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NC Times: Chargers report card

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by ChargerRay, Dec 31, 2005.

  1. ChargerRay

    ChargerRay Producer/Host of BoltTalk Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

    Jun 20, 2005

    By Jay Paris

    QUARTERBACK: D - Neither Drew Brees nor Philip Rivers displayed much brilliance. Brees was 8-of-14 but for a measly 68 yards —- plus he lost a fumble. Rivers looked every bit like someone who hadn’t played all year, save a kneel-down in the Buffalo game. And Rivers’ end-zone fumble cost the Chargers two points. There’s little excuse for a passing game collecting but 183 yards and no scores against the NFL’s 29th-ranked pass defense.


    Go out and try to run across Interstate 5. That’s what LaDainian Tomlinson must feel like when searching for room to gallop. He averaged 4.8 yards on 19 carries, good enough for 92 yards and a score. Much of that real estate came courtesy of Tomlinson’s skills, not the work up front.


    Eric Parker continued to shine with a game-high eight receptions for 87 yards. Antonio Gates, for some reason, has seen his production drop of late. He had three catches for 23 yards.


    One quarterback got munched, and Rivers was dodging Denver bodies on numerous pass attempts. The blocking on the edges wasn’t good enough and the work along the interior line wasn’t much better.


    NT Jamal Williams had eight tackles, which meant the Broncos felt comfortable enough to assign only one blocker on him. The Chargers missed run-stuffer DE Igor Olshansky (quadriceps), and then DE Luis Castillo exited because of a knee injury. The Broncos rushed for 157 yards, the most the Chargers allowed all season.


    Donnie Edwards paced the Chargers with nine tackles and Steve Foley’s six included one in which he loosened Jeb Putzier’s fillings. Shawne Merriman completed a sensational rookie year by snagging his team-high 10th sack. Shaun Phillips added a sack as well.


    Not much to gripe about here as the Broncos didn’t seem interested —- unlike other teams —- in picking on the secondary. Just 10 passes were completed for a season-low 98 yards. That’s quite a difference for a unit that was allowing 234 yards per game. S Jerry Wilson, subbing for Bhawoh Jue, led the back end with six tackles.


    The coverage units had one of their better days and were not hit by a long return. The return game was about the same. Darren Sproles just missed breaking a big gainer; Parker averaged 8.4 yards on five punt returns. P Mike Scifres had a long of 56, and three of his seven efforts were downed inside Denver’s 20-yard-line.


    When do you think the Chargers started tuning coach Marty Schottenheimer out? It’s obvious his incessant chant of “one play at a time, one game at a time” either didn’t sink in or the players heard it so much it lost its luster. Losing three of the final four games when in the hunt for a playoff berth can’t all be laid at the feet of the players.

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