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Sun., Jul. 19, 2015 7:30 AM PDT
Bolts Not Overthinking Third Matchup
It’s not often that teams square off three times in a season, but just about every player in the NFL would sign up for that as it guarantees that third matchup is a playoff game.
The only way for a team to face off three times is if it is a division opponent, and for the first time in their long and storied rivalry, the Bolts and Broncos will meet in the postseason when they kick off on Sunday. It should make for some dramatic theater as these two teams know each other’s identity and tendencies better than any other squad in the NFL.
“We know what they like to do,” said Keenan Allen. “We know the talents that they have and the schemes that they have. Hopefully we can just match our game plans like we did last week and come out and execute it.”
Still, that knowledge of the opposition goes both ways as Denver is equally as familiar with the Bolts..
“They know us just as well as we know them,” said Corey Liuget. “I think Denver is definitely going to come with everything they have. They are one of the best teams in the NFL and best teams overall, so we know we’ve got to screw our wigs on tight and go out and play.”
The match marks the first time Philip Rivers has faced a team for a third time in a single season. Known for his intense study habits and detailed preparation, the quarterback said a key for him is not to overdo it and outthink himself. Like the majority of his teammates, Rivers is focusing on it being business as usual.
“You have two games on tape,” he said. “You have 16 games in a season, two that you’ve played them. You can over think some things. They did this and this, so let’s do this and that, and we can get this. You can almost outthink yourself or out plan. As a quarterback, I can out think myself and you out think what they might do or did there, what they did on this situation or that. So I think it’s important just to plan like you always have, prepare like you always have, study the same, and be prepared for something new.”
Manti Te’o is a rookie in this league, but he too explained how there are plusses and minuses about a third meeting with Denver.
“There are advantages and disadvantages,” he said. “You think you know the team, but they could come out and run something totally different. You really don’t know. You’ve just got to approach it as if you’re playing them for the first time. Look at the things you did right the last time you played them and try to continue on those things and look at the things you did wrong and try to correct them. And when it comes on Sunday, just reading your keys and running and flying around.”
While they are as familiar with the Broncos as any other team in the NFL, when it comes down to it, the Chargers say it is about themselves and what they are capable of doing as a team. Head Coach Mike McCoy likes the momentum the Bolts have built over the last couple weeks, and he hopes it carries over this Sunday.
"You start winning a couple of games and you get some confidence,” he said. “We have been playing all or nothing for the last month. We understand what is at stake. We have been playing that way for over a month now and the players have worked extremely hard to get where they are. Coaches have put together good game plans and they have (gone) out, executed and good things (have) happened."