Bolts Report Card: Week 14

After weeks of flunking test after test, the San Diego Chargers finally passed one with flying colors. He's a look at how each unit graded out against the Oakland Raiders.

PASSING OFFENSE: B - Philip Rivers completed 10 of his 22 passes, but he was able to throw for three touchdowns and 214 yards. The Chargers backed off throwing the ball in the second half; otherwise his numbers would probably be better. Vincent Jackson had one of his better days as a pro with a 148-yard performance which included a 59-yard touchdown. Rivers was effective on screens, finding Darren Sproles (three catches, 34 yards and two touchdowns). Pass protection was on the mark as Rivers was never sacked and hit but once.

RUSHING OFFENSE: A - The offensive line rebounded after getting beat on the past couple of weeks for its passive play. LaDainian Tomlinson continued his domination against the Raiders with 91 yards and a score on 25 carries. But more important was the line letting the Raiders know it planned on being physical from the start to the finish. Great job up front by the big uglies.


CB Antonio Cromartie
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PASS DEFENSE: A - This unit played with the passion and production the Chargers expected all season long. It got after JaMarcus Russell and Andrew Walter in a big way, forcing three interceptions, a forced fumble and snagging three sacks, Stephen Cooper got two of the picks; Matt Wilhelm had the other. OLB Shaun Phillips shook off an unproductive stretch by collecting 2.5 sacks -- he had four sacks in the previous 11 games. CB Quentin Jammer, with two passes defensed, had a solid game.

RUSH DEFENSE: A - The Chargers allowed but 54 yards rushing, their second-lowest of the season. DT Jamal Williams continues his second half which has him playing stellar, and inside linebacker Stephen Cooper had seven tackles to go with his two interceptions. SS Steve Gregory was active with seven tackles filling in for Clinton Hart. Once the Raiders fell so far behind, their running game disappeared.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C - This could have easily been an 'A' but a penalty by Antoine Cason wiped out a kickoff return touchdown by Darren Sproles and the Chargers allowed one to be brought all the way back just before the half. Sproles did show a 29-yard kickoff return and 14-yarder on a punt. P Mike Scifres was keen in averaging 45.4 net yards on five efforts.

COACHING: A - Coach Norv Turner has taken his share of abuse, so he deserves praise for keeping the Chargers focused despite the playoff window all but closed for the year. He got back to what the Chargers once did best - run the football. Not only did Tomlinson collect 49 first-quarter rushing yards but in doing so he knocked the will out of the Raiders as well. Defensive coordinator Ron Rivera's plan was to attack the quarterback and the Chargers responded with four turnovers. It was a solid job by the coaching staff in not letting the Chargers pack it in.


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