New Chargers Offense Confirms In Week 14

Week 14 delivered a Sunday afternoon of Chargers football as it should be: A convincing win, a frustrated opponent – a win against Eli’s team is always extra sweet – and a joy for the fans, both at the Q and at home.

San Diego Chargers/AP

This victory also pleased me because it confirmed just about everything I wrote in my article The 2013 Chargers: Patience and Silver Linings from last week. It’s not too late to read it if you haven’t yet.

Despite the negative win-loss record I explained how good the Chargers offense has been in 2013 and elaborated on the emergence of new playmakers. Finally, I concluded the Bolts have a playoff caliber offense.

Against NYG Philip Rivers continued his resurgence with another excellent performance. He completed 75% (21) of 28 passes with 3 TDs for 249 yds (no INTs) and ended the game with a QB rating of 137.4 *. I’ll forgive him that awkward fumble. It wasn’t just the stats that impressed. He was vocal as usual, directing plays from the line, drawing the defense offside on occasion, and showed awareness by either extending the play or saving it with a quick dump or screen. Rivers connected with seven different receivers, spreading the ball where a player got open.

Keenan Allen may have had better games in number of receptions and yards, but with his 2 TDs he again proved why he has become so invaluable for the Bolts in such a short time. Adding 3 catches to reach a total of 61 made him surpass Tomlinson as the all-time Chargers rookie receiving leader **. Flashing elite WR potential each week, Keenan Allen should be the frontrunner for Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Danny Woodhead is such an exciting and important playmaker for the Bolts. His 39 yd grab was just incredible. Those Giants defenders should be embarrassed. Woodhead now leads all running backs in number of receptions (65) and receiving yards (534). Rivers obviously trusts him as as red zone target, where Woodhead rewarded that trust with another TD-catch (his 6th) *.

Of all emerging offensive stars TE Ladarius Green had a very quiet match with zero catches. I noticed the Giants D giving him tight coverage, especially out of the bunch formation. A sign they were very aware of his playmaking abilities. Green will get the opportunity to shine again.

Behind a complete offensive line with all projected starters the Bolts’ ground game performed more than admirably, finishing with a total of 146 rush yds. In the 3rd and 4th quarter they were also able to control the clock. Ryan Mathews was a beast combining explosive bursts with tough running. He added another 100 yd game to his stat sheet. Furthermore, Whisenhunt showed progressing insight by using Ryan on goal line carries, three times in a row! Fortunately, it was third time lucky for Mathews reaching the end zone for a score.

Finally, I’d like to make a  small comment about the defense by emphasizing how much of a boost the return of Jarret Johnson is for the Bolts. He’s very capable in setting the edge and a huge asset in stopping the run. The defense as a whole had a good week too, which is good for morale. Thursday at Mile High will be a different matchup though. They are a long way from being a high quality defense.

Week 14 confirmed that the new 2013 Chargers offense, by comparison, is already of a playoff caliber and something the team can build on looking ahead. Believe! Go Bolts!

Rock’n The Bolt Around The Globe!

* all player stats via nfl.com
** info via chargers.com

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2 comments
rwk
rwk

Great article Marcel. Thanks for the upbeat and positive outlook. You are infectious....If you can get into Eli's head early, he becomes a pouter and a poor-me-sobber. That has been his MO, and the Chargers got to him. Great job!.....I can only echo your praises Marcel which are well deserved. Ryan is finally having a break out year. He is one great back and a tough dude. I hope he runs through and over the Broncos. If so we have a chance....Danny is dynamite, that is, if the stick of dynamite is used correctly. Get the ball to him on the edge, in open space, in screens and dumps, then the kid is a nightmare to the opposition.....Philip is having a good year. Ryan  and Woody and Allen and Gates are big reasons why. He must orchestrate those time-consuming, point-producing drives, and keep Peyton on his rear end on the bench. Don't get caught in going for the long bombs as your main MO.  A bird-in-the-hand yardage is worth two-in-the-bush yardage.....Pass rush is key in every game, but much more so with Peyton. I know that they are all trying, but they have to be kept fresh to knock the pocket down. Rotate the big bangers if you have to in thin, cold air. Get Peyton out of stride and better yet on his back.....The linebackers have to stop the Broncos running game, and get the Broncos into 3rd and long. Then nail Peyton. This is huge for Thursday night.....The secondary is primary! Man to man tight from the line of scrimmage, for Peyton can and does shred zones. Hear it Pagano. If you zone Manning, he will decimate the pass defense. As in  Hoosiers, stay so close and tight to the Bronco receivers, that you can tell what the flavor is of the gum they are chewing....Break the Broncs!!!!

AwesomeMF
AwesomeMF

Thanks for the compliment and another great comment, it's nice getting feedback. I also love to hear other peope's point of view. I hope I can be infectious conveying a positive outlook (without losing a sense of reality). Too often negativity seems to be the preferred angle. Praise is justified for this offense. They just need to work on producing more consistently each week. Rivers will need to keep up with Peyton to have a chance of an upset. Have you ever considered writing articles yourself? You have a very vivid style and use of creative metaphors. I couldn't have phrased your pre-game analysis of the Denver game better myself. I'm afraid the Bolts currently lack the personnel to have an effective pass rush against Peyton. Who is one of the more elusive QBs to begin with. I agree that stopping the Broncos run game will be a, or perhaps THE, key factor for success on the defensive side. Chargers pulled of a great victory in a shoot out at Arrowhead, so why not at Mile High. Go Bolts!