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San Diego Chargers V. Jacksonville Jaguars Preview: 5 Keys to Victory

December 3rd, 2011 at 11:58 PM
By Michael Hall

The Jacksonville Jaguars will be facing the San Diego Chargers in Everbank Field on Monday Night. Time to get this thing started.

5. Unleash the Beast

Maurice Jones-Drew needs at least 25-30 touches against the Chargers. Sure, one of the storylines will be that he needs 95 rushing yards to take a hold of the rushing title, but for now, he needs enough chances to do some damage. 

4. Halt the Chargers Rushing Attack

How do the Chargers usually deal out damage?  They ran the ball down the opponents throats (This was especially prevalent in LT's glory days) and then Phillip Rivers would go for the thrioat with a play-action pass that would usually end with a deep shot to Vincent Jackson or Antonio Gates.As you may figure, it doesn't usually end well for the opponent. So stopping Mike Tolbert and Ryan Matthews is a way top keep this agme from getting out of hand.

3. Jam Antonio Gates

Playing a physical game against Antonio Gates has two benefits for the Jaguars defense. It not only disrupts Gates' timing with Rivers, it gives the defensive linemen an extra half second to get to Rivers and disrupt the pass play. This should be facilitated by the many injuries on the Chargers offensive line. That brings me to my next point…  

2. Pressure Phillip Rivers

I'm just going to put this out there. If the Jaguars dewfense doesn't get at least 3 sacks against the chargers, Joe Cullen should make the linemen pay for it. Perhaps thetre should be some extra wind sprints or some extra stair work, because failure would be unacceptable. The Chargers are decimated by injury, you're playing on your home turf with 50,000+ rocking fans, and you're in the national spotlight. If there was a time to live up to the moniker of "Rushmen", this would be the time. 

1. Utilize the Play-Action

Oh yeah, it's that time. It's time for Blaine Gabbert to break loose and have a big game. I may be overly optimistic about the coachng changes  or I might still be euphoric after finally getting my Trans-Siberian Orchestra tickets, but I just have a good feeling about this. The Chargers are 24th in pass defense  and they have had serious issues with their pass rush. That is very good news for Gabbert  since he has been plagued by the play of Guy "Whiffer" at right tackle.  However, the biggest reason that Gabbert will have success isn't because exactly because of those two things. It will be because of  the San Diego defense overreacting to Maurice Jones-Drew. so if Gabbert fakes to Drew and draws in the back seven, that could leave Cecil Shorts wide open on the way to the endzone. Maybe this will be Cecil Shorts' breakout game that I predicted.

Tags: Antonio Gates, Cecil Shorts, Everbank Field, Football, Jacksonville, Jacksonville Jaguars, Jaguars, Joe Cullen, Maurice-Jones Drew, NFL, Phillip Rivers, San Diego Chargers, Vincent Jackson

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