By all accounts it’s been a good early preseason for the San Diego Chargers. This past Friday they finished their ninth day of training camp with very few injuries. Saturday the team held their annual open to the public fan fest with a record 18,000 fans attending the event at Qualcomm Stadium. Although the 18,000 was dwarfed by the fan attendance for similar events in other NFL cities (67,000 in Green Bay!), the attendance is indicative of the excitement from the fan base and the progress that General Manager Tom Telesco and Head Coach Mike McCoy have made in the last two seasons to rebuild the Chargers franchise. Those attending Saturday got a glimpse of a Chargers team that should contend once again for the playoffs in a touch AFC West due to a solid offseason that saw continued improvement had problematic positions for the club last season, like cornerback.
The Chargers open the preseason on Thursday, August 7th when they host the Dallas Cowboys at Qualcomm Stadium. The opener with Dallas, who has one of the most passionate fan bases in the NFL and trains north of Los Angeles, should create a fantastic atmosphere for the opener. The key for the Chargers in the upcoming season is keeping the momentum they finished the year in 2013. The Chargers won their final four regular season games to finish the season 9-7 and then defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in the Wild Card round before losing to the Denver Broncos in the Divisional Playoff round. This offseason they improved the overall depth of the roster while keeping the veteran core intact.
It’s unlikely the Chargers face Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo on Thursday night in the preseason opener. After offseason back surgery the veteran Dallas Cowboys quarterback has slowly eased into the preseason, playing in roughly half of the practices. According to the Dallas Morning News the Cowboys plan to sit Romo in the first and last preseason games, limiting his chance for re-injury while giving him further time to recover. Even without Romo the Cowboys will bring a roster full of well known players, including receiver Dez Bryant, tight end Jason Witten and running back Demarco Murray.
For Chargers the preseason opener will be an opportunity to see some of the new players the Chargers added via the draft and free agency in a game situation for the first time. This includes cornerback Brandon Flowers, a former Pro Bowler, who the Chargers signed after Flowers was cut by the Kansas City Chiefs for salary cap reasons. Flowers will be joined in the Chargers secondary by the Chargers first overall pick, Jason Verrett out of TCU. Verrett is a talented but undersized corner, who should find a home as the Chargers third corner. Offensively the Chargers will have solid cohesiveness heading into this season, with the offensive line and receiving core returning. Malcom Floyd will be back from injury this season and should start alongside Keenan Allen, the best rookie receiver in football last season. Donald Brown, who the Chargers acquired from the Indianapolis Colts in free agency, will give the Chargers quality depth at running back.
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About the Chargers Vs Cowboys
The San Diego Chargers will kick off their 2014 preseason schedule on Thursday, August 7 when they host the Dallas Cowboys. With one of the most passionate fan bases in the NFL the Cowboys have long garnered tremendous support throughout the southwest. After a surprising finish in 2013, when they reached the second round of the playoffs after earning a wildcard, the Chargers just completed well regarded NFL draft. Chargers GM Tom Telesco received positive marks from a number of analysts, with the team picking up some key players in areas of need, starting with cornerback Jason Verrett of TCU. Verett joins Jeremiah Attaouchu and Ryan Cerrethers as positive additions to the defense. Offensively the Chargers picked up offensive lineman Chris Watt, regarded as a good interior blocker, as well as running back Marion Grice and receiver Tevin Reese. For a team with just six picks the Chargers worked the board well.
In the preseason opener the Chargers will face a Cowboys team coming off of another disappointing end to the season in 2013. After losing quarterback Tony Romo the Cowboys lost the final game of the season to the Philadelphia Eagles to lose the division and the playoffs. They’ll have a healthy Romo back this coming season, with the usual variety of weapons on offensive. The Cowboys drafted tackle Zack Martin from Notre Dame to shore up the offensive line and then focused on defense with an effort to replace the departed Jason Hatcher and DeMarcus Ware. They drafted another Demarcus, Demarcus Lawrence from Boise State in the second round as a potential future replacement Ware.
The August 7th opener will give Chargers fans an opportunity to see an offense that returns virtually the entire starting unit from last season, including veteran quarterback Philip Rivers who had a comeback year in 2013. Returning for his second season is Keenan Allen, the top rookie receiver in 2013.
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Tony Romo Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys are coming in to a season in which the hopes are high like every other season. The team will look to veteran quarterback Tony Romo to lead the Cowboys to the post season for the first time since 2009. While the Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will look to head coach Jason Garrett to turn this team around if not it may be time for the team to move in another direction.
Romo is coming off a season in which he broke his ribs and punctured his lungs but still came back in to lead the Cowboys to a victory over the San Francisco 49ers. Romo finished the season with 4184 yards passing and 31 touchdowns while completing over 66 percent of his passes.
The team struggled early finding a running game till the break out performance in week 7 against the St. Louis Rams from rookie running back DeMarco Murray. Murray led the team to a 34-7 victory while rushing for 253 yards and a touchdown. Murray comes in 2012 as the starter while the Cowboys will look for him to carry the load.
The Cowboys will also look for the young star receiver Dez Bryant to take another step in the right direction on the field. Now that the team has placed 24 hour security with him to make sure he doesn’t do anything stupid off the field to keep him from producing on the field. Dez had 63 catches for 928 yards and 9 touchdowns.
On the other side of the ball Dallas is led by DeMarcus Ware. Ware coming off a 19.5 sack season. The Cowboys will need the rest of the defense to step up in 2012 if the team has a shot to win the NFC East. The team used it’s first 4 picks in the 2012 draft to pick defensive players including Morris Claiborne 6th overall in the first round.
The Cowboys will win the NFC East and look to challenge the rest of the NFC in the playoffs to earn a spot in the Super Bowl.
Hey San Diego Chargers fans! NFL season is almost here – get a preview of Chargers action and SAVE 10% on “BV” PRESEASON tickets at Barry’s with code “CHARGERSTIX31″!” – with a link to the SD Chargers tickets page.
The Games Available Are:
Chargers Vs Packers on Aug 9th 2012
Chargers Vs Cowboys on Aug 18th 2012
Both games are at Qualcomm Stadium.
The Detroit Lions continued to show what their made of on Sunday, by erasing a 20-point deficit and beating the Minnesota Vikings 26-23 in overtime.
Down 20-0 at the half, it seemed the Lions would fall back to earth a bit and suffer their first loss of the season. But these are not the same old Lions, they roared back and tied the game in the second half behind Matthew Stafford’s 378 yards and 2 touchdown passes. Calvin Johnson was outstanding as well, catching 7 passes for 108 yards scoring 2 touchdowns. The duo connected on a brilliant 40-yard play in overtime, setting up the game-winning field goal by Jason Hanson.
The Lions are now 3-0, the first time they’ve reached the plateau since 1980. Quarterback Matthew Stafford is finally healthy and is coming into his own, and his top target Calvin Johnson remains the cornerstone for what a top wide receiver in the NFL looks like. The young defense, led by the presence of Ndamukong Suh, is flourishing and quickly becoming one of the best in the league. The Lions are off to a terrific start and have a promising future ahead of them.
The Lions will try to make it 4-0 when they visit the Dallas Cowboys next week.