Monthly Archives: October 2013

Darren Smith of the Mighty 1090 is one of the smartest sports radio hosts in the business.  He picked up on something that Rivers said in his remarks following the win on Monday night about how the Colts were going to play against Gates.  It was really a great catch and Darren took it a step further asking Rivers about it on his Tuesday appearance on his show. Below is a tweet from 1090’s Jordan Carruth about the question and Philips’ answer.

So maybe Philip Rivers is more of a tech guy than we think. In his post game remarks, Rivers took a shot at ESPN for their ads leading up to the game as they blatantly only featured Andrew Luck. If you missed the ad or the response (at about the 26 second mark), I’m including them both below.


But the Manusky comment was even more compelling. It shows the level of research Rivers is doing for every game and really it’s quite brilliant. Why not take advantage of the information age we live in and find out as much as you can about what the other team is thinking about and how they’re going to approach you. Side note: this also makes me appreciate the cliche heavy speak Mike McCoy gives when he talks about the team.

So I took to the Colts site to find this alleged video of Manusky, and sure enough I found it. At about the 2:40 mark the question is asked about premiere tight ends and what the philosophy of Manusky is for handling Gates. Manusky goes onto mention exactly what Philip picked up on. The interesting thing is that Rivers first couple throws were to Gates (Colts were all over him) regardless of the intel, but this then helped him figure he should look elsewhere. I’m including the audio of the press conference below as I couldn’t include the video. But it’s all from Colts.com and the full video can be seen here.

Just when I thought I couldn’t love Rivers anymore, he goes and does this. Amazing.

Thanks for reading.
Justin Holmerud

Links to full Youtube Videos:
Luck MNF promo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YV6qOXLDUKo
Rivers postgame: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2OWNHQX2Ok

The San Diego Chargers will enter Monday Night Football as the 21st “best” rushing attack in the league.  Our leading rusher is Ryan Mathews who has 67 attempts and 234 yards and ZERO scores.  Second on the list is Danny Woodhead who has 28 rushes for 107 yards on the ground with ZERO scores.  Actually, Ronnie Brown who has 21 carries and 66 yards, has the only rushing touchdown this season.  To make things even better, Ryan Mathews has the longest run play on the season for a chunky 20 yards.  Oh, by the way, PHILIP RIVERS is second with an 18 yard (and maybe even 18 seconds) trot.

The Chargers post an average of 91 yards rushing per game and have 456 total rushing yards on the season.  This obviously shows that this phase in football is severely lacking productivity for your Bolts.  I will be the first to say that while I am not drooling over our RB corps, I am fairly content with the backs on our roster.  What I have a problem with is that we are ground game is not respected by opposing defenses.

Time to blame the offensive line here? NO!  I get it, there is a next man up every week on the offensive line, the next man up is not always the guy we like.  Here is the thing, nothing will change, during this season anyway.  We are not going to just breed Pro bowl lineman over the next 10 weeks.  Blame the offensive line for a quick scapegoat, but what really needs to happen is a running back epiphany. Our backs must realize nothing is getting too much better on the front line, so they must improvise.  No, I am not giving the lineman a pass, but I am tired of beating that dead horse.

The point is, our running back corps must find a jolt soon. They have to create some of their own plays.  Tonight could be the time and the place to do so.  We must open the pass up by being feared in the run game.  Indianapolis will assuredly recognize Rivers’ streak of 400+ yard passing games and commit themselves to stopping our aerial assault.  We must take advantage of this and run effectively.

#ReadTheBlitz

Jarvis Royall

Foster1

 

 

 

I’ve spent my last two columns dissecting the Chargers issues, particularly in the Running Back department. I am not now, nor will I ever be a Ryan Mathews fan. His exploits and (mis)adventures on the field are well documented. My final keystrokes in this trilogy will be exploring a solution to this quandry. It goes without saying that Mathews doesn’t have to go home but he can’t stay here.  A trade would be ideal but what team would burn a pick on him?

After a while a player gets pigeonholed, categorized. Good. Great. Bad. Average. The book on Mathews is injury prone, fumbler. Two of the worst tags a professional running back can ask for or earn. Mathews has one less fumble than he does touchdowns in his career. Defensive coordinators know this and there’s not a defense out there that isn’t waiting to see him on the field to add more turnovers to their ledger.

