Congratulations to Darren Bennett, he has been elected into the Chargers Hall of Fame.
The fans have spoken and Bennett got the nod. Anthony Miller, one of the best wide outs in a long history of Chargers football will have to wait another day. Natrone Means was a beast, but was not able to move the pile this time.
Bennett, part of the Chargers from 1995 to 2003 was a two time pro bowler and named as part of the NFL's 90's - all decade team. Bennett brought something you don't see from many special teams guys. He brought some nasty! No longer did one guy punt, while 10 others tackled, Bennett was an active player on punt coverage.
Lastly, Bennett introduced the "drop punt" to the game, I'm not going to say it revolutionized punting, but, it kinda revolutionized punting.
Darren is a class act and very worthy member of the Chargers Hall of Fame. Congratulations.
Nate Kaeding – The only Chargers to score with his 41 yard FG yesterday. Nate also was solid on kickoffs.
Atari Bigby – I’m never a fan of a safety leading the team in tackles, but someone has to do the dirty work. Too many runs getting to the second level and too many passes completed lead to Bigby leading the team in tackles with 15.
Robert Meachem – Some may say that 7 targets, 4 receptions, for 43 yards isn’t great, but it’s progress. If the Chargers would have been able to exploit the blitz, Meachem could have had a monster day.
ILBs – Spikes and Butler were all over the place. Combining for 25 tackles, these guys were putting in work all day long.
Ryan Mathews – Mathews showed glimpses of why he was a first round pick. After Mathews ran for a first down and showed some explosion the fans went wild. It’s clear that the fan base wants to embrace Ryan.
Defense on third down – Shades of 2011 all over again. The Falcons converted 8 of 13 first downs, you can’t win if your defense isn’t able to get off the field.
The end of the second quarter – I applaud the fact that Norv called two timeouts near the end of the second quarter in an effort to give Rivers a chance to drive the team down for a TD, but it backfired. If Norv doesn’t use the timeouts, the Falcons milk the clock and it’s hard to determine if the Chargers would have had a chance to respond. Keep in mind, the previous drive by the bolts was great, but ended in a Mathews fumble. Instead of going into the half down 13-0, Norv’s aggressiveness, coupled with River’s bad judgment left the Chargers down 20-0 at the half. Great thinking, bad result.
Offensive line – Rivers saw pressure all day long, we know the line isn’t great, but if Rivers can’t get time to make the defense pay for blitzing, then it’s going to be a long season.
Philip Rivers – 21/38 173 yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions. The Rivers, fans saw the first half of 2011 returned yesterday. Forcing the ball, making bad decisions, and leaving the pocket too often. If this Rivers continues to hang around this season could take a turn for the worst, quickly. When Rivers has games like this he looks much more like Chris Everett than Dan Marino.
Ryan Mathews – I want to preface by saying this… Jackie Battle should be getting the ball near the goal line. I said that on Saturday, I’m saying it again. Mathews was used a lot on Sunday (I would argue too much), including that great drive that resulted in his fumble. The game was still early, but that fumble was a game changer. The chargers kick a field goal it’s a 6-3 game and if they score a touchdown it’s a 7-6 game. Instead the fumble leads to a 13-0 deficient, which led Rivers to press and then a 20-0 halftime score. Bottom line: Mathews needs to hold onto the football.
Control Freak - Chargers controlled the game from the kickoff. Winning the time of possession battle 43:39 to 16:14.
Philip Rivers – 24/32 284 yards 3 TDs and the Chargers were fantastic in the redzone.
Unsung heroes – Dante Rosario 4 receptions, 48 yards, 3 TDs and Jackie Battle 14 carries, 69 yards, and 2 TDs. Both players were golden in the red zone and Battle pounded the Titans defense into submission.
Run defense – The Chargers held Chris Johnson to 17 yards on 8 carries.
Malcom Floyd – Six catches for 109 yards. M80 was able to find holes in the Titans zone all day long. A healthy Floyd, is a productive Floyd.
Eric Weddle – The All-Pro with an early interception helped set the tone for the defense.
Curtis Brinkley – Even after the success Brinkley was able to have once Battle beat up the Titans, he still finished with only 43 yards on 18 carries. It appears when Mathews returns, Battle has taken over as the “change of pace” back.
Injuries – The Chargers have faced two poor opponents, but with the Falcons coming into town next week, this Chargers team can be exposed. Fans can only hope that the likes of Antonio Gates, Ryan Mathews, and Antonio Garay are on the field next Sunday.
Make sure you enter the XTRA NFL Pick'em for your chance to win some awesome prizes. Below are my picks (bold) for week 2.
Defense! I can’t say enough good things about the defense tonight. Bend but don’t break turned into a dominating defense in the second half. Had only allowed six points the first 59 minutes.
Donald Butler – “The Butler did it!” Donald was flying everywhere tonight, on his way to eight tackles and also logged his first sack of the season.
Safeties – Bigby and Weddle combine for 15 tackles, two tackles for loss
Shaun Phillips – Two sacks! That’s all you need to know about SP95 tonight.
Philip Rivers – An efficient evening for Rivers and most importantly, no interceptions. 24/33 231 yards and a TD.
Nate Kaeding – 5/5 with FGs of 23, 28,19, 41, and 45 yards. Kaeding accounted for 16 of the Chargers 22 points.
Penalties – Norv gets the wrap of having an undisciplined teams and tonight is not going to help his case. While the Raiders committed six penalties for 35 yards, the Chargers committed nine penalties for 78 yards.
Clock Management - Just the fact that Chargers gave the Raiders a chance to win the game last night on the last play was unacceptable. I know it's just math, but the Chargers have to find a way to make sure that they don't mistakes with the clock as the season goes on.
Rush offense – Brinkley, Brown, and McClain combined for 17 carries and a whopping 22 yards. I would like to think that Ryan Mathews would have had some sort of impact, but the truth is… The Offensive line can’t run block.