Monthly Archives: October 2013
“Bye week in San Diego. We literally can’t wait until this team gets Denver (on Nov. 10) and Kansas City (on Dec. 29) at home. Been saying all year that the Chargers wouldn’t be pushovers, and if you’ve watched them this season, you know that assertion certainly has held true.
I love that Harrison points out the performance of veteran tight end, and future hall of famer, Antonio Gates. Although the talk around the league concerning the Bolts has been about “fixing” of Philip Rivers, the resurgence of Gates has certainly been crucial to the early season success of the Chargers.
The offense has been solid especially considering the fact that the running game has started to get going. After a brilliant defensive gameplan by John Pagano versus the Indianapolis Colts, the fans would like to see more of the same as San Diego will see its schedule get much tougher in the last nine games.
I try not to think like this seeing as we’ve only played 7 games, but if the playoffs started today the Chargers would be the 6th seed in the AFC. That prematurely stated stat goes hand in hand with Harrison’s ranking of the Bolts in the 11th position of the NFL.
As you all know, your San Diego Chargers will not be suiting up this week in the NFL due to the bye. Thank goodness. The Chargers have a bye week just in time to give some of their nicked up players an extra week to rehab their injuries, as well as making sure any players who would be doubtful to play a chance to aim for a week 9 return.
Donald Butler (groin) and King Dunlap (concussion) are the two biggest names benefiting from this week off. With our swing tackle, Mike Harris, becoming the 7th player in as many weeks joining the IR crew, a healthy Dunlap will go a long way. And it should not be that hard to convince you why Donald Butler is a crucial piece needed on the defensive eleven as the guy with the green sticker on his helmet.
While some you guys are sad over the Chargers not playing this week, I will be focusing on the Redskins/Broncos game. Should the Redskins pull off some monkey business, the Chargers will be one game out of the number 2 spot in the AFC West with the Redskins as our next opponent.
Enjoy the fact that this is the one week out of the entire regular season you can watch football without stressing over the winner (unless you play Pigskin Pick’em like me and went from first to fifth thanks to the damn Eagles).
#ReadTheBlitz Jarvis Royall
EDITOR”S NOTE: I am just curious….. who took over first place in that Pick ’em League? I think Sam is hanging tough in second. But I can’t remember who is currently in the lead.
In my last column, I completely dismissed Ryan Mathews as a factor for the Chargers. No sooner than the posting went web-wide did Mathews run for his first 100-yard game of the season against Indianapolis, then follow it up with another 100-yard game against Jacksonville. That is not a misprint, Ryan Mathews has run for over 100 yards in two consecutive games! Who is this guy and where did he put the real Ryan Mathews? This must be a pod person. On second thought, leave the real Ryan Mathews wherever he is, we’ll keep the pod person.
Seems like 24 is a fitting number for Mathews because this season feels like an episode of 24 with him, always changing every week. Only difference is Ryan Mathews doesn’t do cool stuff like Jack Bauer, killing bad guys and saving hot chicks. Usually the countdown is usually to whatever injury is going to get him on the sidelines, watching with some sort of cast or sling on. As you who read my columns know, I am one of Mathews biggest non-believers. I want him on any team but ours.
Mathews tenure in San Diego has been an abject failure and its time to plug that gaping hole with a blue chip back in the draft who can stay on the field, run for positive yardage, pick up the tough first down and most importantly, keep the ball secured in the red zone. These are all things Mathews has failed to do in his time in San Diego. Open the Chargers suggestion box and you will find a piece of paper with my name with the words T.J. Yeldon written on it.
However, after the last two weeks is it time to reconsider 24?
The same Ryan Mathews that has been missing for long stretches of time during the first five games of the season has now gotten 20+ carries in each of the last two games and Mathews has compiled 102 yards against Indianapolis and 110 against Jacksonville. Is 20 some sort of magic number for running backs? Mathews got 19 against Dallas and only gained 62 yards. What it truly means is new offensive coordinator has found a way to coach up Mathews and work the game plan and blocking schemes to help Mathews gain yards. Mathews has finally shown the downhill, power running style that looked so good in the preseason but has been nonexistent for the first five games of the season.
Is Mike McCoy buying in?
No one will admit or mention it but Mathews ineffectiveness in the first five games has to be because of lack of trust that he could get the job done. Mathews wasn’t injured and usually resurfaced in random spots in the fourth quarter but you don’t leave your feature back on the sideline with the game on the line unless you don’t trust him. All of a sudden he gets a bigger workload and backs up the added carries with consecutive 100-yard games. Going forward its safe to assume the coaching staff will trust Mathews with more carries as long as his numbers stay comparable to his recent output.
