Rushing Defense Fails the Bolts

The Chargers could not stop any of Miami's rushers during a 30-3 loss on Sunday before 73,138 at Pro Player Stadium. The Dolphins ended the day with 222 yards on the ground, 143 of which are attributed to Ricky Williams.

"I was a little more patient picking out holes," said Ricky Williams, who eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark with his sixth 100-yard game of the season. "The passing game loosened up things early and that was great for us."

"Our line got stronger and made the holes bigger," Williams added. "I think they were getting tired. There were a lot of holes. Their defense runs, and we had a lot of cutback plays in there to get them to overpursue, and then we hit it up in there."

"He was patient and did make some great cuts on those cutbacks, and just attacked the holes," defensive end Marcellus Wiley said. "It made it tough on us."

The Dolphins also were able to dominate the time of possession battle 35:54 to 24:06 prompting some comments from the Dolphins defense.

"(Williams) is the defensive MVP for this game because he really kept us off the field, kept our guys fresh," Miami cornerback Sam Madison said.

Safety Rodney Harrison, who had a game-high 12 tackles, couldn't believe the defense's showing. The defense entered the game allowing just 92 yards a game.

"He had a big game and he is a great running back," added Harrison. "But we did some things we normally don't do: we missed a lot of tackles and gap assignments. Sometimes he was running through the hole untouched."

"They played extremely well -- give credit to the offensive line and Ricky Williams," linebacker Donnie Edwards said. "But at the same time, we had a lot of mistakes, too. They were very good at cutting the ball back and changing up the blocking scheme.

"We were short on some gaps on the back side because Ricky was cutting the ball back a lot. The front side, we were pretty solid. Then on backside, we weren't filling the gaps here and there."

No defensive player was happy with what they saw, and others were downright confused.

"It was stuff I had never seen before," defensive tackle Leonardo Carson said. "I was going on the sideline asking Coach to try to give me the answer to it. Our defense is mostly a read defense, and they got us with all the misdirection. They gave us false reads and that killed us. We've never seen that before, but I'm quite sure we're going to see it throughout the rest of this year."

"The pattern of defense that you have to have in your running defense was not there," coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "It has to do with being in the right place and gap control and make sure you have somebody in the proper gap."

Not to go unmentioned is the work of Miami offensive coordinator, and former Chargers offensive coordinator, Norv Turner.

Said Wiley: "Norv, knowing some of the internals and being CIA of sorts, he made up some schemes where he isolated some guys on the inside, on linebackers, and used crack-backs and things that are just not normal. Ricky almost had option routes as a running back, which is weird. That's what it felt like. You just didn't know where he was going at all times."

"Norv also did a great job of scheming everything," Williams was quick to mention.

It was an ugly day. Going into the game one would have thought the main goal was to stop the run first but they were unable to thanks to some different looks from Turner and some aggressive running by Williams. On one play where Williams scored he juked Rodney Harrison out of his shoes before showing a burst of speed he lacked in previous seasons to get in the end zone. It was that kind of day for all of the Chargers defenders.

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