- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Here are some areas the San Diego Chargers need to focus on after a 31-24 loss at New Orleans on Sunday:
Recap: The loss has to sting the Chargers, who had a tremendous opportunity to move away in the AFC West. Instead, the Chargers fell to 3-2. Yes, they are still alone in first place in the division, but it could have been so much better. It looked like it was going to be a great night for the Chargers. However, a penalty on rookie pass-rusher Melvin Ingram nullified an interception return for a score that would have given the Chargers a 31-14 lead. Instead, the Saints used the penalty as fuel and finished the game on a 17-0 tear.
Biggest area to fix: The big pass play. The Chargers had success in the first half, but slowed in the second half. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Philip Rivers completed all of his passes of 15 yards downfield or longer. However, Rivers didn’t complete a single pass over 15 yards in the second half. The consistency in the passing game must improve.
Biggest area to build on: The play of running back Ryan Mathews and receiver Robert Meachem. Both players are expected to be a big part of the offense. After slow starts to the season, both Mathews and Meachem had explosive games. It needs to continue.
What to watch for: The Chargers hope left tackle Jared Gaither (groin) and defensive end Corey Liuget (knee) can play in a pivotal game against visiting Denver on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” in Week 6.
4dEric D. Williams