SAN DIEGO – The Chargers defense forced Tom Brady into 13 incompletions and limited the Pro Bowl quarterback to 159 passing yards on Oct. 24 in a 23-20 loss to New England.
The Patriots completed just 3-of-12 third downs last year in part because the Bolts were able to disrupt Brady in the pocket, sacking him four times.
They’ll need to repeat that performance Sunday in Foxborough to compete with a team that finished 14-2 last season and won its opener, 28-24, on Monday.
“I’d say there’s a 100 percent emphasis on trying to get to the quarterback just because the guy we’re going against and what he’s been doing his whole career,” said
Fourteen different quarterbacks threw for more than 300 yards Week 1, including a few games where both teams’ starters topped the mark. The best way to counter a good passer, Head Coach Norv Turner said, is to find a way to get in the backfield before plays can develop.
“The teams that have played the best against New England – I look at Detroit in the preseason and I look at the Jets and Baltimore from the last couple of years – they’ve been able to pressure the quarterback and disrupt (Brady),” Turner said. “Minnesota was 1-of-5 on third down (in the second half). (New England) is leading the league in third-down conversions. It’s one game, but you can see why. They’ve got a lot of options to go to.”
“We have to go out there and perform (every week) and get after quarterbacks and cause havoc up front,” Liuget said.
He and Martin have a combined one NFL start.
“We both are young so we both are communicating more,” Liuget said. “We have to make sure we’re both on the same page when we’re running stunts or we’re (getting aligned) or whatever it is. It’s very important that we communicate right now.”
ORIGINAL CHARGER DIES: Sam DeLuca, a member of the original Chargers team in 1960, died Tuesday.
DeLuca played guard for the Los Angeles/San Diego Chargers in 1960, ’61 and ’63. He spent a long career in sports broadcasting as well as the radio color commentator for the New York Jets and later for NBC Sports.An honorable mention All-American at South Carolina, DeLuca played in 81 NFL games and was a second-team All-AFL selection with the Jets in ’66.