View Full Version : The biggest game-planning questions

tony hipchest
01-11-2007, 04:26 PM

must read, especially if your putting money on the games. i find this particularly interresting cause it uses the steelers for an example:

How do the Patriots contain LaDainian Tomlinson ?

I was surprised to see that Tomlinson has 38 games since 2002 with less then 100 yards rushing. The team's record in those 38 games is 15-23. In the Chargers' two losses this season (Kansas City and Baltimore), L.T. did not have 100 yards on the ground. There's no doubt in my mind the Patriots will study the teams that use a 3-4 defense and have played San Diego over the past two years. In the last two Steelers games against San Diego, the Ravens game from earlier this season, and the Cowboys game from last year, Tomlinson ran a total of 75 times for 268 yards at 3.5 yards per carry.

The secret to those 3-4 defenses against Tomlinson may be to never penetrate the front seven, which the two-gap defenses do very well and contain the run with corners in Cover Two. Train your players to work down the line of scrimmage, preventing the cutback lanes that come with an over-aggressive approach, and tackle the great back for a 2-yard gain. As one coach who faced Tomlinson numerous times said, "You can't stop him as a runner, but if you're patient and extremely disciplined, holding him under 100 is possible." He also added that Bill Belichick, with his big defensive line and savvy veteran linebackers, has just the kind of team to do it right. Dealing with the effective blocking of fullback Lorenzo Neal is critical, and matching up against tight end Antonio Gates still has to be solved, but I am expecting the front seven from New England to be very patient against the great MVP.
stats like these help debunk the myth that willie does poor against good defenses UNLIKE LT and LJ. last week showed that even the poorest run defense can shut down one of the best backs in the game IF that is what the gameplan is designed to do.

the pats will play to shut down LT and force p. rivers to beat them, just like teams such as the ravens, chargers, and jaguars, played to shut down willie and take their chances with ben. for the chargers to win rivers will have to have a mistake free game and gates will have to come up big. with r. harrison out, that is entirely possible.

Black@Gold Forever32
01-12-2007, 09:37 PM
If the Chargers think they are going to just run the ball on the Pats with LT I think that would be a serious mistake. So I think Philip Rivers is the key but important to Rivers success is also Antonio Gates. A TE like Gates that can control the middle of the field is important in the play-offs. One thing to consider also true LT might struggle at first on the ground but he can be used as weapon out of the backfield as a reciever. Yes Rivers never starting a play-off game is a concern.

But he isn't a typical rookie QB making his first play-off start like Ben was in 2004. He is in his third year now and is an intelligent QB. I don't think he is going to bothered by the pressure. I have a feeling Rivers is going to be just fine in this game and the Chargers pull out the win. I see a tight/close game in the first half but the Chargers pull away in the second half by opening things up for LT by passing the ball early.