Broncos vs. Chargers: 3 Keys to the Second Half for San Diego

Matt KingFeatured ColumnistNovember 27, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 20:  Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers looks for a receiver against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on November 20, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Chargers 31-20.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

A must-win game for San Diego today as they take on Tim Tebow and the division rivals Denver Broncos.

The Chargers got off to a slow start, but a perfect drive by Philip Rivers midway through the first half put them up 10-0 before a last-minute drive by Denver brought the first half score to 10-7.

Here are three keys to the second half for San Diego to make sure they hang on to the lead and come away with a big win.


Let Ryan Mathews Shoulder the Load

The Broncos defense has been particularly stingy as of late, so when you find that you're having success with one part of your offense, you ride it until they show that they can stop it, then you start swapping in pass plays from Rivers.

For the first drive of the game, with Mathews averaging over 10 yards a carry, there's no way Rivers should have had more passing attempts than Mathews had carries, but that exactly what happened. What was the result? The drive stalled and they had to settle for a field goal.


Spy Tebow

Denver is not going to beat you in the air. They're going to do it on the ground. And when they run that option, San Diego is going to be in trouble when they don't have someone watching Tebow in particular.

Have someone on the defense spy Tebow at all times. So when he fakes a defender out with a fake pitch to a RB, there's a second line of defense to take him down before he gets too far.


Keep Third Downs Manageable

Other than their one big touchdown drive, the Chargers haven't done much at all on offense and have been 0-4 on third down. They need to make sure they're getting some decent yards on the first couple of downs to keep their third downs more manageable so that Rivers doesn't have to do too much.

Do this with more Mathews and more short passes. Not only should San Diego be able to put together more drives, but the more they stay on the field, the more it keeps "Mr. All-I-Do-Is-Win-Games" Tebow off the field.