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San Diego Chargers Game Release - Week 10 at Tampa Bay
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The San Diego Chargers will open the second half of the season fresh off a 10-day break between games when they travel to Tampa, Florida to face the Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 11 at 10:00 a.m. PST. CBS Sports will televise the game in Southern California with Kevin Harlan calling the play-by-play and former NFL defensive back Solomon Wilcots serving up the color commentary.
Besides a matchup of 4-4 teams, there will be a few other noteworthy storylines surrounding Sunday’s game. Chargers Head Coach Norv Turner will be on the opposite sideline as his brother, Ron, who now serves as Tampa Bay’s quarterback’s coach. And it will also be the first time the Chargers face Vincent Jackson, one of the Bolts’ leading wide receivers from 2005-11 who signed a five-year, $55 million free agent contract with the Buccaneers during the offseason.
The Chargers improved to 4-4 by beating the Kansas City Chiefs in convincing fashion, 31-13, in an NFL Network Thursday Night Football game at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego on Nov. 1. It ended a three-game losing streak for the Chargers and improved Turner’s record as the Chargers’ head coach to 33-12 after Nov. 1. Philip Rivers was the star of the night offensively as he set a franchise record and became only the sixth quarterback in NFL history to post a single-game completion percentage of 90 percent or higher (min. 20 att.). Rivers went 18 of 20 against the Chiefs with a pair of touchdown passes, one to Antonio Gates and the other to Malcom Floyd. San Diego’s defense also turned in a big performance as it forced four Kansas City turnovers, including two that resulted in touchdowns. Linebacker Jarret Johnson’s sack and forced fumble in the end zone resulted in one score as Shaun Phillips fell on the ball for the touchdown. On Kansas City’s next series, linebacker Demorrio Williams intercepted a Matt Cassel pass and returned it 59 yards for his first-ever NFL touchdown. All told, the Chargers scored 17 of their 31 points off Chiefs turnovers.
Tampa Bay, meanwhile, moved to 4-4 following a 42-32 win over Oakland Raiders on Sunday afternoon at Oakland’s O.co. Coliseum. Rookie running back Doug Martin rushed for a team-record 251 yards and four touchdowns for the Bucs as he scored on runs of one, 45, 67 and 70 yards. Jackson led Tampa Bay’s receiving corps with 84 yards and a touchdown on a pair of catches.
The Chargers and Buccaneers will meet for the first time since 2008 when they square off Sunday in Tampa. The Chargers lead the all-time series 8-1 and they are a perfect 4-0 in games played in the Sunshine State. The last time the two teams played, Rivers was nearly flawless as he completed 21 of 31 for 287 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Antonio Gates caught a pair of touchdown passes that day and cornerback Antoine Cason helped secure the victory with a 59-yard interception return for a touchdown in the game’s closing minutes. The Chargers’ win that afternoon was followed several hours later by a Denver upset loss at home to Buffalo that set up a battle for the AFC West title the following week in San Diego. The Chargers went on to beat Denver that following Sunday, 52-21, and became the first team in NFL history (since 1967) to win their division when trailing in the standings by three games with only three left to play. It also marked the Chargers’ third straight AFC West title and their fourth in five seasons.
In 2012, Rivers has thrown 12 touchdown passes, including a team-high three to Gates, and two to Floyd, the team’s leading receiver with 33 catches and 509 yards. Ryan Mathews leads the Chargers’ ground attack with 421 yards and a touchdown on 95 carries (4.4 avg.).
Defensively, the Chargers are among the NFL leaders in stopping the run and the Bolts have collected eight interceptions, including three that have been returned for touchdowns. They also scored on a sack/fumble and recovery in the end zone last Thursday against the Chiefs making it four defensive touchdowns for the season.
Tampa Bay’s offense is engineered by quarterback Josh Freeman, the Buccaneers’ first-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft from Kansas State. With 2,047 yards passing through the season’s first eight games, Freeman is on pace for a 4,000-yard season and he has a very respectable touchdown-to-interception ratio of 16-to-5 for the year. Coming off his big performance in Oakland, Martin has rushed for a team-leading 794 yards and seven touchdowns on 154 carries (5.2 avg.), while Jackson paces the Buccaneers’ receiving corps with 31 catches for 710 yards (22.9 avg.) and six scores. Fellow wide receiver Mike Williams has also been a solid contributor in the passing game with 29 catches for 504 yards (17.4 avg.) and five touchdowns.
Tampa Bay leads the NFL in run defense, surrendering just 77.3 yards per game, while it ranks 32nd in pass defense. The Buccaneers have 13 interceptions this season (third in the NFL), including three by five-time Pro Bowl cornerback Ronde Barber, who has a 78-yard touchdown return among his three picks.
Chargers special teams coach Rich Bisaccia coached special teams for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2002-10. Bissacia also coached running backs in Tampa Bay in 2008 and served as the assistant head coach from 2008-10. Linebackers coach Joe Barry held the same position for the Buccaneers from 2001-06 and again in 2009. Special teams assistant Byron Storer was a fullback for Tampa Bay from 2007-09 and later served as an assistant special teams coach from 2010-11. Offensive line coach Mike Sullivan played guard and center for the Buccaneers from 1992-95. Strong safety Corey Lynch played for the Buccaneers from 2009-11 and is from Ft. Meyers, Fla. Kyle Smith, son of Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith, spent time as a wide receiver and punt returner for the Buccaneers in 2007.
Chargers with hometown ties to Florida include outside linebacker Antwan Barnes, strong safety Atari Bigby and defensive end Corey Liuget, who are all from Miami, while guard Tyronne Green and tight end Ladarius Green hail from Pensacola. Wide receiver and kick returner Richard Goodman, who’s on “Reserve-Injured,” is from Ft. Lauderdale and outside linebacker Jarret Johnson is from Cedar Key.
Buccaneers quarterbacks coach Ron Turner is the brother of Chargers head coach Norv Turner. Wide receiver Vincent Jackson played for the Chargers from 2005-11, while wide receiver and kick returner Roscoe Parrish went to training camp with the Chargers this season. Cornerback Myron Lewis is the brother of former Chargers special teams Pro Bowler Hanik Milligan.
Other Buccaneers with ties to Southern California include linebacker Adam Hayward (Westminster), fullback/tight end Erik Lorig (Palos Verdes) and tackle Donald Penn (Playa del Rey).
For the complete release, click on the following link: http://chargersmedia.com/san-diego-chargers-game-release-week-10-at-ta