Chargers Continue Sleepy Start

The San Diego Chargers lived up to their slow-start tendency with a 20-17 loss to the St. Louis Rams, falling to 2-4. San Diego's second-half wake-up call could not erase a sleepy first half.

Philip Rivers started his Week 6 campaign with no passing yards to speak of.

His single, first-possession passing attempt failed with Buster Davis the intended target. Both Davis and Rivers would make up the botched play with a late, fourth-quarter score that brought the Chargers to just a three-point deficit, 20-17.

Despite tight coverage, Davis and Rivers put the Chargers into contention, making the last three minutes of the game more interesting than the 57 minutes before it.

Rivers' struggles were mainly at the hands of his offensive line. Rivers was brought down seven times courtesy of two-sack performances from Larry Grant, James Hall and Chris Long. Fred Robbins rounded out the Rams' count with one.


LB Stephen Cooper
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty
On the other side of the field, Sam Bradford registered 198 passing yards and one touchdown. The young, big-buck quarterback also led his team into field goal position twice, with Steven Jackson taking care of 109 yards on the ground, including a TD.

San Diego's defense began to show signs of life in the second quarter. All three of their sacks happened under the three-minute mark in the first half. Their work allowed the Chargers to avoid a first-half shutout, with a field goal from Nate Kaeding -- who later missed the uprights after slipping and a subsequent block -- sending the Chargers into the locker room with 14-point deficit, 17-3.

Besides a field goal, San Diego's second-half defense halted the Rams' roll. Ron Rivera's squad gave Rivers ample opportunity to produce. The Chargers defense forced Rams to go three-and-out in their first two second-half possessions.

The Chargers' offensive line used the extra time to find their blocks, while Rivers used a short game to get his team 1-yard away from the end zone. Jacob Hester parted the blue sea, enabling Mike Tolbert to pick up the Chargers' first touchdown, 17-10.

The extra protection for Rivers allowed him to go from just 88 yards in the first half to 249 yards when time expired.

Patrick Crayton led the receiving corps with 117 yards on six catches. But, on offense, only Rivers put in more work than Darren Sproles, who was kept busy on returns.

The Chargers missed the production of Pro Bowl TE Antonio Gates, who was sidelined late in the first half with a left ankle injury.

Notably present, yet absent, was Shaun Phillips, who tacked on just a single tackle.

Overall, the Chargers failed to dry the eyes of their fans after their Week 5 loss to Oakland. They'll host the New England Patriots next week.



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