Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Can the Chargers Beat the Steelers?

Yes, but they'll have to change from their first three performances. Keys to victory:

  • Tackle: Suddenly the Chargers have become one of the worst tackling teams in the league. They look like the Colts' defense out there. Does the first guy always have to miss? Someone needs to make some stops in the backfield this week.

  • Get to Big Ben: In the playoffs last year, Ben had too much time. He could scoot around, tippy-toe left, then right, then toward the line of scrimmage, is he going to run? No! He completes a 25-yard pass on a crossing pattern. Merriman may be out again. Larry English and Shaun Phillips simply have to get to the quarterback this week or the Steelers will control the clock at home and win this one going away. The surprise blitzes up the middle last week from Burnett and Cooper were nice, but that won't work consistently against a better offensive line and QB.

  • Run the ball just a little: If the Chargers can gain 75 on the ground, Vince Lombardi may pop up and salute this as a major achievement. Michael Bennett should be in the game on 1st and 2nd down. The guy can play! Save Sproles for 3rd down or long yardage situations! If the little guy gets hurt San Diego is doomed! Getting rookie guard Louis Vasquez back might help in this one. The guy can get down field and hit people.

  • Keep going deep: Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd can and will test this defense. Palomalu is out and his back-up is injured too. This has to be a serious chink in the Steel Curtain. Expose it.

  • Sproles Magic: Darren Sproles needs to have at least one huge play(kick return, punt return, screen pass for 80) for San Diego to have a chance in this one.

Now, this is what San Diego has to do, but can they? If Shawne Merriman is out, it's doubtful, but this is why we play the game. The Steelers have been off balance lately as well. Super Bowl hangover? Any team that can lose to the Bengals can lose to San Diego.

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