Coming out of a Rough game at home to the Titans, the Charger defense was going to have to face a very similar offense in the Texans. Arian Foster is a top tier runner like Chris Johnson, and the passing game is strong when set up by a good running game. Although Foster ripped apart the Charger front line, he was contained well and stopped when it mattered most. But there was inadequate execution throughout much of the game. I had mentioned that Kevin Burnett would have a direct effect on Arian Fosters success up front, and it was quite evident throughout the game. How did Burnett hold up? Obviously, he struggled considering how much Foster was able to do on the ground. Let's break down Ron Rivera's defense.
After allowing 20 first half points, 10 off of routinely bad special teams and yet another fumble, the Defense managed to hold the Texans to just a field goal through the second half of the game. All year, Ron Rivera has made brilliant halftime adjustments to shut down opposing offenses and give Norv Turner a chance to put up points. Although Turner and the offense has failed a few times, there is comfort in knowing that the Defense can always keep the game within reach.
|1st Half Pass||0.5||0.6||0.78||0.44||NA||0.5||0.0||1.0||0.17||1.0||0.5||0.3|
|2nd Half Pass||0.0||0.1||0.7||0.3||0.0||NA||0.0||0.6||0.2||1.0||0.7||0.0|
|1st Half Run||NA||.14||1.2||0.57||0.45||0.67||0.5||0.6||0.38||0.75||0.33||0.13|
|2nd Half Run||0.0||0.3||0.7||1.1||0.8||0.6||0.8||1.1||0.6||1.0||NA||0.6|
As I mentioned, Kevin Burnett's success would have a direct effect on Arian Foster's running success. Looking at his numbers, Burnett had little success. Fellow ILB Stephen Cooper is also key to stopping the run, but I've grilled him repeatedly for being ineffective. He has a pro bowl quality mind and desire, but the body doesn't put it together well enough. The ultimate truth is, the Charger front 7 was beat down repeatedly the first half, though they would improve in the second half, as they've done all year.
There is a guy referred to by Pacstud as TDEK. Ryan Mathews. I need to make something clear regarding a defensive player on the team. Eric Weddle; He is the one guy you can always count on. The one guy who will always make that tackle, make the stop, and succeed where most others would fail. His dependability makes him great because whatever goes on during a play, he's always there. That's it. He's always there. Eric Weddle is the HAT of this defense. Running plays, pass plays, sweeps, playaction, or anything you want to run, he's always there. It's absolutely brilliant. And it's official. Eric Weddle will be referred to as the HAT in all my analysis. In an AFC stacked with great safties, Weddle is one of them and no one knows it but the Chargers. They will. Right now, Kyle Orton is reviewing for the 78th time, all available film of Weddle throughout this and last year and he is having a psychotic episode because he doesn't know how to take him away from a play. Orton is tightly wrapped in the darkness of the mile high single stall bathroom shaking in his brown bear onesie and puking his oatmeal through his neckbeard trying to overcome the pterodactyls in his stomach that ate the butterflies. How do you beat the HAT? Exactly, you don't know. He's wrapped around your head and you don't even know it.
Click here to view terrible playcall number 1. Crazy right? Now my math isn't great, it's brilliant. So when I see 4 defenders and 4 blockers, that means, Fail. With everyone blocked, no one can make a tackle.
Even in the second half, Foster did find some success, but Burnett improved and did well on some plays. Brandon Siler needs to get healthy. Burnett and Cooper can't play every snap and be fresh. They struggle against the run as it is, and they need to be able to come off for a breather. With English coming back to health, maybe Applewhite can spend more time at ILB to help. He's done it before, and he's not as good as Phillips or Barnes at OLB.
So what can we learn from this game? As far as Arian Foster, he is helped a lot by his excellent run blockers and Fullback. They block very well in their zone scheme and are very steady at the point of attack. Foster himself runs very well: patient, powerful, elusive, and smart. This team finally has a Nose tackle that can play the position like a natural, but no healthy ILB's to play the run. Burnett's speed and coverage ability is a trade off with power, and Coop has just gotten old and ineffective. It's terrible that Donald Butler is on IR. He was the strongest ILB at the combine and his speed and smart play were probably why AJ Smith drafted him. Siler was a steal and it's a shame he's not healthy enough to play. I honestly expect the run defense to improve coming out of the bye week. Not just because it will be the Broncos as the next opponent, but because everyone will be rested, and healthy enough for a serious run at the division. Stopping the run is the biggest priority when the division is headed by Oakland and Kansas city, both good running teams. Recs are appreciated if you appreciated the work I put in for this. Leave any questions or comments for me and I'll do my best to answer them for you. Go Chargers!
Players are graded on a play by play basis. 2.0 is the highest score, and is given to a player who makes a sack, a tackle for a loss, bats a pass down, or a player who is double teamed and can successfully anchor his point. 1.0 is given to players who get pressure, shed a block and can make a stop for little gain, slows down the ball carrier enough to give another player a chance to stop him, or if they're double teamed and can't hold their point, but aren't beat or driven away. 0.0 is given to a player who fails. Whether they don't get any pressure rushing the passer, or are completely blocked, or fail to make a stop. There will be half scores as well, of 1.5 and 0.5 when a player's performance falls in between grading points, like almost getting a sack but forcing an incompletion, or stuffing a play that gains minimal positive yardage. 0.5 would be if they almost fail but manage to do even a little positive, like recover from being beat on a block to make a tackle from behind after a positive gain, or getting a QB to move in the pocket but not hurry his throw, or get beat on his double team but still draw both blockers. Also, not every player is graded on every play. Backside defenders can't be graded because they have no play responsibility to be graded for. Only playside defenders will be graded.