Rick Reiff Jr
Last week the Chargers pulled off a last-second win at home against the Browns thanks to the leg of kicker Josh Lambo. The undrafted rookie free agent originally shanked a 38-yard field goal with three seconds remaining on the clock, but the Browns were flagged for being offside. The Bolts took the five-yard penalty in order to give the rook another chance to win the game. This time, he knocked it through the uprights, securing the team’s second victory at home of the 2015 campaign.
Without further ado, here are my three key Chargers for Monday night’s game against the Steelers.
Speaking of Lambo, as mentioned above, he came up clutch for the Bolts last week, making three of three field goal attempts, including the game-winner. He was also perfect on all three of his extra point attempts last Sunday. The former soccer star is having a nice start to the season, making seven of his eight field goals. His longest thus far this season is 46 yards. The 24-year-old also achieves touchbacks on the majority of his kickoffs, which is exactly why I think he is a player to watch this week. Gaining the advantage in the field position category will be crucial. Pittsburgh is a tough team, and San Diego could need Lambo’s leg to help win the game in the final seconds, yet again.
Next we have Dontrelle Inman. The former CFL wideout stepped in nicely for the concussed Malcom Floyd. M80 is listed as questionable this week against the Steelers. Inman recorded three catches on five targets for 88 yards on Sunday. If Floyd isn’t able to play this week, the reserve pass catcher will have to step up again and be the guy to fill his spot. Expect another good game from him.
Lastly, the return of ANTONIO GATES! The future Hall of Famer missed the first four games of the season for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. The 35-year-old is on a mission to prove to the team, coaches, fans and haters that his violation of the rule is not exemplary of him as a player or a man. Gates has always been a hard-working person on and off the field. I believe the dynamic tandem of “Rivers to Gates” will be connecting quite a few times this week. No. 85 has always been Rivers go-to option in the passing game. They even have a rule where if Philip is under duress, look for Antonio first.
I, for one, am happy to see him back!
All three of these guys have the potential to make game-changing contributions on Monday. I hope all three put on stellar performances. The Chargers are going to need all the help they can get to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Thanks for reading!
Rick Reiff, Jr.
This week the Bolts play the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings are a very good team, especially with Adrian Peterson back on their roster this season. They have a solid defense, too. This will be another good challenge for the Chargers on the road.
Here are my three key players to watch:
– Philip Rivers
We all know Rivers is one of the best in the business. Head coach Mike Zimmer of the Vikings believes that statement, saying that Rivers is “A great competitor” and that he is “extremely accurate”. Rivers has completed 55 of 68 passes for 644 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions through two weeks of the 2015 season. Those numbers are good for a completion percentage 80.9%. Not a bad start for him. Rivers’ last pass was an interception on the final drive in last week’s loss against the Bengals. I believe Rivers rebounds this week and helps the Chargers get the win against the Vikings.
– Melvin Gordon
Gordon showed last week that he has a lot to prove to the coaches and the fans. He had three runs that went for over 20 yards last week. Gordon has to be hungry for his first rushing touchdown, as well. We are entering Week 3 and he has zero touchdowns at this point. Look for Gordon to get a lot of touches this week against a good Vikings’ defense.
– Brandon Flowers
We are all too familiar with the Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner. The long-time offensive coordinator, and head coach for the Chargers, is a pass-heavy play caller. Flowers was burned for touchdowns three times by the Bengals last week. That was Flowers’ worst game as a Charger, by far. Expect him to get back on track this week with some key pass defenses and maybe an interception. I wouldn’t doubt his chances of it with the play calling of Norv.
These are my key players to watch for against the Vikings on Sunday. They all need to step up tomorrow if the Chargers have any chance at winning this game.
Let me know what you guys think in the comments.
Thanks for reading!
Rick Reiff, Jr.
The Chargers lit it up at the Q after being down 21-3 against Lions at halftime, coming back to win 33-28.
The San Diego offense had a sudden surge in the second half after only putting three points on the board through two quarters. It all started with Philip Rivers. The 33-year-old completed 83.3% of his passes on Sunday (35-42). He threw two touchdown passes to tie Dan Fouts’ team record (254) for most touchdowns thrown for over a career. He threw for a whopping 404 yards. Not a bad start to the season for the 12-year veteran.
The Chargers offensive line did a decent job. They started off shaky in the early portions of the game, but meshed well as the game wore on. There were also two injuries to this line, D.J. Fluker and Joe Barksdale. Although those seem like key losses, their replacements did a solid job at protecting Rivers. Fluker sustained a high-ankle sprain and looks to be out about 4-6 weeks. Barksdale is expected to return this week.
Rookie Melvin Gordon had 14 carries for 51 yards, averaging 3.64 yards per carry. Gordon almost scored his first touchdown as a rookie, but it was called back because his elbow touched the turf when trying to spin out of tackle. Gordon also fumbled the ball, turning it over to the Lions. All in all, it wasn’t a bad debut performance.
Danny Woodhead also had a nice game, toting the rock 12 times for 42 yards. He averaged 3.5 yards per carry. Woody managed to score two touchdowns on the ground. It was nice to have him back after losing him to a season-ending injury early last season.
