San Diego game could be a scramble

In San Diego this week, a meeting of 6-3 (San Diego Chargers) and 7-2 teams (San Francisco 49ers) could come down to carries too, because it pits rushing games tied for the fifth highest production in the league (147.9 yards per game).

For the Chargers, of course, it's "Marty Ball" personified in LA DAINIAN TOMLINSON, the league's leading rusher (965 yards), who can become the first Charger in history to top the NFL in rushing.  All-time NFL rushing leader EMMITT SMITH says that Tomlinson reminds him of a "young Emmitt Smith." 

"San Diego is committed to the run," says Arizona head coach DAVE MC GINNIS.  "That's (head coach) MARTY SCHOTTENHEIMER's m.o."

The m.o. of the 49ers is to pair the productive running of GARRISON HEARST (526) and KEVAN BARLOW (468) with the explosiveness of the team's passing game with quarterback JEFF GARCIA and wide receiver TERRELL OWENS

A key part of the Niners' offense that Chargers defensive coordinator DALE LINDSEY will have to prepare for is the scrambling that, says San Francisco head coach STEVE MARIUCCI, "is part of our offense."

"It's organized chaos," says Garcia of his planned scrambling.  "When I get out of the pocket, my teammates know where I am, and I know where I am."  Does he ever.  In the past two seasons, Garcia has an amazing 145.2 passer rating when he is on the move out of the pocket.  He also has rushed 57 times for 397 yards and four TDs when forced to scramble.  

Garcia's scrambling numbers this year:

SCRAMBLING SUCCESS

PASSING

Att.

Comp.

Yards

Pct.

TD

INT

Rating

 

50

37

454

74.0

3

1

113.3

RUSHING

Att.

Yards

Avg.

TD

 

22

168

7.6

1

The Chargers, after building a 6-1 record, have lost their last two.  "It's your next game that counts," says Schottenheimer, "not your last."


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