On second-and-10 at the St 32-yard line, with a little more than twelve minutes left in the fourth quarter, and the Chargers leading 24-14, Drew Brees drilled a perfect pass to Tim Dwight at the 7. Dwight turned a second before the ball got to him with the end zone in his mind and dropped the pass.
"I make that catch, it's the game," Dwight said. "It's a routine catch that I got to make. I just tried to tuck it too soon before I had it, and that hurt."
"I was trying to catch it and turn down the field, maybe score," Dwight said. "It's just something where I've got to secure the football first – basics."
"We needed to make a couple more plays and mine was one of them," Dwight added. "It was huge. It was huge."
A catch and subsequent touchdown would have put the Chargers up 31-14. The final score ended up being 28-24, a Chargers loss. This play was one of many that the Chargers did not make on the day.
In the locker room everyone could see how big a play the dropped pass was.
"It would have sealed it, obviously," running back LaDainian Tomlinson said pointedly.
"That's why I love Tim," Brees said. "He's always right there willing to take the brunt of everything on his shoulder. It's not Tim. There are a lot of things out there. I can say I wish I would have thrown this ball better, just like Tim says he wishes he would have caught that ball, and one of the linemen says he wishes he would have blocked that guy on a certain play. During the course of a game, so many things like that happen. Sometimes it comes down to a couple of little things. But the game did not come down to Tim catching or not catching that ball."
Schottenheimer added, "We talked about how we wanted to penetrate. We had an opportunity and we let it get away from us on one pass."
This one play is but one example of how the Chargers managed to lose the game. Despite Marc Bulger having a career day this was a game they should have won. How many times does a team lose four fumbles, 2 of which are returned for touchdowns, win the game?
Play the mistake prone Chargers is how. Mentally the team was not prepared to play on this day. From the crowd, to silly penalties, to dropped passes and an onside kick recovered by the Rams. "The basics" as Dwight had said.
Dwight Drops the Ball, Takes the blame
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