Ryan Mathews - 12 carries, 105 rush yds, 1 rush TD, 2 catches (2 targets), 8 rec yds
Poor Ryan Mathews still needs a nickname. He'll probably get one if he ever stays healthy long enough.
Mathews has come off the bench, finally healthy, and looks like the RB we always wanted him to be. He's lost some bulk, replacing it with speed and quickness, but still has plenty of power. He's also become quite a good one-cut RB, which meshes well with this offensive line.
Even when the team limited his carries, and even when he misses part of the game with an injury, Mathews is still the most talented offensive player on the team not named Antonio Gates.
Ladarius Green - 2 catches (3 targets), 34 rec yds
Lord, help us that this is an "above average" game for Ladarius. When the San Diego Chargers offense needed a long offensive drive they went to Ladarius twice, and he made a big play both times. It's a damn shame that this mismatch of a player can't be turned into a consistent weapon by this coaching staff.
I'm convinced, at this point, that Jeff is basically running this football team without knowing it.
I'd really like to see this team junk the majority of its 5 step drop playbook. Can SD go with 3 step throws, and fakes off short routes?— Jeffrey Siniard (@JeffSiniard) November 16, 2014
That was posted a week ago. Despite Philip Rivers' poor performance, all three of his sacks were the fault of him holding on to the ball too long. The offense seemed more geared towards getting the ball out of his hands quickly (as it was last season) and that paid off with scoring drives when San Diego needed it most.
Eric Weddle - 9 tackles (6 solo), 1 pass defended
It's difficult for Weddle to exceed expectations at this point because we expect the world from him. Yet, there he was, making every play in the defensive backfield and occasionally rushing the passer with great success. I don't know how he keeps getting better, but he does.
Andrew Gachkar - 4 tackles (2 solo), 1 fumble recovery, 1 defensive TD
I am THIS CLOSE to buying a Gachkar jersey. He just does everything right, and doesn't let his lack of size or strength get in the way of him making big plays. I hope he stays with the Chargers forever, and I hope they continue to find ways to get him on the field.
Donald Butler - 5 tackles (2 solo)
A year ago, this would be a very ho-hum game for Butler. However, he made no big mistakes and consistently made the play that was in front of him. Solid effort from a guy that has been lacking it this season.
Tenny Palepoi / Sean Lissemore - 6 tackles (3 solo)
With Ryan Carrethers out, I was worried about the defensive line. Turns out, I didn't need to be. Corey Liuget was making big plays as a pass-rusher while these two, along with Jarret Johnson, were shutting down the St. Louis Rams' running attack. The defensive line rotation is finally starting to figure itself out.
Antonio Gates - 2 catches (2 targets), 14 rec yds
I understand the Rams' gameplan was to take out Gates and let someone else beat them, but this stat line stands out as particularly awful for the Chargers TE.
Shareece Wright - 4 tackles (4 solo), 1 pass defended
Wright was bailed out by penalties back at the line of scrimmage more than once, and he was still terrible. He was targeted more than any other Chargers defensive player, again, and that will continue until the day he becomes a New York Jet (or something) as a free agent and Jason Verrett returns to be the starting CB next season. One thing is for sure, Tom Telesco can not afford to let Brandon Flowers walk in free agency this offseason.
Chris Davis - 1 tackle (1 solo)
Get the hell out of the way and do not run into the punt returner. That's rule #1.