PASSING OFFENSE: B -- Philip Rivers throws for 313 yards, but it comes with an interception and no touchdowns. Rivers took a backseat to the running game and he was also on his back five times because of sacks and on numerous other occasions. Ten Chargers came down with passes as Rivers' targets seem to change on nearly every possession. Malcom Floyd racked up 57 yards on just two catches; among them a one-handed snag which will fill the Chargers' highlight film.
RUSHING OFFENSE: B - Ryan Mathews finally had the restrictor plates taken off his game and he responded with career highs in rushing touchdowns (three) and yards (120). But his two fumbles can't be overlooked and if the Chargers didn't recover them, his day would have taken on a different flavor. But he showed considerable balance and awareness on his three scoring runs. Kudos too, to the run blockers as many of his gallop came because of the considerable holes he ran through.
PASS DEFENSE: B - Secondary had some issues, but Quentin Jammer and Eric Weddle came through with some big interceptions. Plus, Tim Tebow was sacked three times - not easy to do with his mobility. For the most part, the pass defense held up - which is partly because of its play but due in some part to Tebow's inaccuracies.
RUSH DEFENSE: D - Nearly 150 yards allowed on the ground, which doesn't speak well to the inside play of the Chargers. Knowshon Moreno averaged 6.8 yards on six carries but the rusher the Chargers couldn't stop was Tebow - he gained 94 yards and a touchdown. The Broncos racked up all those yards despite an 18-yard loss on a reverse.
SPECIAL TEAMS: D - Just when the Chargers had seemingly iced away the victory, Cassius Vaughn returned the kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown. Then they only needed to secure the onside kick, and the Chargers weren't even able to do that, giving Tebow two last shots at the end zone. Antonio Cason continues to show his punt-return skills, bringing one back 62 yards.
COACHING: B - Norv Turner does well in getting his players interested in one last game with nothing at stake. He stays true to his goal of getting Ryan Mathews untracked and that balance with Philip Rivers' passing was keen. Defensive coordinator Ron Rivera, in what might have been his final game with the Chargers was able to contain Tim Tebow fairly well for the first three quarters. The biggest coaching blunder on Sunday came from Steve Crosby's special teams unit which once again proves to be the worst in the league. Crosby was fired on Monday.
How good can Ryan Mathews become? Talk about it inside the message boards.
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