Moving on: San Diego Chargers

September, 12, 2011
9/12/11
11:00
AM ET
Here are some areas the San Diego Chargers need to focus on after a 24-17 home victory against Minnesota:

Recap: The Chargers went out of their early-season character and saved a game that was spinning out of control. This game reminded me of the Chargers’ loss at Oakland last October. The only thing different was the Chargers won this game. In the past, the Chargers were famous for controlling games but still losing early in the season. Sunday, the Chargers overcame early mistakes and ended up winning. It wasn’t easy, though. The Chargers had to outscore the Vikings 17-0 in the second half to pull this one out. But, in the end, San Diego was brilliant in the second half and avoided a major headache. Could you imagine the reaction in San Diego on Monday morning if the Chargers lost to Minnesota heading into next week’s game at New England?

Biggest area to fix: I’d like to see the Chargers finish more drives. They moved the ball, but they often stalled deep in Minnesota territory. There were three series where the Chargers’ offense looked great, but they didn’t get any points out of it. Leaving points on the field won’t work in New England.

Biggest area to build on: There’s a lot for the Chargers to be proud of, but I’m hat tipping the defensive effort in the second half Sunday. While the offense got in gear in the half, the San Diego defense stifled Minnesota. The Vikings had 26 yards of offense in the half and the Chargers made one play after another. This defense can be special.

What to watch for: All the Chargers need to do is to play well at New England. Of course, they will play to win. But if the Chargers compete and stay in this game, it will be another sign that they are ready to be a force in the early part of the season. With home games against Kansas City and Miami on the docket after this game, the Chargers could be in fine shape if they continue to play well.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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