Being the solutions oriented columnist I am, I have ideas. Short term fixes to be sure, but a significant improvement from problem number 24. Looking around the league, the cupboard is dangerously bare but if a deal for Trent Richardson can materialize from out of thin air, who is absolutely inexpendable? Let’s look at some names.  Those of you who follow me on Twitter know my first pick:

 

1. Michael ‘The Burner’ Turner: Former San Diego fan favorite, Turner proved to be a valuable asset behind LaDainian Tomlinson from 2004 to 2007. Turner would come on in the fourth quarter and bowl defenders over with brute power after defenses had tired of chasing LT. At 5’10” he ran with deceptive power and breakaway speed. In 2008, he broke off an 83 yard run. In 2009, he had a 73-yard run. In 2010, a run for 74.  Ryan Mathews longest run? 39 yards in 2011. Turner has had a longer run in each of his seasons since 2004.  Fumbles? Turner only fumbled twice in four seasons in San Diego, 17 times total in nine seasons. Turner puts the ball on the carpet once every 100 times he touches the ball. Mathews has dropped it once every 57 times he touches the ball. Mathews has 13 in four seasons. Turner has done something Mathews has never done and that’s complete a full season. As a matter of fact, Turner has completed 5 of the last 6 seasons without missing a game.

Inexplicably, the Falcons released Turner at the end of last season and he has not received a call to join another team. Turner excelled as a feature back, gaining over 1300 yards in three of his five seasons in Atlanta., averaging at least 10 touchdowns a season. Turner seems to be long in the tooth at 31 years old but he’s only had five seasons as a true starter. Having nothing to do but watch and train from home, Turner would be a great replacement for Mathews until a blue chip running back can be drafted and groomed.

2. Maurice Jones-Drew: MJD plays on the worst team in the league in Jacksonville.  He is not injured but the Jaguar offense is so atrocious he has had no effectiveness so far this season.  MJD would benefit mightily in an offense with a Pro bowl quarterback like Rivers and an offense that has managed to average almost thirty points a game without the benefit of a solid ground game. MJD is a human bowling ball and defensive players league-wide have recalled (sometimes with dread) how hard it is to tackle him. That’s the type of clout you want to have with defenses.

The Jaguars have already began selling off their assets and with the contract dispute MJD has had with Jaguars ownership, he would be beneficial to both sides. MJD gets to play on a significantly better team while Mathews could be traded to Jacksonville and the Jaguars gain his expiring contract and can keep him on the cheap or cut him after his contract expires next season. A running back like MJD would really open up McCoy’s offense and defenses would have to pick their poison. Stack the box to stop MJD and Rivers will carve up the secondary with play action. Play coverage and MJD will gash the defensive line for five yards a pop. That’s not hyperbole, that’s what MJD has averaged over his career.

3. Arian Foster: I know, it’s very pie in the sky and extremely unlikely. If the Texans continue on their downward spiral, who’s to say Foster won’t be in play come the trade deadline? Clearly, the problem in Houston isn’t Foster, it’s quarterback Matt Schaub. Houston’s signal caller will probably be benched by the Texans bye week if they don’t start winning now. However, every team has a price. Sending Mathews and conditional draft picks would be signed off on by every Charger fan in existence.

 

It’s not too late to make a serious push for the playoffs. It may look like the Broncos and Chiefs are leaving the Chargers behind, but beating those teams puts the Chargers right back in the hunt. There are a lot of winnable games left on the schedule and it’s not too late to make the AFC West a three-horse race. Let’s hope McCoy and Telesco pull the plug on the Mathews experiment sooner rather than later and fill that slot with a back who can actually produce. What do you think? Fire 24 or am I speaking too soon?

 

Bolt Up!!

 

 

#TelescoMagic

 

 

The Greg One

 

 

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Philip Rivers’ sizzling start to the NFL season is not reflected as it should be in the Chargers 2-3 start to the season. Such is life for a team that has been beset by injuries at key positions on offense and defense for the last number of years. Rivers has been overshadowed by the otherworldly start Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos have had this season.

The Chargers are decimated by injuries on the defensive line headlined by the season-ending injury to free agent pickup Dwight Freeney. The defensive line is down to playing guys slated for the second and even third units. The secondary has given up big plays at every position. On offense, the running game has been non-existent. Ryan Mathews continues to fail to make an impact and has been taken out of the game for long stretches at a time, and not because of injury. The passing game is missing its top two receiving threats for the season in Danario Alexander and Malcolm Floyd.