Should we as fans buy back in on Mathews?
If the running game gets on track, this offense can be special. Philip Rivers has already proven he was never ‘broken’ as so many talking heads spouted during the offseason and at the present time is a top five quarterback in the league. Going into the Monday Night Football game against Indianapolis, the Colts were ranked in the top 10 in total defense. I, like many others, watched in amazement as Mathews gashed the Colts D for big chunks of yardage. As Mathews broke off a 11-yard run off left tackle on first down I tried to remember the last time I saw that happen and couldn’t think of any. Double digit yard carries for Mathews are usually few and far between but he has been doing it multiple times in each of the last two games. No one is more shocked than at Mathews finally showing a pulse in the run game than I am.
Mathews has helped his own and the Chargers cause in two respects. Next year is the last season of his rookie contract. 1. The Chargers can cut him and save 1.4 million against the salary cap, making him a free agent. 2. They can resign him to a veteran deal for another number of years if they feel he will continue to be the feature back moving factor. 3. With Mathews gaining momentum with his rushing and the trade deadline on Thursday, October 29th there would be no shortage of teams who would make an offer for Mathews services. His stock can’t be higher than it is right now. The Chargers could add depth at wide receiver, defensive line or in the secondary should they choose to go with the running back by committee approach, not to mention adding draft picks.
Buying back in on 24?
At least not yet.
Where has this been for four seasons? We were fooled by this before in 2011. Mathews had his one and only thousand yard season in 2011 (1,091) which also was the last time he had a 100 yard game. It has literally been two years since his last 100 yard game. That season, he had four games over 100 yards rushing, one with 98 and one with 90. To buy back in, Mathews is going to have to show he can keep this kind of pace an entire season. Two games is a nice start but he has to show he can sustain it. The Chargers are 6-1 in the seven games where Mathews has rushed over 100 yards in his career.
We’re all excited to see the running game getting on track. Perhaps Mathews is feeling threatened seeing Danny Woodhead usurp so much of his field time. Perhaps the coaches have enough live action information on the entire offense to formulate the best rushing offense. Whatever the reason is, a successful running game equals wins and with the momentum of a two-game winning streak coming out of the bye week, it’s what the Chargers need to be able to catch Denver and Kansas City. I am rooting for Mathews to keep up this pace for the good of the team. Am I removing myself as the leader of the #Fire24 movement? Still carrying that flag, but slowing down enough to watch instead of doing wind sprints around the stadium college football style.
What about you Bolt Nation? Are you buying back in on 24? Next episode in two days…
The Greg One
Since it is the bye week and we have no Charger football to watch, I started to take an early look at the draft. I was looking at players “projected” to go between 15th and 25th to try and narrow down who we’d have a chance at. Defense is going to be an emphasis IMO, even with our need at LT. Our Defense is pathetic, esp at OLB, CB, and S next too Weddle, despite having decent defensive outings the past 2 weeks.
Here are the guys I will start keeping my eye on for the 1st round:
Khalil Mack, Sr. OLB Buffalo Sr. 6-3 250lbs (Estimated 40 time 4.64) Guy is a freak, yes it’s against mostly lesser competition but he is a freak none-the-less. In his first 3 seasons, he had 227 Tackles including a whopping 56 TFL, 18 sacks, 1 INT, 15 passes defended and 11 FF. He is a playmaker with a high motor and looks extremely strong. So far this year he has added 6 sacks, 2 INT’s (both returned for TD’s) 4 Passes defended and if I read correctly 8.5 more TFLs. And his best game of the season (9 tackles, 2.5 sacks, pick 6) was against Ohio State. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8cifq0S0yI
Kyle Van Noy, OLB BYU Sr. 6-3 240ish (Estimated 40 time 4.65) He is listed at 245 but looks closer to 235. Which makes him look smaller, but damn he is quick. He has a great 1st step and gets off the ball fast. He, like Mack, has been a disruptive force behind the line of scrimmage. In his first 3 seasons he had 156 tackles, 44.5 TFL, and 22 sacks while forcing 11 Fumbles. He has slightly better coverage stats than Mack with 14 Passes defended and 5 INT in his first 3 years. This season he has added 3 more sacks, 10 TFL, a pick 6 and 4 passes defended. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2tL4xUZP_8
Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB Oregon Jr. 5-10 185 (Estimated 40 time 4.44) This guy is basically the opposite of Cox. He is fast, can tackle (big hitter), and makes plays happen. He is like “Peanut” Tillman for the bears. In his only season as a starter, last year as a sophomore, he had 4 INT’s, 20 passes defended, 63 tackles, and forced 6 fumbles. He also had 8 PD in his freshman year in a limited role. He is nfldraftscout.com’s #1 ranked CB if he declares. I’d love to see us grab this guy but I dont envy anyone having to try and announce his name next year haha. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KM5-orWujdU
Marcus Roberson, CB Florida Jr. 6-0 195 (Estimated 40 4.48) Roberson has a better size/speed combination than Ekpre-Olomu but doesn’t appear to be as physical. He is more of a smooth cover corner. Based on what I’ve read is that Florida leaves him out on an island mostly matched up against opposing team’s WR’s and basically takes them out of the game, which explains his lower stats. He has 17 PD and 3 Ints in 2 years as a starter to go along with 45 tackles. He could stand to be a little more physical and needs to learn how to get off of blocks in the run game but has the size and skill to be a #1 CB and he is Florida’s main punt returner avg 12.2 ypr on 10 returns. The biggest downside to Roberson, he has missed at least 3 games both last season and this season with injuries. With the poor luck we have had with injuries, that might bee too much of a risk for TT and crew to pull the trigger. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqXfJtvVYW8
I don’t like the look of Bradley Roby who most people considered the #1 corner heading into this season. I have seen 3 of his games this season and in 2 of them he got destroyed deep and had multiple pass interference penalties. I also don’t see any Safeties that will be there when we pick in the first round that are worth a 1st rounder unless HaHa Clinton-Dix out of Alabama slips to us. Two other CB names to watch are Aaron Colvin(decent cover corner, good aggressive tackler) out of OU and Loucheiz Purifoy (good cover corner, special teams demon) out of Florida as well.
After seven weeks, the Chargers find themselves more banged up than a lot of Demolition Derby cars. They’re on the verge of putting the water boy in a uniform to fill out the offensive line. Chad Rinehart was deactivated again Sunday with his toe injury. Steve Schilling didn’t play because of a neck issue. Mike Harris is done for the year on Reserve/Injured. King Dunlap left the contest with a concussion. His replacement, Mike Remmers, left the game with an ankle injury. Nick Becton was inactive. Linebackers Donald Butler and Jarrett Johnson both missed their second consecutive game. This team is aching and banged up. For them, and the rest of the Chargers M.A.S.H. unit, the bye couldn’t come at a better time.
Not so fast! The Chargers have won two straight. Admittedly, one against the downtrodden Jacksonville Jaguars. Both the offense and defense are, dare I say, on a roll. Philip Rivers is looking like the 2007 version of himself. Ryan Mathews has run for two consecutive 100 yard games and also broke his rushing touchdown drought against the Jags. The defense has allowed 15 points in two games, all on field goals. In the words of Crash Davis, “don’t f**k with a streak, meat.”
This week off is needed, but at a terrible time. The team is banged up, but it’s on a roll. Having the bye around mid-season is great because you’re resting and recovering at the half-way point. But what about the momentum? How will the bye affect the momentum the Chargers clearly have right now? Only time will tell.
At 4-3, the Chargers are in the hunt for a playoff spot as they close in on the midway point in the season. The Bolts are currently tied with the Jets at 4-3 with perennial playoff teams like Pittsburgh and Baltimore struggling this year. The question now comes, do the Chargers look to make a move or two to bolster their team and make a run at the playoffs? The problem with that consideration, of course, comes down to cost and what they can get.
Secondary – Let’s face it, Wright and Cox haven’t been great. The offense and it’s tremendous execution on long drives has saved this team. That being said, Gilchrist isn’t the long term solution and Wright is starting after missing time last year. I honestly think a lot of our problems could be solved with either Taylor coming back or signing a guy like Kerry Rhodes which would move Gilchrist back to corner.
OLB – With the bye coming at a good time to get guys like Jarret Johnson rested up and with what seems like more momentum surrounding a Melvin Ingram return, this group could get a real shot in the arm. This can also help with the deficiencies of the secondary.
Wide Receiver – Sure, Keenan Allen is playing lights out and the offense is clicking on all cylinders. But let’s say you could add a guy like Vincent Jackson into the mix if the Bucs become sellers and the price is right. The familiarity with Rivers would be less of a headache than say a new receiver that had no connection to the team. This would also be a big statement by McCoy and Telesco to say AJ had it wrong.
