Chiefs vs. Chargers: Final Game Grades and Player Analysis for San Diego

Ryan HeidrichCorrespondent IINovember 1, 2012

Chiefs vs. Chargers: Final Game Grades and Player Analysis for San Diego

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    Final Score: 31-13 Chargers 

    The San Diego Chargers outplayed and dominated the Kansas City Chiefs in the week 9 Thursday Night Football game. The Chargers dominated on both sides of the ball scoring two touchdowns on both offense and defense. 

    The Charger players must really love Norv Turner because every game that Norv Turner's job is on the line the Chargers turn in a near perfect performance (see Oakland week 16 last year). The Chargers need to play with this emotion every game. This is the problem that Norv Turner coached teams have, their inconstant play will always hold them back. 

    Here are a look at the final Chargers' post game grades. 

Quarterback

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    Final Game Grade: A

    Philip Rivers played a tremendous game against the Chiefs. He set a new Chargers completion record with 90 percent.

     

    Philip Rivers: Chargers-record 90% completion rate for game, breaks 88% mark set by Drew Brees in 2004 (min. 20 attempts)

    — ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 2, 2012

     

    It was River's best performance all season and arguably in the last two seasons. The craziest thing about his 18-20 performance was that one incompletion was a throw a way and the other one was an interception. It was a brilliant performance and something that Rivers and the Chargers needs to build on. Rivers interception was disappointing but it was nice to seem him rebound in the second half. When things go wrong for Rivers the mistakes seem to pile up but that was not what happened tonight, which is encouraging for the Chargers and their fans. 

    Fourth Quarter Grade: A 

    Philip Rivers turned in nearly a perfect game against the Chiefs. Rivers did not get much play time in the fourth quarter with the defense scoring two touchdowns but did deliver on a 13 yard touchdown pass to Malcom Floyd. Rivers showed once again that he can be a great quarterback when he has time to throw and that's exactly what he had in the fourth quarter.

    Third Quarter Grade: A 

    Philip responded nicely following the collapse at the end of half. While the Chargers did not score in the third quarter Rivers continued to play well. Rivers saw less protection in the third quarter than he did in the first half and it showed. Rivers was forced to get the ball out much faster causing inaccuracy. 

    Second Quarter Grade: C 

    Philip Rivers was having his best game that he has had in the past two seasons until he made a horrible decision on the one yard line. Philip Rivers leaves the field to boos, after throwing the interception in the end zone. Rivers has made awful decisions in the red zone all season and he just took at least three points off the board with that one. 

    First Quarter Grade: A+

    You want to know what Philip Rivers would look like if he was given enough time to throw the ball? Five completions on five attempts 81 yards and a touchdown. Basically a perfect quarter for the Rivers and his offense.  If the Chargers want to keep marching the ball down the field at will they will need to provide enough time for Rivers. 

Offense

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    Final Game Grade: A 

    The Chargers offense was clicking on all cylinders against the Chiefs. They moved the ball through both the air and on the ground and it was great to see the Chargers offensive line give Rivers enough protection. It was by far the best performance for the offensive line of the year. When Rivers has time to drop back and move the ball the Chargers are a completely different team. Ryan Mathews had a decent game when he got his touches but the Chargers could still get him more involved throughout the game. The receivers played extremely well for their minimal time spent with the team. Antonio Gates had one of his best performances of the year. When the Chargers can get Rivers, Mathews and Gates all going in the same point they might just break the scoreboard. 

    Fourth Quarter Grade: A 

    The offense was not on the field to much in the fourth quarter due to the defense scoring two touchdowns, but they looked great when given the opportunity. The Chiefs have struggled on defense all season and the Chargers new receivers exposed the lackluster coverage. The run game started to pick up in the fourth quarter and really forced the Chiefs to pick to pick their poison in the fourth quarter. 

    Third Quarter Grade: B-

    The Chargers offense looked average to open the second half against the Chiefs. Ryan Mathews is running well yet he continues not to get a ton of carries. The Chargers need to establish the run in order to get the passing game open again. 

    Second Quarter Grade: A-

    Maybe the Chargers should play on a short week every week. They have been extremely impressive tonight moving the ball through the air and on the ground. Philip Rivers needs to throw that ball away. There is no way that he should have made that throw in that situation. These are the types of plays that have been holding the Chargers back all season. 

    First Quarter Grade: A 

    The Chargers offense looked unstoppable in the first quarter. On their one real possession they dominated the Chiefs and marched down the field for an easy Antonio Gates touchdown. The offense line is doing a great job at providing Rivers with enough time to make decisions and it has shown. Rivers was perfect in the quarter and the offense looked fantastic. 

