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Can Strong Performances Translate to a Win?
Football is such an emotional game that often times it’s hard to focus on the positives in a loss.
Still, as head coach Norv Turner pointed out in his weekly Monday press conference, there were a number of encouraging signs and strong performances from the team.
Now, the question begs asking: Can the Chargers translate the positives into a win in Denver next Sunday?
According to Turner, the answer is yes. It won’t be easy facing a Broncos team that is on a roll, but the head coach realizes the magnitude of the game and how the team needs to prepare.
“This is a really big game against an outstanding football team,” he said. “They’ve added a kick and punt returner who’s had a big impact. Defensively, they’re playing as well as anyone in the league right now. They’re able to pressure the quarterback as well as anybody. Offensively, they’re as balanced as you can be and they’re capable of making big plays in the passing game.”
As they build their game plan for Sunday, the Chargers will first look back at what worked well vs. Tampa Bay and who had strong games.
Danario Alexander is one who put together an outstanding performance, catching five passes for a career-high 134 yards. He started the day off with a career-long 80-yard touchdown catch-and-run on the team’s third play from scrimmage.
“Danario Alexander has given us a big lift,” said Turner. “We have not made the big plays that we have in the past. Yesterday we made big plays in the first half that resulted in points…(Danario) really showed it to us when he got here and there’s a process that you have to go through. Number one, you want to get a guy where he’s getting in shape. He came in here and he hadn’t played in a while and needed to get a little more to get healthy. He had a sore hamstring. He had to learn the system and the offense because he’d been in a system similar. Then you give him the opportunity to play.”
In addition to Alexander, Turner highlighted eight other individuals he felt stood out on Sunday.
“There are some guys that had great effort,” he said. “Mike Scifres came back after getting laid out. His ankle got bent back pretty good, but he came back to punt. Nick Novak had an outstanding game. Donald Butler continues to play at a high level. Corey Liuget is playing awfully well. Marcus Gilchrist probably had his best game playing in the slot. He did a good job with our third down stuff. The Buccaneers were three of nine on the third down. Offensively, Nick Hardwick continues to play at a high level and manages the things up front. Malcom [Floyd] played well and [Antonio] Gates obviously had an impact on the game.”
Another player Turner spent a good amount of time talking about was Philip Rivers. While he admitted the quarterback made a poor throw that ultimately played a large role in the defeat, he made sure to emphasize just how zoned in Rivers’ has been of late and commended his commitment and work ethic.
“The thing about Philip is that no one works harder at it and there’s no one who cares more about it,” Turner said. ”He wouldn’t be out there completing 82 percent of his passes over the last two weeks if he wasn’t spending a lot of his time with his preparation and helping the other guys prepare. He’s obviously trying as hard as he can to go win.”
It will be a tough task to get the win in hostile territory against a division rival. The good thing, however, is that the Chargers do have some positives in place to build on as they prepare their game plan for the Broncos. Read