Blueprints finalized

Upcoming opponents will use the Philadelphia plan as a blueprint for success against the Chargers. Cement the edges, making it difficult for LaDainian Tomlinson to get outside, and if the Chargers fail to react it could be a longer season than it has been already.

Chargers report card:

PASSING OFFENSE: B -- Drew Brees had to face a number of blitzes, and it showed in his completion percentage as he often just dumped the ball on hot reads before the receivers had turned to look. But the offensive line had trouble with protections; it gave up only two sacks, but Brees was pressured into one interception because of the rush. Antonio Gates caught a touchdown pass, but he also let a ball go through his hands which resulted in an interception. And Reche Caldwell's late fumble after a catch was a game-killer. Keenan McCardell comes alive with another scoring grab.

RUSHING OFFENSE: F-minus -- Philadelphia put everyone but Ben Franklin in the box and LaDainian Tomlinson simply had no where to run. He was met often in the backfield, which shows by his rare numbers: 17 rushes for 7 yards. The offensive line consists of two guys not in the opening day lineup -- C Bob Hallen and RG Kris Dielman -- and RT Shane Olivea is playing with a sprained knee. A total of 21 yards rushing from a Marty Schottenheimer team? Wow!

PASS DEFENSE: B -- This unit was pretty impressive considering Donovan McNabb put it up 54 times and was held under 300 yards passing and but one touchdown toss to Terrell Owens. Bhawoh Jue has become a big-hitter at safety; one hit led to a Donnie Edwards interception. And backup Jamar Fletcher had one of his better games of his career with an interception, four tackles, a sack and two passes defensed. The Chargers got to McNabb for three sacks, although two of them resulted in roughing-the-passer penalties. But for a unit which has been blamed for many of the team's woes, it held up well under constant duress.

RUSH DEFENSE: A -- Hard to argue with 24 total rushing yards allowed -- but it comes with an asterisk. The Eagles never did commit to the run, as Brian Westbrook rushed by 10 times. And with McNabb nursing various injuries, he wasn't too keen on taking off in the open field either.

SPECIAL TEAMS: F -- When you get a field goal blocked and it costs you the game, there's not much wiggle room here. Steve Foley and Scott Mruczkowski let Quintin Mikell bust through untouched and he easily swatted down Nate Kaeding's kick which was recovered by Matt Ware for the winning touchdown. The return game of the Chargers is losing steam. Eric Parker replaced Darren Sproles on punts, but didn't deliver a spark.

COACHING: F -- Coach Marty Schottenheimer played not to lose instead of playing to win and the result was predictable. He got way too conservative in the latter stages of the fourth quarter when settling for a field-goal attempt instead of staying aggressive. And he took a penalty with the Chargers about 18 inches from the goal line, to gain another down. But that strategy went bad when Hallen was called for holding and the Chargers had to settle for another field goal. The Chargers have now lost four games by a combined total of 12 points, and some of the blame has to land at the feet of the coaching staff.

Eagles Report Card:

PASS OFFENSE: D -- Donovan McNabb's day was marred by inaccuracy and poor decisions, including a couple in the first half that cost the Eagles two scoring chances. Unable to throw the deep ball because of his sports hernia, he tried dinking and dunking, and averaged just 5.3 yards per attempt on a season-high 54 attempts.

RUSH OFFENSE: F -- The Eagles again made almost no attempt to run the ball. Running back Brian Westbrook had just 10 carries for 25 yards.

PASS DEFENSE: B-plus -- The Eagles blitzed early and often and pressured Drew Brees into 2 interceptions and sacked him 3 times. While they gave up two passing TDs, they did a good job of shutting down TE Antonio Gates and RB LaDainian Tomlinson.

RUN DEFENSE: A-plus -- The Eagles took away the edges from LaDainian Tomlinson and funneled him inside, where the linebackers helped hold him to a career-low 7 rushing yards.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A-minus -- Quentin Mikell blocked a Nate Kaeding field goal attempt with a minute and a half left and Matt Ware returned it 65 yards for the game-winning touchdown. Coverage units did a solid job after two shaky games.

COACHING: C -- Jim Johnson devised a brilliant defensive game plan to shut down LaDainian Tomlinson, but Andy Reid continues to ignore the run and let his injured quarterback throw 50-plus times per game.


SD Super Chargers Top Stories