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Saturday, September 25, 2010

McNeil signs tender!!!!!!!!!

Source: ESPN

Marcus McNeill has reported to the San Diego Chargers, signing his one-year, $630,000 tender, according to sources.

The veteran left tackle will miss the next three games, then will be eligible to play against the St. Louis Rams in Week 6.

The two sides have the next few weeks to try to work out a long-term deal.

McNeill had been holding out in search of a long-term deal with the team.

Although the Chargers had been in talks to trade fellow holdout Vincent Jackson, it had not entertained offers for McNeill, and San Diego had moved forward without him.

In McNeill's place, second-year player Brandyn Dombrowski has protected quarterback Philip Rivers' blindside as the Chargers have opened the season 1-1.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chargers win 38-13

SAN DIEGO (AP)—As good as Philip Rivers was, the San Diego Chargers’ defense was even better.

Rivers threw for 334 yards and three touchdowns and the Chargers forced six turnovers in beating the Jacksonville Jaguars 38-13 in their home opener Sunday.

Chargers rookie running back Ryan Mathews hurt his right ankle in the second quarter and didn’t return. He also fumbled for the second straight game, one of San Diego’s three turnovers.

David Garrard was intercepted four times. The six turnovers tied Jacksonville’s team record and led to 17 points for the Chargers.

The Chargers (1-1) bounced back from an embarrassing 21-14 loss at Kansas City on Monday night. The Jaguars (1-1) regressed following an opening win against Denver.

Rivers threw touchdown passes of 9 and 4 yards to tight end Antonio Gates in the first half, then hit Malcom Floyd(notes) on a 54-yarder in the fourth quarter. Mike Tolbert scored on runs of 2 and 1 yards.

Rivers completed 22 of 29 passes, with two interceptions. It was his 16th career 300-yard day.

Antoine Cason had two interceptions for San Diego while Brandon Siler and Kevin Burnett each had one. Cason also forced a fumble by Mike Sims-Walker that Burnett recovered. Antwan Applewhite forced a fumble by Maurice Jones-Drew that Paul Oliver recovered.

Jacksonville got its only touchdown with 37 seconds to play, a 3-yard pass from Garrard to Sims-Walker. Josh Scobee(notes) kicked field goals of 44 and 48 yards. The first was set up by a fumble by Mathews and the second was set up when Mike Scifres’ punt was blocked by Rashad Jennings.

The Chargers had their miscues, too, but at least managed to find the end zone. Rivers moved San Diego 74 yards in six plays on the game’s first drive, with Tolbert scoring on a 2-yard run.

The second quarter included a dizzying exchange of turnovers, plus the blocked punt. Cason’s second pickoff, of a tipped pass, set up Rivers’ 9-yard TD pass to a wide-open Gates for a 14-3 lead.

After Scobee kicked his second field goal, the Chargers moved 87 yards in eight plays, capped by Gates’ 4-yard TD catch.

Oliver’s fumble recovery set up Nate Kaeding’s 41-yard field goal in the third quarter, and Burnett’s interception set up Tolbert’s 1-yard run early in the fourth. Burnett picked off a wobbly pass that was the result of Siler hitting Garrard.

Garrard made way for backup Luke McCown early in the fourth quarter. He came back, though, after McCown was shaken up.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Chargers fall to the Chiefs??

— At least it isn’t all that surprising anymore when the Chargers find new, shocking ways to flounder in the early part of a season.

They were going to start fast, set the tone early by being physical on defense, running the ball on offense.

For almost the entirety of the first quarter, they seemed on the way to doing all those things, and their defense perhaps ultimately did signal it is on the path to being what it hopes to be.

They spoke afterward of the sloppy field, the positives of fighting at the end and the fact there are 15 games remaining, a reality of which they are adept at taking advantage.

"I don't see this as a slow start," Philip Rivers said. "It's one game out of 16. We can still get off to a fast start. We can still get this thing rolling early."

True, this wasn't so much a slow start as a broken one.

As rain began to fall and lightning flashed all around Arrowhead Stadium, things got muddied.

Whether it was the horrible conditions, a surprising Chiefs team or what has come to be the Chargers’ typical September sloppiness, the end wrought a 21-14 opening-game loss.

"We had our opportunities to win the game," linebacker Stephen Cooper said. "All three phases can't play the way we did today."


It was a complete loss – a long touchdown run allowed by the defense, a fumble setting up another touchdown, and a record punt return for yet another.

With big plays, the Chiefs literally sprinted to a two-touchdown lead at halftime despite the fact they had not converted a third down in six tries.

The score that put the Chiefs up 21-7 was a 94-yard Dexter McCluster punt return for a touchdown – both the longest-ever such return by the Chiefs and longest ever allowed by the Chargers.

Two would-be tacklers slipped at the start, and then McCluster ran untouched to further a Chiefs lead with 1:43 remaining in the first half.

The Chiefs would end up 1-for-11 on third downs, going three-and-out on half their 12 possessions and totaling just 197 yards.

But one play -- a 56-yard touchdown run by Jamaal Charles -- gave Kansas City more than a quarter of its yards and also tied the game.

On the first Monday Night Football game in Kansas City since 2004 and first anywhere for the Chiefs since 2005, a refurbished Arrowhead stadium made its debut in a raucous manner. What had been a relatively serene place for visitors as the Chiefs struggled to 10 victories in the past three seasons, was loud until a vicious rain and the fact it was 11 p.m. locally at halftime, drove away at least half the announced crowd of 71,297 by halftime.

They missed a Chargers’ comeback that was ultimately a dash to defeat, as Rivers’ final pass sailed untouched through the end zone on fourth down from the six-yard line with 39 seconds to play.

