Chargers report card playoffs: Jets

The final game of the season was filled with missed opportunities and magnified by the loss and you're out magnitude of playoff action. Losing at home in front of a sold out crowd that was louder than any crowd that ever appeared at Qualcomm saw with dread the history that unfolded.

QUARTERBACKS:

Drew Brees was efficient on Saturday. With the rain dripping down in spurts on a field that was definitely slippery, Brees was called to duty and delivered with 31 completions, more than he had in any game this season. In fact, his 31 completions were equal to or more attempts than he had in 11 of his games. Brees threw one interception and it was crucial, occurring on the Jets side of the field right before half.

Grade: B+

RUNNING BACKS:

LaDainian Tomlinson had little room to run as the Jets defense was on a mission to keep the ground game from being the difference. Tomlinson, arguably, did more work as a receiver than as a runner.

Grade: B-

WIDE RECEIVERS:

Eric Parker had a career day catching nine passes. His previous high had been seven, a feat he accomplished twice previously. Parker had to step up with Antonio Gates and Keenan McCardell frequent targets of double teams. McCardell did a great job in keeping his feet in bounds to score the first touchdown.

Grade: B+

TIGHT ENDS:

Antonio Gates had a slow first half but burst onto the scene and showed breakaway speed in the fourth quarter. His 44-yard catch was critical and he was the man Brees went to with the game on the line and the result was a touchdown to tie the game.

Grade: B+

OFFENSIVE LINE:

There was little push in the running game and pulling didn't provide very good results. Whether it was the rain or just playoff football is a question for another year. The pass protection was solid. Brees often had enough time to throw and that allowed him to complete a career high in passes.

Grade: C

DEFENSIVE LINE:

The line did a nice job closing running lanes when Curtis Martin was in but he found a way to fall forward the extra yard. LaMont Jordan was unstoppable, however, and gained the edge of the line with ease. The need for another playmaker on the line was evident, no disrespect to Jacques Cesaire who has had a nice year.

Grade: C

LINEBACKERS:

Steve Foley was the sole player to provide pressure on a consistent basis. Ben Leber had his best game of the year. Donnie Edwards was all over the field but he may have missed an assignment when Anthony Becht caught his touchdown. Edwards went in to get pressure on the quarterback and when he turned around to see Becht with the ball and no one on him he looked upset – unclear whether it was at himself or someone else. Randall Godfey did a nice job in plugging holes. The whole unit played well but did not come up with the big play they have mustered in the past.

Grade: B

SECONDARY:

Some of the coverage seemed tight but it wasn't good enough as even when the defensive backs were on their backs, the Jets players were making catches. Jerry Wilson remains slow and Quentin Jammer actually made it close with his catch-up speed on the Santana Moss touchdown. Clinton Hart did a nice job replacing Terrence Kiel.

Grade: C

SPECIAL TEAMS:

Nate Kaeding missed the biggest kick of his life – it is a shame that he never had the chance to kick a game-winner in the NFL previously. His overtime kick that sailed wide-right is something that will stick with the kid until next year begins. A rookie ending his season like that isn't the best of tales. Tim Dwight may have played his last game as a Chargers and it wasn't that memorable. His kickoffs lacked bite. Mike Scifres was again pedestrian on his punts. The big stage seemed to affect the kicking game more than any other area.

Grade: F

COACHING:

Marty Schottenheimer, a veteran coach, acted like a rookie at times. What he was doing and why were uncharacteristic. His 15-yard penalty – simply crazy. Some of his play calls, and he went over to Cam Cameron just before they ran three times to setup the field goal. Marty-ball was never dead, it was hibernating for special occasions like this.

Grade: F


SD Super Chargers Top Stories