You are here
Five Lessons from the Dolphins Game
Chargers News To Your Inbox!
Sign up for the free Chargers email newsletter and stay in the know with all things Bolts.
Here are five lessons we learned from the 30-14 win over the Miami Dolphins:
1. Rivers Rolls On– The emotions at Qualcomm Stadium on Sunday were palpable, and will be what is most remembered from the Charges victory. However, it overshadowed a lot of good football played by the Bolts. Notably, Philip Rivers continued to rack up records for what is a Hall of Fame worthy career. On his first pass of the game, a 28-yard deep dime to Dontrelle Inman, number 17 passed 4,000 yards for the year for the seventh time in his career which is the fourth most in NFL history. Rivers also threw three touchdowns on the day to bring his season total to 27. In the process, he became only the third QB ever with eight straight seasons with at least 25 TDs. Later in the fourth quarter, his completion to Antonio Gates moved him past Kerry Collins (40,922) for 14th on the NFL’s all-time passing yardage list (40,942). Still, with so much uncertainty regarding the Chargers stadium, Rivers explained how his emotions playing in his 125th game at Qualcomm Stadium overshadowed his individual accolades:
“The whole day was special. I know it’s one of those (where) we still don’t know; maybe we’ll get to trot back out there and play again. But, it was the only way to treat it as if it was the last time. I was back and forth really the whole day, as far as my emotions getting the best of me. I let my mind wander to people, memories and games.”
2. Everybody Loves Malcom – On a day where many Bolts excelled between the white lines, it was a player with only one catch that stole the show. Malcom Floyd has made his intentions clear that he will retire at the end of the season, making Sunday the final home game of his 12-year career. While he’s provided countless thrills and made the impossible catch a routine, it’s the type of man Floyd is off the field that’s truly made him a fan favorite. A tribute video shown midway through the fourth quarter elicited a standing ovation leaving barely a dry eye in the stadium. That was especially true for M80:
“It was so hard to stay focused. I was just trying to stay focused. It’s so emotional. I got teary-eyed right there. It’s just crazy when you play in a stadium for that long and it comes to an end like that. I’m just glad that we got a win today so I could soak it in. I just appreciated all the support from the fans through the ups and downs throughout these 12 years. I love them to death.”
3. Woodhead Provides Wow Factor - Danny Woodhead knows how to score in bunches. The running back already scored multiple touchdowns in two games this season, so it wasn’t a shock that he found pay dirt again following his first quarter TD catch. What amazed was that he did it three more times. Woodhead authored only the ninth four touchdown performance in Chargers history, and the first since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2007. It tied for the second most in team history, just one short of Kellen Winslow’s five TD performance in 1981. As a result, Woodhead set a new personal record with nine touchdowns on the season, besting his previous career high of eight set with the Bolts in 2013. Head Coach Mike McCoy explained how special it is watching number 39 every time he’s on the field:
“Amazing. (He) never shocks you, right? Everyone was asking a couple weeks ago why he doesn’t get the ball more. Well obviously if he’s going to do this every week, (then) we should have given it to him a lot more! (He’s) phenomenal. A great route (on) the first touchdown there and then Philip made a great throw (with) good protection up front. That was executed to perfection and that is what it’s all about. He is a playmaker and we are very fortunate to have him here.”
4. Defensive Statement – The defense’s recent dominating run continued against the Dolphins as the Chargers raced out to a 23-0 lead late in the third quarter before they finally gave up points. The Bolts forced six three-and-outs and eight punts on the day as they stymied Miami’s offense. Ryan Tannehill was sacked three times (Melvin Ingram-2, Jerry Attaochu) while the defense held Lamar Miller and company to just 44 total yards on the ground. John Pagano’s unit limited the opposing team to only two offensive scores for the third straight game as Manti Te’o believes the defense is making a statement down the stretch :
“I think we are. There are little things that we would like to get done and improve on, but for the most part we are responding well. We are building each and every week and we will see how far we can go. On the importance of the defense building relationships, staying healthy and playing together.”
5. Brown Busts Out- Donald Brown’s opportunities have been few and far between in 2015. Behind Melvin Gordon, Danny Woodhead and Branden Oliver on the depth chart, the veteran had only 12 carries entering Sunday’s game. He doubled his season total against the Dolphins. With Oliver placed on IR in early November and Gordon suffering what turned out to be a season-ending knee injury late in the first half, Brown finished with 12 carries for 90 yards. His signature moment came on a 53 yard burst up the gut that set up the Chargers’ final score in the fourth quarter. While he hasn’t had as many carries as he’s accustomed to over his career, McCoy explained how much the Bolts value Brown:
“He’s a true pro. He does it the right way every day and shows up every week. When he wasn’t playing early on, if you saw him giving the defense a look every day, it was outstanding. He was flying around, working and finishing every play like he was the starter. And so the success he had (vs. the Dolphins) doesn’t surprise me at all. The way he ran the football, he put his foot in the ground and went downhill. That’s what you always tell the backs. Make one cut, get to where you need to go and (make) positive plays. He came out of there with the one big run, which was outstanding. I’m very happy for him.”