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San Diego Chargers: 3 Players to Blame for 16-13 Loss

Cameron WardContributor IIINovember 28, 2011

San Diego Chargers: 3 Players to Blame for 16-13 Loss

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    There were a lot of things wrong with the San Diego Chargers this past Sunday.  Their offense, defense and special teams all looked equally pathetic.

    At no point in the game did it look like the Chargers were the best team on the field.  The players and coaches looked disinterested and played like they were expecting to lose to a team run by Tim Tebow.

    Here are the players that contributed most to this embarrassing loss.

Shaun Phillips

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    Before I lay into him for his uninspired effort, I do have to say this was his first game back after an injury, but that's the only excuse I can make for him.

    Shaun Phillips has been the anchor of the Chargers defense for the last couple years.  After the departure of Shawne Merriman, Phillips has been alone on a pass-rushing island due to AJ Smith's inability to find another pass rusher to complement him.

    But in this past game against the Denver Broncos, Phillips looked more like the anchor holding the Chargers defense back.  He routinely got caught over-pursuing the triple option and took various plays off.

    If that wasn't bad enough, Phillips wasted no time celebrating while Quentin Jammer was making a tackle on third down in overtime. 

    Instead of coming in and trying to jar the ball loose, or, at the very least, making sure the player was tackled, Phillips started dancing around and celebrating.

    Tell me, sir, what were you jumping around for during a tied game?

Philip Rivers

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    No, Philip Rivers did not turn the ball over in the Broncos game. 

    Hooray!

    But he did have his worst performance of the year.  Depending on how much you value interceptions, Rivers' effort (19-of-36 for 188 yards and one touchdown) was pathetic.

    Not only was he continually over- and under-throwing wideouts, Rivers seemed intent on dipping out of every play and throw.  He was caught waddling out of pockets before blitzers were even within five feet of him. 

    In fact, I have officially anointed him Duck and Dive Rivers.

    I get it; he doesn't want to get crushed.  But when the game is on the line, he was unwilling to take hits, which resulted in errant throws.

    We can laugh all we want about Tebow's goofy throwing motion, but he outplayed Rivers by a landslide in this game.

Richard Goodman

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    It seems unfair to jump on an undrafted free agent, but I'm going there anyway.

    Richard Goodman has had an average season.  He has had some great returns and some horrible ones. He has made some great tackles and he has whiffed on some.

    Late in the second quarter, after a booming Mike Scifres punt, Goodman flew down the field only to give Eddie Royal the edge of the left side of the gridiron. 

    Not only did Goodman jump too far inside, he also got manhandled on a block, giving Royal a 31-yard return that resulted in a scoring drive for Tebow's Broncos at the end of the half.

    Also, Goodman decided to take out the ensuing kickoff from nine yards deep in the end zone. 

    This return put the Chargers at the 12-yard line with only a minute left on the clock, giving Norv Turner ample time to run and hide in the locker room. 

    He and Rivers should have a sprint-off.

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