Bolts Report Card: Week 13

Even in a season of failures, the NFL is a week-to-week entity. With that in mind, examines how the San Diego Chargers graded out in Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons.

PASSING OFFENSE: D -- Philip Rivers had a rough day, getting tagged for a safety on a grounding call in the end zone. And that was just one of his mistakes. Rivers completed 17 of 30 passes for 149 yards. He did feel the heat, though, as the Atlanta pass rush was consistent with the San Diego line having problems pass-blocking. Rivers couldn't get the ball to his wide receivers, and he had trouble finding Antonio Gates as well. It was a very uneven performance from a unit that has been the Chargers' strength, even in this skid.

RUSHING OFFENSE: F -- The offensive line was overmatched and the run-blocking was seldom seen. LaDainian Tomlinson was often hit in the backfield, and the blocking produced the second-worst rushing game in his career at 24 yards. LG Kris Dielman was out, and it was obvious. But there was more to the problems than his absence, as the leaks were all along the line with shoddy play and penalties. A mess.

CB Antoine Cason
Scott Boehm/Getty

PASS DEFENSE: D -- Atlanta QB Matt Ryan looked way too comfortable completing key passes and throwing for two touchdowns. Making his 11th NFL start, Ryan was seldom pressured and never flustered. Breakdowns between Antonio Cromartie and Antoine Cason were evident; the safeties didn't show well outside of Eric Weddle's long fumble return. CB Quentin Jammer had two forced fumbles and a recovery. But overall, Ryan was at ease and nailed nearly every big pass he needed -- the Falcons converted eight of 16 third downs.

RUSH DEFENSE: D -- This unit knew it was going to get a steady dose of Michael Turner -- and it did to the tune of 120 yards. Atlanta went for 141 yards, and its run-blocking had its way with the Chargers. Jamal Williams had six tackles in the middle, but Turner often got into the second line of defenders and tacked on numerous yards. Tim Dobbins had nine tackles, with Weddle adding 10.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C- -- K Nate Kaeding had a 43-yard field goal blocked and was short on his kickoffs; he did convert a 28-yard field goal. Darren Sproles had one good return on a punt and one on a kickoff; not much else. The Chargers tried a reverse on a kickoff that didn't work. The coverage games were OK, and the Chargers got a break when they recovered a fumbled punt.

COACHING: F -- Whatever the "it" is that winning teams possess, the Chargers don't have it. Norv Turner continues to see this team drift away from whatever he is selling. The offense sputtered against a weak defense, and the result was a third straight loss. Turner leaned on the passing game when the running game was stuck in mud -- and passing game didn't work either. Tomlinson took it upon himself to tell the team not to quit after the game. Turner has already had his vote of confidence, but there is a sense he is coaching for his job -- or should be.

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