Chargers grade out superbly

The San Diego Chargers find themselves in second place in the AFC West. Surprised? After Sunday's win over the Jacksonville Jaguars they can no longer be considered a team to be taken for granted.

Chargers Report Card:

PASSING OFFENSE: A -- Drew Brees was on his game yet again. The embattled quarterback misfired on only nine of 26 attempts, throwing for 211 yards and two touchdowns -- and again, with no turnovers. The pass blocking was solid, as the only sack came when LaDainian Tomlinson took a snap and was nailed behind the line of scrimmage. Antonio Gates continues to prove he should be considered among the league's top tight ends -- two touchdowns in his eight catches.

RUSHING OFFENSE: A -- The Chargers racked up 176 yards on the ground, and coming against the Jaguars' defense that is pretty impressive. Jesse Chatman had a game-high and career-high 103 yards rushing and one touchdown. LaDainian Tomlinson played three quarters before a groin injury -- and the Chargers' large margin -- chased him to the sidelines. The run blocking was sensational, and coach Marty Schottenheimer awarded offensive linemen Roman Oben, Mike Goff, Toniu Fonoti, Jason Ball and Shane Olivea game balls in the locker room.

PASS DEFENSE: B-minus -- A look at the 357 yards passing would have many think a lower grade is deserved here. But many of those yards came after the Chargers built a 21-0 lead, and they were being careful not to get beat deep, so there was a considerable cushion being given. Still, Sammy Davis continues to struggle at one corner; Jamar Fletcher was being inserted for him occasionally. Three sacks here, which sound about right as the Jaguars threw the ball 54 times. OLB Steve Foley had a sensational game with five tackles, a sack and a forced fumble and fumble recovery in coverage.

RUSH DEFENSE: A-minus -- Once again the Chargers keep a rival under 100 yards. But it also should be noted that the Jaguars all but ditched their running game when falling behind by so many. Still, nose tackle Jamal Williams was stout in the middle, and the linebackers -- Donnie Edwards had a game-high 15 tackles -- were solid.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B -- P Mike Scifres continues to enjoy a solid season; his hang time makes it very difficult to set up a good return. K Nate Kaeding added two more field goals. The return game wasn't much; PR Eric Parker was out with sore neck. The coverage units kept Jermaine Lewis under wraps.

COACHING: A -- Cam Cameron, the offensive coordinator, came out throwing -- just what the Falcons didn't expect. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips played a mixture of zone and man coverages, and Byron Leftwich never did catch on. Schottenheimer's preaching of taking care of the ball is finally sinking in as the Chargers didn't turn the ball over. What's being flipped is the perception that the Chargers are the NFL's worst team. That can no longer be said.

Jaguars Report Card:

PASSING OFFENSE: C-minus -- Byron Leftwich had to throw 54 times because the Jaguars fell behind early and threw two interceptions after being guilty of just two in the first four games. He had a 75.9 quarterback rating.

RUSHING OFFENSE: C-minus -- The Jaguars fell behind so quickly that they never really had a chance to establish the running game and Fred Taylor got just 11 carries for 64 yards.

PASSING DEFENSE: D-minus -- They made Drew Brees look like Peyton Manning as he threw for two touchdowns, wasn't sacked and had a 116.0 quarterback rating. Brees opened the game with six straight passes and threw 9 times in 11 plays on the opening touchdown drive.

RUSHING DEFENSE: F -- The Jaguars were so concerned about teams running at their perimeter that they moved Marcus Stroud to end. That move didn't work as the Chargers ran 35 times for 176 yards.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C minus -- Except for keeping Tim Dwight from breaking a big return, the special teams didn't do anything special to get the Jaguars back into the game. COACHING: F -- Jack Del Rio didn't have his team ready to play after four strong performances and his gamble of moving Marcus Stroud to end backfired as the defense had its worst game of the year. The move was supposed to help the run defense, but they gave up 176 yards.

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