Chargers Report Card

Donnie Edwards (Getty Images)

Grading out the units in a 24-22 Chargers loss that all but dashed any playoff hopes.

QUARTERBACKS- Drew Brees (26-40, 242 yards, 2 touchdowns) was a tale of two halves, dismal in the first before regaining his composure and throwing two touchdowns in the second half. He even appeared compose on the final drive and was burning with a desire to win the game. His deep passes had a little too much loft on them and it cost him points. He needs to zip some of those balls in. Just look at the replay of the apparent Eric Parker touchdown that was ruled incomplete in the back of the end zone. Grade: B-

RUNNING BACKS- LaDainian Tomlinson had another 100-yard+ performance, his 7th this year. He also caught nine balls but Kansas City did a fantastic job keeping him under wraps on screen passes as he gained only 26 yards on those receptions. Fred McCrary caught a touchdown pass. Grade: B

RECEIVERS- Curtis Conway saw limited action due to the stinger in his shoulder. He still was able to open the field up on a number of plays and allow receivers to run underneath routes and get open. Eric Parker and Reche Caldwell combined for 7 receptions and Tim Dwight was again aggressive with 6 receptions. The unit was open all day long and the only mark against them was Caldwell trying to gain a few more yards at the end and fumbling the ball away. Grade: B+

OFFENSIVE LINE- The unit did a good job in pass protection allowing just one sack but they did not block well on screen passes. Kelvin Garmon had a solid day pulling on toss plays to pave the way for Tomlinson. Grade: B+

DEFENSIVE LINE- The unit clogged up the line on running plays allowing just 53 yards rushing on the day. They were unable, despite three sacks, to provide constant pressure on Trent Green and Green responded by throwing for 337 yards. Grade: B

LINEBACKERS- Donnie Edwards led the team in tackles yet again but you would not have known it. It was the quietest 11 tackles you will see. They seemed to not be able to force the play and were not good in coverage at all. Grade: C-

SECONDARY- The 7th 300 yard performance this unit has allowed this year. They got beat for a 99 yarder where a number of players will share the blame and continue to miss assignments and tackles. Grade: D

SPECIAL TEAMS- The finest performance of the season by this unit. The punting by Darren Bennett was exceptional as he pinned the Chiefs deep in their own territory three separate times. Dante' Hall had no room to run and the punt returning of Dwight was again explosive. Steve Christie hit all three field goals (30, 49, 24) he tried. Grade: A

COACHING- The staff failed to continue to go with what was working. Brees was playing well in the second half and after the Chargers took the lead the offense became stale. Tomlinson was not used enough in their first half when Brees was struggling with his command. Grade: C-

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