Here are my Top Five Chargers players against the Falcons:
Top Offensive Player: Ryan Mathews
Now I know there wasn’t much to cheer about in this game regarding the Chargers but I think we can all agree Ryan Mathews had a good game back in the lineup. Now, before that fumble in the redzone on what would have been a touchdown drive in the second quarter he was running great! The run game was finally a weapon the Chargers could use with him in the offense. He was running through little lanes in the defense and picking up first downs and caught five passes out of the backfield and kept breaking tackles and moving the chains. Now what Mathews needs to do is protect the ball as we all know.
I think he should hold the ball up high and tight and carry it toward the top with the point of the ball pointed toward his chin like Tiki Barber did toward the end of his career when he was having fumbling problems. When Tiki changed to this high and tight way he stopped fumbling as much. Now when Ryan runs with the ball in he has it away from his body. Only when he is on his way to getting hit does he bring it in toward his chest, but even then, he still holds it low. Look at the pic above, if he maybe does what Tiki did, I think he could cut down on his fumbling. It’s worth a try. Let me know what you think about this idea in the comments below.
Top Defensive Player: Antwan Barnes
We all know Matt Ryan tore up the Bolts’ defense, but when I re-watched the game the defensive line and outside linebackers got close to sacking Matt Ryan more. Many times the Bolts’ defensive line pushed the Falcons offensive line back and started collapsing the pocket only thing that stopped them was Ryan either getting the ball out a second or two before the rushers got to him or Ryan rolled out and got enough separation to make the throws, or he stepped up in the pocket and avoided the outside rushers just enough. Barnes had one sack on Ryan at the falcons own one yard line in the second quarter. Then he helped out on a sack of Ryan in the third quarter along with Shaun Phillips.
Top Rookie Player: Melvin Ingram
Ingram goes up with what I said above about the defensive line. He was also involved in pushing the Falcons offensive line back and almost getting to Matt Ryan many times. Ingram got his hands up on a quick throw from Ryan in the second quarter.
Top Veteran Player: Robert Meachem
We haven’t seen much of Robert since he’s joined the Chargers but this game he had some good catches to keep the chains with catches (like Mathews) toward the sidelines and over the middle. Robert had four catches for 43 yards and a nice run after the catch to gain 19 yards on a third down play in the third quarter.
Top Special Teams Player: Nate Kaeding
Now I’m just giving this to Nate because he at least scored the only points for the Bolts in this game. His 41 yard field goal kick was not a good one but he did keep the Chargers away from scoring no points the whole game for whatever that’s worth. This was tough to write guys, so give me some credit for finding some very small bright spots in this bad game by the Chargers. On to the next one!
Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think about my picks or my idea about how Mathews should try and change how he carries the football, in the comments below.