QB- Drew Brees played a mistake free game going 15-19 and taking advantage of a short passing game. Great play calling enabled Brees to set the tone for the game and continue his winning ways from his days at Purdue. Grade: A
RB- Tomlinson was taken out early after gaining 114 yards, 93 of which came in the first half. Fletcher took off where Tomlinson left off gaining another 73 yards. Great vision by both backs allowing the Offensive Line to open holes and then attacking those holes. Grade: A
Offensive Line: Fonoti left the game early with a right shoulder injury and Michael Keathley stepped in and did an outstanding job. The Chargers O-line held the Bengals to 1 sack which went for 0 yards, so really they did not even give up a sack at all. Ed Ellis lined up as a TE on numerous plays in the second half and played well. The whole unit paved the way for a 241 yard rushing performance and little pressure against Brees. Grade: A
Receivers- Conway was his usual solid self providing Brees with a great target and catching 5 balls. Dwight also had a solid showing with 3 catches. Both Conway and Dwight showed their speed on reverses gaining 22 and 20 yards respectively. Josh Norman caught a TD pass and registered the only catch for a TE. Grade: A
Defensive Line- Wiley and Johnson are the big names and they helped contain the run but it was the reserves Adrian Dingle, and Leonardo Carson who put the pressure on Ferotte with 3 sacks. The line was not tested after holding Corey Dillon to 9 yards on 10 attempts. Grade: A
Linebackers- Rookie Ben Leber notched his first Pro sack but as much air time as Junior Seau had he only notched 1 tackle. Not a stellar performance but it was not needed from this unit as every other unit was picking up the slack. Grade: B
Secondary- Rodney Harrison left on the last play of the first half and rookie Vernon Fox came in and played very well in his absence. Alex Molden played well with an INT and 6 tackles to lead the team. Take away the 51 yard reception by Danny Farmer where Rogers Beckett slipped in coverage and we have a unit that also dominated by keeping the play in front of them. Tay Cody had some rust coming back from an injury. Quentin Jammer will make this unit superb. Grade: B
Special Teams- They won the field position battle pinning the Bengals back to their 21 as an average drive start. The Chargers had an average drive start of the 34. Steve Christie adds a 2-2 performance. Grade: A
Coaching- Marty ball was evident and played to perfection. The only blemish was on the opening drive and running Fred McCrary on a 3rd and 1 at the Cincinnati 4 when they were having such success with every other back and the short passing game. The Chargers had a great game preparation using their strengths to exploit the Bengals at every angle. Grade: A
Intangibles and Notes- Kept penalties down and played conservative to notch the win.
Marty got his 1st win as a head coach of the Chargers and also the 1st time Marty won his initial game as a coach of a team.
Rodney Harrison, Justin Peele and Toniu "tiny" Fonoti all left the game with injuries and did not return.
3 Rookies made an impact in their first game. Ben Leber with a sack, Josh Norman with a TD catch and Vernon Fox with a pass defended and 5 tackles.
Tomlinson notched his 5th career 100 yard game. The Chargers had the most rushing yards as a team since 1993, where they had 247 against Indianapolis.
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