The Chargers may have only dropped their game against the Patriots by a score 27-24, but it seemed a bit more one-sided while it was playing.
The Chargers had only three drives longer than six plays on Sunday, all of which went for touchdowns. The eight other drives, however, culminated in three points, two interceptions (one returned for a score), and 113 total yards. Over 41 minutes of game time went by without a score and it was ultimately what cost the Chargers a game against a team who sought to shorten the game via their run game and their consistent pressure on Herbert.
In the end, it all worked to perfection.
For their efforts, CBS Sports’ John Breech gave the Chargers a grade of “C.” An average grade, of course, but did they really even deserve that?
“One of the biggest areas where the Chargers struggled on Sunday was on third down,” said Breech. “They converted just four of their 12 opportunities on the afternoon and that helped New England jump out to roughly a 10-minute advantage in time of possession. Of course, turnovers were killer for L.A. as well and each results in points going up on the board for the Patriots. Herbert’s first interception was followed up with a five-play drive by New England that brought the Patriots within one point prior to halftime and the second was a dagger pick-six by Adrian Phillips that put the Chargers in a seven-point hole in the fourth quarter.”
The Chargers defense did almost enough to keep the team in this game despite the incredibly boom-or-bust nature of the offense, but that just shows you how costly their penalties and turnovers were. They only were flagged five times, but they usually came on the rare big play during the second half or following a punt/kick return.
So while a “C” grade isn’t the worst thing in the world, a little added context to the game really starts to paint a pretty pessimistic picture. However, there’s still the easier schedule ahead and a pretty dismal Eagles team on the horizon. If things continue to seem disjointed in Philadelphia, then maybe we can all start to pace around the panic button.