The Chargers finally look like they have found their stride, putting back to back complete games together, and now its time to take a closer look at just how well each area of the team performed in the 37-10 corralling of the Bills. I’ll start it off with the Offense, switch to Defense and finish it off with my evaluation of Special Teams.
Quarterback: Rivers completed 24 of his 33 pass attempts for 240 yards, and three touchdowns, his third straight game without throwing an interception. His one mistake, however did cost the team seven points as he whiffed in the middle of attempting to throw a pass, fumbled the ball and rolled around while Bryan Scott picked it up and scored. He came out of the game with a QB rating of 123.3.
Grade : B+
Running Back: It was Ryan Mathews again leading the way for the Chargers’ ground attack. Number 24 carried the rock 20 times for 114 yards and also mixed in six catches for 34 yards. Tolbert added 21 yards and scored a touchdown on a one yard burst into the end zone.
Receivers/Tight Ends: Antonio Gates did what Antonio Gates does, he just modestly caught 7 balls for 68 yards and two scores. Vincent Jackson made five receptions for 55 yards. Patrick Crayton even got into the action with a 26 yard TD reception. I would have liked to have seen Malcom Floyd get into the action and where in the world was Vincent Brown?
Offensive Line: This unit had an incredible game. Not only did they give Rivers time to throw and kept him off of his back, but they opened up holes for Mathews to run through. After the game, Norv Turner even gave newly aquired tackle, Jared Gaither the game ball for his performance, and praised him for stepping up and filling in for the injured Marcus McNeill.
Defensive Line: The Defensive Lineman stood their ground and allowed the rest of the defense to make the tackles. They helped limit the Bills to 96 rushing yards, but they failed to bring Fitzpatrick down for a sack. Nothing bad about the performance, but nothing that jumps out as great either.
Linebackers: Antwan Barnes provided the Bolts only sack of Ryan Fitzpatrick, and also reeled in two tackles. Shaun Phillips continued to worry about his Hollywood career after football and managed two tackles. Spikes and Diggs combined for four tackles. A very average game earning the crew a very average grade.
Secondary: This crew played an incredible game: Weddle, Gilchrist, and Gregory provided an interception each. Gregory returned his for a pick 6 and also led the team with seven tackles. Weddle have the key 10 yard run on a fake punt that gave the Chargers the momentum that carried them the rest of the game. This unit had by far the best game yesterday.
Special Teams: Nothing really special about this game for them, the fake punt was nice, but the return game was just ho hum, Scifres didn’t excite anyone with his 39 yard average, Novak had one of his extra points blocked. I’ll give them this, they didn’t do anything to hurt us.