Minnesotta Vikings 31, San Diego Chargers 14
The San Diego Chargers (1-2) came out flat again on Sunday against the Vikings (2-1). This week though the defense couldn’t hold it close the entire game. The offense has been flat for 10 out of the 12 quarters this season and the play calling is somehow getting worse as the season progresses.
Not much went right for the Chargers. Keenan Allen had the best statistical game for the Chargers, reeling in 12 catches for 133 yards and 2 TD’s. The second TD was thrown by Kellen Clemens in the fourth quarter when Rivers was taken out just to make sure he lived to fight another day.
The Chargers defense played well but the ineptness of the offense kept them on the field all day. The Vikings were driving but a deep throw by Teddy Bridgewater was picked off by Steve Williams. Williams came in for the injured Jason Verrett. Verrett was dealing with a foot injury all week and tried to play but was having trouble with it early and did not return.
The was just the appetizer for what would be a feast of Chargers’ injuries.
Starting Center Chris Watt left with a groin injury. Prized free-agent signing, OT Jonathan Franklin, was carted off with an ankle injury and reserve lineman Chris Hairston, who replaced Franklin, left with an injury as well. Trevor Robinson took over for Watt at center and Kenny Wiggins, the last dressed offensive lineman the Chargers had came in for Hairston.
Rivers was sacked four times including a sack and forced fumble by Anthony Barr that set up the Vikings with a field goal three plays later.
After another Chargers punt, the Vikings drove 65 yards down to the two and Adrian Peterson punched it in, his first rushing TD of the game.
It took a two minute drill at the end of the first half to get the Chargers’ offense into a rhythm. Rivers took the offense 90 yards in 9 plays, including finding Malcom Floyd for 39 yards on a third down. Rivers finished off the drive with a 34 yard strike to Keenan Allen down the sideline, who split two defenders and walked into the end zone to cut the lead to 10-7 Vikings.
Things didn’t get any better in the second half.
First play from scrimmage from the Vikings Adrian Peterson took it 43 yards, breaking all types of terrible arm tackles and scoring his second rushing TD of the day.
The Vikings drove the field again on their next drive but were held to a 40-yard field goal, or so it appeared, but Melvin Ingram was called for defensive holding on the play, attempting to block the kick. Not sure how or why exactly it was called, I don’t think I’ve seen a holding penalty called on someone trying to block a kick. That penalty extended the drive however, and the Vikings fullback Zach Line punched it in from the 1.
Philip Rivers was picked off on the 10th play of a solid looking drive. The ball was deflected off of Stevie Johnsons’ hands and into Chad Greenways’. He took it back 91 yards for the pick six and a 31-7 lead. With 8 minutes left in the game, Rivers was pulled for Kellen Clemens to save Rivers from any further beatings he would have taken behind the offensive line that was duck taped together.
Defensive couldn’t tackle or get any pressure on the QB yet again, offense came out flat again, O-line couldn’t block again, time management issues with the coaches again, penalties again. Same mistakes from last week. Nothing went right today, it’s hard to move on when you see such repeatable offenses being made week after week.
Philip Rivers: 21/34, 246 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Melvin Gordon: 14 carries, 51 yards
Keenan Allen: 12 receptions, 133 yards, 2 TD’s
Anyone who watched the game until the end.
Cleveland Browns @ San Diego Chargers
The AFC North Cleveland Browns will come into San Diego next Sunday. The Browns are 1-2 after falling to the Oakland Raiders 27-20. Josh McCown took back the starting QB job after Johnny Manziel earned their first win of the season with him at the helm. We will see if they want to go back to Johnny Football but this game will be a tough, hard-nosed game and the Browns defense can be stout. I’m nervous if we still can’t protect Rivers with the injuries and poor play up front.