The Chargers have scored at least 17 points in 26 consecutive regular season games, the longest active streak in the NFL. The last team to hold San Diego under 17 points was the Denver Broncos, who defeated the Bolts 23-13 last September 26 at Invesco Field.
The Chargers have not lost by more than four points in 27 straight games, including playoffs. It is the longest current streak in the NFL and moved into third place with the longest streak in the league since 1950, surpassing the 26 games of the 1982-83 Washington Redskins.
"Very disappointing outcome to this football game," said head coach Marty Schottenheimer. "Any time you go line up and play you can win or you can lose. Everyone had a hand in this loss."
The Chargers are the NFL's third-highest scoring team with 378 points. Only the Indianapolis Colts (392) and Seattle Seahawks (379) have scored more points than the Chargers. This year's team is on pace (29.1 ppg) to score 465 points, which would be three points shy of the franchise's single-season scoring mark of 468 points, set in 1981.
"We all know that was not the offense we have showed in the past," added quarterback Drew Brees.
The Bolts run defense ranks atop the NFL's standings. They allowed 71 yards rushing with the top back, Ronnie Brown, getting 30 yards. The Chargers are only giving up 78.8 yards per game on the ground.
This season, the Chargers have held two teams, Oakland (39) and Philadelphia (24), to less than 40 yards on the ground, and only two teams, Dallas (109) and Pittsburgh (104) have rushed for more than 100 yards. No individual player has rushed for more than 93 yards against the Bolts' defense. The Chargers have held their last eight opponents to 555 total yards, an average of 69.4 rushing yards per game while going 6-2 during that stretch.
In the Bolts' eight wins this season, the offense has averaged 165.8 yards rushing (1,326 total) and quarterback Drew Brees has been sacked just nine times. In the team's five losses though, the offense has only averaged 73 yards rushing and Brees has been sacked 13 times.
The Bolts have allowed ten sacks over the last three games.
The Chargers' defense, however, did not record a sack on Sunday – the first time this year they did not have a takedown of the quarterback.
"The played play-action pass, it freezes everyone – good coaching on their part," linebacker Shaun Phillips said.
In 45 trips inside the twenty, the Chargers have 33 touchdowns and their touchdown percentage (.733) leads the NFL. They turned all three trips inside the twenty into touchdowns on Sunday in their loss to Miami.
The Chargers have scored at least a field goal in 43 of 45 red zone trips this season, including 14 in a row. The only two drives that didn't produce points ended in interceptions, one against Dallas in the season opener and another against the New York Jets on Nov. 6. The Bolts have 33 touchdowns and 10 field goals in the red zone this season.
The Chargers have outscored their opponents 76-29 in the first quarter this season. In the team's eight wins, they have outscored their opponents 62-26. In their four losses, they have only outscored their opponents 14-6.
After former Charger Wes Welker crossed midfield with a kickoff return of 43 yards, the Bolts' defense forced a three-and-out. The Chargers also forced a fumble after an interception in their territory, allowed a field goal after a fumble and the final drive at the end of the game pushed possessions on their side of the field to 27. In these instances, San Diego's defense has buckled down, allowing only seven touchdowns and six field goals, a .259 touchdown percentage.
The Chargers have only allowed one touchdown in the last 19 drives that began in their end of the field. The New York Jets scored that touchdown in the Chargers' game at The Meadowlands on Nov. 6.
The Chargers dominated the time of possession game, holding the ball for nearly 13 minutes in the first quarter and almost 11 minutes in the fourth quarter. San Diego held the ball for 40:17 today, the second team to surpass the 40:00 mark against the Dolphins this year. It is the most since they logged 40:39 on Nov. 11, 1996 against Detroit.
The Chargers defense allowed just three first downs in the first half and 66 yards. They allowed 11 first downs and 244 yards in the second half – including 20 points.