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Chargers Fall Due to Lack of Execution
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When the ball is at the one yard line and a team isn’t able to get into the end zone on three tries, people understandably want to ask why.
The vast majority in the locker room didn’t pay much mind to those type of questions. To the players themselves, they believe it all comes down to one crucial factor – a failure to execute.
“I just think as players, in any football game that’s ever been played it’s too easy to always say what you should have called or should have ran,” said Philip Rivers. “It’s too easy to say, ‘Oh we could have run this, we could have run that, after the fact. As players, it’s our job to execute. We had a chance to get it in at the half yard line and we didn’t do it. It’s that simple.”
That was the feeling many on offense had in regards to their failure to punch it into the end zone at the end of regulation.
“We have all the confidence in the world with what we call collectively,” Antonio Gates said. “If something’s called, it’s our job to go out and execute it. We have to go back and look and see what was done. What breakdowns did we have in certain situations. That’s always the case. It’s never the play calling, it’s the execution of what’s been called. We weren’t able to execute to our potential today.”
The three calls on everyone’s mind took place with 21 seconds to go in the game and the Bolts less than a yard from the end zone. On first down, Danny Woodhead took the ball out of shotgun formation up the middle, but he was stuffed for no gain. On second down, Rivers went for the fade to Gates, but the ball fell incomplete. Then on third down, Rivers rolled to his right looking for Keenan Allen in the back of the end zone, but he wasn’t able to connect with the rookie wideout.
While the plays resulted in Nick Novak kicking a game-tying field goal instead of scoring the likely game-winning touchdown, Gates believes the team will succeed in those situations and on those calls more times than not.
“We have all the confidence in the world in our abilities and what we can do,” the tight end continued. “Just the nature of this league, it’s always been tough, especially on the road, to come away with a win. Today wasn’t an exception; they just played phenomenally down in that area. There are some things we could have done better and could have cleaned up, but when it’s all said and done, those are the plays that you have to make in this league. We weren’t able to do that.” Read