Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports
The decision to activate only seven offensive linemen was a risky one and almost hurt head coach Mike McCoy.
Once King Dunlap went down with his concussion this season and his replacement Mike Remmers went down four plays later, the Chargers were dangerously close to serious roster adjustments.
UT-San Diego’s Michael Gehlken reported after the game, nose tackle Kwame Geathers would have had to fill in if another offensive lineman went down. Tight end John Phillips was another candidate to play on the line if a tackle got hurt.
The curious call before the game by suiting up only two reserve linemen was trumped by the curious decision to go for it at the end of the first half with seven seconds left and no timeouts. Instead of getting the automatic three points on the field goal, Rivers was stopped short of the end zone and the half ended with the Chargers getting zero points.
Also, it is time to stop giving McCoy and other first-year head coaches a pass when they fail to know the rules of the game. McCoy threw a red challenge flag when Eddie Royal fumbled the ball near the goal line. All scoring plays and turnovers are automatically reviewed. Philip Rivers knew that. Why doesn’t the head coach?
Luckily all it did was cost the team a timeout, and Ryan Mathews scored on the next play, but it is inexcusable for a head coach to not know the rules.
The game plan to control the ball and time of possession has been very effective for the Chargers and will continue to be the team’s style. The long, sustained drives wear down opposing defenses and keep San Diego’s defenders fresh while also keeping opposing offenses off the field.
John Pagano’s defense has not allowed a touchdown in 11 quarters.
Offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris and assistant line coach Andrew Dees deserve a ton of credit for having the players ready to switch positions without any difficulty.
GRADE: B+ (McCoy’s blunders drag down the efforts of the other coaches.)