September 19, 2011
I gain more appreciation for Buffalo running back Fred Jackson(notes) every week, but he's still Fred Jackson, and he still shouldn't be able to make a safety look like Matt Giordano looked on this play. Not that Giordano was the only member of the Raiders secondary who struggled a bit on Sunday -- Ryan Fitzpatrick(notes) threw for 122 yards in the fourth quarter against them. I can't pinpoint responsibility on this one, but there was a complete breakdown in the secondary leading to Buffalo's game-winning score.
Mike Tolbert did a lot of really good things on Sunday, but there was one play I can't get past. In the fourth quarter, down seven and driving against a New England defense that hadn't forced a punt in three-plus quarters of game play, Tolbert stopped at the line of scrimmage, and then, well, things got weird. It's odd that this needs to be said, but at this level, you aren't supposed to run backwards and then fumble. It was one more example of how the Chargers couldn't stop groin-punching themselves all day long.
Any time you lose 48-3 and throw three interceptions, you've had a pretty rough day. How could it get worse? Well, you could lose your backfield-mate Jamaal Charles to an ACL injury that will apparently sideline him for the season. Add him to the list of key Chiefs that are already done for the year, including Tony Moeaki(notes) and Eric Berry(notes).
So, it was what, about two weeks before we were able to put the whole "Reggie Bush as a featured back" thing to bed? Bush carried just six times for 18 yards on Sunday, and rookie Daniel Thomas(notes) stepped in and took his place with 18 carries for 107 yards. Bush wasn't a threat in the passing game, either. He managed just one catch for 3 yards.
Luke McCown's quarterback rating was only short of Tom Brady's(notes) by 133.9 points. All told, he had almost as many interceptions (four) as completions (six). On his 19 attempts, if he'd have simply dropped back and spiked the ball off of Brad Meester's(notes) heiney 19 times, McCown's quarterback rating would have been 21 times better than it actually was. I realize that David Garrard(notes) wasn't playing well when he was released just before the season started, but surely, he had something more to offer than this.
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