Author's Note: This is a list of San Diego Chargers players that played above or below expectations on Sunday. As the game went mostly according to expectation, most of the players produced at about the level that was expected of them. That is why this list is a little short.
Corey Lynch - 9 tackles, 2 defended passes, 1 interception
Oh, right. I forgot that a Safety that is good at tackling and just makes the standard plays can come off looking very good in this defense. After 3 months, the San Diego Chargers have finally found a replacement for Steve Gregory and his name is Corey Lynch. He'll almost certainly get signed to be someone's starting Strong Safety next year.
Danario Alexander - 6 catches, 102 rec yds
In contrast to what most Chargers fans think, Danario Alexander is not a diamond in the rough. The Chargers are not the smartest team in the NFL and they didn't strike gold with a free agent in the middle of the season. Everyone knew what Alexander's potential was, including the Rams (who cut him at the end of training camp), but they also knew that his knees would never hold up for a full season. That still, unfortunately, true. So, enjoy this healthy period for Alexander, but don't start counting on this to be a regular thing for him until he proves that he can do it.
Demorrio Williams - 3 tackles, 1 interception, 1 touchdown
Get a pick 6, get a Bolt. Those are the rules. However, I hold Williams somewhat responsible for the Chargers giving up 128 rushing yards.
Norv Turner, Offensive Coordinator
Boy, Norv is frustrating. With less than 3 minutes left to go in the game, trailing by 7, San Diego marched down the field and ended up on the Bengals' 17 yard line with 1:16 left to go. Good job. Now, the Bengals are terrified of giving up the TD, so throw the underneath route and pick up the first down. That way, you're close enough that the defense has to respect the run and you can play-action your way towards a TD.
....or throw three deep routes to the end zone (where the Bengals have planted 8 defenders) that come nowhere close to being caught, and then force your mistake-prone QB to make a play on 4th & 10. That works too.
The offense scored just 6 points yesterday, all in the 2nd quarter. That falls on the offensive coordinator.
Ryan Mathews - 9 carries, 26 rush yds, 3 catches (7 targets), 25 rec yds
Yeah, the offensive line is just atrocious at this point. Injuries (McNeill, Dielman) on top of injuries (Gaither, Green) on top of injuries (Clary) have made it damn near impossible to get anything going in the running game. Still, Mathews started the season with fire in his eyes and now looks a bit like a beaten man. I'm not saying that he's giving up on this season, but I am saying that I wouldn't blame him if he is.
This is where I point out that anyone that wants to call Mathews a bust is probably a fool. He still has all of the tools to be a truly great running back. However, as far as this season is concerned, he's been terrible.