Yesss Boltheads! We´re back on track! Thursday Night Football: Chargers 31 – Chiefs 13!
Man, does it feel good to see that number in the “W” column rising. Plus, it´s always important to win against division rivals.
With that win hope and confidence come back.
So let’s recap the game now and grade the performances of the Chargers offense, defense, and special teams.
Well finally, FINALLY, we got see a Chargers unit on the field that deserves to be called “offense.”
Let’s take a look at the performance of the boss of that offense, Philip Rivers.
Listen to this: Rivers had a completion percentage of 90%, and this appears to be the fifth best in NFL history. After a completion percentage of just 52.9 % in the last game, I would call that a nice comeback, Mr. Rivers!
Of course he only had 20 pass attempts, but he completed 18 of them and that´s pretty awesome.
And they finally showed they were able to score in the fourth quarter again! Hello M80 Malcom Floyd! Glad to see you still remember how to get into that end zone.
Also it was great to see Antonio Gates scoring that touchdown in the first quarter. He had a damn rough season so far, so great to see him doing again what he did so well in the past nine years here in San Diego.
And I wanna welcome back former #89, now #13 Seyi Ajirotutu. What a great catch and first down in the first minutes of the game.
We got another new name on our roster: #84 Danario Alexander. He had a nice debut for the Chargers with a great 30-yard catch in the first half.
The rushing game with an average of 4.7 yards per rush was okay, but unfortunately Ryan Mathews did not have his best game. Thankfully he didn´t fumble again, but he just didn´t look that good on his rush attempts as he did in last couple of games. He had one great 31-yard run, but we expect more of a former first-round pick than that.
It also seemed he hurt his left ankle a little bit as he walked off field gingerly during a Chargers drive in the first half. Hope he will get more rushing attempts next week; with only 13 carries he won´t be able to increase his production.
Unfortunately we cannot close that section without reporting another interception thrown by Philip Rivers.
On third and goal with seconds to go in the second quarter, he again made a crappy decision by throwing the ball to a man (Dante Rosario) in tight double coverage. With that throw, wouldn’t you know he just had to get picked off, marking the third red zone turnover this season. As bad as Rivers´ performance on that play may have been, the play call itself is highly questionable.
On third and one it may have been wiser to run the ball. With Jackie Battle or Ronnie Brown we have two tough guys to do that job.
But as the O-Line did a solid job on protecting Rivers (only one sack allowed), the offense was able to bounce back and finally put some points on the board in both halves of the game.
Offense grade: B+ (welcome back!)
Wow, what should I say other than: Eric Weddle is a beast and a leader on the defense, but please, PLEASE, don´t use him as kick returner anymore! It´s obvious he has problems in that position. He fumbled last week in Cleveland (luckily not for a loss) and he fumbled again this week… TWICE!
On his first fumble he was able to recover the ball. But as the play had to be repeated due to a foul on the play, he had to catch the ball a second time. And guess what – he fumbled again! And this time for loss… Ouch! Don´t get me wrong, I love Weddle on the defense and we Boltheads can be so proud we have that Pro-Bowl safety on our roster. But his fumbling issues on the special teams´ play are just not acceptable. Rich Bisaccia has to find another man for that job on the returning team.
And yes, Darrel Stuckey again showed he is the boss on the special teams. That diving punt catch inside the 10-yard line in the third quarter and the recovery of a fumbled ball by Chiefs´ Dexter McCluster were great fun to watch. His name definitely has to be put on the special teams Pro-Bowl candidate list.
Nick Novak again added some points to the final score, i.e. he was solid on his 25-yard field goal.
So with exception of Weddle´s turnover, the special teams again had a pretty solid game.
Special teams grade: B
Come on guys, you just gotta love our defense (well I do – that´s why I made a Chargers defense tribute song´n´video)!
They´re maybe not perfect, but they have been a pretty reliable force so far this season. And especially against the Chiefs they just love to produce big plays. They forced three turnovers, finishing two of them with awesome touchdown returns.
With a great tackle in the end zone on Matt Cassel, Jarret Johnson forced a sack and fumble and thus made it easy for Shaun Phillips to come up with the recovery and turning it into a touchdown.
Some minutes after that touchdown score, Demorrio Williams picked off Matt Cassel and returned the ball for another defensive touchdown. That touchdown score basically fixed that “W” for the Chargers.
As bad as he may be on the special teams, on the defense he is a beast. Of course I´m talking about Eric Weddle. He seems to be everywhere on the field. Whether it is in the backfield or downfield, Eric Weddle is there to make the big play tackle. He had seven of them, just two less than “the beast” of all beasts, Donald Butler.
Man, what a season so far for Donald Butler! He again deflected a pass by Matt Cassel and had nine tackles. And with one he knocked out Jamaal Charles and ended his night early. It seems that head-to-head collision caused a neck injury for Charles. It was a brutal hit and I hope he´ll be okay.
But the pass rush as well as the pass coverage could have been better at times. Especially in the first half, Cassel was able to complete some third-and-longs. And instead of getting sacked, he escaped a couple of times for positive yardage.
And they made it too easy for Shaun Draughn to score that rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter.
But after all it was a great game by our defense.
Defense Grade: B+
After three straight painful losses, it is great to see our Chargers winning again.
Hope we all have a smile on our face again after the next match-up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Let’s get ready for Vincent Jackson! Bolt Up!