Until last week, the Chargers have been in every game, deep into the fourth quarter. The gave away a fourth quarter lead to Houston in the opener and lost by a field goal as time expired in the home opener. They dominated the Titans before giving up the game winning touchdown in the last 15 seconds of the game. For all intents and purposes, this team is a couple of  breakdowns in team discipline from being 4-1.

A chance to show they are still in the playoff hunt can be achieved by beating the resurgent Indianapolis Colts in prime time on Monday Night Football tonight. The Colts are the sexy pick to make waves in the playoffs this season. Andrew Luck is one of the “Chosen Ones”, a group of still green quarterbacks who play beyond their years (Griffin, Kaepernick, Wilson). Luck has led nine fourth quarter comebacks in his short career. The Colts have got the job done with a stingy defense and blossoming stars on offense to compliment Luck like wide receiver T.Y. Hilton and tight end Coby Fleener, who played alongside Luck at Stanford. The Colts are 4-1 and in first place in their division.

This game is rich in storylines. New Chargers GM Tom Telesco was one of the architects of the Colts rise from worst to first last season as the Director of Player Personnel, a draft centered around the pick of Luck and the complete overhaul of the roster. Telesco is again using that same formula to remake the Chargers and this will be an interesting dynamic with these teams being a virtual mirror image of one another. This game also features a clash between brothers. The Colts head coach, Chuck Pagano, will call plays against his brother, Chargers defensive coordinator, John Pagano. Finally, there is the Quarterback battle featuring the next big thing in Andrew Luck versus the second hottest quarterback in the league, the much less ballyhooed Philip Rivers. Rivers star has flickered a little after last week’s performance against the Raiders but he still had the Chargers in a position to win until an untimely interception unraveled their hopes late in the game.

The Chargers got their first mainstream attention as they became the first team to solve the brand-spanking new Chip Kelly Philadelphia Eagles Oregon-style offense in a game no one gave them a chance to win. A win against the Colts will gain them even more notoriety given the trajectory the Colts are currently on. The only real difference in the Colts and the Chargers are the Colts have managed to stay healthy. Both feature stars on both sides of the ball but the Colts stars have been able to stay on the field for an entire season.

This is a winnable game for San Diego. The Chargers have to create pressure on Luck. For all his abilities and accolades, he has been hit more than any quarterback in the league since his rookie season. The Colts upgraded their running game immensely with the addition of Trent Richardson two weeks ago. Richardson is still learning the ropes in this new offense and its better the Chargers face him now than when he’s fully meshed in the Colts offense.

The makeshift Chargers offensive line is markedly better than last season’s makeshift offensive line. If they can keep the NFL’s leading pass rusher in the Colts Robert Mathis off of Rivers, Rivers has shown there isn’t a defense he can’t carve into ribbons, even if his receiving corps is composed of rookies and players who are finally just getting their first full regular season action like Vincent Brown.

This game will not be a defensive battle. The Colts are stacked at the skill positions which is their biggest advantage and why they are expected to win.  Could Telesco be the Chargers trump card? Telesco has intricate knowledge of the entire team and now that intel belongs to the Chargers. No one speaks of that wrinkle but there’s no doubt that knowledge is being filtered down to every position coach on the team. One thing is for sure. Many points will be scored and both quarterbacks will put on a show. Expect a better than advertised outcome and an impressive, unexpected Chargers win on Monday Night.

 

Greg Williams

Is there a way to somehow take all three of our tight ends and combine them into one?  With the youth and speed of Green, route running of Gates and blocking of Phillips, we would have the complete tight end.  It’s a mystery these three don’t end up on the field more often together, especially Green and Gates.  Everyone knows Antonio Gates isn’t the best run blocker, but he’s changed the position of tight end forever in the passing game.

With this game, you never want to establish any kind of tendency that the defense can pickup on.  As it stands right now, Gates has been on the field for 303 total snaps according to Pro Football Focus.  Of those, roughly 35% of those have been run plays.  In looking at three other teams with good receiving tight ends with good passing offenses, (Denver, Carolina and Green Bay) their tight ends are closer to being on the field for 40-45% of run plays.  I would guess the Chargers would like that mix to be a little bit higher, but our run game has also struggled.

