Chargers at Jaguars
This game was fun to watch: mostly because it will never get old watching the Chargers beat up on a team that makes our weaknesses look like our greatest strengths. But, this game has to be taken with a grain of salt. The Jaguars are 0-7 and have a legitimate shot at going 0-16. Either way, there were 7 stats for Chargers fans to be very encouraged about moving forward:
1. Philip Rivers: 22-26, 226 yards, 1 TD, 125.2 QBR
This much we know: all the talk of needing to ‘fix’ Philip Rivers should be over. This statline just as much of a reflection of the job Ken Whisenhunt has done with the offense, not to mention the (backup) offensive linemen. Rivers showed poise in the pocket and has even shown more mobility lately (not including the last play of the 1st half.) Rivers’ accuracy was on point again on Sunday. He didn’t throw an incomplete pass until the 3rd quarter.
2. Ryan Mathews: 21 rush, 110 yards, 5.2 ypc, 1 TD
Ryan Mathews officially has a 100-yard rushing streak. But, the yardage isn’t the most interesting stat here. Mathews got over 20 carries for the second week in a row. The coaching staff really is starting to trust him more. They even gave him some goal line touches this week. He still picks the wrong hole every once and a while, but Ryan is becoming a fixture in this offense. However, Mathews hasn’t been getting a lot of looks in the passing game thanks to Danny Woodhead. Speaking of….
3. Danny Woodhead: 9 rush, 29 yards, 1 TD, 4 catches, 47 yards
Danny Woodhead showed again why he could be the most underrated player in the NFL. Not only did he show that he can be a power or finesse runningback, but he may be the most important receiver for Philip Rivers. That 2nd & 20 outlet catch and run for a 1st down is the epitome of the new Chargers offense.
4. San Diego Chargers Defense: 5 sacks, 5 passes defensed, 1 INT
5 total sacks from Jahleel Addae, Corey Liuget, Larry English, and Thomas Keiser (2) showed that the Chargers can get pressure on the quarterback. It’s probably because the Jaguars traded away their only serviceable offensive lineman to the Ravens for an old washing machine, but it is possible. Thomas Keiser looked like a stud out there. Manti Te’o could have also been credited for a sack on a QB keeper that he absolutely blew up behind the line.
5. Marcus Gilchrist: 4 tackles, 2 passes defensed, 1 INT
Marcus Gilchrist picked off a pass! It was a horrible overthrow, into double coverage, and in garbage time. But hey, a pick is a pick. Maybe this will be a confidence booster for him. He also had a great pass defense on Marcedes Lewis to save a touchdown. But for some reason, he still doesn’t understand that you have to tackle a receiver when he catches the ball, not run alongside him for 15 yards. Sigh.
6. Justin Blackmon: 6 catches, 58 yards, 0 TD
Blackmon absolutely went off against the Denver Broncos. The Chargers were able to keep him under control for most of the game. Most of his yards were in garbage time anyways. Derek Cox also played good coverage on Blackmon, especially when he was able to press.
XP. Keenan Allen: 3 catches, 67 yards, 0 TD
Allen only had 3 catches, but man, they were good ones. He even almost had a touchdown but was interfered with by Alan Ball. Allen should’ve had a bigger stat line against the Jags, but the numbers don’t tell explain well he played. Is it crazy that I already expect him to have 100-yard, 1+ TD games?
Let me know what you thought about the game in the poll, in the comments, or on twitter @kingofcahill
The Chargers return home Week 10 to play the division rival Denver Broncos. To see that game and other home games, get your San Diego Chargers tickets here.