first_img– The Cards will play man cover and close the MOF and play man free and robber, bringing the lurker or robber down into the middle of the field looking for crossing routes, which the Chargers do a lot of. They may also play a lot of three deep zones, strong and weak, which will allow them to jam up the box with an 8th defender. Which brings us to point number 2.2) Make Philip Rivers one dimensional – Don’t let the Chargers run the ball. We all know the Cards have lost three key cogs to their front 7 from a year ago and the Chargers are going to test the underbelly of this defense. Even though Ken Whisenhunt is no longer the OC in San Diego, his understudy, Frank Reich, will not deviate from the plan Whiz left. – The Cards are going to load up the box and not let the Chargers run the ball. Only 5 other teams tried to run the ball more per game than the San Diego Chargers! Yet they were #21 in average yards per attempt. It wasn’t like they were a great rushing team…but this speaks to the dogma Ken Whisenhunt and Mike McCoy had in 2013. They know Philip Rivers is at his best in a balanced offense. So they ran the ball over and over and over again, trying to do all they could to keep Rivers in a balanced play set. They will run into the pile as long as the game is close just to keep Rivers play action alive. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Comments   Share   The NFL season is a year-to-year proposition. What happened the year before is almost meaningless, especially when you consider what happened in the Week 1. But since preseason is even more meaningless than last year we must project what a team did in 2013 to September games. This is very unreliable but it’s the best metric we have. Having said all of this, here are my notes on the Chargers-Cards game for Monday Night: CARDS:Offensive Gameplan Notes:1) They need to run the ball and control the LOS– The Chargers were tied for 29th in the league in average yards/carry allowed. They allowed 4.6 yards per carry on the ground. Provided the defense keeps Philip Rivers and company in check, I think you’ll see the Cards hammer the interior of the Chargers front 7. – I think the Cards need to give the Chargers a steady diet of the tackle zone with Andre Ellington running the ball and use the awesome play-action that comes off it.2) They need to use play action and take shots down the field to the likes of Michael Floyd, John Brown and Ted Ginn Jr. – The Chargers gave up big plays off play action last season. Only 6 teams in the league gave up more Big Plays (20+) than the Chargers. – The only reason why teams didn’t run the ball more against the Chargers was because they were too busy throwing the ball all over the field against them. San Diego was #29 against the pass in passing yards /game allowed. They allowed an opponent QBRating of 96.4. That was good for #28 in the league. 3) The Cards have got to play great in the Red Zone – They are playing at home. The energy will be high and the noise low. They need to beat San Diego’s defense where they live — in the red zone. Top Stories – They have excellent backs and Ryan Mathews is a full-grown man. Danny Woodhead competes to the ground and Donald Brown may be the best third-string RB in the league! The Chargers have a very solid OL.3) Do NOT go after Philip Rivers with 6 or more blitzers on a regular basis: he will make you pay. 162 times teams brought six or more against Rivers and the numbers speak for themselves: he completed 104 passes against the blitz (64%) for 1,300 yards and had a 6-1 TD to interception rate against the blitz! That gave him a QBR of 108.6. Philip Rivers vs. the Blitz – 2013 – They need to run the ball well inside the 20. The best red zone teams that don’t have Brady, Manning or Brees are the teams that know how to run the ball in the red zone and punch it in. Many teams go with a version of cover 2 in the red zone which makes it very difficult to throw the ball in limited windows. But you can run it with those 2 safeties high. And the Cards offense needs to do just this.– San Diego’s defense was not good in terms of stopping the run or stopping the pass but they did excel in the red zone. They were #11 in points allowed per game, giving up 21.8 points per game. So although they had trouble stopping teams from moving the ball out on the field, they played well enough in the red zone and forced field goals as opposed to giving up a ton of touchdowns. CARDS:Defensive Gameplan Notes:1) I’m going to make the Chargers earn everything they get – No big plays. The Chargers had 66 big plays in their passing game and were in the top 10 in the league in that category. Only four other teams in the league threw for more touchdowns than Philip Rivers and the Chargers. This is an explosive team and they use a balanced attack to move the ball and score, taking shots down field. CompAttComp %YardsYPATDINTE Rate Although Todd Bowles likes to roll the dice and generate pressure with numbers, he will have to be very selective where, when and how he comes after Rivers. Hold on to your butts… 10416264.3%1,3008.03122108.6 Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img

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