Chargers pass defense the pits

The San Diego Chargers pass defense was non-existent on Friday night. Several balls got behind the secondary, pass rush or no pass rush. It is an area that many have looked to for improvement but that wasn't evident against the Vikings. Penalties were the next obstacle they could not overcome and rest assured head coach Marty Schottenheimer will get that remedied quickly.

A deep pass from Daunte Culpepper intended for Troy Williamson went a little deep on the Vikings first series but Williamson had two steps on Jamar Fletcher and Jerry Wilson.

The pass coverage did not inspire on the first few series of the game. If not for the Vikings self-imploding with penalties and a fumble, it may have been two touchdowns the Chargers first team defense was looking at.

"(Nate) Burleson did a great job today finding a way to get open and making some great plays," linebacker Donnie Edwards said.

But the defense came up big when it needed to and help Minnesota to field goals.

"Just like San Diego, we're no different than other teams," Vikings head coach Mike Tice said. "We're not showing a lot of offense either."

The secondary gave up five passes of 25 yards or more on the day and Minnesota gained 309 yards through the air.

"That game is on us," safety Terrence Kiel said.

Sammy Davis had one of the better games and showed a little swagger after denying one pass.

After giving up a long pass to Troy Williamson, Davis knocked away the next two passes thrown his way, almost intercepting one.

Davis was called for pass interference on the next ball thrown his way although the replays did not show Davis touching the receiver.

Speaking of penalties, the Chargers committed 13 gaffes for 122 yards, giving the Vikings six free first downs.

Matt Wilhelm was called for a personal foul because of face mask in the second quarter and again in the third quarter. On the first one, five referees flew penalty flags – a new record for a foul on one play.

Marques Harris had a roughing the passer call and Markus Curry was called for pass interference in the end zone.

"The penalties kept drives alive," head coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "Self inflicted wounds."

The second team offensive line wasn't very good against the Minnesota first team defense.

Courtney Van Buren was busted up and had trouble fending off the speed on the edge from Erasmus James. That was prior to Van Buren being shelved by a knee injury. James also proved too much for Leander Jordan on the opposite side and all around things were collapsing quickly.

Philip Rivers, incidentally, went 4-for-11 for 15 yards while facing the first team Viking defense. He was rushed on nearly every throw and didn't look very comfortable in the pocket with it closing in on him quickly.

"We knew it was going to be a tough place to play, and it fulfilled our expectations in that regard," Schottenheimer said. "We had some opportunities, and in the final analysis we ended up coming up short."

Lightning Quicks:

Traffic in the tunnel leading to the field prevented the Chargers from reaching the sidelines on time for the second half. They were not penalized for the delay of the second half because it was out of their control.

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