Jarret Johnson was the Chargers best pass rusher on Thursday night and other observations from the Chargers vs. Chiefs game.
So, are we supposed to be happy after that win last night? I ask because I totally am and I get the impression not all of you are. All Chargers wins are good and nearly all Chiefs losses are, too. Smile Chargers fans.
Philip Rivers made a terrible decision and executed it poorly at the end of the first half, some are pointing out. I hate to break it to you, but he still had a great game. He completed 90% of his passes and that boneheaded play is sadly something he's going to do from time to time. Every time you see it replayed, go back and find that throw to Seyi Ajirotutu and feel better about El Capitan.
If that's not enough, check out the touchdown pass he threw to Malcom Floyd, too. That was a thing of beauty as well.
The Chiefs' corners not named Brandon Flowers are pretty bad this year (and maybe even worse with Stanford Routt inactive) and the Chargers didn't test Mr. Flowers one time last night. I'm choosing to view that as a positive, though. Why try to squeeze through the crack in the wall when there's an open door?
There were some less than positive moments, though. Three Chargers' pass rushers rushed the passer at least 10 times without generating one pressure. Who do you suppose they were? I'll give you a hint: they weren't Jarret Johnson. The former Raven led the team in Pass Rushing Productivity at 28.6% (2 for 7). In case you're curious, that number is disgustingly high.
Antwan Barnes, Eric Weddle and Corey Liuget were the other "bright spots" when it came to getting after Matt Cassel. Weddle generated one pressure on five attempts. Barnes had three on 19 and Liuget 2 on 23. Those aren't JJ numbers, but they'll do.
It's funny how after the game everyone was talking about how great Butler was in the run game, but nobody had anything to say about what a complete non-entity he was rushing the passer. That's okay, I didn't notice on first viewing either. I was more caught up in how he almost killed Jamaal Charles.
For those worried, Ingram had a pretty good game against the run, too. He was not Butler, but few are.
I'm glad I didn't tell people to watch out for Ropati Pitoitua like I meant to before the game because he sucked. The Chargers' offensive line pushed him around and when he got in position to make a tackle, he missed.
Speaking of linemen that sucked last night, nice season debut for Antonio Garay, huh? That wasn't pretty. Do you guys remember how incredible he was in 2010? What happened to that player? I guess big, fat guys just don't age well, but it's disappointing to watch in real time.
Shareece Wright also finally got onto the field for two whole snaps (on defense, he does play special teams, too). He made a nice tackle to stop Jonathan Baldwin short of a first down on 3rd-and-18, and he was on the field for a running play according to the snap count. I guess that's progress.
All of the receivers had a 100% catch rate except for Dante Rosario, but in his defense that pass was thrown more to Eric Berry than it was to him. Berry must have been excited to get called upon to cover a tight end that wasn't Antonio Gates because Gates made him look bad again.
I'm not happy that the Chargers are counting on guys like Danario Alexander and Seyi Ajirotutu, but it's hard not to be happy with how they looked against the Chiefs. They ran the right routes, managed to be in the spots Rivers expected them to be and they didn't drop the ball on the turf. That's more than we can say for Eddie Royal and Robert Meachem this year regardless of opponent.
Maybe I should be happy the Chargers are counting on Alexander and Ajirotutu after all.
Like it or not, Chargers fans, the home team is .500 at the halfway point and definitely still in the playoff race.