Sep 9, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews (24) celebrates with quarterback Philip Rivers (17) after a touchdown during the first half against the Houston Texans at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

AFC Playoffs: Keys to Beating the San Diego Chargers


The NFL Playoffs are upon us. This weekend features four Wild Card games, two on Saturday and two on Sunday. With the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles already eliminated, we are officially down to 10 teams. It only takes three or four wins to be crowned champion.

 

The San Diego Chargers needed plenty of help to earn the sixth and final seed in the AFC Playoffs. They had to beat the Chiefs, and hope the Ravens and Dolphins lost their week 17 games. Well, that all happened, and the Chargers secured a Wild Card spot. They are capable of defeating any team, they proved that with victories over the Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, and Kansas City Chiefs (twice). They have also proven they can lose to any team, with losses against the Washington Redskins, Oakland Raiders, and Houston Texans.

The biggest thing the San Diego Chargers have going for them is their momentum. The Chargers enter the playoffs on a four-game winning streak and are one of the hottest teams in the post season. Philip Rivers has had yet another impressive regular season, and San Diego is hoping he can elevate his play and take them to the next level.

Ryan Mathews is having a great year, and Danny Woodhead has the perfect complimentary set of skills for a dangerous rushing duo. Teams that have beaten the Chargers have done so by limiting Ryan Mathews and forcing San Diego to air it out more than they want to. In six of their seven losses, Mathews was held to under 65 yards rushing. He is more valuable than people realize, and is a key contributor in this offense.

On defense, you need to be able to bend but don’t break, and keep the Chargers out of the endzone. If you get into a shootout with Philip Rivers, there is a good chance he wins. Giving up field goals is alright, but when San Diego starts scoring touchdown after touchdown, it is tough to compete. A timely turnover will go a long way against the Chargers in these playoffs.

Anyone who has watched the Chargers throughout the regular season has seen them climb back into games when they were down. If you take the lead against this team, you must stay aggressive and pile on the points. They are capable of scoring very fast, and very often. There is no safe lead in the NFL, especially in the playoffs. The Colts just overcame a four touchdown deficit to send the Chiefs out of the tournament. How many points do you need? More.

(Keys to Beating the Cincinnati Bengals) (Keys to Beating the Indianapolis Colts) (Keys to Beating the Kansas City Chiefs) (Keys to Beating the New Orleans Saints) (Keys to Beating the Philadelphia Eagles)


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Tags: AFC Playoffs Danny Woodhead New England Patriots Philip Rivers Ryan Mathews