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Defense Good, But Not Good Enough
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For the second straight week, the Chargers defense played well enough to win.
For the second straight week, it wasn’t enough.
The Bolts defense kept a high-powered Bengals offense to just 20 points, but it could have been much worse. With the offense unable to get good field position, the defense was put in tough positions for most of the game, yet except for the opening drive of the game, they responded with a strong effort that kept the team in the game until the final seconds.
“When we looked at the match-up and looked at the things I felt we had to do against the Bengals, I was very concerned about them getting big plays in the passing game,” said head coach Norv Turner. “Our defensive coaches I though put a good plan together and I thought our guys executed it. That team’s got a lot of weapons and they’ve been playing at a real high level.”
One of the key factors in the strong defensive effort was keeping A.J. Green, who entered the game with the most touchdown receptions in the NFL, off the board.
“I thought we did an outstanding job on Green, eliminating and keeping him from getting the big play,” said Turner. “I think the longest pass was 19 yards.”
In the locker room after the game, many on offense spoke glowingly about the job the defense did to give them a chance to win the match. Unfortunately they weren’t able to repay them in kind.
“They played hard and they gave us opportunities to win the game,” said Randy McMichael . “We just didn’t execute when we needed to execute. We didn’t make the plays when we needed to make the plays.”
Still, for the defense, good wasn’t good enough. Even though they had timely stops, forced three turnovers and had a defensive touchdown, the fact that they lost proves they still could have done more.
“It’s deeply frustrating,” said defensive captain Eric Weddle. “Defense played their tails off tonight. We gave ourselves a chance, made a bunch of big plays, but it wasn’t enough. Defensively, we fought. Defensively, we just have to do better.”
Corey Liuget agreed with what Weddle had to say, explaining that if in the end the team ends up in the losing column, than they haven’t done their job.
“It’s a game of football,” he said. “You have to go out and play no matter what and finish. You get 16 opportunities a year. You can’t cry about it. You play football and if you end up not winning, that isn’t good enough.” Read