Chargers report card: Week 4 Tennessee

The San Diego Chargers victory was one-sided on Sunday as they crushed the Tennessee Titans. Drew Brees had a career day and LaDainian Tomlinson had one of his usual ones – and didn't take a pounding in the process. The offensive line gets the credit for much of the solid play on offense.


Drew Brees was spot on. He hit his receivers in stride and was confident in his reads. He hit on 80 percent of his passes and dropped two bombs. It was an amazing transformation but one cane help thinking this was the aberration.

Grade: A


When LaDainian Tomlinson only needs 17 rushes to gain 147 yards, he is humming. He passed Paul Lowe for the most rushing yards by a San Diego Charger running back in the process. With plenty of time left on his contract, he will shatter the record and could conceivably challenge for the most rushing yards ever by an NFL back.

Grade: A


Reche Caldwell caught just three passes but two were huge momentum swingers. One scored a touchdown and the other nicely setup another score. His one handed grab was an image magicians conjure up for the gridiron. Unfortunately, he was the only receiver to snag a reception as the rest of the no-name group failed to respond.

Grade: B-


Antonio Gates recaptured some of the magic he lost by hauling in seven passes. Most were of the shorter variety but he was able to open up the field for others to make plays. Justin Peelle came up with a huge reception – his first of the year – a touchdown. He has not been a huge factor in the passing game but is known to possess solid hands. He may have opened up a door for more work in the future, particularly around the goalline.

Grade: B


When Nick Hardwick left the game with a knee injury, the line could have collapsed. David Brandt took his place and was ferocious with his blocking. The rest of the line played well. Drew Brees was rarely threatened and the holes for Tomlinson were gaping. Tomlinson had six rushes of more than ten yards in the game and they added a twenty yard reverse.

Grade: A


The Bolts deployed a six man rotation on the line throughout the game. While it provided fresh bodies, the mix wasn't always perfect. The line was dominant against the rush, allowing just 37 yards rushing until the final drive when the Titans gained 35 on the ground (all on draw plays). The pass rush never materialized and with 58 chances they managed just a half a sack.

Grade: C+


The linebackers were vital to the run defense, slamming through gaps and making plays. They were equally important in making tackles to counter the short Titans passing game. While they allowed plenty of receptions, not many were able to gain yards after the catch. They also were huge in stopping many third down opportunities.

Grade: B


Sammy Davis was credited with two pass deflections and maybe that is what he needed to turn his season around. Still, he gave up way too many completions. Quentin Jammer was not to be feared either. A touchdown was caught against him when he was slow in coverage. Derrick Mason and Drew Bennett combined for 21 receptions. While the yards per catch were down, the chances to make a play were high and none of the corners looked poised to make a big play.

Grade: C-


Mike Scifres was instrumental in limiting the Titans' field position. He dropped three of his four punts inside the twenty and the only one that didn't land inside the twenty went 57 yards and could not be returned. Nate Kaeding nailed his one field goal attempt and added in a touchback – the first of his career. The coverage teams were excellent and kept the Titans pinned deep. Their best field position on a kickoff was their own 32. The onside kick they failed to recover was a mental mistake. No Charger player attacked the ball and they paid for it.

Grade: B


It always seems the Chargers need a half before they start playing well. That reflects on the preparation. This week they came out and looked prepared. They showed new wrinkles on offense and it paid off. The defense didn't blitz a whole lot as they felt Billy Volek out and by the time they could – the game was well in hand. There was no need for adjustments with everything running so smoothly. It was a good plan and well executed by the troops.

Grade: A

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