Upon Further Review: Chargers Week 7

October, 21, 2013
10/21/13
12:00
PM ET
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- An examination of four hot issues from the San Diego Chargers' 24-6 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

Liuget makes an impression: San Diego’s first-round selection in the 2011 draft, defensive end Corey Liuget, continues to fill a role as a front-line player on the team’s young defense, making game-changing plays each week. The University of Illinois product notched a sack against Jacksonville and helped lead a defensive front that held the Jaguars to 78 rushing yards. Liuget has 18 tackles and two sacks through seven games, looking comfortable for a second straight season in his role as a disruptive force in the interior of San Diego’s defense.

[+] EnlargeThomas Keiser
AP Photo/Phelan M. EbenhackThomas Keiser celebrates one of his two sacks in Sunday's win.
Chargers efficient on third down: Philip Rivers and the rest of San Diego’s offense performed well on third down, converting 7 of 12 in the win over Jacksonville. Putting together better production on third down and in the red zone was a point of emphasis for the Chargers this week. Heading into Sunday’s game, the Chargers had a 48 percent conversion rate on third down, and had converted just 28 percent of their opportunities in the red zone into touchdowns the past three weeks, which was fourth worst in the NFL during that time frame. The Chargers finished 2-for-4 in the red zone against Jacksonville, including a failed attempt by Rivers to run for a touchdown, which resulted in no points as time expired in the first half.

Pass rush heats up: Through the first three weeks of the season, San Diego’s defense struggled to generate much pressure on the passer, totaling six sacks. However, the Chargers have heated up the pass rush of late, with 14 sacks in the past four games, including a season-high six-sack effort against Jacksonville. Defensive coordinator John Pagano has used more exotic looks and personnel groupings in an effort to spice up the pass rush with leading pass-rusher Dwight Freeney and Jarret Johnson unavailable. So far, the changes up front have worked. Also, San Diego is getting better play from the back end of the defense. Strong safety <a href="http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/_/id/14018/marcus-gilchrist">Marcus Gilchrist</a>’s interception at the end of Sunday's game was the second pick by the defensive backfield in two weeks.

Time for healing: San Diego coach Mike McCoy said his team will use the bye week to get healthy for the backstretch of the season. With some youth on his 53-man roster, McCoy is emphasizing to the young players to be sure they get their treatment for nagging injuries during the off week and take care of their bodies. Players like Johnson (hamstring), Donald Butler (groin), Chad Rinehart (toe) and King Dunlap (concussion) can use the extra time to heal up and try to return to the field in two weeks against Washington.

Eric D. Williams

ESPN San Diego Chargers reporter

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