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Keys to the Game: Chargers vs. Bengals
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Here are five keys to the game heading into this week’s Wild Card playoff game between the San Diego Chargers and the Cincinnati Bengals:
“Turnovers are really what hurt us. We had opportunities to get in the red zone and to try and score points, but we had turnovers at critical times. When you are playing a good team like that, those are things you can’t do.”
“I think we have grown and matured a lot as a team. One thing about it is when you have a new staff and guys coming in and out from different places, you are adding guys to a team, then you have the core guys that have been here, it takes time to build that continuity. Fortunately we were able to overcome some bumps in the road early in the season to still be fortunate enough to play in the playoffs. Now, you see a sense of urgency. You can see the confidence and belief that we have. Not only did we have it all year, but you can kind of see how we believe and we know what guys can do and we trust in the calls that are being made from the offensive staff. We can just see that this is a different team in a different situation. Mostly that has to do with winning football games. When you win you build confidence. That’s what we have done over the past four weeks and hopefully we can do that in the post season.”
“We definitely know we have to gang tackle. They have two excellent running backs and we know, defensively, that can’t happen again. We just have to be sound with our tackling. If we have to do tackling drills or whatever it is that the coaches may have planned for us, we just have to do it and execute it and make sure we bring those guys to the ground.”
“We can’t give up those shot plays to number 18 (A.J. Green) and then we’ve got to be aware of Andrew Hawkins being in that situation with the big play he got. So the biggest adjustments for us defensively is, number one, making sure we don’t give up big plays.”
“Just be in position, honestly. Don’t look at this game, this situation, this opportunity for more than it is. You don’t want to over-psych yourself up or pressure yourself to try to make more plays than you’re already trying to do. Just stay within yourself. Stay within the defense. Do what your job entails and do it the best you can. The ball will find you if you’re consistently doing your job in-tune in the game and understanding what the opponent’s trying to do. Just don’t go out there and (be) all free-lance all of a sudden because we’re in the playoffs and everyone’s watching us now. Just stick to the game plan and if you’re in position, the ball will find you.” Read