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Chargers in position to make another late season run

P. Rivers6

We didn’t need to see the Chargers beat down the Broncos 35-14 on Monday Night to know they were dangerous.

We’ve seen this story before, and it usually ends with an AFC West championship.  The 5-5 Chargers can’t survive any more special teams meltdowns, but there’s an argument to be made that this group is more complete than last year’s 13-3 squad.

Philip Rivers — who threw four more touchdowns against Denver — is the constant. He had a legitimate MVP case last year, and that’s the case again.  The difference this season is the supporting cast.

The running game: Mike Tolbert ran for 111 yards Monday.  The Chargers don’t have “The Guy.”  They are still getting plenty of production from Tolbert, Darren Sproles, and Ryan Mathews.  Sproles caught a 57-yard touchdown.  Tolbert had 42 yards receiving.  They’ve improved from the league’s worst group last season to a workmanlike unit that can keep defenses honest.

The secondary: Quentin Jammer is playing at a Pro Bowl level, as is safety Eric Weddle.   They held Kyle Orton to 5.4 yards per attempt on 38 passes Monday.  Statistically, the Chargers were below average last season.  They entered this week second in yards-per-attempt allowed.

The pass rush: The group had 26 sacks all of last year.  Shaun Phillips recorded three of the team’s five sacks on Monday night.  The Chargers already have 32 for the season.

The Chargers head to Indianapolis next Sunday night, then host the Raiders and Chiefs in succession.  The next three games will define San Diego’s season.

With Antonio Gates and Vincent Jackson on their way back to add more offensive weapons, there are plenty of reasons to think the Chargers will close strong.

Just like usual.

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19 Responses to “Chargers in position to make another late season run”
  1. polegojim says: Nov 22, 2010 11:54 PM

    So San Diego is dangerous after defeating a Bronco team couldn’t beat Northwestern?

    They’ll make a run with a few pseudo impressive outings against unimpressive teams…and flop before they qualify for post season play.

    Thats Charger football.

  2. paulnoga says: Nov 23, 2010 12:29 AM

    polegojim, you are all wet. Nothing like blasting another team. you must be a Patriots fan.

  3. sirsprague says: Nov 23, 2010 12:41 AM

    “The 5-5 Chargers can’t survive any more special teams meltdowns…”

    Then either Nate Kaeding needs to start acting like an NFL kicker, or the Chargers need to find one. Because he’s been terrible since last year’s playoff game against the Jets.

  4. help me says: Nov 23, 2010 1:01 AM

    @polegojim:

    No, they are not dangerous all of the sudden.

    They have had the number one offense and defense almost all season.

    They have lost games because of ST and turnovers.
    When they don’t make those mistakes they have been very good.

    Add the fact that SD is 23-5 in November and December the last 4 years and yes, they are even more dangerous.

  5. laxer37 says: Nov 23, 2010 1:07 AM

    Chargers look impressive against the doormats of the league.

    I’ll start paying attention when they’re able to get a meaningful win on the road in the playoffs against New England, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, or New York.

    Nothing in their recent past indicates they’re capable of a playoff run.

  6. ulose says: Nov 23, 2010 1:08 AM

    who are you, the crystal ball gypsy of the nfl? if you wanted to say anything at all, it’d be flopping in post season play, not before as they have made the post season 5 out of last 6 years. But yeah, being a contender every year must really suck…

  7. mataug says: Nov 23, 2010 1:23 AM

    all 5 of their losses have been within 1 possession… that’s the problem with good teams like SD & Indy(3 of 4 losses by 3 pts or less)… their QBs always keep them in the game

  8. gambleonsports says: Nov 23, 2010 1:47 AM

    ” polegojim says: Nov 22, 2010 11:54 PM

    So San Diego is dangerous after defeating a Bronco team couldn’t beat Northwestern?

    They’ll make a run with a few pseudo impressive outings against unimpressive teams…and flop before they qualify for post season play.

    Thats Charger football. ”

    Except for the fact that the Chargers have won the AFC West for 4 years straight…?

    And Denver isn’t as bad as you say. They smashed on KC last week, and KC is leading the AFC West currently.

    So to summarize, basically nothing that you said is accurate.

  9. lance19 says: Nov 23, 2010 3:55 AM

    You’re quite a student of the game, polegojim.

    Check and see how many December games
    Rivers has lost in his entire career.

  10. joetoronto says: Nov 23, 2010 6:11 AM

    “The next three games will define San Diego’s season.”

    The next three games will define everybody’s season.

  11. Keyser Söze says: Nov 23, 2010 6:16 AM

    Chargers are legit. They will make it to the post season……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..and lose in the first round. (0_o)

  12. bwisnasky says: Nov 23, 2010 6:52 AM

    As long as the Raiders hold serve in the division, they will win the divison, based on their division record. The game in 2 weeks against the Chargers will decide the AFC West title….

  13. natelan says: Nov 23, 2010 7:14 AM

    Doesn’t take a scientist or a mathematician to see that my Chargers are going to win the division and then lose in the divisionals.

  14. fellorio says: Nov 23, 2010 8:20 AM

    So we can all agree that the Chargers have a chance of overtaking the Chiefs and winning the AFC West.

    But does anyone in their right mind think they will get past either the Jets or Pats or Ravens in the playoffs?

  15. jjackwagon says: Nov 23, 2010 8:43 AM

    Remaining schedule certainly stacks up favorably for the Chargers. If they beat Indy next week they could go undefeated the rest of the way but that is a big IF.
    Wouldn’t it be great if they roll into the Denver game needing a win to lock up the division and then get rolled up in Mile High, to lose the AFC West title.
    You know it could very well happen.

  16. ontboltfan says: Nov 23, 2010 9:07 AM

    They would have been much better with the starting LT and WR, and wout the inj on the OL, WR, S, LB, TE and RB, probably 7-3.

    The losses in the playoffs are still greatly exaggerated. Rivers played with a torn ACL in one w Gates and LT out. Last year was sloppy but they would have won if Cromartie had decided to make a tackle.

  17. icanspeel says: Nov 23, 2010 9:19 AM

    To those hating on the Chargers beating the weak Broncos.. Don’t forget the Broncos came off whooping Kansas City’s butt in a game the previous week. And guess who the Chargers have to go through for 1st?

  18. richm2256 says: Nov 23, 2010 10:39 AM

    help me says:

    They have had the number one offense and defense almost all season.

    Add the fact that SD is 23-5 in November and December the last 4 years and yes, they are even more dangerous.
    ————————————————
    Yeah, the Chargers have won what, 4 straight division titles, they’ve made some impressive late-season runs…….

    … and they have how many Super Bowl appearances to show for it?????

    They’re 5 and 5. I don’t care what they’re offense and defense is rated at, they’re 5 and 5.

    Will somebody wake me when San Diego finally WINS something other than a division title?

  19. bdrunk says: Nov 23, 2010 11:21 AM

    richm2256 says:
    Nov 23, 2010 10:39 AM

    “Yeah, the Chargers have won what, 4 straight division titles, they’ve made some impressive late-season runs…….

    … and they have how many Super Bowl appearances to show for it?????

    They’re 5 and 5. I don’t care what they’re offense and defense is rated at, they’re 5 and 5.

    Will somebody wake me when San Diego finally WINS something other than a division title?”
    ———————-
    The current conversation (and thread title, I might add) is about MAKING the playoffs.

    But don’t let that stand in your way of shi**ing on anything that doesn’t involve a loving toungebath of Brady’s junk.

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