Another slow start? The first game in the season might prove this is true. There was a good match on September 11th at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. The San Diego Chargers won 17-24. The first game of the season really sets the tone for the team and shows how well Vikings tickets will sell for the year.
The team ran the ball quite effectively in the first half and second half of the game. A momentum killing decision was made to use two Wildcat formation. After this decision was made, it became very easy for the Chargers defense to shut down Peterson’s offensive. As the Chargers gained momentum, their quarter back Philip Rivers had the opening he had been waiting for, throwing a decisive 19-yard touchdown pass to fullback Mike Tolbert, which granted an important first game victory for San Diego Chargers
Donovan McNabb was under high pressure all game long, a lot of his passes got intercepted by the Chargers defense. He failed to defend the line and tried to advance by himself twice. The offensive men, Johnson and Phil Loadholt had a shaky performance due to team-play misunderstandings and poor game-play of Vikings. But there is nothing to fear yet: given all new players, new coaches and new offense, it will take some time for the offensive line to come together as a good formed unit.
In the first quarter, they outclassed Chargers in game play. They scored fast in 14:45 by Percy Harvin’s 103 Yd kickoff return(amazing kick from Ryan Longwell) . However, at 11:38 Mike Tolbert scored amazingly, Philip Rivers being the man behind the pass.
The second quarter brings together a more unite Viking team, scoring twice at 12:56 through Ryan Longwell (3 points) and at 09:44, starring Michael Jenkins.
In the third and forth quarters, the Chargers took advantage of the poor defense by penetrating line 3 times. At 10:43(3′rd quarter), Mike Tolbert 7 Yd Run brings 7 important points for Chargers. In the last quarter, they were outclassed by an impressive attack formation: Mike Scifres and Mike Tolbert bring 10 points and Chargers win by 7 point difference.
The two passing leaders: McNabb and Rivers both tried their best, but Rivers did a much better job. Why the game collapsed in the third half? Low morale? Ineffective leadership. I think it was both of them. It’s interesting to observe that in the first quarter, the Vikings had an 07:34 ball possession and the competitors only 03:27. In the second and third quarter it was almost equal. The fourth one bring Chargers in advantage, with 08:46 to 3:20. It was obvious they had more chance to score by succession to have ball possession.
However, Minnesota Vikings had 26 rushes, almost like Viking’s 27. They made 9-78 penalties, more than the 4-26 of the opposite team. Another key point is that the Chargers had completed 330 yards in passes, which is much more than 28 yards. Only time will tell if this team could turn around its poor 0 – 1 start.