No one is expecting Green to be the next Gates.  We’ve seen that unfair comparison already with Ryan Mathews.  The hard part is, we’ve seen flashes  But the truth is, Green has been on the field for 55 snaps this season, which is 16 more than he had all of last year.  Of his 55 snaps, 37 have been to either run or pass block.  Green hasn’t been a horrible blocker, but I think we’d like to see a little more two tight end sets with Green and Gates running routes.  This may be a little difficult to watch (since it was against SDSU), but I’d like to show how many places Green lined up in this game.  Some of the throws were pretty bad, but you’ll get the point.

With the turnstile that has become our offensive line due to injuries, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more sets like this.  They can line Gates or Green in so many different places to help create mismatches on linebackers and safeties.  This also can open up routes for guys like Vincent Brown and Danny Woodhead.

I don’t pretend to be a guy that knows the X’s and O’s as well as some of the other Charger faithful, but I see an opportunity to create some mismatches given our talent and our depleted offensive line.  I’ll be curious tonight to see if we see some different formations that include more 2 tight end sets.

Thanks for reading.

Justin Holmerud

 

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Tomorrow night the Chargers face their toughest test of this young season.  The team hosts the Indianapolis Colts on Monday Night football.  These are the same Colts that managed to knock off both the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks.  It is safe to say that they aren’t too shabby.

Indianapolis is led by second-year Quarterback Andrew Luck.  Despite having a below average offensive line, Luck has managed to put up solid numbers in 2013.  His stats to this point include 1,144 yards passing with a completion percentage of 62.2%.  Among those passes he has thrown 7 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions.

San Diego’s Monday night foe just recently consummated a trade that left some Charger fans wishing that it was done by former Colt front office member, Tom Telesco.  Indy shipped a 2014 first round draft choice to the Cleveland Browns to acquire Running Back Trent Richardson.  Although Richardson was able to get the ball in the endzone often while in Cleveland, he did not necessarily show the ability that you’d expect from the number three pick in an NFL draft.  However, Richardson is only 22 years old.  There is still plenty of time for him to hone his craft and become a future superstar in this league.  Although I’m not sure that the Colts should have given up a first round pick to gain the services of Trent Richardson, I do believe that the move will pay dividends in the near future.

When assessing the success of Andrew Luck, while knowing that he is calling plays behind a subpar offensive line, you  need only to look as far as the receiving corp that he has at his disposal.

Now that he is going into his 13th season, Reggie Wayne knows defenses before most young defenders know their own defenses.  Wayne has obviously lost a step.  And yet, he must be salivating at opportunity to test the Charger secondary tomorrow night.  Wayne is a crafty veteran with incredibly sure hands.  The fact that he stayed in Indianapolis after “that one guy” left shows that he had to believe in the young signal caller in Luck.  My hope is that he does not give the Bolts’ defensive backs fits during the game.

Another weapon to contend with is T.Y. Hilton.  I might go as far as to say that, unless you play fantasy football, you might not know who this guy is at wideout for the Colts.  Hilton is known for stretching the field and defenses are still getting burned by this speedster out of Florida International.  He will certainly be a force to be reckoned with knowing that the over-the-top help has been non-existent in the Charger secondary.  Meaning, Marcus Gilchrist has been really, really bad at covering his portion of the field in ANY type of coverage.  It goes without saying, for those of you that breakdown the tape, Eric Weddle has spent a substantial amount of time playing in what could be considered a Linebacker/Box Strong Safety spot.  He has also managed to moonlight at his intended position of Free Safety and additional Cornerback in some defensive sets.  He’s a busy guy.

The Colts have lost sophomore Tight End Dwayne Allen for the year.  The good news for them is that Coby Fleener was the first of the two Tight Ends that were selected in last year’s draft.  Though Fleener had an injury-riddled rookie campaign, he has already had an impact in 2013.  Similar to Hilton, although at a different position, his speed at TE should test the Charger defense.

I refuse to write anything about Darius Heyward-Bey-Rucker-Huxtable-Perry.  Why, you ask?  Because we just dropped a game to the former Raider Wide Receiver’s team.  He is fast.  He could spell trouble for the Chargers.

Well, there you have it.  This game will certainly be a barometer for the dilapidated San Diego defense.  They have taken on the form of the 32nd ranked pass defense in the NFL.  Actually, they have earned that distinction.  And now they have a kid that is attempting to live up to the hype of former Colt Quarterback, Peyton Manning.

