Will The Chargers Be Able To Control The Clock Again?

Jan 5, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) hands the ball of to running back Ryan Mathews (24) during second quarter of the AFC wild card playoff football game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Chargers have had some good success against the Denver Broncos this season. We split the season series against them and we could have swept it, but came up short in the first game. We have done well though because we have the formula to beat that team.

Part of the formula to beat the Broncos is keeping possession of the football on offense and milking that clock. The Chargers have won the time of possession game against the Broncos in both games this season, so there should not be a problem doing it again in the third meeting. We have been the best in the league and running that clock down on offense. Even our no-huddle offense milks the clock. It keeps the defense in base sets, but Philip still lets that clock run while at the line to read over the defense and then makes the call on what they want to do.

Ryan Mathews will be a big key for the Chargers to hog that football. He gets the ball in the early downs to set up short and manageable third down situations. Mathews rarely loses yards when he is given the football and that is a big reason for our success this year. His success on the early downs will be huge for the Chargers to keep the chains moving. His status is still up in the air, but I can’t see a way for him to sit on the sideline in the game unless he is missing a foot.

With Broncos LB Von Miller on the sideline and in street clothes, the Chargers will not have to worry about his threat on defense. He is their best defender and he causes problems against the run game and by putting pressure on the quarterback. Just that extra little time in the passing game could open up some big plays down the field to our receivers and tight ends.

Controlling the clock will be a big part of the formula for success and the Chargers should be able to do it again. Watching Peyton Manning sit on the sidelines helpless will be the best thing for us. He starts to get anxious on the sideline and tries to force the ball in situations that he really shouldn’t. That’s when the defense will need to make a play.

Will the Chargers control the clock again against Denver? YES.

Topics: San Diego Chargers

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  • arnie

    I’m going to keep it simple. What have the broncos done differently in the last two meetings to change what the Chargers will be able to do? In both regular season meetings the Chargers “OWNED” the time of possession. If they had scored TD’s at home, it is likely they could’ve swept denver. The Broncos D is still suspect, and they lost their top pass rusher. The Chargers D has turned into “PICK MAGNETS”.
    They know how to beat Peyton. And they believe they can do it again. Both offenses will score points. Only one team will score more because of their defense.

    • Guest

      It was 28-6 in the third quarter when Manning put the offense on autopilot and started working the clock. The 14 points SD scored at the end of that game were garbage TD’s. That game was never close.

      The second game SD played better, but Denver also didn’t show up and had their worst game of the year with drops and penalties and mistakes. I don’t expect them to do that again, and if you think they will, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment on Sunday.

      • arnie

        LOL Pay close attention
        ” IF THEY HAD SCORED TD’s at home, it is likely they could’ve swept denver.” I know how the outcome of the first game was, and the FACTS are the Chargers kicked 4 field goals, and still dominated in TIME OF POSSESSION.

        The second Game? The Chargers have been playing hurt all season with a rotation of 2nd 3rd stringers. Yet you still keep making excuses that injuries and a short week was the reason for the Chargers win. However, the Chargers had the SAME short week an injuries of their own. You say for the me not expect it again? Which time are you referring too? The first or second game the Chargers CONTROLLED THE CLOCK?
        Now i respect you opinion, and your entitled to it. But what is it based on? Because that’s all it is, just an opinion. I’m just pointing out the facts. The Chargers are still controlling the clock, and the defense has gotten healthier. The Chargers held “Manning” to a season low of 48 points combined, in the regular season. the chiefs held him to 62. In what world, can you offer up anything other than your “feelings”, that the outcome will be different?

  • Cgoodness13

    Deal with our O is that it forces opposing Os to play from behind in a short amount of time and call for high risk plays which leads to turnovers

  • Daryl Peek

    RM24′s health is a HUGE concern. The Pagano brothers seem to have Peyton’s number but we should not be too over confident. Welker being back is another offensive weapon at Manning’s disposal our secondary has to defend. Cincy and KC both ran the ball very well against us.

    On thing we need to pay close attention to is red zone failure. The last two weeks it’s rearing its ugly head again. FG’s are not gonna beat Manning. I really like our chances especially given Miller is out but RM24′s health coupled with the need to execute in the red zone are keys to the victory.

    • Derek

      Don’t for get treveathan’s versatility, he’s pretty good in coverage and can blitz too. Rivers best bet is to work the safety’s if champ is as good as he used to be

    • w1LLz

      Very true, I hope Ryan plays and there’s no doubt our running attack will be more potent with him rather than without him. Hopefully Ronnie Brown will be able to contribute again as long as our O-line remains dominant, although even without Mathews I think we can have some success with the run game. Red zone efficiency is also a huge factor but I feel some credit should be given to Cinci’s defense in that last game, I believe they were a top 10 defense in 2013. I also don’t think Denver’s defense is quite as strong as Cinci’s either, and by not quite as strong, I mean not even close.

      • w1LLz

        To piggy back on my last post, I just checked out NFL.com’s defensive rankings and they had Cinci at the #3 defense in the league followed by Denver at a close 19th in the league overall. Not a scientific ranking of course, but food for thought.

  • Derek

    This is gonna be a test of gase’s ability to coach, from what I’ve seen he loves to put Peyton in a position to make plays. Most of broncos runs are called after Peyton checks and sees something he doesn’t like. I assume they are gonna do their best to score first and sit on the lead counting on Peyton to not make mistakes. A lot of run plays and check down passes. Because they know we won’t give them much time. Special teams will be crucial in this game if champ covers Allen and gates is doubled. I hope leMOREious steps up.

  • tubbs45

    Hoping RM24 has 15-20 carries in him.. I think we can pound away on the clock and chip away at first downs, I just dont want to get too conservative. Gates is due for a big game and will be our X Factor…

    http://i813.photobucket.com/albums/zz58/JasherX/Animated%20Pics/Time/0_45fae_263e85c9_M.gif

  • Aaron Johnson

    I think we will be able to control time of possession again. I ask myself, will that matter? I could be wrong but I feel like we controlled the ball in the first game as well. It sure felt like we had the ball longer. The problem was we gave up too many big plays for their offense which nullified the time of possession advantage. Our defense did hold them to 27 in that game but those big plays are what killed us. We need to control the clock on both sides of the ball. Any time we can get the clock to run we need to (tackle in bounds, stuff the run inside, etc). If they do score, we need it to be on 10-15 play drives so that clock runs on their side as well. If we run well, dont give up big plays on D and make them work for their points (redundant, I know) we should be able to sneak past them.

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