Grade The 2009 San Diego Chargers Season


Well, 2009 is now officially in the books and what a year it's been for the San Diego Chargers and their fans. From extreme frustration to supreme confidence, the Chargers have taken their fans on quite the roller coaster ride, but we've certainly gotten our money's worth. Looking back, how would you grade the San Diego Chargers 2009 season?



OFFENSIVE PERFORMANCE

PASSING GAME

NFL RANK: 5th in Total Passing Yards (4,024), 2nd in Points Scored (431), 3rd in Passer Rating (104.5)




RUNNING GAME

NFL RANK: 29th in Total Rushing Yards (1,373), 31st in Average Yards Gained per Attempt(3.3), 3rd fewest Big Rushing Plays (only 7 plays of 20+ or 40+ yards)




BLOCKING/PROTECTION

NFL RANK: 6th fewest Sacks Allowed (25), 4th fewest QB Hits Allowed (52), 5th most Rushing TDs (17)




PLAYCALLING/COACHING

NFL RANK: AFC West Champions, AFC Conference Playoffs #2 Seed, 12+ wins



DEFENSIVE PERFORMANCE

RUN DEFENSE

NFL RANK: 3rd highest Avg Rushing Yards Allowed Per Attempt (4.5), 10th highest Avg. Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game (121.2), 6th fewest Rushing TDs Allowed (10)




PASS DEFENSE

NFL RANK: 9th fewest Avg. Yards Allowed Per Game (204.9), 5th fewest plays of 40+ Yards Allowed (6), 16th in completion percentage (60.6)




SACKS/TURNOVERS/BIG-PLAYS

NFL RANK: 9th in Sacks (34), 11th in Interceptions (14), 5th in forced fumble (17)




PLAYCALLING/COACHING

NFL RANK: AFC West Champions, AFC Conference Playoffs #2 Seed, 12+ wins



SPECIAL TEAMS PERFORMANCE

2nd most FGs made (29), 3rd most PATs made (48), 12th in Average Kick Return Yards (23)




January 3, 2010

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7 comments:

Anonymous said... Jan 3, 2010, 9:49:00 AM

Hey Rob,

You forgot to give the 12th Man a performance grade. I live on the East Coast so the games I've been to, 2 Games in San Diego, Chargers @ Cowboys, and Chargers @ Titans have had in my opinion awesome participation by the fans. In fact, while in Dallas I don't think the Cowboys were prepared for such a Chargers fan turn-out. I met Chargers fans from all over the globe and from all corners of the United States. That was a very proud moment for me as a lifelong Chargers fan. And to go back a season, the Chargers were represented by the fans very well whilst in England. I can tell you that gone are the days when say.....Raiders or Cowboys fans dominated the Murph. That said, this is "Our" year! The Team and the 12th Man are certainly rising to the ocassion.

Happy New Year

Mark said... Jan 3, 2010, 8:16:00 PM

Hey Rob- thanks for all of the great posts this season. I am giddy with excitement with the upcoming playoffs. I think we can handle most of the teams that are in, and I'm kind of glad a dangerous Steelers team just missed the playoffs, as we have had problems against them.
I was really impressed with the second unit's performance against the Redskins. It shows how deep we really are.

Also of note, I was glad the Donkeys choked under their new messiah, Josh Mc Daniels. That dude couldn't even hold Mike Shanahans jock strap (if coache's even wear them!!). As much as I dislike the Broncos, I had respect for Shanahan. And that early-season cockiness has come to bite him in the butt. He also really screwed up with Brandon Marshall by questioning his injury before the last game. This guy has no idea how to deal with players.


GO BOLTS!!!

Rob Zepeda said... Jan 3, 2010, 10:00:00 PM

@Anonymous: Fantastic point about the 12th man, I think Charger fans really stepped up to the plate this year. All the games sold out, the stadium rocked on gameday, and there has been plenty of Charger love around the county.

@Mark: I agree with you, no matter how badly I would have loved to get payback on the Steelers, they always play us tooth and nail. I'll take my chances with one of the other teams.

