Chargers Week 12 Report Card

The Chargers are peaking at the right time. This seems like nothing new in San Diego, but this year's team is playing as if it intends to do some damage in the postseason. Here is a look at how each unit graded out in Sunday's 34-14 romp.

PASSING OFFENSE: B -- No gaudy numbers for the second week in a row, and that is fine with Philip Rivers. He didn't throw for a touchdown Sunday night, ending his team-record streak of recording one touchdown pass in 23 straight games. But Rivers is about winning, not numbers, and he will take 185 passing yards with no touchdowns -- and no interceptions -- any time when it results in a victory. Antonio Gates continues to stiff-arm pain and produce; Legedu Naanee looked good in his return after five games out with a hamstring injuries. Rivers was sacked twice.

RUSHING OFFENSE: A -- Mike Tolbert continues to prove this team can win without its first-round pick, Ryan Mathews. As Mathews nurses a sore ankle, Tolbert cranked out his second straight 100-yard rushing game and added the team's only offensive touchdown. Tolbert, with his bruising style, does a lot of the work on his own, but give credit to the front line, as there were significant holes for Tolbert to run through.

PASS DEFENSE: A -- Making four interceptions was the key, as Peyton Manning never did get comfortable in the pocket. Kudos to Dante Hughes, as he did well in the nickel role with Donald Strickland not able to go. Kevin Burnett and Eric Weddle both returned interceptions for touchdowns; Stephen Cooper and Antoine Cason also had picks. Shaun Phillips had a sack; Antonio Garay should have had one but didn't get credit.

RUSH DEFENSE: A -- The Colts couldn't get anything going from their ground game, as the Chargers' defensive line won the battle up front. In particular, Garay continues to play effectively in the middle. Inside linebackers Stephen Cooper and Kevin Burnett, played very well, too.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A -- Getting five field goals from Nate Kaeding, a career high, was crucial, as the offense didn't have its usual production. Darren Sproles had 89 yards on three kickoff returns. The coverage teams were basically on the spot. Great improvement here from earlier in the year.

COACHING: A -- Norv Turner was smart to lean on the run so much, picking on a Colts defense that has struggled defending the run all season. Ron Rivera, the defensive coordinator, had Peyton Manning off-kilter, sending various blitzes and various players from various angles to get inside the Colts' pocket and Manning's head. The defense is starting to pick up turnovers, which wasn't the case earlier in the year.


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