Stay tuned to BoltBlitz as later today I look at the Indy defense, both the Charger offense and defense, another quest to find quality writers for the site and I’ll finally be posting my “Get to know the staff” piece about me.

Better late than never?  The jury is still out.

 

Booga Peters

 

 

AFCWEST2

 

 

Let the title sink in for a minute.

Despite having the same record as the Oakland Raiders at 2-3, the Chargers, for those of you that live under a rock, just lost to them.

THE Oakland Raiders.

Although I was nowhere near surprised by the loss, it still sucked having to watch one of the worst games played by a San Diego team full of over-achievers where so much went wrong right from the beginning.  I suppose that I didn’t go into this season with hopes that could be considered “high.”  I still stand by my offseason prediction of San Diego finishing with a 7-9 record.  But I must admit that I had the Raider game marked as a win.

The fact that the Chargers are sitting in the basement of the AFC West may seem even worse  knowing that both the Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs have yet to lose even a single game between them.  The Bolts have yet to play either of their other AFC West enemies and, at this point, I’m not quite sure they’re ready to do so.

Speaking of enemies, San Diego’s biggest foe this season has been the injury bug.  It is almost like there has not been a week that passes by without the Bolts suffering another injury setback.  Although the Chargers have had more than their fair share of season-ending injuries, the game-to-game ailments have slowed the team’s progress as well.

This is currently a young team with a solid veteran presence among the ranks.  But there are a ton of holes that lead me to believe that this is going to be a long season.  Tom Telesco was dealt a tough hand when hired and he knew that he would have to be patient and go through some growing pains during his rookie campaign as a General Manager with the Chargers.

Despite the fact that I don’t expect much from the 2013 San Diego Chargers, I still come close to suffering a heart attack before, during and after every game they play.  I expected these types of feelings to change as I got older.  That is not the case.  Being a lifelong fan of the Chargers has taught me that it is not easy being a diehard fanatic of the team in America’s finest city.

The fact of the matter is, I love the team for everything that they are and everything that they are not.  Right now they are in last place of the AFC West.

And I couldn’t love them anymore than I already do.

 

Booga Peters

 

It’s a natural response for us as fans to want to point blame when our team isn’t very good. Is it the coaching? Is it the front office? Is it the execution by the players? Is it the talent level?

Many fellow fans, who I consider to be knowledgeable about football in general and the Chargers specifically, picked the Chargers to finish this season no better than .500. Now, I don’t include myself in that crowd, but my preseason prediction was 7-9, and I stand by that.

I listen religiously to Sirius-XM NFL Radio in the car. On my way home from work, Alex Marvez (@alexmarvez) and Bill Polian were talking to a dedicated fan of another team on this very subject today. They were talking about who’s to blame for their fall, just like many Charger fans talk about who’s to blame for the losses in Oakland, in Tennessee, at home against Houston.

Bottom line, is the team just isn’t that good right now. Tom Telesco and Mike McCoy are mere months into their new positions. With only one offseason and one draft under their belts, it’s too soon to judge their overall vision. Telesco took over a cap-strapped, aging and underperforming team. He decided to blow it up, infusing the roster with new and mostly younger blood. Nothing at all wrong with that. New GM needs to put his stamp on his team, so out with the old and in with the new.

The 2013 Chargers lack depth, they lack TALENT on the depth chart. Derek Cox and Richard Marshall have not impressed anyone. Both have spent too much time in the toaster and have been burnt beyond recognition. Shareece Wright and Johnny Patrick have been hurt, so nobody really knows what the two third year corners are capable of at this point. Marshall and Cox just haven’t shown the ability to cover much of anything. John Pagano really can’t be blamed for the soft coverage when these two regularly get burnt. Marcus Gilchrist has been less than adequate in his new position, but should improve with experience. Both the defensive and offensive lines are paper-thin. Corey Liuget and Kendall Reyes have been held at bay and Cam Thomas up the middle has been a non-factor. The additions of Sean Lissenmore and Lawrence Guy should help along with the development of rookie Kwame Geathers. Losing DE/OLB Dwight Freeney to IR was a devastating blow to this unit.