Anonymous said... Jan 5, 2010, 2:40:00 PM

Hey regulars; remember after the draft when we had an article on this site wondering WHICH ONE of our rookie draft choices would win Defensive Rookie of the Year? Well, the AP just tallied their votes this morning and decided (by a landslide):
Brian Cushing (LB – Houston Texans) is Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Cushing was selected with the 15th pick of Round #1 in the NFL Draft, just *one* pick before the Chargers, who chose LB Larry English.
Cushing’s rookie stats:

133 Tackles (86 of them solo or primary)
5 Sacks
4 Interceptions
2 Forced fumbles

By contrast, Larry English (who did not start each game, but did fill in for the oft-injured Shawne Merriman) had the following stats:

36 Tackles (26 solo or primary)
2 Sacks
0 Interceptions
1 Forced fumble

For, again, comparison; Merriman’s 2009 regular season (14 games) stats are:

36 Tackles (26 solo or primary)
4 Sacks
0 Interceptions
0 Forced fumbles

Merriman missed almost all of the '08 due to injury and surgery, but check out his 2007 numbers compared to the 2009 season, playing in just one more game:

68 Tackles (54 solo or primary), almost TWICE as many as 2009.
12.5 sacks – over THREE TIMES as many as 2009
0 interceptions
0 forced fumbles

These are significant numbers, even if the Texans don't play the same defensive style as the Chargers. And I'm not including them just to point out weaknesses in (injured) Merriman's or (Hmmm) English's respective "game", but because of how much difference a single draft choice number and selection can make. Amazing.
Nevertheless, Go BOLTS!!!
JLM

Rob Zepeda said... Jan 5, 2010, 3:56:00 PM

@Thanks JLM, great stuff as always. I must admit, Larry English looked really impressive in camp, and had had one of the most dominant careers of any prospect coming from college.

We kept hearing about how well Merriman was moving, on how Rivera was going to get all his pass rushers on the field at the same time, and how Burnett was a stud in coverage. With all of those pieces in place, I really imagined English would have an easy go at it getting after QBs.

What Cushing has done has been real impressive, and in fact, his fellow Linebackers at USC have all had immediate success at the NFL level. Middle linebackers pile up the stats, as well they should. But I think another factor we need to consider is that the Chargers RARELY if ever, immediately start a Rookie. They just seem to be allergic at the idea.

Anonymous said... Jan 5, 2010, 5:53:00 PM

Thanks, Rob. But despite camp workouts, “I’m just sayin’….”
Another statistical nugget is to consider the rookie year of another pre-draft day favorite of local Charger fans; REY MAUALUGA (another USC LB alum like Cushing), whom the Chargers passed on. Rey’s rookie year stats (after missing the final game with a broken ankle):

63 Tackles (39 primary or solo)
1 Sack
0 Interceptions (3 pass deflections though)
3 Forced fumbles

It just goes to show that football “judgment” in estimating is highly subjective, and harshly glaring in imperfect, statistical retrospect.
Why did the Chargers pass on Maualuga? If you look up the pre-draft “measureables” Maualuga had a slight edge in most categories, with one notable exception; the Wonderlic test scores. There Maualuga scored a 15 versus English’s 34. A score of 20 is intended to indicate average intelligence, and an average for NFL linebackers is said to be 19.
So the question remains if Larry English’s “big brain” will eventually manifest itself in a bigger and better NFL career? Or will Maualuga’s seemingly superior rookie year stats continue through their respective careers, making the Charger faithful regret another draft pick? Hmmmm.
Go BOLTS!!!
And don’t forget to vote for Amanda…, every day! She’s in 3rd place now!
JLM

Anonymous said... Jan 6, 2010, 2:18:00 PM

I can honestly say we got our money's worth this season. I suggest we don't discuss this season until it's over. I've been a charger fan since rip old age of 7yrs and I can say I have blown away by the level of play the Chargers have exhibited this group is deserving of all their sucess. All u Charger fans out there be nice to your women and children, don't neglect to honor God and put him first and he will no doubtly deliver our first Bolts Super Bowel Championship... P.S. Think before you speak.

Lighting 72

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