Chargers Report Card Week 13: Denver

It was so uncommon that Marty Schottenheimer wondered aloud, "Who is in charge of the weather?" That is because rain beat down on the players in Sunday's win against Denver. The San Diego Chargers have braved sun, heat and finally the cold en route to a 9-3 season.


Drew Brees reverted back to the sloppy quarterback that many of us are trying to forget but after an early interception, his first in 195 passes, he limited mistakes. Fumbling on the Bolts final offensive play almost cost the team the game but he was heady enough to grab the rock as the pile on ensued. Denver did a good job of creating pressure and that caused missed reads from both quarterback and wide receiver as passes went to ghosts.

Grade: C-


LaDainian Tomlinson was sure-footed and two-handed every carry. The slick field held his cutback lanes down to a minimum and he adjusted his game to the conditions. There were several almosts on the day where he had one guy to beat for a long gain. A sunny day and it would've likely happened. Jesse Chatman had one carry and fumbled when he was tagged by John Lynch.

Grade: B


Keenan McCardell had a rough day. He had as many drops as receptions and his drop on third and two in the fourth quarter could have been a crucial error that loses games. Eric Parker came down with a nice catch on the Chargers' opening drive that setup a score but he also fumbled the ball which led to a Denver touchdown. The wide receivers as a whole were plagued by routes that were not cutoff as Denver blitzed. It resulted in passes going to nobody.

Grade: C-


Credit the Broncos for a job well done in blanketing Antonio Gates. Kenoy Kennedy did a good job helping over top of Gates and the defense rendered him a simple role player. Gates also failed to pickup on a blitz or two while running his routes and that resulted in incompletions that weren't close to him.

Grade: C


The unit did a nice job getting footing and driving the Denver defensive line back to create running lanes. They were overwhelmed at times by a blitzing defense but tough to block more guys than you have on the line. Toniu Fonoti had another solid game blocking and Nick Hardwick has shown progress in his pulls from earlier in the year.

Grade: B


Jamal Williams was a force in the middle of the field. Commanding two men to contain him, he still burst through to get a sack and disrupt Plummer. They played well against the run and shut down most of the holes by staying upright when blockers came down low. Besides Williams they did not generate much pressure and when the first unit went out and Jason Fisk and Adrian Dingle came in there was a significant dropoff.

Grade: B-


Steve Foley said he wanted to put pressure on Plummer and he did just that. Although he did not get a sack, Foley batted three balls down on the mobile quarterback and picked off a pass. Donnie Edwards was literally everywhere. Knowing how important the game was, Edwards raced from sideline-to-sideline to make every tackle, and he almost succeeded, getting 20 of the team's 59 total tackles. Randall Godfrey added a sack when they overloaded one side with pressure and they remained strong against the run and short passing game. Shaun Phillips added a sweet pick after batting a ball in the air and diving to catch it as it fell.

Grade: A-


Drayton Florence was the star of the game. He had one interception, batted a ball out of the hands of Rod Smith which Jerry Wilson snared and played tight in coverage most of the day. The passes they gave up were simply a matter of good throws and great catches. Only 16 of 40 passes were completed by Plummer.

Grade: A


Mike Scifres had a 42.4 net on his punts and nailed three of his eight inside the twenty with another being tapped into the end zone instead of being downed inside the five. Nate Kaeding made both his field goal attempts and got some good height on his kickoffs though none reached the five yard line. The coverage was good, limiting returns four returns to 15.5 per.

Grade: B+


It wasn't anything spectacular that they except having the team ready for a dogfight. Wade Phillips has his defense playing well. The defense didn't blitz a whole lot by design as they did not want Plummer scrambling outside. The offense had some chances but played it close to the vest. The biggest fix was on special teams, an area the team vowed to get stronger in and they succeeded.

Grade: B

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