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Bolts & Dolts: Chargers Offense Fails a Big Test

Each week, John Gennaro looks through the box score of the most recent San Diego Chargers game and hands out cheers (Bolts) and jeers (Dolts) for players that performed above, or below, expectations. This week, he looks at the 22-10 loss to the Broncos.

"I will slap your face!"
"I will slap your face!"
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports


Eric Weddle - 9 tackles (8 solo)

This probably isn't performing above expectations, but Weddle was still pretty great. He even played great in coverage despite giving up a 30 yard catch to Julius Thomas (in which the defense, and the throw, were both perfect).

Jahleel Addae - 9 tackles (7 solo)

It's really, really great to see Addae healthy and once again laying people out all over the football field. Unfortunately, he's only getting those snaps at FS when Weddle is matched up against a TE in man coverage. I'd much rather have him at SS, Weddle staying at FS, and someone like Andrew Gachkar lined up against the opposing TE.

Speaking of Gachkar....

Andrew Gachkar - 8 tackles (2 solo), 2 tackles for loss

Gachkar doesn't get a ton of time on the field, but he takes advantage every time he's there. In addition to being very good in coverage, Gachkar was one of the best run-stoppers San Diego had on Sunday.

Melvin Ingram - 4 tackles (3 solo), 1 sack

Mr. Inconsistency is finally starting to find ways to get to the QB week in and week out. Let's hope his injury issues are behind him, and he can remain this consistent throughout the rest of his career.


Philip Rivers - 24/41, 232 pass yds, 1 TD, 2 INTs

TEN POINTS?!? Ten points and two turnovers is not going to get it done against Peyton Manning ever. Rivers wasn't sacked, but was hurried a whole bunch. He never found a rhythm and at points looked completely inaccurate, throwing balls into the dirt or over his receivers' heads. He was about as bad against the Broncos as he was against the Dolphins earlier this year.

Chargers Running Backs - 19 carries, 53 rush yds

The offensive line did them no favors, but I'm willing to bet that Ryan Mathews could've put up more than 53 yards on one leg.

Branden Oliver was undrafted for a reason, Donald Brown got very few touches despite looking decent for the first time all season, and Ronnie Brown is active every week but only trusted to touch the ball on "3rd & forever". I don't understand this running attack.

Shareece Wright - 1 tackle (1 solo)

Peyton Manning and the Broncos threw at Shareece Wright 5 times. They came away with 4 catches for 58 yards. That means that Denver averaged more than 11 yards-per-throw-at-Wright. He also got called for a crucial Defensive Pass Interference in the fourth quarter that was probably a bad call, but was also bad coverage. I will continue to say that Chargers' opponents should probably just throw at Wright on every play until it stops turning into good things for them.

D.J. Fluker

Fluker was a small part of the problem along the Chargers offensive line as it pertains to blocking in this game, but his penalties have been a serious issue this year. Let me provide some perspective....

Only one player in this game gave up more penalty yards than Fluker (25), and that was T.J. Ward (who was called for a DPI that gave up 26 yards).

Fluker's 9 penalties this year are tied for the team-lead with Shareece Wright (who likely won't be back with the Chargers next season). The next closest player has 4 penalties called on them this season. Those two are tied for 10th most penalized player(s) in the entire league this season.

Considering how bad Fluker has been at both run blocking and pass blocking this season, he simply can not afford to also be a burden to the offense by racking up that many penalties. For another coaching staff, this season would be reason enough to strongly consider moving Fluker to guard where he won't face speed rushers and, therefore, won't pick up as many False Start penalties (he has 6 so far this season, more than Jeromey Clary had in any season).