1. Slow Down LaDanian Tomlinson
I hate to sound like every other analyst, but its absolutely true. If LT gets going, we’re done for. Rookie T Marcus McNeill is doing a great job opening holes for LT, as the Chargers rush attack (don’t forget Michael Turner) is tearing apart defenses. Its going to be up to our front seven to slow down LaDanian, and if we do, its up to the secondary to stop the passing attack.
2. Don’t Let Antonio Gates Get Open Deep
With Rodney out, Phillip Rivers is going to be looking deep down the seam, to find Antonio Gates. Its important that our outside linebackers and safeties Artrell Hawkins and James Sanders cut off those seam routes.
3. Run, Run, Run the ball
With our banged up secondary, and LT in the game for the Chargers, its critical that we keep the San Diego offense off the field as much as possible. How do you do that? Run the football. Corey Dillon seems to be ripping off a long play almost every game, and is looking extremely powerful and more youthful than last year (hint no injuries by splitting carries). Laurence Maroney has gotten back in the groove lately, taking the majority of the reps last week against the Jets.
4. Tackles, You Better Block
I am so afraid, so afraid, to see Nick Kaczur try to block Shawne Merriman tommorow. If he can’t get the job done, Matt Cassel might be in the game by its end. This could be a make or break game for Kazcur. But the defensive ends are good pass rushers too. Matt Light needs to do a good job blocking Luis Castillo, or OLB Shawne Merriman if he gets the chance.
5. Pick Your Receivers Carefully, But Don’t Forget to Look For The Deep Ball
Last week, Tom Brady did a wonderful job of picking on Justin Miller. Hint, the big games from Jabar Gaffney and Reche Caldwell. But still, I think this game could use a little more excitement, maybe something the Chargers aren’t expecting, the deep ball. Ben Watson is expected to play, and could be a big threat down the seam. Chad Jackson has prolific speed, and although he has been mostly used in blocking situations, he has the ability to burn ANY cornerback or safety deep.
You show ’em Vrabel!
Feel free to post your own keys to victory in comments, or in the forum