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
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
Opp. Pass Deflected
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.
SD Pass Deflected
ARI vs. SD
CHI vs. SD
SEA vs. SD
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.