Bolts & Dolts: San Diego Chargers Lose to Denver Broncos, 35-24

Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Going through the box score of the San Diego Chargers loss to the Denver Broncos to give attention to players that played above, or below, expectations.

Bolts

Antonio Gates - 6 catches (10 targets), 81 rec yards, 2 rec TDs
Gates had himself quite a game. First, he did this...

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Now that's the vintage Antonio that we remember. This guy below, though....he's new.

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Don't mess with the Chargers' TE.

Honorable Mention: Jarret Johnson, Quentin Jammer

Dolts

Philip Rivers - 25/41, 242 pass yds, 2 pass TDs, 2 fumbles lost, 4 interceptions
We have a full week before I have to talk about the Browns game, right? We'll talk about Rivers' game then. I'm not ready yet.

Offensive Line
Six games in and I'm ready to blow this group up. How Tyronne Green is starting over Rex Hadnot right now is beyond me. They can't run block (except for Jared Gaither, who is more urban legend than real person at this point) and they can't pass block. Poor, poor Nick Hardwick is stuck trying to make sense of it.

Antoine Cason - 7 tackles (5 solo)
Cason has become one of the team's top tacklers every week. It's not an honor, it's because he can't stay close enough to keep his receiver from catching the ball. Need 5 yards? Throw left.

Atari Bigby - 7 tackles (6 solo)
I kept thinking that Brandon Taylor would take Bigby's spot when the injury-prone Safety went down with an injury. Bigby has managed to stay healthy, but should start losing time to Taylor soon simply because he has a huge flaw in his game: He bites on every single play-action fake and gives up long pass plays consistently because of it. Starting Safeties can not do that.

Jackie Battle - 2 carries, 3 rush yds
If someone wants to photoshop a fork sticking out of Battle's back, I'll put it in this post right here.

Norv Turner
A lot is made of coaches that can get their team excited to play. Whatever. A much more important trait is the coaches that can grab their team and shake them around to get them back into the game and out of their own heads. Cowher used to do this by spitting in people's faces, a surprisingly effective method. Bill Belichick typically loosens guys up with funny jokes. Norv treats his players "like men" and hoped that they would figure it out on their own. They did not, as they usually don't. This is the biggest reason why Turner is more of a play-caller, a numbers guy, than someone who manages personalities.

Dishonorable Mention: Pass Rush, the refs

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