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Five Lessons from the Titans Game

Posted Sep 23, 2013

Here are your weekly five lessons from the previous game.

Here are five lessons we learned from Sunday’s narrow 20-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans.

1. Too Many Mistakes – Those three words were repeated over and over again in the locker room following the defeat, and for good reason.  Head Coach Mike McCoy has repeatedly said it takes all three phases of the game to win, and as pointed out yesterday, the Chargers committed numerous blunders on offense, defense and special teams.  While giving credit to Tennessee, McCoy  emphasized how hard it is to win if the team makes the amount of costly errors they committed yesterday:

“In a football game like this, (we had) too many mistakes at critical times during the game,” McCoy said.  “Little mistakes killed us in this game today.  (We had) a number of them.  We’ll go home and analyze the film, look at it and correct it as soon as we can.”

2. Injury Bug was Big  –While the team refused to make any excuses, the Chargers were forced to play without many of their starters for the majority of the game.  On defense, an injured Manti Te’o and Donald Butler were replaced by the trio of Andrew Gachkar, Bront Bird and Reggie Walker.  In the secondary, a hamstring issue prevented Shareece Wright from suiting up, and his replacement Johnny Patrick suffered cramps late in the game forcing newly signed Crezdon Butler into the game.  On offense, Malcom Floyd missed the match with his neck sprain, but most notably, of the team’s five projected starters on the offensive line, only Nick Hardwick and Jeromey Clary finished the game, with Clary forced to play tackle instead of guard.   Despite all the upheaval, the team didn’t use the injury bug as an excuse.  As McCoy noted, the players who filled in performed admirably, but as a whole, the team didn’t get the job done:

“We’ve got a good football team here and that’s why you’ve got 53 on the roster.  I think the players who had an opportunity to step in today did a nice job.  They really did.  They came in on short notice because of what happened during the week.  That’s all part of the game.  (We) had every opportunity to win the football game with the guys that were playing.  We just didn’t get it done at the end.”


3.  Finish Finish Finish –It appeared as though the Bolts learned this lesson following Week 1’s loss to the Houston Texans when they finished the game as well as any Charger fan could hope for against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2.  Against the Titans, this lesson did not appear to stick.  McCoy noted how the team was not able to come up with the big play at the end to finish the game:

“It comes down to the end of the game where we’ve got to make a play, and they made one more play than we did.  So give them the credit where it’s deserved.  We put them in a situation, and we didn’t finish the game.  So we’ve got to improve there.”


4. Rivers Still Rolling  – Philip Rivers continued his tremendous start to the season with a 20-of-24, 184 yard, one touchdown performance for a passer rating of 112.5.  Through three games, he’s completed 70 of 100 attempts (70 percent) for 798 yards, eight touchdowns, one pick and a rating of 116.2.  Among all NFL starting QBs, he ranks second in completion percentage, touchdowns and passer rating.  According to Antonio Gates, there is nothing surprising about the way Rivers is rolling:

“He’s a guy that definitely gives us an opportunity to win football games. Every week we’re trying to put the ball in his hands and let him make decisions….He just has a competitive spirit. That’s the nature of who he is. As you can see he wants to win football games.  I’ve been in so many battles with him. He’s going to be the first guy in the locker room, he’s going to be the last guy to leave and he’s going to play his heart out every Sunday. ”


5. Correct it and Do Better  – That’s the (correct) mindset the Chargers are taking after another last second  loss.  It’s a long season with 13 games to go.  The Bolts will use this experience to fix their mistakes and move on, beginning Sunday at home against the Dallas Cowboys.  Eric Weddle believes the team will do that, just as they were able to show in their bounce-back Week 2 victory:

“We’ve been through it already against Houston, and we rebounded.  Obviously Dallas is as talented a team as they come, so there’s no feeling sorry for ourselves. We’ve got to correct it, look at the film and see what could have been done better. "


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