QUARTERBACKS- Drew Brees threw an early interception in the Denver end zone that could have tied the game at 7-7. The second interception he threw sealed the game for a Denver win. He did get the ball to more receivers this week, but it was more out of necessity. Grade: D+
RUNNING BACKS- LaDainian Tomlinson had 13 carries in the first half and just one in the second half. He also fumbled once. Denver did a good job keeping him contained. Grade: D+
RECEIVERS- Tim Dwight got into the gameplan this week and made a few nice catches in the second half. In the first half when the game was close the receivers suffered from a few dropped passes. Grade: D+
OFFENSIVE LINE- In the second half the whole stadium knew the Chargers were throwing the ball and the offensive line did not allow a sack. They did not get the push they wanted in the first half and the ground game suffered. A penalty to Damion McIntosh on a 4th quarter pass play ended their comeback attempt. On the play Dwight caught a 32 yard pass from Brees. They ended up punting on the drive. Grade: C
DEFENSIVE LINE- Injury to Marcellus Wiley hurt this unit. All game Brian Griese had time to throw and they were unable to contain Clinton Portis who ran for over 100 yards against them. Grade: D
LINEBACKERS- Zeke Moreno has 11 tackles but gets beat for a TD reception. Underneath routes were uncontested and their blitzing provided no penetration. Portis was able to run into the secondary. Grade: D-
SECONDARY- Rodney Harrison had an interception off a crushing hit laid out by Rogers Beckett. Harrison also gives up a TD to Ed McCaffrey. Short passing ame by Griese was not covered by this unit either. Grade: D
SPECIAL TEAMS- Punt is blocked and only 10 men on the field at the time. Return game is again non-existent. Add to it one muff and one fumble and this unit is on life support. Grade: F
COACHING- Offense is vanilla in the first half and 5 minutes into the second half, curious when they opt to kick a field goal at the Denver 6. Brees was 5-7 on the drive and Tomlinson was fresh. A touchdown would have closed the gap from 19-0, to 19-7 with 25 minutes to go. Instead they got their 3 points and were down 19-3, a 3 score margin. Defense could not stop the short pass and no adjustments were made all game to defend it or get better pressure on Griese. Grade: F
The Oakland Athletics were eliminated from the American League playoffs. This means the Chargers' game against the Raiders at Network Associates Coliseum will be played as scheduled on Sunday, Oct. 20. The game would have been played on Oct. 21st had the Athletics reached the World Series.
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