Chargers – Titans Report Card Recap
RB – B+
To see the triple threat of Matthews, Tolbert and Sproles finally make a difference in a game was an intense relief. To wait 3 quarters for it to happen was beyond stress-inducing. You have to imagine Norv’s inspired halftime speech hit a strong note in the three RB’s, as they turned it around to each get a TD and decent yardage under their belts. A four-quarter performance of the last quarter of that game would result in a guaranteed win every week.
TE – A-
A+ for effort, Antonio Gates slow to start but doing exactly what he needed to do to keep the passing game going. Rivers’ reliable target fought through toe, ankle and foot injuries to still outrun and shake off defenders with the moves of someone half his size. Again, Gates took some time to get out of the gate, but once he got rolling, there was no stopping him. 123 yards and a touchdown, if he sits out next week, he will be sorely missed.
OL – C+
This may be the only time that Rivers was thankful to get sacked once. In that he only got sacked ONCE. Seeing Rivers just get passes off milliseconds before the pocket collapses is heart-stopping. Apart from a few hurries and a couple passes that somehow escaped a falling Rivers’ hands, the O-Line got in some decent blocks and definitely got the biggest momentum boost from the second-half lead. Once the lead became more concrete, you could see the o-line starting to push the Titans onto their heels. That confidence and momentum needs to carry on to Houston or else Rivers will be pulling turf from his facemask every other down.
DL – D
The main reason Vince Young saw so many opportunities down the field is that there he was under virtually no pressure. Even his injury was self-induced, leading us to the conclusion that the only one who could get to Vince Young today was Vince Young. Imagine giving Tom Brady or Peyton Manning that much time and the Chargers are in big trouble. The Chris Johnson pinball-maneuver twenty-five yards to the goal line was a near-slapstick mess.
DB – D+
Be thankful for slightly overthrown balls and slippery Titans hands. Watching Cason get beat time after time and linebackers unable to get to QB V. Young was painful. A lack of turnovers is just another painful mark on an average backing corps. You have to wonder if Eric Weddle gets injured from having to run in to finish plays, if the Chargers backs will register ANY tackles for the season.
ST – D-
At least this week we didn’t have to hear the deadening thunk off a goalpost, but it will take time for fans to stop wincing every time a Chargers boot hits a ball. Randy McMichael let Nick Schommer blow right past for the blocked punt and safety; just another sign of lackluster Special Teams play. While the Kris Brown field goals keep them from getting an F, you have to wonder if the reason the Special Teams didn’t make too many mistakes is that the Chargers went 12 for 18 on third-down conversions.
Coaching – A
Despite claims by Rivers and other players, it’s hard to picture Norv Turner as a hotheaded coach. However, whatever was said during halftime certainly lit the fire under the Chargers. They may already have the reputation of being a second-half team, this time they were able to make something of it. Getting creative with the few tools he had left and spreading the ball around gives Norv an A, quite possibly the first one of the entire season.
The defense did not stand up to their ranking in the league, and but for a few penalties and dropped balls, this game could have had a much different outcome. Thankfully the offense exploded in the second half and gave the Bolts a much-needed win. Next week’s matchup against Houston and the dead-last pass defense gives us cause to ponder the old adage, “The best defense is a good offense,” and hope that it’s true.