NFL Game Book: Falcons at Chargers, Week 3

San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews (24) walks off the field after the Atlanta Falcons beat the Chargers 27-3 at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

Each week, I look through the NFL's game book for the most recent San Diego Chargers game and try and find fun nuggets of statistical information.

The San Diego Chargers 27-3 loss to the Atlanta Falcons was brutal to watch, but maybe we can learn something positive by diffing through the stats.

  • Since the NFL equates "starters" to whomever was on the field for the first play, the Bolts only had 1 starting WR yesterday (Malcom Floyd) and had 3 starting TEs. I know, stupid rule.
  • Somewhat disheartening that Antonio Garay was inactive for this game despite practicing all week. He was the starting NT during the preseason, is it possible that he's dropped so far down the depth chart with his injury that he's now going to be inactive until someone else gets injured?
  • Technically, Floyd was thrown to 9 times and only caught it 3 times. Blame the coverage, or the fact that Philip Rivers was under duress. Malcom really only had one or two balls that he could've caught and didn't.
  • Tony Gonzalez was thrown to 12 times and caught it 9 of those times. He was far and away the most targeted receiver for the Falcons. They should tell you that Matt Ryan was more comfortable throwing at Atari Bigby and Takeo Spikes than he was testing Eric Weddle.

  • Give Nate Kaeding credit, both of his kickoffs landed in the end zone for touchbacks. He's added some leg strength since the injury.
  • In the first quarter, the Atlanta Falcons held the ball for 11 minutes and 23 seconds against the Chargers' 3 minutes and 37 seconds.
  • This is the opposite of what we've seen the last two games, but 8 out of the Chargers' 10 longest offensive plays came out of the Shotgun formation. Only 3 of the Falcons' 10 longest plays came out of Shotgun.
  • The Atlanta Falcons never trailed the Chargers.
  • Jackie Battle was in for 6 plays and got 3 carries.
  • Malcom Floyd was in the game for all but 3 offensive plays.
  • Ryan Mathews and his clavicle played 43 snaps, 77% of the total number of offensive snaps for San Diego.
  • Le'Ron McClain played just 11 offensive snaps (20%).
  • The guys that played every offensive snap: Rivers and the entire offensive line. The guys that played every defensive snap: Quentin Jammer, Antoine Cason, Atari Bigby, Eric Weddle and Donald Butler.
  • Despite lots of passing, Takeo Spikes was in for 75% of the defensive snaps, more than Shaun Phillips (74%).
  • For the third consecutive week, Vaughn Martin for more snaps (51) than any other defensive lineman. Next closest was Corey Liuget (43).
  • Snaps at OLB were split very evenly between Jarrett Johnson (49%) and Melvin Ingram (43%).
  • Cam Thomas actually got in more snaps at DT (40%) than Aubrayo Franklin did (36%). This is probably due to Thomas being a better pass rusher from that spot than Franklin, who is a better run-stopper.
  • Corey Lynch and Demorrio Williams were both on the field for 9 defensive snaps against the Falcons.

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