Chargers Report Card Week 13

It is hard to believe just how many errors the San Diego Chargers continue to make. The pass defense got a big boost this week with the play of Quentin Jammer and Drayton Florence, but that didn't stop the rest of the team from faltering.<br><br> The grades are in and the injury update:

Quarterbacks:

Drew Brees could have turned the ball over three times. Yet, there was Doug Flutie behind the helm of a now defunct 2-10 team. There was once talk about confidence in the quarterback and how players made plays based on that. That aura has washed away and all that is left is miscues.

Grade: F

Running Backs:

LaDainian Tomlinson broke off a 55-yard run when the team needed him most. Again LT was relegated to a stand-in performance because the team was behind. He broke 100 yards, earning a new Chargers record for most 100-yard games with 16, but the "LT factor" has not been able to change the face of a game when the team is down by 14 points in every game. His effort is not penalized.

Lorenzo Neal is blocking with his shoulder and head more frequently and he is forgetting he has hands. That has limited his effectiveness in blocking. Grade: B-

Wide Receivers:

Is anyone on this unit married? Their wives should be concerned about giving them a baby to hold they dropped so many passes on Sunday. If Doug Flutie was bad, this group of fourth stringers was worse. The lone bright spot after David Boston (he dropped done too) was the possible emergence of Kassim Osgood with some confidence on the final drive of the game. Isn't it time to bench Reche Caldwell for the season? Can they still put him on IR?

Grade: F

Offensive Line:

Doug Flutie was always scrambling. That could be by design, but odds are better the offensive line was not up to par. Cory Raymer under center meant more snap problems and it showed. Jason Ball, working with any quarterback, has muffed one snap in two years. Phil Bogle committed two penalties.

Grade: D

Tight Ends:

Stephen Alexander was inactive instantly boosting this unit's grade. Antonio Gates caught a touchdown at the end of the game and was open several times. He did, however, produce one drop that killed a drive. His blocking was not up to par with previous games.

Grade: C

Defensive Line:

Pushed and prodded like an alien abduction the D-line was dominated in the trenches. They had no pressure up front on Trent Green, one Dingle sack and forced fumble aside, and had no answer for the cutting Priest Holmes. Swiss cheese has fewer holes than the Chargers line.

Grade: F

Linebackers:

Not one big play from this clan. Chiefs' players were routinely dragging them five yards downfield. On a goal line stance, where there is a normal collision on the running back that tries to jump over the pile, there was not a man to be found. Donnie Edwards was schooled by his former teammate Tony Gonzalez on one touchdown.

Grade: F

Secondary:

Quentin Jammer had the game of his life. He doubled the interception output in his career and was instrumental in keeping the wide receivers off the board. Drayton Florence played well replacing Sammy Davis and his physical presence is needed on the field. He is never afraid to hit someone in the mouth and since the passing defense has generally been weak, his presence on crossing routes would be beneficial. Jerry Wilson was the sore spot. He knows where he is supposed to be, but is always one step behind the action.

Grade: B

Special Teams:

Leon Johnson had two returns over 50 yards and gave the Chargers field position they could do nothing with. It was the best game from a return standpoint the team had all year. Mike Scifres saw his first kickoff drop at the one, but was pedestrian after that. That is still better than Steve Christie could have ever done. Even on his shorter kickoffs, he had height and the coverage unit was up to par. Dante Hall broke one long return and the unit has to be satisfied with that. Darren Bennett averaged 31 yards per punt on three punts. Not good. Christie missed two field goals that likely cost the team a win.

Grade: D

Coaching:

The team played seven men in the box against a Priest Holmes led offense for much of the game. With Jammer playing well, and facing a premiere back, they should have cheated more to stop the run. Cam Cameron can't be blamed for dropped passes or a shoddy O-line. His plan worked, the offense did not execute. Maybe there was something to the team watching the game tape as one group. Several players had solid games, but until they all play a game as one, they will never win. That falls on the head coach.

Grade: D

Injury Report:

C Jason Ball aggravated his ankle injury and likely won't play this week. He would be replaced by veteran Cory Raymer.

LT Damion McIntosh (ankle) didn't return after hurting his ankle Sunday. He'll be eased into the practice week. Solomon Page would replace him.

TE Stephen Alexander (groin) is ailing again; he was inactive on Sunday.

TE Justin Peelle (concussion) should be fine.

KR/PR Leon Johnson's ankle injury isn't believed to be serious.

Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net

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