NFL Wire News

Chargers “Out-played, out-coached”


The Sports Xchange

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Coach Mike McCoy met the media on Monday and had a simple description of the performance of his San Diego Chargers on Sunday?

“Unacceptable,” McCoy said.

That was among the adjectives pertaining to the Chargers being mugged by the Oakland Raiders 37-29. It was ugly on Sunday and it was clear on Monday that there wasn’t much to say.

“We got out-played and out-coached,” McCoy said. “But we’re not going to sit around and dwell.”

The Chargers, of course, can’t. Not with a cross-country trip awaiting as they will play at Baltimore on Sunday. But the Chargers have reached a crossroad in their season before Halloween.

While it would be easy to dismiss Sunday’s loss as a day in which everything went wrong, it goes a bit deeper. The Chargers have not only lost three straight but five of six, eight of 11 and, just counting AFC West, five of the last seven.

“We’re not going to sit around and dwell on it,” McCoy said. “You have to have a short memory in this business.”

You also need some wins to show progress in a 2 1/2-year rebuilding process. Instead every Chargers arrow not connected to Philip Rivers is pointed down.

“I have to coach better, that’s what I told my players,” McCoy said. “We’re not making any excuses.”

Instead the Chargers have to start making plays, and in a hurry. The season is slipping away at an alarming rate.

“We’ll grind it out,” McCoy said of his approach to flipping the script.

That sounds fine. But McCoy also served notice that if his charges aren’t fulfilling their responsibilities, there is nowhere to hide in the NFL.

“If you’re not doing your job the right way, you will be exposed,” McCoy said.

Some are wondering the same thing about McCoy.

The Chargers’ lack of success, and McCoy’s 20-19 mark as a first-time head coach, may be cause for concern.

McCoy declined to say if he’s been given a vote of confidence from the Chargers’ brass. He did say there are no changes planned for his coaching staff.


–PASSING OFFENSE: D. Philip Rivers proved he is human, one week after throwing for 503 yards with no turnovers. Instead he had two interceptions against the Raiders that led to 10 points. He was off-kilter, just a hair, in the first three quarters and the results were predictable — especially without a running game to lean on. The pass-blocking was decent as Rivers was sacked but once. He was pestered many more times, though. But the passing game wasn’t clicking and that nearly guarantees a Chargers loss the way the team is constructed.

–RUSHING OFFENSE: F. When you have fewer rushing yards (90) than the opposing team has penalty yards (136), that’s never a good sign. Branden Oliver had the early carries and averaged 3.9 yards on nine rushes. Melvin Gordon worked the second half with roughly the same average. Danny Woodhead had five carries for 26 yards. But the run-blocking was inconsistent, and when the Chargers fell behind 30-6 at the half, that steam rolled any notion of establishing a running attack.

–PASS DEFENSE: D. Open receivers. Shoddy tackling. A shaky pass rush. One gets the drift. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was able to throw for three scores, and it probably could have been more but the Raiders pumped the brakes when they got a big lead. Wide receiver Amani Cooper schooled defensive backs Jason Verrett and Jimmy Wilson. Michael Crabtree was a predictable headache for cornerback Brandon Flowers. The unit was missing All-Pro safety Eric Weddle (groin) but the subpar play can’t all be blamed on that. The Chargers had one sack and it came from Flowers.

–RUN DEFENSE: D. True to their season average, the Chargers once again allowed an average of 5 yards per carry. The Raiders were winning the battle at the line of scrimmage, with Oakland runners reaching the second level with consistency. Among those rushes was a 24-yarder by Latavius Murray and a 19-yarder by Taiwan Jones. Tackling remains an issues on all three levels of the defense.

–SPECIAL TEAMS: D. Jacoby Jones put the Chargers in an early hole when he tried to return a kick 9 yards deep in the end zone. Then when he got in the open field on a later return, he was easily run down. Jones continues to be a disappointment, as does most of this unit. The Chargers allowed a 32-yard kickoff return and an 18-yard punt return. Josh Lambo did add field goals of 40 and 44 yards.

–COACHING: F. Few could recall a more disheartening Chargers performance, especially during a first half in which the team was dominated in all three phases. Coach Mike McCoy has been stressing how well the team is practicing and how motivated they are but it’s not showing up on game days. Considering how important the game was — the first of six against AFC West foes — it’s amazing the Chargers played with such a lackluster attitude. McCoy wanted to attack the Raiders through the air, but he wanted to get the running game started to complement it. By falling behind so early, that notion was derailed. The Chargers did rally in the fourth quarter, but this game was decided by then. McCoy and his assistants are being tested, and so far, they are falling short.

About The Sports Xchange


Since 1987, the Sports Xchange has been the best source of information and analysis for the top professionals in the sports publishing & information business