"On the road, with this environment, this weather, you can't make those mistakes," Rivers said. "You're asking for it to be tough, and it was."

It may have been the rain blowing in circles, or maybe it was that Vincent Jackson wasn’t there to catch some of the passes Rivers might have thrown a little better, or a combination of those things, the Chargers’ offense was uncharacteristically horizontal until it had to not be.

A 59-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Legedu Naanee brought the Chargers to within 21-14 with 2:23 to play in the third quarter.

The defense continued to effectively stonewall the Chiefs, who had just nine first downs on the night and just 70 second-half yards.

After stalling on fourth down at the Chiefs’ 32 with 7:09 remaining, the Chargers got another chance with five minutes to go.

The Chargers took over at their 33 with 4:52 to play. Two plays later – after successive 22-yard passes to Buster Davis and Malcom Floyd – they were at the Chiefs’ 23.

Naanee made another catch over the middle on fourth-and-3 from the 16, getting down to the 4.

But an incompletion, two-yard loss by Darren Sproles and two incompletions ended the Chargers’ hopes.

The Chargers took a 7-0 lead with a little less than two minutes remaining in the first quarter, consummating a nine-play, 60-yard drive with Rivers’ three-yard pass to Antonio Gates. That followed by three plays a 34-yard gain by Gates.

Gates was double-teamed much of the night but still finished with five catches for 76 yards. Naanee had five catches for 110 yards. Malcom Floyd caught three for 38.

But while Rivers finished 22-for-39 for 298 yards and a 98.0 passer rating, it was not a cohesive night between he and his receivers. There were a number of passes he was a little off, and some that simply went off his receivers' hands.

He took blame, as did his targets.

"It hits your hands, you have to catch it," Floyd said.

The one real defensive breakdown was costly.

After having gone three-and-out on their first two possessions, the Chiefs’ tied the game three plays after the Chargers went up 7-0 when Charles burst through a gigantic hole and zigzagged 56 yards for a touchdown.

The teams traded three-and-outs for four more drives (two each) before a Ryan Mathews fumble set the Chiefs up for their second touchdown.

The rookie, who finished with 75 yards on 19 carries, made a nice cut, barreled through two tackles but after gaining 15 yards, Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson wrapped one arm around Mathews and with the other dislodged the ball. It bounced once and into the hands of Brandon Flowers, who returned it 23 yards to the 12.

"I've got a lot of stuff to work on," Mathews said. "This game showed me my weakness I need to come back and fix."

The Chiefs scored three plays later on a two-yard pass off a play-action fake that essentially every Chargers defender bit on, as tight end Tony Moeaki was all alone near the back of the end zone.

The Chargers offense continued to stall.

After gaining 106 yards in the first quarter, the Chargers had 21 in the second. After a first quarter in which the Chargers converted four of their five third downs, they were fruitless on four such tries in the second quarter.

After the Chargers' fourth straight three-and-out (not counting the Mathews’ fumble on a first down), McCluster returned the fifth of what eventually be eight punts by Scifres to the end zone.

Opening with the late Monday Night Football game for the third time in five years, the Chargers fell to 2-2 under Turner in openers. Even the victories, however, have featured more rough patches than the Chargers would hope for, and even those wins have been followed by struggles.

The Chargers have started 2-3 each of their previous three seasons under Norv Turner . They return home to play Jacksonville on Sunday with the likelihood Qualcomm Stadium will be as empty as it has in at least seven years. Furthermore, a schedule that was perceived to be easy at its start features three straight opponents who won their season openers.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Chargers Make Final Cuts

Source: SD Tribune

The news trickling out of Chargers Park is not earth shattering, but it does represent a diversion from past precedent and what would have been expected a week ago.

Jonathan Crompton, es expected, was released, meaning the Chargers will go with two quarterbacks. If Philip Rivers were to be injured, the team would deal for another QB.

If there is a surprise so far, it is that cornerback Nathan Vasher was released, though that was signaled when the team picked up Fred Bennett off waivers on Tuesday. Vasher would only have been kept had the Chargers decided to go with four corners.

The Chargers also cut rookie running backs Curtis Brinkley and Shawnbrey McNeal, meaning they will go with two tailbacks and two fullbacks as opposed to the five-man backfield corps they have typically employed in recent years.

As expected, receiver Josh Reed was cut. Reed was almost certainly going to be safe had the Chargers not been able to trade for Patrick Crayton. But they figure to go with four receivers, and the acquisition of Crayton on Friday meant Reed was out.

The Chargers also cut rookie receivers Seyi Ajirotutu and Jeremy Williams. One of them, most likely Ajirotutu, will be signed to the practice squad.

The Chargers are looking to keep more players at linebacker (Brandon Lang made the team) and the defensive line (as expected, only Derrick Jones got cut).

Friday, September 3, 2010

Patrick Crayton Traded to Bolts

Source: Yahoo Sports

After months of speculation that Patrick Crayton just wasn’t going to fit into the Dallas Cowboys after they used a first-round draft pick on Dez Bryant, the veteran wide receiver was finally shipped.

Just more than 24 hours before final cuts are due to the league office, the Cowboys dealt Crayton to the San Diego Chargers. Multiple media outlets have reported the Cowboys will receive a seventh-round draft pick in 2011 in return.

Crayton, also a valuable special teams performer, had fallen on the depth chart and wanted out. He’s a solid pickup for the Chargers, who are seeking some depth at the position and may well be bracing themselves for the post-Vincent Jackson era. Of course, maybe that era has already kicked off as the star receiver has been nowhere to be seen.

Could the Cowboys have gotten more for Crayton? Possibly around the draft, but it looked like the team was heading to cutting him and a seventh was probably as good as they could do this weekend.