1. Ryan Mathews
Well, at least Mathews was able to end his season strong with his first career 100 yard game and his first career multiple-TD game. Although he missed some time due to injury, his 4.3 Yards Per Carry average is still impressive. As is the fact that he scored a TD every 22.5 carries. I am very pleased with the game he had, it helped turned a lost season into a building season for him and should help his confidence heading into 2011.
|vs DEN / 1.2.11||Rushing||Receiving|
2. Free Agents
Many of the due-to-be-FAs on this Chargers roster were able to flash their talent during this game. Darren Sproles had a nice kick return, Vincent Jackson had a great catch before getting injured, Malcom Floyd made maybe the catch of the season and Kevin Burnett lead the team in tackles. Those are just a few of the guys that the Chargers may need to bring back in 2011, and guys that increased their value with strong 2010 seasons. More names to add to that list include Eric Weddle and Mike Tolbert.
I don't know that I've ever seen the Chargers players hyped up to be making plays as they were against the Broncos. Make a tackle? Get in a fight! Catch a pass? Do a dance! They were so excited to be putting the beat down on their division rivals and finishing the season about .500.
That's all I say about that for now. We're going to come back to this subject in 5 Bad Things later.
4. No Fumbles/Good Special Teams
Seriously, whenever this happens it should be seen as a good thing. Considering the final score, this is another game that could've been lost had the Chargers made their usual mistakes of allowing big returns and handing the ball over to the other team. However, the only turnovers of the game were an interception by Philip Rivers and two by Tim Tebow.
The Special Teams game looked strong, outside of one play where the ball seemed to slip through Mike Scifres hands after a higher-than-normal punt (anyone else think David Binn's coming back next year?). Nate Kaeding had a successful, if imperfect, day of kicking the football while Antoine Cason and Darren Sproles showed that they should be feared on punt and kick returns, respectively.
5. Good Performances from No-Names
The following list is guys that had good games against the Broncos that I didn't know existed before this season:
Thank you, Mr. A.J. Smith.