Chargers Blow Second Half Lead

The San Diego Chargers were in good shape up until Melvin Ingram roughed Drew Brees on a play in which he threw an interception, which would have went for a touchdown and a 31-14 Chargers lead. Unfortunately for the Chargers the play was called back and the Saints went on to march down the field and score a touchdown to make it 24-21.

Although he did not start, Ryan Matthews had a big game and did not fumble the football. Matthews rushed 12 times for 80 yards and a TD, and had 6 receptions for 59 yards. It may be time for San Diego to continuously feed him the ball. He does have a problem fumbling, but when you have no player as a suitable alternative, it sort of defeats the purpose of not using Matthews. The amount of positive plays he can bring to the Chargers should be able to outweigh his fumbles.

On the night that Drew Brees broke Unitas’ consecutive games with a touchdown streak, which is the most nonsensical and unimportant record I have ever heard of, the San Diego defense played well. There were some blown coverages in the secondary, but what really turned this game around was that penalty on Ingram. If Ingram does not get penalized, we are talking about a great effort from the San Diego defense against an offense dying for a win and big game.

Philip Rivers played reasonably well. He did throw an interception and lost a fumble, but it is hard to blame him for those turnovers. The interception was batted in the air on a third and 17. And the fumble came on the final drive, when I have no idea what the Chargers were thinking.

On that final drive the Chargers were able to convert on a second and 37, because of an illegal touching call against New Orleans. The Chargers continued with their drive. San Diego needed a touchdown to tie the game at 31 and send it to overtime. On the drive it became very noticeable that left tackle Jared Gaither was hurt and was not going to stop defensive end Will Smith. Now the fact that the Chargers continued to leave this man on the field, when everyone in the stadium knows they are forced to throw the ball is beyond me. And of course he gave up a final sack, fumble, recovery to Will Smith, wrapping the game up.

Next week San Diego hosts their major competitors in the AFC West, the Denver Broncos. The Broncos were beat by the New England Patriots yesterday, leaving them at 2-3. At 3-2 the Chargers could take a commanding two game lead in the division next week.

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