Week 17 in the NFL season and the San Diego Chargers had nothing to play for. It has been awhile since the Chargers have had a regular season game with little meaning. My main focus of the game was to watch rookie running back, Ryan Mathews, get the opportunity to show off WHY we moved up in the draft to select him.
Ryan Mathews did not disappoint. Mathews had 26 carries with 120 yards and 3 touchdowns. 70 of those yards came on the 3 touchdown runs. He showed his explosiveness but also reminded us on what he needs to work on in the off-season. He fumbled the ball twice , but luckily they both were recovered by us. He also needs to work on his pass protection or QB Philip Rivers is going to take some punishment.
Rivers was sacked 5 times on the day, but spread the ball around amongst his receivers. Legedu Naanee was his main target finishing with 4 catches and 79 yards. Vincent Jackson left the game after spraining his ankle but finished with 53 yards receiving. Rivers finished with 313 yards passing, no touchdowns and an interception.
As a reminder for the season’s troubles, the special teams failed in covering a kickoff return. Denver’s Cassius Vaughn returned a kickoff 97 yards for a score. The special teams played awful during the season and it would not be a surprise to see Special Teams Coach Steve Crosby let go in the off-season.
Bronco QB Tim Tebow did his best to keep his team in the game by throwing 2 touchdowns and rushing for one. He finished the day with 205 yards passing, 2 interceptions, 94 yards rushing and the 3 touchdowns. Denver’s defense just could not slow down the Charger offense.
The Chargers wrapped up the season with a 33-28 victory over the Denver Broncos finishing with a 9-7 record, second in the AFC West.
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