Jul 26, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers receiver Keenan Allen (13) runs after a reception during training camp at Chargers Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Chargers Receivers Need to Play Better!!


In three pre-season games the San Diego Chargers have had ups and downs in offense, defense and special teams as expected. It’s encouraging to see that Ryan Matthews can play a three game stretch without getting injured. Having seen Ladarius Green emerge as a pass catcher has been a breath of fresh air and hopefully we’ll see the same thing week after week. On defense we’ve seen Dwight Freeney, Corey Liuget, among others making huge plays and simply showing up when called upon. The defense has generated 8 totals sacks and appears to be getting better as pre-season dwindles on. The special teams finally made a huge statement with a blocked punt, a blocked field goal attempt and a punt return for 44 yards during the Arizona Cardinals game.

One alarming stat is that Philip Rivers has thrown for two interceptions with no touchdowns while only completing 60.6% of his passes. It can’t be blamed on Rivers alone. The receivers are dropping more passes than an average unit. Below are the combined passing stats between all Chargers quarterbacks, passes deflected/broken up by opposing defenses and inexcusable dropped passes by Chargers receivers.

San Diego Chargers

Reception

Pass Attempt

Opp. Pass Deflected

Passes Dropped

vs. ARI

17

30

4

9

vs. CHI

22

35

5

8

vs. SEA

19

31

2

10

That’s 27 catchable throws that has been wasted. Of the 96 passes thrown by Chargers quarterbacks, 58 were caught for a 60.4% completion rating. If the 27 catchable balls had been caught (deflections already accounted for), that would have bumped up to a ratio to 77.1%. Let’s say be realistic and the total dropped passes week by is cut down by half, that would give us an impressive 74.5%.
Next set of stats are the numbers by our opposition, the average completion rating amongst the Chargers opponents has been 64.8%. Not an alarming statistic, it could be lower considering the Chargers stout pass defense had only allowed 2.5 yards per pass against the Chicago Bears and 3.6 yards per pass against the Arizona Cardinals.

Reception

Pass Attempt

SD Pass Deflected

Passes Dropped

ARI vs. SD

22

36

8

6

CHI vs. SD

10

14

2

2

SEA vs. SD

16

24

3

5

The teams that the Chargers have played in pre-season have dropped an averageof 4 catches. Nobody’s perfect, but averaging 9 drops a game is another area the Chargers will need to make improvements in.

Week after week the defense as a whole has been tremendous, only allowing 126 yards per game in the air, ranks 2nd best, while 136 on the ground is best for 8th in the NFL. We got a small sample of what’s to come with Danny Woodhead and if it weren’t for penalties, Woody could have recorded some nice numbers both on the ground and through the air. The tight ends have gotten significantly better with the emergence of Green. Now the wideouts will have one last test against the 49ers to improve in their receiving ability. And with an already dwindled group after losing DX, Mike Willie and Dan DePalma, not to mention the injuries to Floyd and Eddie Royal, it will be up to the remaining wide receivers to prove they aren’t the weak link going into the season.

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Tags: San Diego Chargers

  • RZ

    Damn I miss DX!!

    • Nick in PB

      Heck yea!!! I still feel bad for the man. He loved it here and needed another season like last season to be considered a premier receiver. What a shame.

  • Gunnar Martin

    I bet in the long run, it will be because of this group that we won/lost enough games to get a wildcard.

    • CALiFORNiAkiD

      I say the O-line and RB’s

  • Cgoodness13

    Anyone know when royal will be back? Hopefully he comes back soon because he can be a huge asset. Last season he was misused by norv so he didn’t put up numbers, but now that McCoy and whiz have him doing what he does best, he can put up huge numbers.

  • arnie

    So what you’re sayin Jonah, In context, we can see why PR needs improvement. If the WR can just hold onto the ball the passing attack would be slightly better.

  • Adam

    Ladarius is just ridiculous. Absolute beast

  • Tazzster

    Maybe if Keenan Allen wore a helmet that didn’t cover his eyes… things would be better?

  • TheReturnOfMrBlanks

    Yikes, That’s a ton of missed catches and tipped balls. PR needs to put alittle mustard on that thing when he slings it or that is going to keep happening with the softball throws.

  • davacho

    good article. i think rhythm is important for offenses and rivers hasn’t had a realistic opportunity for that yet as he’s played such short spurts. of course, against AZ he did, BUT we opted for running plays to punch it in for the score. mathews and fozzie’s TDs could have easily been TD throws from rivers and then we’d be talking about our lack of rush TDs.

    i am optimistic that we have steadily improved- let’s not forget this is a brand new system and coaching staff (sure there are similarities, but we can’t deny a transition is part of the slow start).

    here’s to a winning system, a surprise playoff berth and players stepping up. : )

    btw: 77.1% should be 88.5% (catchable balls paragraph).

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