Chargers Week 1: What We Learned

By Arnie
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Sep 9, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers wide receiver Malcom Floyd (80) walks off the field after the Texans defeated the Chargers 31-28 with a field goal as time expired at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY

Philip Rivers –  Played well. Not GREAT, just well enough to know he can be “fixed”. On the night, PR completed 14 of 29 passes for 195 YDS, 4 TD’s  and 1 INT.  With a 48.3% completion rate (mostly dropped balls) and 2 sacks, PR played well enough to win this game. He gave the Chargers a chance. So what’s the problem? He doesn’t play defense, catch the balls or play Special teams. Baby Giraffe did everything he could, he even ran 18 yards for a first down. In all fairness he did some things not so good, like missing Ladarius Green and Antonio Gates underneath who were both wide open and could’ve kept the drives going. We can even question his leadership, and make comparisons to Brady and Manning, but i just can’t throw him under the bus. PR came out did his part and when he needed help, he was still all alone.

REF’s- I don’t like using the ref’s as an excuse, so i won’t. I’ll share some tried and true wisdom. “…Don’t put the game in the ref’s hands…”, this means you need to go out and prepare as a team to not make stupid mistakes, to where you are arguing every little call, because you really need it. If you’re confident as team and a call didn’t go your way, brush it off, line-up for the next one and convert on 3rd &18 like the Texans did. On top of that, win CONVINCINGLY. If you are up by 21 points “in the 4th quarter with two minutes to go” the refs hands are tied.

Play Calling – if it ain’t broke, don’t _____ with it! This little piece goes out to BOTH of our coordinators. I understand that you have new players, and one of you is on a new team, but what drives me crazy is the consistent tinkering to out-think themselves, instead of keeping it simple. I understand you had a game plan in place when you came into the game, but did that plan include, STOP doing what works? Make the other team stop you, don’t do there job for them.

Ryan Mathews – Scored a TD “OUT IN SPACE”, he had 2 catches for 22 yards and 13 rushes for 33. Think. He averaged 11 yards in the air, and 2.5 on the ground. What possesses a team to be stubborn to run the ball up the middle and not use him in space? The young man showed he can be trusted with the ball, I watched as they tried to strip it away every time he had it. He held on. The most impressive run of the night was on 4th an 1, got stopped bounced out, put his feet in the ground a pushed his way for the 1st down. He didn’t run outstanding behind a new O-Line, he just looked slightly better… again play-calling. Give the young man more run plays to the guards or outside. Mathews can beat most linemen and linebacker to the corner if you let him.