Chargers vs Redskins
The Chargers fell to 4-4 on the season after blowing 3 shots at victory. This was a frustrating game to watch because it felt like one of those classic Norv games. The Redskins handed us a victory and the players seized the opportunity and marched down to the Redskins 1 yard line. But, in classic Norv style, the Chargers staff fumbled the playcalling and blew the opportunity to win in regulation. Once it went into overtime, RGIII blew right down the field for a score. Game over. Here are my 7 stats that the Chargers must improve on if they want to win these games:
1. Redskins 3rd down %
The Redskins converted 12/17 3rd down plays, good for 70.5% for the day. They were able to control the game on the ground and in the air and prolong drives on 3rd down. The Chargers have looked better on 3rd down this season, but this game was an unfortunate step backwards for an improving group.
2. Pierre Garcon: 7 catches, 172 yards
The Chargers’ secondary is soft. Like gooey marshmallow soft or Andy Reid’s belly soft. Derek Cox was getting picked on all day. It is concerning when not one person in the secondary can get their hands on the ball. Garcon burned Johnny patrick a few times as well. The Chargers really need to improve that secondary if they think this team could nab a wild card spot. John Pagano should experiment with some press coverage as well, because playing 20 yards off is not getting the job done. If not, opposing receivers are going to continue to make us look silly.
3. 2nd half Ryan Mathews
Ryan Mathews had 1 rush for 1 yard in the 2nd half. What is the deal? Even if he plays well in the 1st, he will never get a touch in the redzone or 2nd half. Why? I don’t know. I thought he may have been hurt again, but he played in the second to last play of regulation. Now, he didn’t touch the ball, but he did line up. He could have scored and won us the game on that play, but instead we put Rivers in play action. I love Danny Woodhead, but Mathews is bigger and stronger than him. If Mathews only gets one touch in the 2nd half, it’s on that play. Ugh.
4. Philip Rivers: 46 pass attempts
This frustrates me just as much as Mathews getting only one touch. Philip Rivers has been good this year. He is a legitimate Comeback Player of the Year candidate, but he is not Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, or Aaron Rodgers. He is not the guy that should be throwing the ball on all 3 goal line plays to win the game when we have timeouts. As much as I love Rivers as a quarterback, he just isn’t that guy. 46 pass attempts is way to many for Rivers, especially when the Chargers only rushed to ball 16 total times.
5. Redskins rushing attack: 209 yards, 4 TD
Alfred Morris had 128 yards and 1 TD on 25 rushes. Darrel Young had 5 rushes for 3 TD. Roy Helu Jr. gashed the Chargers for a 21 yarder. Jordan Reed and Santana Moss both burned the Chargers for 18 yard runs out of the pistol. Ironically, RGIII was the only guy the Chargers did stop on the ground. The Chargers were 24th in the league in opponent rush yardage. They played well for a good amount of the game, but just could not stop allowing big runs. It eventually gassed the defense in the 2nd half. By the time the Redskins made it to the goal line, the Chargers looked too tired to even stop Darrel Young.
6. Keenan Allen: 2 Drops
Keenan Allen is still a rookie. It showed when he had a couple of bad drops in the 2nd half. He started to run before he caught the pass. Considering how well he played otherwise, these drops are not too concerning. I expect that from a rookie. Just because he is the No. 1 receiver does not mean he will not make rookie mistakes. Allen more than made up for it with a nice over-the-shoulder TD catch.
XP. Time of Possession
The Redskins beat the Chargers in time of possession by over 14 minutes. TOP is the Chargers’ game and its concerning when aren’t able to control the clock. The Chargers failed to control the clock at all today. Number 3 and number 4 probably didn’t make things any easier.
Let me know what you think on the poll, in the comments, or on twitter @kingofcahill