Week 8, the San Diego Chargers fly to Denver to play their biggest game of the season. The odds of the Chargers winning are slim, but any given “Thursday” can change that. Winning of course is the objective every week, and if the Chargers can create a win, then fantastic. San Diego already has the blueprint to victory from their last (regular season) win in Denver to defeat the Broncos, but what if head coach Mike McCoy planned a loss, how would it look?
First, the Facts:
- The Denver Broncos – the new arch rival of the Chargers
- Prime Time Thursday Night Football – the big stage
- Peyton Manning – Future Hall of Famer, Quarterback legend
- Division Rival, Chargers are currently 1 – 1 in the AFC West
- On the road (away game in Denver) – Advantage Denver, a very hostile environment
- It is a Short Week, which tends to lean in the favor of the home team
- Playing against their biggest AFC Threat (other than the Colts, Ravens & Patriots in most current power rankings)
No one plans losing, and a winning attitude is half the battle of a team’s success. If San Diego wins the game, then mental momentum still favors the Chargers. But if San Diego plans a loss, what would McCoy’s blueprint be? How can a loss help the San Diego Chargers the next time they play (long term)?
Let’s continue to bullet point this (the Chargers Blueprint for expecting a loss):
- A fans “loss” mentality is always awkward (and could be loftier) than a coach’s perspective. Example, if a team loses the game, but knocks out the opposing quarterback (or any star player), then overall (by a fans perspective of course) the loss is still considered a psychological tie or abstract draw. So, a blueprint of this “abstract” could be the all-out blitz on the quarterback. Every play, every down, bring the heat and knock Peyton Manning down. This will help the Chargers not only in this game, but future games. Game Plan: Bust the Manning! This method starts with pressure right up the middle (probably within the nickel defense). So all eyes on Corey Liuget and Kendall Reyes applying pressure, right up the middle. Anything from the outside (Freeney, Attaochu, Johnson, T.Williams, Law) is just a blindside bonus.
- Keep the team fresh: Instead of playing heavy doses of starters and having them be on the field most of the time, the Chargers need to rotate heavily. Usually coaches prefer their best players on the field (most of the time) which gives you the best chance of winning the game. And sure, it sounds great, but fatigue leads to injuries so fresh and renewed matters. In order for the Chargers to prevent injuries and use the blueprint for a loss, San Diego needs to keep their team fresh and fast, expect a heavy dose of substitutions.
- Earning Quality Experience (a young man’s game): Professional Football is driven by strength and speed, which is prime for the team’s younger players. It is time to get the rookies, 2nd year and 3rd year players heavily involved into the rotation.
- Practice what you do well even MORE. Exotic and creative schemes always throw opposing teams off and can be confusing, but a blueprint to lose is not scheme related. It is repetition at doing the job, with the best options, multiple times. And please avoid the “trick play” unless it is a decoy.
Of course The Chargers want the victory, as do the fans. San Diego will try everything within their power to win, but this game is not a must win game as much as we might think it is. No one ever won a Super Bowl in October and looking forward into the second half of the season, how could this loss (or win) still equivalent a team victory? San Diego can still lose this game, and come out victorious.
Denver is favored to win (again). Percentages are against the Chargers, and most predict the Chargers winning would be a 30% longshot. A 7.5 point underdog and the over/under is 51.5 points.
Rivers has a winning regular season record at Mile High Stadium in Denver (6 -2)
The home team on Thursday Night Football has won 4 of 7 games.