For the Chargers, this one was mostly ugly. Injuries, penalties and poor fundamental football plagued San Diego as they fell to the Vikings, 31-14 in Minnesota.
Here’s some of the takeaways:
**Injuries plagued this one from the start. Although DJ Fluker was active and so was CB Jason Verrett, both were not 100-percent. Verrett had limited play in the first half and didn’t play at all in the second; Fluker had to play due to the entire offensive line getting decimated. The Chargers dressed eight offensive linemen and used every one of them.
**As the offensive line went, so did quarterback Philip Rivers. He was hit hard in the ribs in the second half and continued to play until throwing a Pick-Six to start the fourth quarter. Then, it was Kellen Clemens time. He went five-for-six for 63 yards and a touchdown pass to Keenan Allen. Rivers went 21 of 34 for 246 yards, one touchdown (also to Allen), one interception and one fumble.
Allen finished the day with 12 receptions for 133 yards.
**After rushing for 88-yards against the Bengals last week, running back Melvin Gordon finished with 14 carries for 51 yards against the Vikings defense. The run game as a whole went for 90 yards (an average of 3.2 per carry). The team averaged 5.2 last week.
**The offense as a whole sputtered and just couldn’t find a rhythm (it didn’t help that the offensive line was battered). The Chargers finished with 369 total yards and went 8-for-17 (47-percent) on third downs.
**The defense fared better, at least in the beginning. Coordinator John Pagano’s men held the Vikings to a field goal in the first quarter after Rivers fumbled the ball. Cornerback Steve Williams notched his first career interception.
The score was 10-7 Vikings at halftime, due in part to San Diego’s defense and in part to the Vikings’ blunders. After halftime, it was a different story, though. Vikings’ running back Adrian Peterson ran for a 43-yard touchdown on Minnesota’s opening drive. A penalty by Melvin Ingram negated a field goal later in the same quarter and gave the Vikings a new set of downs, which they promptly capitalized on for a touchdown.
Peterson finished the day with 20 carries for 126 yards (the Vikings as a whole ran for 163 yards on the Chargers; the Bengals ran for 175 yards last week).
**Speaking of penalties: