In Depth Analysis of Week 9

It is safe to say that the Chargers fresh off a 44-13 thrashing at the hands of the New York Jets were unable to execute on the key matchups reported here last week.

Exploit the Middle

Drew Brees was unable to locate an open receiver in the seams of the Jets secondary. Some of it was due to the Bolts being down early and having to turn exclusively to the pass. Stephen Alexander was the sole receiver to find and exploit those holes, but he was not nearly enough.

Tim Dwight dropped a pass that was destined for a first down and Brees overthrew Dwight on another occasion. The bigger problem is no receiver is getting down the field. Dwight is a speed demon, and his speed should be used more often on the outside while Curtis Conway draws the double teams. Instead Dwight is running crossing patterns and quick outs. Has anyone seen a bomb thrown from Brees? Loft one up to Dwight who has proven he can outrun most defensive backs.

Reche Caldwell was again silent. Too many times this year the receivers have failed to step up and take pressure off Conway. Caldwell needs to be that guy who can go across the middle and find a pocket within the zone. He is still running poor routes and Brees is not looking his way.

Conway continues to be the sole receiver to get open consistently. Conway does this in the midst of double and triple teams. Someone else must figure a way to compliment him.

The Chargers went 1 for 9 on third downs for the game. A recipe for disaster.

Pass Coverage

Chad Pennington continued his hot pace completing 28 of 37 passes for 258 yards or the equivalent of 76% completion percentage. Pennington also ran a quarterback sneak in from 8 yards out. That play was not in the Chargers script for how to defend Pennington.

The secondary was laced with miscues. On the touchdown pass from Pennington to Anthony Becht, Donnie Edwards failed to cover his assignment on Jerald Sowell and left Junior Seau covering two receivers in the end zone.

The Chargers had no answer for Pennington's vision. Pennington was able to use his third and fourth option on plays and get the ball in the hands of his running backs. Thirteen passes were completed to backs amassing 102 yards against. The Chargers were so worried about the potential of the deep ball they failed to cover any of the ground in between.

The Chargers also failed to come up with an answer to the quick 3-step drops the Jets deployed. There was no pressure on Pennington and the young general seemed to have all day to throw to whoever got open first. The front line did not get the expected boon from the return of Marcellus Wiley and Junior Seau. Instead they got a quiet game from all their players and it showed in the royal thumping they received.

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