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Keys to the Game: Chargers vs. Broncos

Posted Nov 8, 2013

Here are five keys to the game heading into Sunday’s match between the San Diego Chargers and the Denver Broncos.

Here are five keys to the game heading into Sunday’s match between the San Diego Chargers and the Denver Broncos:

1.  Make Manning Miserable – As Defensive Coordinator John Pagano explained, the Broncos offense presents a “big time challenge” for the Bolts.  One way to limit their high octane offense is to rattle the quarterback.  It’s always imperative to get a pass rush to get the quarterback out of his comfort zone, and that is especially the case against the likes of Peyton Manning.  Here is what Pagano had to say about sustaining pressure on the passer:

“I think it is important every week to be able to put pressure on the quarterback. That’s always the goals we have tried to establish for ourselves. We have to hit the quarterback and get him off his spot. Some weeks this year it has been better for us and other weeks it hasn’t. We have to find a consistency of being able to do those types of things.”


2. “Touchdowns, Not Field Goals” – The goal is to get seven points each time you possess the ball, but, there are many times when getting three points is important as well.  However, for the Chargers, they say it is important to get touchdowns, not field goals when they move the ball into the red zone.  Keenan Allen said the team needs to do a better job converting with the ball close to the goal line, especially against a team like the Denver Broncos:

“We definitely have to score points against these guys.  Field goals I don’t think win the game.  They have a good offense.  We’re going to have to put up points and do a better job of getting into the end zone when we’re in those situations.”


3. “It Starts This Sunday”  – Many outside the team want to talk about last week’s loss to the Redskins, but the Chargers have moved on and are fully concentrated on the Broncos.  While it was a tough loss for the team to swallow, it’s in the past and they are  mentally prepared to  bounce back and look at this Sunday’s game against the Broncos as the first of five division games they have yet to play.  Philip Rivers described the mindset of the team heading into Sunday:

“I think the quicker you can put one behind you, this is probably the toughest one you can put behind you that we’ve had in a long time, but you put it behind you and you go. You go forward. There’s nothing we can do to change last week, but there is something we can do about this week. We’ve got a tough group of guys, mentally tough group of guys, and like we’ve always said, we signed up for all of them. Yes, it would be nice here to have one more win than we have, or a couple more wins than we have, but we don’t. But we still have a shot to play five of six division games, and five of eight at home. And it starts this Sunday with Denver.”


4. Make it an Unhappy Holliday – The Broncos feature one of the most dynamic returners in the game in Trindon Holliday.  The diminutive 5-foot-5 speedster is a threat to take it to the house each time he fields a kickoff or punt.  If he doesn’t get in the end zone, many times he gives Manning a short field to work with.  Head Coach Mike McCoy acknowledged how dangerous Holliday can be, explaining that the Bolts can’t allow him to rip off his patented long returns:

“He’s very explosive. Anytime he touches the ball he can take it to the house. So I think it’s important for everybody in special teams this week to have a little bit more in them because if you let him expose you, it’s going the other way and he’ll be in the end zone in a hurry. Everyone’s got to run to the ball and be disciplined. Coverage lanes are on. Everyone’s got to be able to wrap him up and don’t let him get out there.”


5. Feed off Home Field Advantage– It’s been nearly a month since the Chargers played at home in Qualcomm Stadium.  The last time they took the field they had a rousing win over the Indianapolis Colts.  Rivers remembers the impact Chargers fans had on the game, and he’s hopeful they can have the same impact against the Broncos:

“It is nice to come back home. We know last time we were at home it was a big win against the Colts and it was a great home atmosphere, so we’ll need just that against Denver this week to really give us that home field advantage.”

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