Recap: What Worked, What Didn't, What's Next

The Chargers, ravaged by injuries, struggled to get any separation from the winless Jaguars in the first half. The second half was a different story, as San Diego outscored Jacksonville 16-0 to pull away with its third consecutive victory. Here is a look back at what worked, what didn't and what's next after Week 4.

What Worked

--Philip Rivers is a man on fire and is arguably the league's most valuable player through the first quarter of the season. He torched the Jags, hitting 29 of 39 passes (74.4 percent) for 377 yards and three touchdowns. He also continued his trend of finding a different go-to receiver every week, as Keenan Allen broke loose in a big way, setting career-highs with 10 catches and 135 yards.

But Allen hardly had all the fun. Eddie Royal caught two touchdowns for the second consecutive week; Malcom Floyd found the end zone as well; and running backs Donald Brown and Branden Oliver combined for eight catches and 68 receiving yards.

"Philip had an outstanding game," Head Coach Mike McCoy said. "The protection, for the most part, was good. The receivers created separation and gave him an opportunity."

--The defense, which failed to intercept a pass during the season's first three games, picked off a pair on Sunday. Brandon Flowers stepped in front of a pass intended for Cecil Shorts III on Jacksonville's first drive of the second half, marking his first interception as a Charger. Later, Eric Weddle closed out the game with his 19th career interception.

The Chargers turned the interceptions into a pair of Nick Novak field goals. San Diego is now plus-five in the turnover category through four games, the third-best mark in the NFL.

--Speaking of Novak, he connected on all four field-goal attempts against Jacksonville. He has now converted on 89 of his 101 attempts as a Charger, an 88.1 percent conversion rate that ranks best in franchise history. His 100th attempt gave him enough to qualify for the team record.

What Didn't

--The running game continues to struggle. Brown carried 10 times for 19 yards, while Oliver was not much better with nine carries for 23 yards. Offensive coordinator Frank Reich was forced to basically abandon the run, opting instead for short passes to get his running backs the ball in space.

"We just need to keep staying with it," said Rivers of the running game. "The name of the game is winning and we’ve done that now the past three weeks. They don't deduct any points for rushing yards. We are going to need to keep improving in the running game. It wasn't at it's best today."

The offensive line is simply not opening up holes to run through. Doug Legursky started at center in place of Rich Ohrnberger (back), making Legursky the third man to start at the hub position this season. And Chris Watt made his pro debut, rotating at right guard with Johnnie Troutman as line coach Joe D'Allesandris looks for a combination that can open some running lanes. After Sunday's game, it is safe to say the search continues.

--The Chargers have spent the last three years trying to rebuild their defense though the draft. A lot of good that did them on Sunday.

Melvin Ingram, the team's first-round pick in 2012, is on short-term IR with a hip injury. Manti Te'o, a second-round pick in 2013, is sidelined with yet another foot injury. This year's top picks, Jason Verrett and Jerry Attaochu, sat with hamstring injuries.

The injury bug bit again on Sunday, as Shareece Wright left in the second quarter with a knee injury. Early reports indicate it may be an MCL sprain, the same injury that has Ryan Mathews spending a 4-6 week stint on the sidelines. Richard Marshall filled in for Wright on Sunday and will be pushed into a significant role until the secondary returns to health.

What's Next?

The Chargers host the 1-3 New York Jets, who have lost three in a row since winning their home opener against the Oakland Raiders. The Jets are a nemesis of Bolts Nation after eliminating the Chargers from the playoffs in 2005 and 2010. But these are not the same Jets. New York comes to town with a turnover-prone quarterback who is in hot water for cursing at a fan after his team's latest loss.

Rex Ryan says he is sticking with Geno Smith. But John Pagano would be wise to study some tape of Mike Vick just in case.



Can the Chargers make it four in a row? Discuss inside the message boards.



Michael Lombardo is a long-time contributor to the Scout.com team. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 18 years and covered the team since '03. You can see more of his updates by following him on twitter.


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