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Old 09-29-2009, 07:11 AM   #1
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Default Chargers must get physical in Pittsburgh

JAY PARIS COMMENTARY: Chargers must get physical in Pittsburgh

http://www.nctimes.com/sports/column...54512cfca.html

JAY PARIS - jparis@nctimes.com | Posted: Monday, September 28, 2009 11:20 pm

SAN DIEGO ---- The trap is set, and the Chargers don't care. To them, it's time to complete some unfinished business.

The Chargers have put Sunday's victory over the Miami Dolphins in the Chargers Park aquarium, setting their sights on different bodies of waters: the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio.

It's on the Three Rivers banks where the big, bad and nasty Steelers dock. Come Sunday, the defending Super Bowl champions will welcome the Chargers, a team that was a mere speed bump on Pittsburgh's road to the NFL's ultimate prize.

The Steelers whipped the Chargers twice last season, and the boys in blue absorbed the welts to prove it. When tangling with the Steelers, it's imperative to be, and get, pumped up.

The meek shall not apply. Teams relying on finesse ---- a tag that the Chargers can't shake ---- are usually disposed of and wiped clean by the 53-player equivalent of a Terrible Towel.

But Sunday also presents a snappy opportunity. Defeat the Steelers, and suddenly the Chargers' label of being flour-tortilla soft gets cooked.

"If you want to make a name for yourself, it's almost like you go after the giant,'' outside linebacker Shawne Merriman said Monday. "If you want to get the respect of people, you go after the best.''

Whether Merriman (groin) and running back LaDainian Tomlinson (ankle) can play will be determined as the week progresses. But something already front and center is the challenge awaiting the Chargers.

How big is that mountain of coal they need to climb? The early betting line installed the Chargers as a 6 1/2-point underdog.

Hear their bark, and it's clear that they won't slide into the Steel City with their collective tail between their legs. But can a team that hasn't proven it can run the ball (ranked No. 31 in the league) or stop the run (ranked No. 26) match muscles with the Steelers?

"Obviously, coming out of the Baltimore game, we weren't very good and we understand that,'' safety Eric Weddle said, referring to the Chargers' 31-26 loss to the Ravens in Week 2. "And we took it upon ourselves, from the coaches down to the players, that we wanted to be more physical and play to our capabilities.''

Be careful what you wish for.

Not only will the Steelers (1-2) be rolling up their sleeves to reveal their guns, but they'll be spitting bullets. The Bengals did the Chargers no favors by knocking off the Steelers on Sunday.

"We know how tough a team they are and coming off a loss like they did against Cincinnati, they are going to be revved up,'' said Weddle, who played a key role in the Chargers' January playoff loss in Pittsburgh when a punt ricocheted off him during a wacky third quarter.

"Obviously, they don't want to go 1-3 and we don't want to go 2-2. So it's going to be both teams fighting and giving everything they got to try and get this victory.''

The Chargers are fresh from their second triumph, but red flags are still flapping.

With Tomlinson sidelined by a sprained ankle and two starting linemen missing, the running game is the Chargers' Achilles' heel.

With tackle Jamal Williams out for the season, the run defense has been shot full of more holes than a "No Trespassing" sign in the back country.

With the returning Merriman still finding his feet, the Chargers haven't gotten to the cleats of many quarterbacks, with only three sacks.

Sad sack San Diego? Not by a long shot, but they do have to play better if they hope to clock Big Ben's squad.

"He is such a good player,'' Turner said of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who has two Super Bowl rings. "He's capable of standing in the pocket, and they have a very, very well-designed pass offense so he has the ability to get the ball out from the pocket.''

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers declared himself fit Monday. He took some teeth-rattling shots to his ribs Sunday, but said no X-rays were taken and none were needed.

"I'm fine,'' he said. "I'm in good shape.''

Same goes for the Chargers' passing game, rated second in the NFL. But if they are to win in Pittsburgh during the regular season for the first time since, well, ever, the Chargers must present a physical presence.

"It's going to be a challenge,'' Turner said. "It would be a challenge for anybody.''

The Chargers' task is to take a punch and deliver one back. To return every push and shove the Steelers can distribute.

And to show the gritty Pittsburghers ---- and the rest of the NFL ---- that San Diego's sunshine boys are more than 98-pound weaklings.
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:12 AM   #2
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Default Re: Chargers must get physical in Pittsburgh

Bring on the Dolts!

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Old 09-29-2009, 08:18 AM   #3
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Default Re: Chargers must get physical in Pittsburgh

Bring on the Chargers! We're gonna' crush Sproles (spelling?) as flat as a pancake.



Go Seelers!
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:06 AM   #4
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Default Re: Chargers must get physical in Pittsburgh

Well, I've seen the bolts' game vs. the fins. And I tell you right here that I was impressed by Philip Rivers' hand.
Our secondary will have to watch out mostly. Otherwise, we'll be OK.
Their secondary didn't seem to be "in liason" with deep passes so Ben's deep throws could be a very potential weapon.

If we lose this one.....nahhhh, I don't want to go there.
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:07 AM   #5
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Default Re: Chargers must get physical in Pittsburgh

Hello Everyone,

Have not been here in a while, I am one of the Honorable Chargers fans, it is going to be a great game on Sunday, heaven knows you guys are hungry and in a must win situation. Our situation is not as bad, we have the Steelers this week, then the bye week and then play all 3 of our divisional opponents. The Broncos have lucked into 3-0, the Chiefs look as bad as the Lions of last year, and JaMarcus Russell continues to not impress.

I made many good friends here last year and happily cheered the Steelers in the Super Bowl, I was so sad to see Troy get hurt, he is indeed one of the great players in the NFL.

Who would have thought that the Lions would have a better record than the Titans after 3 weeks.

Here is to a great game, in a beautiful stadium (wish we could get a new one) with great football fans.

Charles
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:30 AM   #6
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Default Re: Chargers must get physical in Pittsburgh

Glad to see 'ya MathWiz.

I'd wish you luck, but apparently our season hangs in the balance with this game. So here's to a great game with no injuries.

GO STEELERS!
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Old 09-29-2009, 01:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: Chargers must get physical in Pittsburgh

i think we can do this, lets just hope their lineman, merriman, and tomlinson all stay hurt, we need all the help we can get rite now, if we win, were rite back in it
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Old 09-29-2009, 03:59 PM   #8
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Default Re: Chargers must get physical in Pittsburgh

Chargers are really not very good at all...their offense is okay, but their defense is far worse off than when we last beat them.
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Old 09-29-2009, 04:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: Chargers must get physical in Pittsburgh

If Tomlinson stays hurt like last season playoff game, it will be just like last season game in term of difficulty. River has an excellent arm and can throw the ball and Im sure we will see more of that because of the success we had shutting down the little maggot sproles last season.

On the other side of the ball if Merriman is out will again be like last seasons. There not very strong in their secondary and their DL is alright, but I feel if we can score and finish our plays the Steelers should finally pull out a W.
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:25 PM   #10
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Default Re: Chargers must get physical in Pittsburgh

Lets hope playing back at home can get the Steelers back.
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