Chargers Sink in Miami, 17-10

The San Diego Chargers were a second away from a number of big plays; unfortunately, time ran out on their latest comeback attempt. The Miami Dolphins scored 17 points in the first half and played enough defense to make it stick, securing a 17-10 victory and dropping the Chargers to 2-3.

The Chargers heeded their critics by starting fast on Sunday, beginning the game with a 14-play drive that took up nearly half of the first quarter. Unfortunately, the offense bogged down in the red zone and was forced to settle for a Nate Kaeding field goal. Even more unfortunate was the fact that the Chargers went more than 30 minutes before their next score.

In the interim, the Miami Dolphins pulled away with efficient offensive play. Much of their success came via the much hyped single-wing offense, which the Dolphins ran 11 times -- five more times than last week against the New England Patriots.

Miami's first trip into the end zone had a familiar feel to it, as former Charger Greg Camarillo got inside position on Quentin Jammer and hauled in a 17-yard score. Ronnie Brown toted the ball on Miami's second score, using -- what else? -- the single-wing formation.

RB Ronnie Brown
Doug Benc/Getty

The Dolphins were most efficient when it mattered most, converting half of their attempts on third down (7 of 14) and hitting their only fourth-down attempt, as well.

"We didn't execute the things we are capable of executing," Norv Turner said after the game. "Obviously, they had protection offensively and they did a great job on third down keeping us off the field."

Because the Chargers struggled to gain time of possession -- giving the Dolphins more than a 13-minute advantage in that category -- they struggled to pick up yardage. The Dolphins nearly doubled the Chargers in net yards, 390-202.

Part of San Diego's struggle was due to the continued ineffectiveness of LaDainian Tomlinson, who carried 12 times for 35 yards. Tomlinson has been held to less than 3 yards per carry in three of the last four games.

"LaDainian has been in and out of every one of our games," Turner said. "He comes off the field five or six times when he gets his toe twisted, gets fallen on, he pushes off in a certain ways and has problems with it."

Tomlinson and the Chargers don't have much time to recover. They have a primetime matchup with the Patriots next week and risk falling two games below .500.

The good news? The Chargers were 2-3 at this point last season and still managed to march to the AFC Championship Game.

The bad news? The Chargers are 2-3…again.

Lightning Quick

WR Chris Chambers, who finished with three catches for 30 yards and a touchdown against his former team, left the game in the third quarter with a lower-left leg injury. He was placed on a cart and taken into the locker room for X-rays. No word yet on the extent of the injury, but at least one fellow receiver in the locker room talked as if the Chargers will be playing without Chambers next week.

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