San Diego Routed 27-3 by Atlanta

Ryan Matthews made his season debut for the Chargers yesterday. The only problem is that he still does not know how to carry the ball properly. At the beginning of the second quarter the Chargers were driving, down 6-0. On first and goal from the seven yard line Ryan Matthews took the hand off, gained three yards, but coughed up the ball, which the Falcons recovered. The Chargers could have went home right there, because they showed no life after that debacle.

With the recovery the Falcons methodically drove 96 yards, scoring on a touchdown pass to Tony Gonzalez. The Falcons turned what could have been a one point deficit into a 13 point lead. Atlanta was able to convert on five third down attempts on that 96 yard drive and ended the day converting on 8 of 13 third down attempts. If you want to win in the NFL, you cannot turn the ball over and you must be able to get the defense off the field on third downs. The Chargers failed in both those areas yesterday.


Photo by: Todd Kirkland/Icon SMI

To make matters worse, Philip Rivers threw an interception on the ensuing drive, giving the Falcons a very short field to work with. Rivers played poorly yesterday completing only 21 of 38 pass attempts, including two costly interceptions. Atlanta moved the ball 29 yards in four downs and scored another touchdown, putting them in front 20-0.

The Chargers were able to move the ball on their first possession of the second half and ended the drive with a field goal. But for them it was too little too late. The two teams traded turnovers, before the Falcons scored another touchdown on a run with Michael Turner, giving the final game score of 27-3.

San Diego came up small in their first real test of the season. Next week they will face their division rival Kansas City Chiefs, who came back to win in a wild game in New Orleans yesterday.

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