Rookie: Melvin Ingram
Melvin Ingram had a great forced fumble in the first quarter to thwart a potential Oakland Raiders scoring drive. After that, he pressured quarterback Carson Palmer here and there, but was largely subdued. Until late in the fourth quarter, when Ingram decided he was going to hit the QB regardless of whether Palmer had the ball.
It wasn’t a malicious hit. It was a hit out of frustration. Nonetheless, Ingram was called for a personal foul.
In a close game, it might have mattered, and it very well could have led to a Chargers loss. Luckily, it wasn’t a close game and the Raiders didn’t have enough time to capitalize on Ingram’s mistake.
The point: This can’t happen anymore. Ingram needs to learn from this moving forward.
Veteran: Antonio Gates’ Gloves.
Two dropped passes, one of which was in the end zone. For anybody else, this would be inexcusable. However, Gates has the same immunity that LaDainain Tomlinson possessed while he was here. In a fan’s perspective, those two can never do wrong, and even when they do, either nobody remembers or someone (read: something) else gets the blame.
For that reason, I can’t blame Antonio. I’m blaming the gloves he was wearing.
After all, it’s the only rational explanation. Get that man a new pair of gloves already.
(Oh, how nice it must be to be a superstar in the NFL.)
Offense: Ronnie Brown/Curtis Brinkley
Remember when everyone said that we didn’t need Ryan Mathews to have an effective running game?
If that was you, I think you should apologize to Mr. Mathews.
The duo of Ronnie Brown and Curtis Brinkley combined for a not-so-astonishing total of 17 yards on 15 carries. Oh, and Eddie Royal had 12 yards on two carries. Yeah, our third wide receiver carried the running game. That’s shame worthy for Brinkley and Brown. I’m aware that they didn’t have much room to run for the majority of the game, but a 1.1 YPC is horrendous. I mean, we might as well have had Philip Rivers QB-sneak on every running play instead of handing off to either of those guys.
If Mathews is sidelined for this upcoming week, Brinkley and Brown have to be better, even if the offensive line isn’t.
Defense: Quentin Jammer
This one was hard.
I don’t think Jammer had a bad game by any standard, but he did have a pass interference penalty called on him. It might have been a ticky-tack call, but it was called nonetheless. The biggest reason Jammer is included here is because there wasn’t much fault with the defense. I think they all played pretty well, including Jammer.
I’m nitpicking. There, I admitted it.
Special Teams: Richard Goodman
Look, the man needs to learn to change direction when he’s returning kicks. The opposing team squares him up all the time.
And this time it happened to lead to him suffering a concussion.
I’m doing this for your own well-being, Goodman.
(And because you annoy me.)