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Time of Possession Huge Factor in Bolts Victory

Posted Oct 14, 2013

The Chargers' offense dominated time of possession, ultimately leading to their win over the Colts.

There were a ton of stats the San Diego Chargers could hang their hat on and be proud about following Monday night’s big 19-9 primetime win over the Indianapolis Colts.

The team ran for a season-high 147 yards, their highest total since a 148-yard effort against Tennessee in Week 2 of last year.

Ryan Mathews ran for 102 yards, his first time surpassing the 100-yard plateau since December 11, 2011 when he had 114 against Buffalo.

Nick Novak tied a season high with four field goals, the most notable being the game-clinching 50-yarder with 1:55 remaining in the fourth quarter.  He is now 6-of-6 from beyond 40-yards this year after setting a team record in that department two years ago.

Then there’s Keenan Allen becoming just the second Chargers rookie with back-to-back 100-yard receiving games since Don Norton in 1960.

Still, the one most of the players were buzzing on both sides of the ball, and rightfully so, was the way the Chargers offense dominated time of possession.   San Diego controlled the clock for 38:31 while the Colts had it for just 21:29.  Long sustained drives ending in points combined with keeping Andrew Luck off the field and giving the defense a rest was a key in coming out victorious.

“When you have time of possession the way it was- 38 minutes in the game – and not turning the football over, that was another big emphasis for our football team,” said Head Coach Mike McCoy.  “It was an outstanding performance for our football team.”

The Bolts were able to dominate time of possession with key third down conversions, going 7-of-14 in that department.  Four of the times they were unable to convert, they were in field goal range, ensuring points were put on the board.

“We’re getting better,” said D.J. Fluker.  “We take pride in going out there, running the ball, converting when we had to and getting points on the board.  We executed out there.  When we execute like we can, we have the talent where we can be unstoppable.  It felt that way at times tonight.”

In addition to the raucous fans at the stadium and the coaches on the sideline, perhaps no one was happier with the way the Chargers were in control of the clock than the Chargers defense.  When asked about their stellar performance, most brought up how the offense put them in position to succeed with the long drives they put together.  There were certainly a number of them, including four consecutive drives of 12, 17, 11 and 15 plays.  Time of possession on those drives respectively was 6:14, 7:58, 5:55 and a whopping 9:13.

“We played well when we were on the field, but there is no better defense than when we are on the sideline drinking Gatorade because our offense is out there,” said Shareece Wright. “The coaches are able to talk to us longer and make adjustments, and it also ends up giving the other team a longer field to work with. It helps a lot.  It’s easy to play defense from the sideline.”

Eric Weddle was also quick to point out the impact of those long drives and the time of possession had on the defense.

“It was huge,” he said.  “It gives us rest.  It keeps us on the sideline.  The best defense is a great offense, so controlling the ball and getting points gives us the confidence that makes us feel we can go out there and win the game.  We’re not so tired.  It was definitely complementary football tonight, and that’s what you need to win games.”

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