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NC Times: Chargers report card

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by ChargerRay, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. ChargerRay

    ChargerRay Producer/Host of BoltTalk Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2005/12/19/sports/professional/chargers/121805193910.txt

    By: JAY PARIS - Staff Writer

    Report Card

    QUARTERBACKS: C - Three turnovers against an undefeated team usually results in a loss. But Drew Brees (22-of-33, 255 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions) played well enough to win, despite a dismal third quarter. As bad as Brees' rating was (74.7), it was better than Peyton Manning's (70.2). Brees showed some decent arm strength in getting the ball downfield to Keenan McCardell (a 54-yard completion) and Eric Parker (49).

    RUNNING BACKS: A - Any time a team rushes for 206 yards, a high grade goes here. Michael Turner's big burst, which was good for 83 yards and a TD, drove the final stake in the Colts' heart. LaDainian Tomlinson tried to be a good trooper for four quarters, but found the bench in the last 2 minutes, 28 seconds.

    RECEIVERS: B - The wide receivers got more involved than in past weeks, catching 16 passes for 226 yards and a TD. Antonio Gates had a team-high six catches for 29 yards. Vincent Jackson, a second-round pick who is starting to contribute, snagged two for 41 yards.

    OFFENSIVE LINE: B - The run-blocking was solid, and the pass protection allowed just one sack, though it was a costly one. Leander Jordan allowed the sack by Dwight Freeney, who separated Brees from the ball when he hit him. Four penalties here, with false starts by Shane Olivea and Mike Goff. Considering the commotion the Colts fans raise indoors, that's acceptable.

    DEFENSIVE LINE: B - Igor Olshansky had one of his better games, collecting four tackles and a sack. Jamal Williams had just one tackle, which tells you the Colts dedicated two men to block him. Don't overlook Luis Castillo's five tackles ---- his sack forced the Colts out of field goal range in the fourth quarter.

    LINEBACKERS: A - Shawne Merriman put Peyton in his place with two sacks and constant pressure. He also chased Manning down on a bootleg from the Chargers 1 for a 6-yard loss. Donnie Edwards paced the Chargers with nine tackles, and Randall Godfrey added four. Shaun Phillips' inside pass rush forced Manning into a killer intentional grounding penalty.

    SECONDARY: C - Talk about upsets ---- two INTs from the cornerbacks! Drayton Florence and Quentin Jammer got their firsts of the year; Florence, though, fumbled his away. But whenever Manning heaves it 45 times and has but one TD to show for it, it's a good day for a secondary. Although, Clinton Hart, filling in for Bhawoh Jue, got his signals crossed with the linebackers in allowing a wide open Dallas Clark to score.

    SPECIAL TEAMS: A - Nate Kaeding was like one of those Indy cars: he had plenty of kick. He pulled a Tony Gwynn, going 4-for-4 on his field goals, two from more than 47 yards. The coverage teams played well. The return game didn't do much. But Kaeding did more than enough.

    COACHING: A - Marty Schottenheimer gave his former assistant, Tony Dungy, a lesson. Schottenheimer gets kudos for getting his team to rebound quickly after that devastating loss to the Dolphins. But what flipped this game was the work of defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. He kept the Colts' powerful offense in the barn for the most part, and that's no small task.
     

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