Given how the San Diego Chargers season has gone thus far, you expected they would have their hands filled with the Cleveland Browns.
It appeared the Chargers were experiencing a recurring nightmare once again. Their play was dominant at times, only to see the momentum suddenly shift as they struggle to stay in the game. Never waving, Chargers head coach Mike McCoy stressed to his team to trust the gameplan and play smart because execution would determine the outcome.
In a flash, one pass halfway through the third quarter rejuvenated the Chargers season. Danny Woodhead’s 61-yard catch and run allowed all Charger fans to take a deep breath and be confident that the team was back on-track even though they were trailing by a field goal in the contest.
Who Was The Chargers Best Performer In Sunday's Win?
Instead of contemplating a 1-3 record with a holiday gift list of injuries, suddenly the Chargers are 2-2 and looking forward to next Monday night’s home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Injuries, injuries and more injuries could be the motto for 2015, as the amount of bodies getting treatment inside the training room on Monday’s is staggering. The scene could be taken directly from the popular television show, ER.
McCoy must be sick of seeing head athletic trainer James Collins, as a tap on his shoulder usually means another starter is out for the remainder of the game. You can add Malcom Floyd (concussion) and Stevie Johnson (hamstring) to the casualty list after Sunday’s win. With the roster so ravaged with injuries, the key to winning starts with coaching and putting the remaining players in position to excel.
The Chargers offensive coaches quickly recognized that the Browns safeties were having trouble defending the cross route pass patterns. McCoy threw early and often to Woodhead (138 total yardage from scrimmage), Ladarius Green and Dontrelle Inman, in order to exploit this obvious coverage mismatch. The offense perfectly executed the play-action pass that released an open receiver over the middle for big yards downfield.
It was refreshing to see different players rather than the usual suspects contributing to a victory. The offensive line was missing three starters from the lineup, the second unit showed grit, determination and confidence that they had enough time on the clock to turn this game around. They played as one and kept the constant pressure from the Browns defensive front away from Philip Rivers during the final two scoring drives.
This week’s victory is a classic example of how many competitors are standing on the Chargers sidelines.
The rallying cry from head coaches at training camp each summer is winning franchises play as one, and that’s exactly what happened at the Q last weekend:
It took an entire 53-man roster to win a football game.