Sports Out West

Dallas Cowboys vs. San Diego Chargers: What went right for Bolts?

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Many experts and fans alike predicted the San Diego Chargers were walking into their matchup against the Dallas Cowboys with the word “doomed” written across their backs.

Having lost three of their five starting offensive linemen to injuries from the previous game against the Tennessee Titans, the Chargers were hurting in a skill position that mocked Philip Rivers’ production for the past two seasons. Instead, the Chargers offensive line managed to contain the pass rush brought by DeMarcus Ware and company to only one sack and one quarterback hurry, both attributed by George Selvie.

Ware was nowhere to be found as serviceable backup left tackle Mike Harris sustained Rivers’ blind side admirably. What most don’t realize is that the Chargers are currently tied for 3rd in the league for giving up the least amount of sacks. To date, Rivers has only been sacked six times and the offensive line has only allowed nine quarterback hurries.

Another position group that deserves credit for their spectacular play goes to the defensive front between Corey Liuget and Kendall Reyes. During the first three games of the year the duo of Liuget and Reyes has been practically invisible. All that changed against the Cowboys as the pair of defensive ends each recorded a sack and a quarterback hit. Liuget would also record two tackles for a loss and Reyes accredited with one. There’s no better time than now for these two role players to find their rhythm with the possible loss of Dwight Freeney lingering on the season. San Diego currently ranks 24th in the league in sacks with nine.

Lastly, without Malcom Floyd in the lineup due to a neck injury, youngsters Vincent Brown and Keenan Allen stepped up big by combining for 12 receptions and 121 yards. Both would near match or exceed their overall production throughout the first three games of the season.

  Receptions
First 3 Games
Yards
First 3 Games
Receptions
vs. DAL
Yards
vs. DAL
V. Brown 8 50 7 41
K. Allen 3 30 5 80

 

Both receivers were critical on third downs. During the 1st quarter, Allen would make a 31 yard reception on a third and eight, to set up a Danny Woodhead touchdown. With eight minutes to play in the 4th quarter, Brown would extend an arm before hitting the ground to convert on third and one. The next play would result in a touchdown pass to Antonio Gates. When called upon, both these young receivers made huge plays and kept their respective drives alive.

The San Diego Chargers escaped the jaws of defeat after trailing 21-13 at the half. The offense would notch 17 points in the final 30 minutes of play and the defense would have their best second-half performance for the season. The Chargers proved they are capable of turning in a complete game and now have their sights set on their next opponents in the Oakland Raiders. The Chargers will need to continue to play at this level and remain motivated in order to stay on pace with the rest of the AFC West.

Photo Credit: Gregory Bull / AP Photo

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Jonah Lee

Jonah Lee is a San Diego native residing in Orange County. He has written for FanSided and Yahoo! and is an expert on all things San Diego Chargers. His passion for writing isn’t limited to sports as his ultimate goal is to publish a book about his former military life.