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Five Lessons from the Jaguars Game

Posted Oct 21, 2013

Here are your weekly five lessons from the past week's game.

Here are five lessons we learned from Sunday’s 24-6 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.


1. It All Starts with the Quarterback –
Philip Rivers is remarkable.  What else is there to say about the Bolts quarterback?   Rivers has been outstanding this season and Week 7 was just another example.  He finished 22 of 26 (84.6%) for 285 yards and one touchdown for a passer rating of 125.2..  Rivers also started the game completing 14 straight passes, the best start to a game in his career.  This season, he has had three games completing over 80% of his passes, the most by a Chargers QB in franchise history.  If that wasn’t enough, he became just the 37thplayer in NFL history, and the second Charger after Dan Fouts, to eclipse 30,000 passing yards for his career.  As Head Coach Mike McCoy said, the Bolts are quite blessed to have number 17 under center:

“We’re very fortunate to have Philip Rivers as our quarterback.  We said from day one here what type of player he is.  He’s bought into the offensive system.  He’s had some great players around him. That’s the one thing he said to the team when we gave him the game ball in (the locker room).  There are a lot of guys that have been here in this organization over his entire career that’s helped him get there.  When you get good players around you good things will happen.  But it all starts with the quarterback and he’s one of the best in the business.  We’re very fortunate.”

 

2. Mathews’ Groove Adds Momentum  – For the second consecutive week, Ryan Mathews eclipsed the 100-yard barrier.  On the day, he had 21 carries for 110-yards, averaging 5.2 yards per carry.  Mathews also found the end zone for the first time in 255 carries dating back to Week 5 of last year.  Overall, the way he’s running the ball is quite impressive.  He is a very powerful back who always seems to fall forward.  It’s very tough for one guy to bring Mathews down, and as Le’Ron McClain explained, when he gets going he is nearly unstoppable:

“We know that if we get 24 rolling, he’s hard to stop.  He’s strong.  He did a great job of getting his head on a hat.  Ryan got over 100 yards for the second straight game, but we’re not satisfied.  We want this to become a regular thing. That’s the goal.”

 

3. Pass Rush is Imperative– Good things happen when you get to the quarterback.  The Chargers had a season-high six sacks, which was the impetus behind a stellar day where  they allowed just six points.  The Bolts have gone two whole games without giving up a touchdown, the first time they’ve done so in 2002.  Even more remarkable is that they have gone 10 consecutive quarters without allowing a TD, the longest such streak since 1993.  According to McCoy, a major reason behind the defense’s vastly improved play has been the past rush:

“One of those things too that’s been a big emphasis is getting after the quarterback. We didn’t do that early in the season and got exposed a little bit because you can only cover for so long.  It’s not easy in this league.  If you don’t get any rush on the quarterback it’s tough.  The DB’s are on an island back there.  So if you don’t get after them it’s tough.  I think they did a great job (today).  There were a lot of second efforts out there today.”

 

4. O-Line Resilience Immeasurable – After losing King Dunlap and Mike Remmers to injury in a matter of plays, the Chargers offensive line was faced with a tough task.  The remaining five active linemen were shuffled, with D.J. Fluker playing left tackle, Jeromey Clary at right tackle and Rich Ohrnberger coming in at right guard.  While it could have been a disaster, instead the offensive line was a strength of the team.  They kept Rivers upright the remainder of the game while allowing the running game to gain 158 yards on the ground.  After the game, Nick Hardwick addressed the job the unit did while praising the coaches:

“The guys have the flexibility that when things happen, which they always seem to do, to come out and execute their assignments. It’s a testament to everyone’s work ethic.  It’s a testament to Coach (Joe) D'Alessandris and Coach (Andrew) Dees and the vigor in which they work and coach.  The amount and attention of detail that is paid to every guy and every position is incredible.  They’re a major reason behind our success.”

 

5. “Keep it Going”  –After winning two consecutive games and climbing over .500 for the first time all season, the Chargers know that now is not the time to get complacent and rest on their laurels.  All they have done so far is give themselves a chance to go on a run when they return from the bye, and that was the talk in the locker room after the game.  Here is what Rivers had to say:

“We responded as good as we could have.  So we’ve got ourselves in position now to keep it going.  Hopefully we get healthy.  And then we’ve got another tough cross-country trip going to Washington which we know what that team’s capable of.  So we’ve got to go there and see if we can get three in a row.  And I think we’ll get in the thick of the division.  We’ve still got an uphill battle, but we’ve given ourselves a chance now with what we’ve done the last two weeks.”


 

 

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