After watching a few Chargers games. Here's my take on what Romeo needs to do to defeat Chargers on Sunday. Offensively we need to start by taking care of the football. Last 3 games Cassel has turned the ball over at least twice. A trend that needs to stop. Right now offensively we're ranked #1 in total yards and rushing, 16th in passing, and 17th in scoring. The scoring would be higher if Cassel wasn't continuing to turn the ball over which is destroying good drives. This is the kind of game Cassel needs to trust his checkdowns. If it isn't there don't force it. That is what led to his interception trying to force a throw to Breaston in double coverage when he had Charles open in the flat. He also missed Hillis on an underneath throw in the middle of the field. On the drive where Baldwin had to be 7ft 4 to catch that pass he threw to the back of the endzone in the 1st quarter. To add insult to injury Hillis was in the same sight line as Baldwin. Cassel just never even tried to seem him. Cassel needs to scan entire field and if it isn't there check the ball down.
This also another game I would start Charles if you play fantasy football. Chargers struggle in open field tackling. So this is a game Charles could have another good day running the football. Also Moeaki will be big in this game. Middle of that Chargers defense isn't that good. Both of their inside linebackers Spikes and Butler are slow and stiff. They don't possess good agility which bodes well for Moeaki or JC if their matched up with either guy in the middle of the field. Gonzalez consistently caught pass against those guys in man or zone coverage. I would use few screens like I said Chargers defense don't tackle well in open space so anytime you can get ball to Charles hands screen game or run we need take advantage. Also corners on the outside aren't covering well either. So its a game where any time Cassel sees Bowe or Baldwin matched up 1 on 1 on the outside he needs to take a shot.
Defensively this is a game I'm all for Romeo playing those soft zone coverages he did against Falcons and Bills. Turner likes for Rivers to always take some chances down the field. So throwing deep ball is going to be something Chargers are going try to do frequently throughout the game. The key is to make Rivers a dink and donk quarterback something he isn't most comfortable doing. Berry will be key because once again like he did in New Orleans he would be responsible for taking away the tight end position this time its Antonio Gates. Gates though he is older is still a threat. So having Berry take him away will also be huge key in this game. Rivers love to check it down to Gates when the deep throw isn't there.
Then that brings me to there run game. Matthews is a guy with speed and power. So we will need keep him from having a big day on the ground because Chargers really don't have enough talent on the outside the numbers. Based on what I seen out of our base I wouldn't be quick to jump to sub package when the Chargers lineup in 3 wide sets. Just because of how well we got pressure with our defensive line last game.The key here to me is a personnel change.
When we lineup in our base 3-4 I would start Powe at the nose tackle position.. No not our 1st rd pick this yr, but our 6th round pick last yr from Ole Miss Jerrell Powe. Last week against Saints he was inserted at nose tackle position late in the 3rd quarter, and his presence literally help elevate Dorsey and Jackson into very impressive run stoppers. The 2nd half of that game we only gave up 16 yards rushing. Powe did a masterful job controlling the line of scrimmage in the middle of the defense. So well that the 1st play of overtime for the Saints offense Dorsey almost got a safety. I mean I haven't seen Dorsey rush the passer like that since his LSU days. Those guys in the 2nd half and overtime of that Saints game made it really hard to run or pass because for 1st time since we switched to a 3-4 defense we actually started to get pressure from our defensive line in the base defense. Normally it always would come from Hali or Houston dating back to last yr, but now with emergence of Powe in the middle it really has open my eyes on just how valuable the nose tackle position is. I'm not saying Dontari Poe is a bust or anything but right now the other Powe is just more polished and sound in his technique. I still think Poe can be used in the sub defense inside next to Allen Bailey.
Basically, I like how the plan was going into the season before he was forced to start him in the base because of the injury to Toribio. This should be huge day for Hali, Houston, Bailey, etc they're going up against the worst oline in the division. Chargers have bunch inexperience guys along that line. Their left tackle Michael Harris is undrafted rookie free agent. So that oline is patch work should be a game we see both Hali and Houston go off. So that is my take enjoy the game on Sunday.