Defense

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    Final Game Grade: A 

    The Chargers defense really answered the bell in the second quarter. The Chargers struggled to get off the field on third down in the first quarter. The second half was a complete different squad as they forced the Chiefs into long third down conversions, which were hard to convert.

    In the second half, the Chargers flipped the physical switch and began obliterating the Chiefs. The Chargers defense scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and were the main reason that the Chargers coasted to victory. Eric Weddle continues to show that he is a top safety in the league and Quentin Jammer did a great job once he began covering Dwayne Bowe. The adjustments that Defensive Coordinator John Pagano can make are extremely impressive, he has made a huge difference this year. 

    Fourth Quarter Grade: A+ 

    The best quarter that the Chargers have played all season on the defensive side of the ball. Two touchdowns pushed this game out of reach and showed that the Chargers are capable to closing games in the fourth quarter. The Chargers played solid in all aspects of defense, they were able to get a constant pressure on Matt Cassel and once Quentin Jammer switched onto Dwayne Bowe he became nonexistent. 

    Third Quarter Grade: B+ 

    The Chargers defense played great in the third quarter. They slammed the door on the chiefs on short field position. They have kept the Chiefs out of the end zone all night as Weddle continues to perform well. 

    Second Quarter Grade: B- 

    The Chargers defense once again struggled to get off the field on third down. This quarter they could not force a turnover and gave up just a field goal. The Chargers corners (mainly Cason) are struggling against Dwayne Bowe. Eric Weddle has been a complete monster in the first half as he continues to do everything for the Chargers. 

    First Quarter Grade: C+

    The turnover was great for the Chargers' defense but allowing four third-down conversions is not good. Antoine Cason had an awful quarter trying to slow down the physical Dwayne Bowe. If the Chargers defense wants to excel, they will need to get off the field on third down. The extra chances that the Chargers are giving the Chiefs will only come back to haunt the Chargers, no matter how sluggish the Chiefs offense is. 

Special Teams

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    Final Quarter Grade: A 

    1-1 on field goals. Recovered the onside kick and forced a turnover on punt coverage. Basically a perfect game by the Chargers' special team unit. The Chargers need to perform at this level on special teams if they want to make a run at the Denver Broncos in the AFC West. 

    Fourth Quarter Grade: A 

    The special teams joined in on the turnover party and got one of their own when the Chiefs coughed up a punt late in the fourth quarter. The Chargers special team unit was extremely physical tonight, which I believed really gave the Chargers a boost on both sides of the ball. 

    Third Quarter Grade: C  

    The Chargers caused a missed field goal as the Chargers continue to play well on special teams. Eric Weddle cannot return punts anymore for the Chargers. His fumble nearly cost the Chargers points and he is also to valuable to lose with an injury on a special teams play. 

    Second Quarter Grade: C+ 

    The special teams was once again a non-factor, which is exactly what football teams want. If you can avoid making mistakes on special teams then you will win more games then you lose. 

    First Quarter Grade: N/A 

    The special teams was a non factor in the first quarter, which is exactly what the Chargers want. No punts or field goals, just touchdowns. 

Coaching

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    Final Game Grade: A 

    Norv Turner did it again. His back was against the ropes, everyone and I mean everyone was calling for his job and he delivered a brilliant performance. His play calling was great and he had his team ready to perform on a short week in a pivotal division game. Why can't he do this every week is something that he will need to figure out. Turners cannot afford to keep backing himself into a corner because eventually he wont be able to survive. 

    Fourth Quarter Grade: A 

    The Chargers looked great in the fourth quarter. They were flying towards the ball on defense causing turnovers and scoring touchdowns. The offense did its job in the fourth quarter and the Chargers improve to 4-4 and Norv keeps his job for one more week. 

    Third Quarter Grade: B 

    Norv continues to have a solid game with the play calling. He needs to find a way to get the running game going so that they can milk the clock in the fourth quarter. 

    Second Quarter Grade: B

    The Chargers continue to be impressive on a short week of practice. The offense looks the best it has all season and the defense is doing a great job at bending but not breaking. So far the Chargers have been really impressive. Why not use your jumbo package to run the ball into the end zone from one yard out? Cost the Chargers at least three points. 

    First Quarter Grade: B+

    The Chargers looked great in the first quarter. This game will likely either be the end of the road for Norv Turner or will give him more life. These are the types of games that Norv Turner usually wins.