Chargers' goal: To stop Parker
By Mike Prisuta
Sunday, October 8, 2006
The Steelers will take on the Chargers tonight in San Diego determined to stop the run first and foremost on defense.
The Chargers will take on the Steelers hoping to accomplish the same.
"That's always our key going into every single game, control the running game," Chargers defensive end Luis Castillo said. "You look what we've been able to do the last few years in terms of being No. 1 in the run defense category, that's always our goal.
"We feel, if we do that, we can control a game and go on and get pressure on teams if we can force them to throw."
The Chargers play host to the Steelers ranked No. 1 in the NFL in total defense and No. 2 against the run.
Last season, the San Diego defense was No. 13 overall and No. 1 against the run.
Last Sunday, the Chargers looked every bit like a defense determined not to be run upon in holding Baltimore's Jamal Lewis to 34 yards on 15 attempts (a 2.3 average per carry).
San Diego managed to lose the game, anyway, by coughing up a six-play, 60-yard drive in 2:38 for the winning touchdown in a 16-13 defeat.
Ravens quarterback Steven McNair completed 4 of 5 passes on the march, mostly by escaping the pocket, and also scrambled for 12 yards.
"Great props to him, because he made some plays when they really needed it," Castillo said. "He got out, he scrambled a little bit, and he made some great throws. He found a way to win for his team."
The Chargers' goal tonight will be to put Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger in a similar position.
They'll be more than happy to shut down running back Willie Parker, who has two 100-yard games in three tries this season and is coming off a 133-yard effort against Cincinnati, and dare Roethlisberger to try to beat them with a late, game-salvaging drive.
"All you can ask for as a defense that prides itself on being a great defense is to have an opportunity at the end of the game to have it in your hands, to control the game with a lead and put the win away," Castillo said