The Ripping Continues

Dale Lindsay has been amidst controversy all year long. Though his defense is young, they continue to deploy coverage schemes that leave them gasping for air. All year Lindsay has relied on the front four creating its own pressure and forcing the secondary to cover longer. With every member of the San Diego Chargers secondary in their first year starting at their respective position, it has been a disaster. The shots from Pittsburgh continued on Monday.

So what does the team do when facing one of the top receiving tandems in the league? They go man-to-man. Did they blitz while in man? Nope. Dale Lindsay and his staff has previously been running a mix of zone and cover-2, but this game against the top receiver in the AFC, Hines Ward and a 6-5 number two receivers that entered the game with 56 receptions. Only three other receiving combos are better in the NFL.

On Monday on the other coast, the Steelers receivers rightfully ripped the Chargers for their stupidity.

"If teams came out and played me like that every game all year-round, I'd probably rip the league up," Burress said. "But it's not going to happen."

Jamal Lewis' dream is to play Cleveland every week and receivers around the league hope to cure their woes by playing the Chargers. The same team that has allowed 36 touchdown passes on the season. The Bolts are last in the league and the next closest team to them has allowed 28 TD passes.

Not to mention the Chargers are second to last in the league in receptions allowed with 316. Not good when the Steelers' Hines Ward entered the game with 87.

Ward pushed off any praise to Plaxico Burress, his tall counterpart.

"He's been playing well all year," said Pro Bowl receiver Hines Ward, who finished with six catches for 94 yards and one touchdown. "I'm sure his numbers aren't what he thought they would be, but he's continued to battle. (The Chargers) played a lot of man to man, and when you do that, you're susceptible to big plays."

The Bolts are also last in the league in first downs allowed to receivers, a boon for Ward who is known for his ability to make the tough catch for the first.

So why did they play that scheme? Marty Schottenheimer's assistants are not allowed to talk to the media. Considering their success this year, that is probably a good thing.

A day later, Burress is still in awe.

"Don't play me like that," Burress said. "Everyone knows that. When you bump-and-run me for a few plays and I catch two touchdowns, why would a team continue to do that?"

Everyone except the Chargers knows that.

Note:

Jay Leno got in on the act of ripping the Chargers this week:

"The San Diego Chargers also used a cell phone in their game on Sunday," says Leno. "They were calling to get directions to the end zone."

Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net

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