Inside The Bills

Chargers converting despite no run game

Posted by Chris Brown on September 21, 2014 – 10:38 am

It’s not often that an NFL team converts 50 percent of their third downs when they’re run game is producing less that 80 yards rushing per game. But that is the case for the Chargers, who come to Buffalo with the sixth-best third down conversion rate in the league. Bills head coach Doug Marrone provided his take on why he thinks San Diego has been able to move the sticks even when their run game isn’t helping all that much.

Not surprisingly, Marrone credits Chargers veteran QB Philip Rivers, who somehow seems to find a way to keep the offense on the field.

“He’s a very good player and I think when you look at them from a standpoint of rushing they’re probably not happy with the average per rush that they have, but they continue to keep running the football,” said Marrone. “What it does is they’ve been in great situations as far as 3rd-and-4 or less, probably more than any other team in the league. When you give a player like Philip Rivers and the skill players that they have that type of down and distance, they’re going to convert more often than not. We’ve got to do a good job of keeping the chains in our favor and getting those tackles for loss and put them in situations where they have to go further to get those first downs. That’s what we’re going to have to do if we’re going to be successful.”

“Mainly, we look for yards per carry,” said Philip Rivers of his team’s run game. “That’s what you look at. Last week, we were pretty balanced, really, almost 50-50 and ended up over 100 yards but per-rush wasn’t really good. In the Monday night game against Arizona, and although that was the 2013 number one rush defense in the league, there’s still no excuse for it. We know we’ve got to run it better and we’re going to continue be more balanced and stick with it. One thing we are, we’re not going to abandon it. We’re going to stick with it because when we’re balanced, that’s when we’re at our best. We all know we’ve got to run it better. And it’s all of us, me included. Getting us to the best runs. And then getting everybody involved in making things go.”


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