Chargers focus elsewhere
A week after the San Diego Chargers offense came to life, the team had its worst game of the season. Every cringe that fans displayed early in the season was multiplied by ten in this complete lack of effort.
For the first time all season the Bolts played like a team. The whole team was terrible.
The grades and injury report, including an update on Tim Dwight:
Doug Flutie went 9-25 and fumbled the ball three times. Two were unforced so the onus cannot be on the offensive line and the third he held onto the ball too long. Denver came after Flutie and he did not respond. The offense as a whole could not keep the defense off the field, and Flutie must take the heat as Drew Brees has.
LaDainian Tomlinson touched the ball 12 times and could not secure a handoff in the first quarter. That play, after the defense stopped Denver on fourth down, was demoralizing. The team never recovered. The team was down so quickly, eerily reminiscent, it had no chance to get LT involved.
David Boston was terrible. He dropped a sure reception when the game was still a game and never had much separation. His blocking was feeble. The other receivers failed to recognize the blitz and never came back to help a scrambling Flutie.
Easily the worst performance of the year. Damion McIntosh has regressed so far he should be benched (if someone healthy could take over). Cory Raymer can’t stop a blitzer after hiking the ball. The right side of the line was overpowered with extra blitzers and no one was there to pick them up. Denver simply dominated the trenches.
Stephen Alexander was back and many wish he wasn’t. The interception he caused was huge. In week 11, he has yet to make a play and is now taking time away from Antonio Gates and Justin Peelle, two young guys who bring more excitement to the field than he could ever muster. The young guys were also terrible in this game. They failed to see blitzes and provide extra time for Flutie
The Broncos run for 200+ yards and have enough time to set the dinner table before throwing the ball. Penalties haunted this unit and without the full compliment of players, they were downright tired. Otis Leverette showed some promise and that is about it.
Donnie Edwards had 18 tackles. Any player who has 18 tackles usually is on the losing side. Ben Leber caused a fumble and Zeke Moreno fell on it. This unit had the best game of any unit and that isn’t saying a whole heck of a lot.
Sammy Davis and Quentin Jammer were abused. When they played tight, they were beat deep as the safeties provided no help over the top. When they were off the line, the underneath stuff killed them. Terrence Kiel on Shannon Sharpe was just a poor coaching decision. Kwamie Lassiter has to be the invisible man – fact. Jerry Wilson is just slow and always two steps away from making a play.
They usually keep the top wideouts off the return team so they won’t get hurt. Rod Smith did not have to worry about that since the Chargers never touched him on his punt return for a touchdown. Leon Johnson looked like he was in slow motion on kickoff returns.
Marty Schottenheimer was thoroughly whooped. From the kickoff to the merciful end of the game, the San Diego Chargers were outplayed. Denver easing up on them is the only reason they were able to score points that they in no way deserved. Knowing they faced a very good front four, the Chargers never compensated. Devo would have been proud of Denver.
Injury Report from the Coach:
“Tim Dwight who has a situation that involves a collapsed lung. He is still back in Denver. We expect he will probably be back Wednesday. He is probably doubtful for this week.
I don’t know long term, but they would not let him fly because of the pressurization. I don’t think it is totally collapsed. My interpretation is it is no longer in that state. It was collapsed.”
Dwight suffered a collapsed lung in 2001 and missed six games.
“Solomon Page has made progress.
“We thought (Jason) Ball had a chance last week but he went out before the game and wasn’t quite ready. I would say questionable and we could go to probable. I am hopeful we will have him.
“(Cory) Raymer, fractured hand and all, is out there playing and playing reasonably well.
“Kwamie (Lassiter) has an MCL sprain and he is probably going to be, if not doubtful, questionable.
“Ray Lee (Johnson) is also doubtful this week.”
Denis Savage can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org