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Bolts & Dolts: Donald Butler's Worst Game Ever

Each week, John Gennaro looks through the box score of the most recent San Diego Chargers game and rewards cheers (Bolts) and jeers (Dolts) for players that performed above, or below, expectations. This week, we look at their 1-point victory over the Ravens in Baltimore.

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Philip Rivers - 34/45, 383 pass yds, 3 pass TD, 1 INT

El Capitan! This was a "vintage Rivers" game, if such a thing exists. No offensive line, no running game, no defense? No problem. Philip was getting rid of the ball quick, was accurate on every pass (when he wasn't getting hit or having the ball tipped), and won the game almost by himself. No matter your expectations for Rivers, he exceeded them on Sunday.

Keenan Allen - 11 catches (15 targets), 121 rec yds, 2 rec TDs

I don't know what Rivers has been yelling at Allen about on the sidelines this season, but it seems to have finally made a difference. Allen is benefiting from the offense's new focus on getting the ball out quickly, and he's selling out to make each and every catch. He's playing at an All-Pro level, and he avoided making any mistakes this week.

Antonio Gates - 7 catches (8 targets), 83 rec yds

Just when I thought Gates was starting to wind down his season a little early, he puts up this ridiculously efficient stat line. He's got that old man speed.

Eddie Royal - 9 catches (10 targets), 81 rec yds, 1 game-winning rec TD

Welcome back, Eddie Royal! I have no idea where early-season Eddie had been, but it appears that late-season Eddie is here to do his thing. Reich made the proper adjustments to get Royal the ball in space with blockers in front of him, and it resulted in a lot of good things.

Corey Liuget - 6 tackles (5 solo), 3 tackles for loss

Despite a horrendous performance from the defenders around him, Corey Liuget had one of his several great games that he has every year. In the second half, the Ravens knew better than to run at him, and they were giving offensive linemen extra help to keep him away from Joe Flacco. Yet, he still made an impact.

Brandon Flowers - 6 tackles (6 solo), 1 pass defended

The most important free agent in the upcoming offseason has turned into a shutdown cornerback. He shadowed Steve Smith for most of the game, and Smith finished with 1 catch for 2 yards by the end of the game. That's the same Smith that has played brilliantly all season long. Flowers is incredible.

Kendall Reyes - 6 tackles (1 solo)

My expectations for Kendall Reyes are awfully low, but he was beating most of his one-on-one blocks on Sunday and forcing Joe Flacco out of the pocket numerous times. Reyes vaguely resembled the rookie DE that Chargers fans were so excited about.


D.J. Fluker

What an awful season Fluker continues to have. At one point in this game, BFTB writer Jerome Watson accused Fluker of "point-shaving" because of how poor he was playing. He can no longer pass block in his current state and he's an average run-blocker at best right now. It's too bad there's nobody on the bench that could do any better than that because he's reminding me an awful lot of Jeromey Clary.

All RBs not named Ryan Mathews

Branden Oliver, "the future replacement for Ryan Mathews", got a single carry in this one. Donald Brown also got one carry. They totaled 5 rushing yards combined. Yes, the offensive line had it's issues, but these two stink. Mathews didn't have an incredible game, but he did take a 14-yard carry into the end zone for a touchdown and was consistently making plays.

Shareece Wright - 7 tackles (6 solo)

Defenses have figured out that Wright is the weak link of a weak San Diego defense. He was thrown at 9 times by Flacco and yielded 7 catches for 62 yards and a touchdown. He may not be awful, but he is nowhere close to being as good as Flowers or Jason Verrett. Wright should be a decent nickel CB, but instead he's a poor starting CB.

Eric Weddle - 6 tackles (4 solo)

One of the worst games I've ever seen from Weddle. He missed a key tackle, he was taking bad routes all game long (giving up some big plays as a result), and his man coverage was awful. He was thrown at 4 times and gave up 4 catches for 56 yards and a touchdown. This was, surprisingly, easy money for the Ravens.

Donald Butler - 2 tackles (0 solo)

How in the hell do you play 52 snaps at ILB in a 3-4 defense, a position specifically made to rack up tackles, and get zero solo tackles? By being terrible, that's how. Add in the fact that the one time he was put in man-coverage he gave up a 15-yard catch to Justin Forsett, and this might be the worst game of a very bad season for Donald Butler. Not only was he ineffective, he was likely a detriment to a defense that can't afford any of those.