Bolts Report Card: Week 5

The Chargers endured an unacceptable upset for the second time this season and the pressure is quickly rising. Coach Norv Turner is taking most the heat, but he's not the only one to earn a failing grade in Miami. Check out Scout.com's marks for Week 5.

PASSING OFFENSE: D -- Philip Rivers got rocked pretty hard -- just like the previous week. But this week he wasn't able to bounce back and play well when the stakes were the highest. Rivers did suffer bruised ribs, which might account for his passes that were uncharacteristically off-kilter; he was 13-for-28 for 159 yards and a score. The protection got him sacked twice and forced numerous hurries. Chris Chambers got another touchdown catch, but he had to exit with an ankle injury in the fourth quarter. TE Antonio Gates managed only one catch for 12 yards.

RUSHING OFFENSE: F -- LaDainian Tomlinson has a sore toe that limits his abilities. But not enough, in coach Norv Turner's eyes, to prevent Tomlinson from getting the ball on a fourth-and-1 at the Miami 1. The running play, like the majority of the other ones, was stuffed. The offensive line needs to right itself quickly -- to be fair, there have been injuries here. But that's in the past, with the starting five from last year out there now. The run-blocking has to get better quickly, as Tomlinson's toe isn't going to get better any time soon.


CB Antonio Cromartie
Stephen Dunn/Getty

PASS DEFENSE: D -- So far opposing offenses haven't done what many thought: shy away from Pro Bowl CB Antonio Cromartie. In many cases they are attacking him, knowing he will gamble on getting an interception instead of supplying solid coverage. Quentin Jammer, the other corner, was beaten for a touchdown and has had better days. Not much good here -- especially with the slow-footed Chad Pennington getting sacked just once.

RUSH DEFENSE: D -- The run defense, in many ways, lost this game. Not only were the Dolphins able to collect 167 yards hugging the ground, but when the Chargers absolutely had to have the ball back late in the game, the Dolphins were able to hog it. Unless the Chargers can prove they can stop the run on a more consistent basis, this is going to be one long swim upstream.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C -- P Mike Scifres was sensational as he continues performing at a Pro Bowl level -- averaged 56 yards on six attempts. Otherwise it was a pretty typical day for the special teams -- nothing too outstanding in any other phase.

COACHING: F -- The Chargers have made a habit out of starting games with little fire or production. Is that coaching? Possibly. For whatever reason, the Chargers are falling behind -- down 17-3 at Miami -- forcing them to spend most of the second half trying to catch up. And it was surprising the Dolphins had so much success with their "Wildcat" offense after it was unveiled in the win over the Patriots. The Chargers were gashed by it time and again. Something is amiss with the team that many think has more talent the other teams it faces. If that's the case, the coaching staff has to accept its fair share of the blame.


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