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Receivers Can’t Get Handle of Playing Consistently

Five games into a long season, it’s fair to say the Chargers’ receivers haven’t caught on.

In Sunday’s 14-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, dropped passes helped derail several drives. As Chiefs quarterback Steve DeBerg said, “I don’t know how they can have the record they do. If they had more consistency with their passing game they’d be right in top of this league.”

Though young quarterback John Friesz has taken much of the heat for the Chargers’ 0-5 start, he was better than his 10-for-25 passing performance Sunday. At least four catchable balls were dropped--including two by Anthony Miller, who has had problems hanging onto the ball.

Of one fourth-quarter pass play, Charger Coach Dan Henning said, “We had a man open but apparently we’re not good enough to make the play, to have a good throw and catch. We had a bunch of those situations today--third down situations with dropped balls, or poor throws, or a combination of both.”

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Of the team’s aerial game in general, Henning said, “When we have something and we’ve executed it. . . . We’ve had drops. When we’ve executed the route then the quarterback has either misfired or not thrown the best possible pass. We’re just not very good at that right now.”

Friesz’s best targets Sunday were running backs--Ronnie Harmon led the team with three receptions, tight end Arthur Cox had two (with one drop), and five other players had one apiece, three of them running backs. Miller was one-for-three on catchable passes.

“There were more drops than normal,” Friesz said. “We have good receivers. Normally they’re better than that, but that’s nobody’s fault. I don’t know what our problem is.”

He said the frustrating part is that “it seems like our passing game is so close to being pretty good--to complement our running game.”

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