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Scout's View: Despite Injuries, Chargers Played Without Fear


The crowd was ready. It's a shame the Cowboys weren't.

Philip Rivers and his band of backups sent the visitors home with plenty of questions. When the Dallas coaches and players sit down to review this game, they are not going to have to ask themselves what went wrong because it was as clear as the San Diego sky: They physically got beat by a team that made plays when they couldn't.

Rivers played the game of his life, but so did tackle Mike Harris and guards Johnnie Troutman and Stephen Schilling. Hardly Pro Bowl names, but they blocked like they will all be in Hawaii at the end of the season. Running back Danny Woodhead and wide receiver Keenan Allen shredded the Cowboys defense. Players in the past who I had seen do well in coverage for Dallas were nowhere to be found. Bad technique, poor adjustments – you name it, we saw it all today.

I understand guys like tight end Antonio Gates causing problems. Heck, he has caused defensive coordinators issues for years. His touchdown reception was a great call by San Diego head coach Mike McCoy with outstanding execution by Rivers. The Chargers did not play this game scared of their offensive line or worried about being without Malcolm Floyd. They stuck to their game plan and were able to run the ball well enough that they didn't have to totally rely on Rivers, although with the way he played, it probably wouldn't have mattered anyway. [embedded_ad]

Offensively, Tony Romo wasn't Philip Rivers, but I don't believe you can put this game all on his shoulders. There is plenty of blame to go around. Dropped passes, missed blocks and turnovers late in the game were their collective downfall. Looking at third-down catches alone, the team that won made the plays. The team that lost had to punt.

I thought that DeMarco Murray ran the ball hard today, but maybe he didn't run it enough times? When I sit down and really break this game down, I will surely get those answers and plenty of others in the Scout's Eye.

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