The offense and defense were both pretty bad this week against one of the weaker teams in The League. Fortunately, they were both good enough to win and with the way this season has gone, I'll take it.
The offense was, again, much better in the Red Zone than out of it (54.5% to 41.7%). On the day, the offense put together a total of eight successful running plays. Two of them were in the Red Zone where they only ran the ball twice. Of their 19 carries, all but four went to Tomlinson. Those four were split among Hester, Rivers and Jackson. All of them were successful.
As usual, they were better when they threw the ball, though not by much. Gates led all Charger receivers in unsuccessful plays (seven) and Chambers had the lowest success rate (14.3%). Unsurprisingly, Floyd led Charger receivers in successful plays (five) and among those targeted more than once in success rate (83.3%). The Chargers success rate when passing jumps nine points if you remove all passes that targeted Chambers and Gates who are supposedly our top two pass catching threats.
Prior to the final five minutes the of the game, the Charger offense was successful on 18 of 51 plays (35.3%), but in those final five minutes they were successful on 14 of 21 (66.7%).
Watching the game, it seemed that the Chiefs were running all over the Chargers defense, but they weren't actually having that much success on the ground. Well, their running backs weren't, at least. Larry Johnson was stopped on 58.8% of his carries and Charles only managed to break even on his four rushing attempts. Quarterback Tyler Thigpen, on the other hand, was nigh unstoppable on Sunday as the defense stopped him on only 25% of his rushes.
It was the passing game, though, where the defense nearly lost this game. A 40% stop rate against the pass is atrocious and it doesn't even capture how bad they were for most of the game. Half of their 12 stops came in the third quarter alone which means they had a stop rate of 26% in the other three quarters, a performance so pathetic I can't put it into words.
Looking at the defense on an individual level, there are some bright spots. Antwan Applewhite and Stephen Cooper led the team in stops with four. All four of Applewhite's tackles were stops and Cooper also chipped in with a pick in the end zone. Third on the defense was Jamal Williams with three stops out of four tackles. Jammer and Phillips both contributed with two stops each. The rest of the defense doesn't really show up positively in this particular analysis, but part of that is due to the limits of this kind of analysis.
Chargers Offensive Success Rates:
Chargers Defensive Stop Rates: