Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Ready or not, Chargers, here comes A.P.
By Bill Williamson
There is some concern in San Diego over the Chargers’ run defense because the team struggled to stop the run in the preseason. San Diego was No. 27 in the NFL in run defense, giving up an average of 142.2 yards a game on the ground. The Chargers were fourth in the NFL against the run last season, giving up an average of 93.4 yards a game.
However, San Diego coach Norv Turner got it right in a radio interview with a San Diego station. He said this is the real reason to be concerned about stopping the run: Adrian Peterson.
Peterson and the Vikings visit San Diego on Sunday to open the season. The last time Peterson met the Chargers (in 2007), he ran for an NFL record 296 yards. So, that’s what worries Turner most.
“When you’re getting ready to play Adrian Peterson you better have concerns about your run defense no matter where you are in terms of the process you’re going through putting your team together," Turner said. "There’s no question we’re young. You look out there and Donald Butler is starting at inside linebacker and he’s a young player who really hasn’t played an NFL game yet. In front of him Corey Liuget. We need a lot of work and we need to get great performances from those young guys and get help from the people around them. We’re in a serious game plan mode now, we’re playing our guys, we’re getting a couple of our guys back, and we should be a little more stout. I believe we will put together a great game plan and we know we have to play a complete game of defense. Certainly it starts with Peterson.”
I think the Chargers’ run defense soon will be better than it was in the preseason . But I still wouldn’t be shocked if Peterson ripped 100-150 yards. But that would be more of a case of Peterson being a strong player and not the Chargers’ run defense being a mess.