Offensive line – This one is pretty obvious. We already saw one trade yesterday for a Left Tackle between the Ravens and Dolphins. With King Dunlap going down with another concussion and the backups behind the backups also going down, this group needs bodies. Fluker filled in admirably at Left Tackle and that could be something they experiment with given Clary’s history at Right Tackle. Point being, they need some interior lineman. The bye week may help, and I expect Telesco to scour practice squads and free agents to fill the needs here. Teams don’t trade away good lineman very often.
The bottom line is the Chargers have some holes to fill. The downside is that the Chargers could lose draft picks as a result, and this team needs to build through the draft. If the price is right, however, they could look to fill some needs in some of these key areas.
Write your thoughts in the comments below on whether or not you think the Chargers should pursue a trade.
Thanks for reading,
After winning the Pepsi Next “Rookie of the week” in week 6, Keenan Allen is receiving notoriety at both the San Diego and national levels. He has been a top 5 fantasy football league addition on all of the major websites.
But is it possible that, perhaps, fellow first-year player DJ Fluker is having a better rookie campaign than the former Cal Golden Bear? I believe that not only can an argument be made to support Fluker is having just as good of a year, but one could maintain that 76 has had a better year than Keenan.
So, this is where you come in. In an effort to not influence anyone’s voting, I am not going to elaborate on my feelings of this subject.
Most of you know the drill. Place your vote and leave a comment at the bottom stating why you voted the way you did. I am very curious to see how this vote plays out. Keenan may be getting all of the attention, but it could be argued that Fluker is having the best season thus far for any rookie offensive linemen. But the question remains, who is the best Charger rookie thus far?
Thanks a lot for reading and voting.
The Chargers are one game away from their bye week and at 3-3, the Week 7 match up in Jacksonville will be more important than you think.
Considering that Jacksonville is at 0-6, every team who is slated to play the Jaguars deem it as a win before kickoff, a “gimme” if you will. A Charger fan knows there is no such thing. 2012 memories still burn bright in my mind of giving the the 0-4 New Orleans Saints their first victory of the season for everyone to see on Sunday Night Football. Though the level of competition between last year’s Saints and this year’s Jaguars may differ. The situation is similar, the Jaguars will give their best punch this Sunday, hoping to continue to the tradition of the Chargers playing down to lesser competition.
After our bye, 5 of our last 9 games will be division games; including 2 meetings each against undefeated Denver as well as undefeated Kansas City.
As if it didn’t matter before, every win counts, and that starts with JAX. The Chargers will be in a far better position at 4-3 than 3-4. That is, of course, if you are a playoff optimist as opposed to a “top draft choice” hopeful.
Either way, who wants to be made fun of for losing to the Jaguars?
Here’s to a win! Here’s to health! And here’s to great vibes heading into a bye week with a Landover, MD trip on the way (see you there?)!
Donald Butler (groin) was held out of practice today. I am here to suggest that he should be held out of the game on Sunday.
While it may already be a possibility, it would be more beneficial to us if our top inside linebacker were to sit out for the Jacksonville game. Following the Jaguars game the Chargers will be on their by week until going back to the east coast to battle the Washington Redskins. These two weeks of rest will pile on to Butler’s previous two weeks and give him a month’s time to cater to an injury that is easily aggravated.
While Butler’s presence will indeed be missed, what is more important is his health during the rest of the season, such as post bye week, when the Bolts have 5 AFC West contests over a 9 game stretch.
The Chargers have found the strategy tailor made for them. San Diego’s offense held on to the ball for 38 minutes, which is just short of 2/3 of the game. The biggest reason I woke up with a smile on Tuesday morning is that Ryan Mathews ran for 100 yards! Yes! The Bolts have not seen a 100 yard rusher (Ryan Mathews) since December 11, 2011!
Ryan Mathews’ 22 carries for 102 yards averages out to 4.6 yards per touch. Woodhead also chipped in with 4 yards a touch as he registered 9 carries for 36 yards.
Being able to run the football so well is what allowed us to dominate the time of possession. A touchdown and 4 field goals will not usually win many football games, but it will when you keep the opposing offense on the field for just 20 minutes. The Chargers converted 7-14 3rd downs as opposed to Indianapolis converting just 2 out of 10. Of the Chargers’ 24 first downs of the night, 8 of them came by way of the ground game.
With an injury plagued defense like ours, this is the ultimate recipe for success. Long drives that end in points will go a long way for this team. Running the ball effectively is a key to long drives. Boil it all down and the crucial part of our teams success is our run game