Keenan Allen was huge this game! Allen had 15 receptions for 166 yards. He tied the team record for receptions in a single game. Allen didn’t score any touchdowns, but he sure helped the team move the ball down the field. The 23-year-old also popped a ball up that Rivers threw at his back shoulder; it was intercepted and taken back for a pick-six.
Stevie Johnson proved to be a nice offseason addition. He recorded 6 receptions for 82 yards and a touchdown, averaging 13.6 yards per catch. Johnson ran a great inside route and took it to the house with his lone diving touchdown. He will definitely be an asset to the already prolific offense.
Ladarius Green had a good game, stepping in for the suspended Antonio Gates. Green registered five receptions for 74 yards and a touchdown. Green came through in the clutch when the Chargers needed to move down the field to get into the red zone.
Lastly, Malcom Floyd. Floyd had a bit of a disappointing game having only one catch that went for 29 yards. Rivers also tried to target Floyd in the endzone, but that pass was well underthrown and ended up being intercepted by the Lions’ secondary for Rivers’ second pick of the game. Truth be told, there is only one football to go around, so to speak.
When every player is healthy, this is one of the most prolific offenses in the league. The offensive line took a while to mesh, but when they did, they were able to open holes for the running back and protect Rivers. With stable blocking upfront, the Chargers can move the ball down the field with a great deal of poise.
Next up is the Bengals. Let’s see how the offense can do against a good defense on the road.
Thanks for reading!
Rick Reiff, Jr.
The Chargers have a good receiving corps with Malcom Floyd, Keenan Allen and the new additions of Stevie Johnson and Jacoby Jones. There is still one more spot open, and the Chargers need to figure out who’s going to fill that fifth spot.
That one guy, Antonio Gates, is pretty damn good, as well; albeit the tight end will miss four games due to suspension.
There is a player we have already seen in real game action, and that man is Dontrelle Inman.
Inman, the Virginia product, filled in nicely for Allen last season after breaking his collar bone. Inman was an undrafted free agent that originally signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2011. He had 12 receptions for 158 yards. While averaging 13.2 yards per catch, Inman’s longest play was 28 yards. He was only targeted 17 times. This means he caught 71% of the balls Rivers thrown his way. He also got the Chargers seven first downs.
Next we have Austin Pettis.
Pettis was drafted in the third round with 78th overall pick by the St. Louis Rams. Pettis also has playing experience under his belt, while playing with the Rams. In his four years of playing with the Rams, Pettis started in 47 games. He had 107 receptions for 1,034 yards and averaged 9.7 yards per catch. Pettis’ longest play was 36 yards. He gave the Rams 62 first downs and 9 touchdowns.
Another good candidate is rookie prospect Titus Davis. Davis played college ball at Central Michigan. While playing there, he had 204 receptions for 3,700 yards. He averaged 18.1 yards per reception along with 37 total touchdowns. He also had 15 rushes for 113 yards, while averaging 7.5 yards per carry.
Next is Javontee Herndon.
Herndon is a second-year pro out of the University of Arkansas. In college, Herndon had 62 receptions for 910 yards. He averaged 14.7 yards per catch, adding touchdowns. He also had four rushes for 60 yards.
Finally, somebody that the team and media loves, Tyrell Williams.
Williams played at Western Oregon. He had the school’s all-time record with 156 catches. He had 2,792 receiving yards, and he was good for 21 touchdowns. He has a great size, while also being speedy.
All five of these guys have a solid chance, but only one will win that fifth spot. I strongly believe it will be Inman, considering that we’ve seen what he can do for the Chargers in the regular season.
Rick Reiff Jr.
Brad Sorensen, 27, was picked by the Chargers with the 221st overall pick in the seventh round of the 2013 draft. Sorensen, the Southern Utah product, has never started a game in his career. It is tough to start a game when you are working behind an elite quarterback such as Philip Rivers.
Sorensen has played in every preseason game since being drafted, but his most impressive outing was against the Arizona Cardinals on August 22 of this year.
Sorensen was 13-25 with 122 yards and an interception. Those stats may not sound amazing, but he showed that he could lead the Chargers down the field.
The third-year signal caller had pressure all over him, but he kept calm in the pocket and threw with a great deal of poise. He also showed that he could make quick decisions by hitting his target on time with the pass rush all around him. That is something that Rivers might have taught him along with having quick feet inside the pocket. He seemed to be able to read defenses well, attacking their weak spots. That is pretty impressive for only being in the league for two years. Now that Rivers got his new four-year contract extension, he can learn so much more from him.
Sorensen has done a solid job learning from Rivers. With some time and effort, the 33-year-old might be able to turn Sorensen into a future option at quarterback once No. 17 hangs up his cleats. He has four years to learn all he can from Rivers. That should be plenty of time to learn the position, and learn it well.
He can also learn a lot from offensive coordinator Frank Reich and head coach Mike McCoy. Reich was a quarterback for the Bills, Panthers, Jets and Lions. McCoy has had experience making sub-par quarterbacks such as Jake Delhomme and Tim Tebow into winners. As we all know, he also worked with one of the best passers in NFL history, Peyton Manning.
With all this help, Sorensen could be a great fit as the successor to Rivers. He still has plenty of time to develop, which could mean bad news for the other teams in the league. Don’t be surprised if after Rivers retires that the Chargers organization announces that Sorensen will be the new quarterback of the team.
Only time will tell.
Rick Reiff Jr.