On Sunday, the San Diego Chargers lost to the Tennessee Titans 20-17. The Bolts had the lead for the majority of the game, but ultimately lost in the final minute of play when Titans quarterback Jack Locker threw a 34-yard touchdown to wide receiver Justin Hunter. Here are the positional grades for the Chargers in the loss.
Phillip Rivers played a good game of football statistically. He completed 20 of 24 passes for 184 yards and had a touchdown pass. His quarterback rating finished at 112.5 and he didn’t make any major mistakes. That being said, he didn’t make any great plays either. On the first drive of the game he was able to march the team down the field, but after that the offense couldn’t really get moving. Compared to the last few weeks, there was a definite decrease in production.
Running backs: C+
Ryan Mathews rushed for a mere 58 yards on 16 carries without a touchdown. He wasn’t able to find much room at all and didn’t have any runs for 10 plus yards. His performance would be a C at best. However, Danny Woodhead played with the hardworking attitude that made him a fan favorite in New England. He racked up 86 all-purpose yards and led the team with 7 receptions. He did lose a fumble in the game, but he and Antonio Gates were the only two Chargers who were able to do anything offensively.
Wide receivers/tight ends: C
Antonio Gates had a decent outing with 5 receptions for 55 yards and a touchdown. Aside from Gates however, there was no receiver that made an impact in the game. Wide receivers only had 5 of the completed passes. It isn’t surprising that the team struggled to put up points when the passing game was so mediocre.
Offensive Line: B
Phillip Rivers was sacked twice and the line provided almost no room for the running backs to run. The line wasn’t good necessarily, but it wasn’t terrible either. It also should be noted that D.J. Fluker was inactive for the game and Chad Rinehart left in the first half with an injury.
Defensive Line: C-
The front line on defense is supposed to be the strong point for this Charger team. Unfortunately, today they did not live up to expectations. The Titans were able to average 5.9 yards per carry and the defensive linemen weren’t responsible for either of the two sacks on Jake Locker.
As the Titans were able to move the ball well on the ground and in the air, it makes sense to look at the linebackers as being part of the problem. The linebackers couldn’t make an impact stopping the run and didn’t do much in the passing game either. Reggie Walker had 8 tackles and a sack, which isn’t bad, but it isn’t the stat line that a team’s best linebacker should have.
The secondary only gave up one passing touchdown, but the secondary was playing Jake Locker. Locker has never been considered an elite quarterback and the Chargers secondary allowed him to throw for 299 yards. In the first two weeks of the season, Locker averaged only 136.5 yards. The secondary was also unable to make any interceptions or come up with any big plays.
Special Teams: C
The Chargers allowed a field goal to be blocked at the end of the first half. Other than that, the unit played well. Nick Novak hit a field goal and Mike Scifres punted the ball well as usual. The unit also tackled the Titans punter on a Tennessee fourth down, but it was only because the punter bobbled the snap.