14 good, bad, and ugly facts of Chargers in ’14

  1. Chargers lost four of six divisional games.
    1. Sweeping Oakland was a must, but one more divisional game and we would have clinched a playoff berth. We need to take advantage of opportunities at home.
  2. Chargers offense ranked 7th in 20+ pass plays with 57.
    1. Rivers knows how to find an intermediate route as well as any Quarterback in the league. “Rivers to Gates” continues to produce big plays that ignite drives.
  3. Chargers offense ranked 30th in total rushing yards with 1,367 and 31st in yards per carry with 3.4.
    1. We can’t blame the entire lack of rushing success to our offensive line. Fun fact: Did you know that Tom Brady and Russell Wilson were hit more times than Rivers? We need a consistent and durable rusher.
  4. Chargers offense longest pass play was 59 yards which ranks 4th lowest in the NFL.
    1. Who is going to be the guy to throw someone off, break ankles in the open field, or burn a defensive back so badly that “He…Could…Go…All…The….WAAAY”?
  5. Chargers offense ranked 5th overall completing 66.2% of passes.
    1. Once again, Rivers has shown an ability to be efficient with his throws. Since the slump year of 2012 he has been nothing short of sensational.
  6. Chargers offense ranked 31st in rushing first-downs with 23.
    1. This makes me remember seasons past when #35 Mike Tolbert would come in and plow his way through. We need a bruiser.
  7. Chargers defense ranked 3rd highest in penalties with 129 which totaled 1,067 yards.
    1. A combination of not locating the ball resulting in P.I., holding calls, and hands to the face penalties was not a recipe for success in 2014.
  8. Chargers defense ranked 8th highest in third-down conversions allowed with 43%.
    1. A result of a lack of pass rush. When an opposing quarterback has that much time, coverage can’t hold up.
  9. Chargers defense ranked 29th overall in sacks with 26 on the season.
    1. For big names like Dwight Freeney and Melvin Ingram being on roster, the Bolts sure couldn’t find a way to get to the QB. Which amazes me since it seemed as if Freeney was back there often, but unable to produce sacks.
  10. Chargers defense allowed only 5 plays of 40+ yards. The only team to allow less was Denver with 4.
    1. Two of those huge plays came against San Francisco. But beyond that, the defense didn’t get “torched” all that often. It helps having Pro-Bowler Weddle at safety.
  11. Chargers defense ranked 28th in pass deflections with 65.
    1. Again, this is a product of not being able to locate the ball. Whether they’re a step slow, or just focused on the hit I have no idea.
  12. Chargers defense ranked 28th in interceptions with 7.
    1. We need a ball hawk. First, lets focus on locating the ball and then the picks will come.
  13. Chargers defense gave up the 4th lowest pass yards per game to opponents with 214.
    1. A result of not giving up those big pass plays, it seemed as is the opposing offenses were able to just chip away against them. The yardage is there, but the stops aren’t.
  14. Chargers kicking ranked last in the league in touchbacks with just 10 on the season.
    1. Nick Novak is great as a place kicker, but as a kickoff specialist his leg isn’t strong enough.

Oct 20, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; San Diego Chargers helmet lays on the field after the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Aug. 24, 2013; Glendale, AZ, USA: Detailed view of a San Diego Chargers helmet against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports