Broncos v. Chargers Report Card

Tatum Bell showed some flashes of his talent for the first time this season, but that's about all Denver had going for it on the ground. Denver has been held to under 100 yards rushing three times this season, and two of those times came against San Diego. Reuben Droughns (in photo) was bottled up for most of the day.

REPORT CARD VS. CHARGERS

PASSING OFFENSE
D
-- Denver had four interceptions and completed under 50 percent of its passes. For most of the first three quarters, Jake Plummer looked like he was headed for the worst performance of his Broncos career. He rallied Denver in the fourth quarter, for which he deserves some credit, but then killed the Broncos' chances with an underthrown ball on a fade route that was tipped and intercepted.

RUSHING OFFENSE
D-minus
-- Tatum Bell showed some flashes of his talent for the first time this season, but that's about all Denver had going for it on the ground. Denver has been held to under 100 yards rushing three times this season, and two of those times came against San Diego. Reuben Droughns was bottled up for most of the day.

PASS DEFENSE
A
-- Drew Brees has played well against every team he has gone up against, except Denver. Brees' two worst passing days this season have been against the Broncos. He threw for a season-low 106 yards on Sunday. Denver took tight end Antonio Gates out of the game by being physical with him, and aside from a 30-yard reception by Eric Parker on the first play of the game, San Diego's receivers were held in check.

RUSH DEFENSE
B
-- LaDainian Tomlinson had 113 yards, but averaged under four yards a carry. Tomlinson was able to eat up some yards and the clock in the second half, but for the most part the Broncos didn't allow Tomlinson to beat them. There were a few missed tackles, but overall Denver can't complain about its run defense.

SPECIAL TEAMS
D-minus
-- The Broncos were in bad field position most of the day. Micah Knorr didn't have a great day punting or kicking off. Jason Elam missed a field goal in the first quarter. Denver couldn't get any decent kickoff returns against San Diego's suspect coverage units. And a long punt return by San Diego's Eric Parker set up San Diego's second touchdown. It was not a good performance in any respect.

COACHING
C
-- The Broncos didn't have any answers for San Diego's 3-4 defense, which stopped Denver's running game for the second time this season. An audible late in the game at San Diego's seven-yard line led to an interception after the Broncos put the decision in Plummer's hands and he switched from a run play to a pass. Denver's defensive game plan was very good, though. Defensive coordinator Larry Coyer put the players in position to slow down San Diego's offense, and Denver executed it well.


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