Broncos v. Chargers Report Card

The game plan seemed sound when the Denver Broncos were ahead of the Chargers 24-7. But what followed was a tough collapse that will have ramifications for the Broncos all year. Denver never seemed to have the right answer when the Chargers were rallying.

REPORT CARD VS. CHARGERS

PASSING OFFENSE: D -- Jake Plummer had another mediocre game. He didn't complete a pass in the first quarter, rebounded a bit when the Broncos were building a 24-7 lead, but then didn't finish strong. The Broncos couldn't keep many drives going. Plummer had a fourth-quarter interception on a fourth-down play that pretty much eliminated Denver's chances to win.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B -- Mike Bell and Damien Nash brought some life to the running game. Bell didn't have any long runs, but he grinded out some tough yards. Nash was a pleasant surprise. He was on the practice squad only two weeks ago, but he had some explosive runs against San Diego. Tatum Bell missed the game with two injured big toes, and his status for this week is up in the air.

PASS DEFENSE: C -- Darrent Williams' 31-yard interception return for a touchdown seemingly put Denver in control. The Broncos had played well up to that point. But Philip Rivers played well after that. San Diego's biggest play might have been a 51-yard pass to LaDainian Tomlinson when the Chargers caught Denver in a blitz and DE Ebenezer Ekuban was trying to guard Tomlinson out of the backfield.

RUSH DEFENSE: C-minus -- Tomlinson had 100 yards and three touchdowns rushing. The Broncos bottled him up on some plays and were physical with him, but on others Tomlinson exploited the perimeter of Denver's defense for some nice gains.

SPECIAL TEAMS: F -- Even with some good punting by Paul Ernster and a long kickoff return by Cecil Sapp, this unit did not play well. Many long returns gave San Diego great field position and put the Broncos defense in bad positions. The Broncos might have to make some changes on special teams because they have not played well all year.

COACHING: D -- The game plan seemed sound when Denver was ahead 24-7. But what followed was a tough collapse that will have ramifications for the Broncos all year. Denver never seemed to have the right answer when the Chargers were rallying. Letting a defensive end cover Tomlinson out of the backfield on a 51-yard catch was disastrous. And the Broncos special teams were a disappointment.



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