NFL Nation: 2013 Week 9 SD at WAS Rapid Reaction

Rapid Reaction: San Diego Chargers

November, 3, 2013

LANDOVER, Md. -- A few thoughts on the San Diego Chargers' 30-24 loss in overtime to the Washington Redskins.

What it means: The Chargers drop back to the .500 mark at 4-4, and are 2-1 against the NFC East.

Stock watch: San Diego’s top signing in free agency, cornerback Derek Cox, appeared to get benched in favor of Johnny Patrick in the third quarter after giving up a long completion to Pierre Garcon. Cox signed a four-year, $20 million deal in the offseason, including $10.25 million in guaranteed money. Cox has struggled to play up to the level of the contract. The Chargers had no answer for Garcon, who finished with seven catches for 172 yards.

Rivers struggles: San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers scuffled coming off the bye week. He finished 29-of-46 for 341 yards, one touchdown on a screen pass to Eddie Royal, and two costly interceptions. But both turnovers weren’t all on Rivers. Vincent Brown appeared to break outside on a route that Rivers anticipated he would go inside, leading to an interception by Washington’s E.J. Biggers. In the second half, Keenan Allen was outmuscled for a 50-50 ball by a childhood friend -- cornerback David Amerson -- on an inside route in the fourth quarter.

Special teams show up: San Diego punter Mike Scifres twice had punts downed at the Washington 1-yard line. Lawrence Guy blocked a 25-yard field goal attempt by Kai Forbath, the first field goal blocked by the Chargers in 11 years. Guy also deflected a Robert Griffin III pass that was intercepted in the end zone by defensive tackle Sean Lissemore for San Diego’s first defensive touchdown of the season.

Washington runs it well: San Diego struggled containing Washington’s running game, led by tailback Alfred Morris. The Redskins finished with 209 rushing yards. Morris led the way, with 121 yards on 25 carries, including a 5-yard touchdown for a score.

What’s next: The Chargers head home to host AFC West rival Denver next Sunday.

Rapid Reaction: Washington Redskins

November, 3, 2013

LANDOVER, Md. -- A few thoughts on the Washington Redskins' 30-24 overtime win over the San Diego Chargers:

What it means: The Redskins needed a win -- badly -- or they could forget any thoughts of a turnaround, especially with first-place Dallas beating Minnesota. And next would have come serious evaluations of where the Redskins were headed, especially after blowing a 10-point fourth-quarter lead. It never gets pretty in that case. Instead, they gutted out an overtime win in a game in which they hurt themselves a number of times. But now, at 3-5, Washington can rightly still talk about winning a mediocre-to-bad NFC East, especially with a winnable game versus Minnesota up next.

The Redskins still have not played well enough this season to think they could go on a hot stretch; there’s too much inconsistency. However, they bought themselves time for a turnaround. It helps that the passing game had a better day, even with the batted-down throws. But there were enough plays made, thanks in part to play-action passes because of the run game's success, to hurt San Diego on intermediate passes over the middle.

Stock watch: Up: Pierre Garcon. For one of the few times this season Garcon was able to make plays downfield, in part because he was getting separation and also because linebackers weren’t always getting to their drops. Garcon caught seven passes for 172 yards, including a key catch on first-and-20 in overtime. Up: run game. It hasn’t exactly been down, but it was highly productive Sunday. Alfred Morris ran a season-high 25 times for 121 yards, while fullback Darrel Young rushed for three touchdowns, including the game winner.

Season-saving stand: The goal-line stand at the end of regulation might have changed Washington’s season. The Chargers had a first-and-goal from inside the 1-yard line and failed to score on a run and two passes. Had they scored, Washington would have had less than 20 seconds and no timeouts to drive for a touchdown. Instead, the Redskins stopped them, forced a field goal and won in overtime.

Up Next: The Redskins play at Minnesota on Thursday, so there’s not a lot of time to enjoy this win. It will be a good chance for the Redskins to win consecutive games for the first time this season.


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