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Chargers Drop The Ball In Philly

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Oct 23, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    Source: <a href="http://chargers.mostvaluablenetwork.com/?p=27" target="_blank">Chargers Confidential</a>

    By Rich Campbell

    The Eagles dominated most of the game against San Diego, only to have a couple of bounces save them in a 20-17 Charger loss. Two plays saved them from a second half resurgence led by Drew Brees and the San Diego defense. The first was a blocked field goal that bounced right into the arms of an Eagle and the second was a fumble on what was effectively the games final play, as Reche Caldwell showed that his issue with hanging onto the ball at the time of the catch may be solved but he still has some learning to do.

    But let's not kid ourselves. This was a game that was lost in the trenches, as the San Diego offensive line had by far their worst performance of the season. The Eagles came out with a very well formed defensive game-plan, and plenty of credit needs to go to Andy Reid and Jim Johnson. But if the Chargers offensive line picks up the blitz, the taking away of L.T. does not prevent San Diego from winning the game. In the last three minutes of the game, Eric Parker and Keenan McCardell both had times they were wide open and ticketed to the end zone if only Brees would have had enough time to plant and throw; both times Brees had to throw the ball away off his back foot.

    In addition, the San Diego coaching staff did a poor job of adjusting to the exemplary job Philly was doing against L.T. on the ground. Granted, they began to find Antonio Gates in the second half. But I counted only a single draw play and far too few screen passes. In addition, only once did they use the wide receiver screen, a tool that can be very effective in these situations. That one time was to the right person (Gates) but it came exactly one offensive play late. They should have used it on 3rd and 4, instead of running L.T. up the gut for a yard and a half. Sure, we got a field goal there, but if they would have gained the five yards they gained on the first play of the next drive?

    The offensive coaching was poor at best. Defensively, the Chargers played well enough to win despite continuing their difficulties with penalties. No, the defense played well, especially in the second half, limiting Philly to 13 offensive points in the game and coming up large in several crucial situations. The defensive penalties, although present in the first half, were a much smaller part of the story then in other games this year.

    However, there was one penalty that really killed this team today. It was an offensive holding call early in the fourth. With a first and goal, and L.T. poised to break a forty year old record, offensive holding suddenly made it first and goal from the 11 instead of from the 1. A Charger touchdown in that situation would have given the Bolts an 11 point lead and the blocked field goal returned for an Eagle touchdown would have made the game 21-20, with Philly having no time outs remaining and the clock running.

    So, we couldn't run and we couldn't block. Is it any wonder we lost this game? Offensively, we deserved to lose this game. The defense played it's best game of the season. The offense and the coaching just stunk.

    Brees made plays in the second half to make this game closer then it should have been. McCardell, Caldwell and Gates did their part. But although we honestly could have won this game in many spots, I can't say we should have won this game.

    Before I take my frustrations out on some inanimate object. I do need to mention one thing that was pure entertainment. Keenan McCardell totally upstaged Terrell Owens in the end zone. After T.O. stumbled through an ill planned touchdown celebration in the first half, imitating a waiter and Maitre' D in a jilted and fumbling performance of "serving up a score", McCardell took in a brilliantly thrown ball that got the Bolts back in the game and immediately did the same act, but much smoother and with more flair then T.O. Well done Keenan. Unfortunately, it ends up being the best performance by a Charger offensive player of the afternoon.
     

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