oline does not need much help on blitzes.

I believe Rivers will get his numbers as some of the deep balls he throws are pretty much undefendable but as we learned last year, a big play passing game is not enough.

Broncos 31
Chargers 20
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Old 10-13-2009, 12:32 AM   #15
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“They can really take charge of the division with this win,” tackle Marcus McNeill said.
He's already prepared himself for it. I'm gonna show this quote to Elvis and tell everybody else to roll San Diego over and stomp on their neck.
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Old 10-13-2009, 12:38 AM   #16
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This will be our toughest challenge. Very difficult to go into a division rival's crib on Monday night with their season essentially on the line and win. We can do it, but it's a very tall order.

Can't wait.
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Old 10-13-2009, 12:44 AM   #17
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After seeing Brady miss free TD's to Moss and Welker (yard shorter to Moss and a yard higher to Welker) I think our defense has some serious long ball liabilities to address... oh and it just so happens long balls are the specialty of San Diego.

If we don't fix that I could see us losing...
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Old 10-13-2009, 12:45 AM   #18
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Reading that article and you almost get the feeling that SD thinks that Denver is gonna roll into SD with Cuter, Shanny, Slowick and the worst D in the NFL still there for them to abuse again. Win or lose I think SD is going to be in for a big surprise when Denver does bend over for them anymore...
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