Turner deserves a lot of credit

Updated: January 15, 2008, 2:53 PM ET
By Keith Kidd
The fact that the Chargers were able to overcome so much adversity and so many injuries on offense to beat the Colts in the AFC Divisional game last Sunday is simply amazing. San Diego was without RB LaDainian Tomlinson and QB Philip Rivers for portions of the game and TE Antonio Gates was nowhere near 100 percent. Coach Norv Turner deserves a tremendous amount of credit for calling plays that continued to keep the Colts' defense off-balance the entire game.

Without LT, the Chargers relied on the strength of their offensive line and dominated the trenches, and opening holes for backup RBs Michael Turner and Darren Sproles. San Diego was able to pound the ball with its inside zones and attack the edges with its Power "O", off-tackle schemes that set up the play-action attack. As a result, the Colts were forced to bring SS Bob Sanders up in the box to stop the run while playing a lot of single safety coverage in the hole. This created one-on-one matchup problems on the perimeter that Rivers and backup QB Billy Volek took advantage of. Both went up top to WRs Vincent Jackson and Chris Chambers.

Turner backs up the best running back in the NFL in Tomlinson but is a talented player in his own right who could start for a lot of other teams in the NFL. He is a tough inside runner who gets yards after contact because of his lower body strength. Turner is a patient runner, displaying good vision to set up his blocks before he presses the hole. Plus, he is a downhill runner who is deceptively fast, especially when he gets to the edge. Turner will undoubtedly be will be one of the premier players in free agency this offseason.