On the other side, it’s a patchwork line protecting Philip Rivers again this year. Guard Chad Rinehart has been hurt, forcing Johnnie Troutman into more snaps than anyone planned on. Steve Schilling adds depth. Tackles King Dunlap, Mike Harris and D.J. Fluker have all been hurt at one point or another. The only constant this year has been veteran center Nick Hardwick.

The backfield has been an utter disappointment. Ryan Mathews has been ineffective, and now is hurt yet again. Danny Woodhead has picked up some of the slack along with Ronnie Brown, but neither are an every down back. Fullback LeRon McClain has been seriously under utilized. It’s time to look for another backfield option.

No single unit has been impacted by injury like the wide receiving corps with both Malcolm Floyd and Danario Alexander lost for the year. Vincent Brown and rookie Keenan Allen have stepped up in the absence of the preseason top two WRs. Tight End is the only position that’s been clean all year. Antonio Gates has found the fountain of youth and everyone is high on Ladarius Green.

The Chargers are experiencing growing pains. If the guillotine is to be oiled and sharpened, who is first in line? Can any one person be blamed?

 

Mike Pisciotta

KeenanVincent

 

 

37 catches, 433 yards, and 2 touchdowns….

Those numbers are the stats of third round draft picks Keenan Allen ( 2013 3rd round ) and Vincent Brown (2011 3rd round ) combined so far this season, our prized and youthful receivers.  Not too sexy, but the reason I find those numbers attractive is because of what the rookie has contributed.  Keenan Allen, WR out of Cal, has amassed 225 yards on 14 catches so far this year.  11 catches and  195 yards came in the past two contests, which just so happens to be the first two contests Malcolm Floyd (Injured-Reserve) has been out.

Vincent Brown is having a pretty good year, he has not been as productive as I would have liked, but he is coming off of missing the entire 2012 season due to a broken ankle.  He has 23 catches, which is 3rd among his fellow Bolts, for 208 yards and a score.  I am sure with Floyd out Brown will seize the many opportunities that will become available.  He and Keenan Allen will be a viable duo in the near future.

Due to such a “deep” WR corps, Keenan was not expected to contribute too much too soon for San Diego.  I expected a decent year but this is not about me, right?  Danario Alexander, Malcolm Floyd, Vincent Brown, Eddie Royal and even Ro**** Meac*** were all reasons to stash #13 on the back burner for a while.  Five weeks into the season, two of those receivers are currently on IR while the other one is no longer our problem.  Keenan’s “redshirt” season is over. He is now needed.  Not only is Allen required to fit the boot, he looks pretty damn good in it.  He is currently second on the team in receiving yards and averaging 16 yards per snag.

I am not surprised, rather, I’m pleased that what I thought would come to fruition later in the season, is happening so soon.  Allen is very much so a bright spot on this Charger offense and could prove to be so for a long time coming.

#ReadTheBlitz

Jarvis Royall

It’s funny that I think we all went into this year thinking the Chargers defense would be the strength of this team.  I for one thought that with the players added and maturity of the current players, we’d see great improvement.  It seems the offense is the strength of this team and there are a few key things we can look at for answers.  The bigger question is should the Chargers go to more of a 4-3 look and abandon the 3-4 defense.

1. Injuries

This may seem like an excuse, but let’s be realistic.  The Chargers have lost two of their best pass rushers, and potentially a third if arguably their best player this year Jarret Johnson.  Throw in the Liuget shoulder injury, Butler groin, Wright hammy, Te’o foot and whatever else we don’t know and you’ve got one banged up defense.  The Chargers d-line has been weak at best this year and no one is winning one on one matchups.  There is no way they can continue to back-fill 3-4 outside linebackers and expect this team to win.  Given a banged up 3-4 d-line that isn’t winning at the line of scrimmage, could be a bit better if there’s a little more meat up front.

2. Yards per play

The Chargers haven’t given up the most points per game or even total points.  But one stat that is telling is that they are dead last in the league in yards per play.  The Chargers defense is giving up 6.5 yards per play.  That number is unreal, but even crazier is that the Denver Broncos are giving up 6.3 yards per play.  That says to me the Chargers aren’t getting the play makers to make a play when they absolutely need it.  It’s a relatively average defense that can’t make the big play to swing momentum the other way.

3. Turnovers 

The defense has 1 interception this year, and that was by Cam Thomas.  The team hasn’t been able to get the big turnover and it’s hurting them overall.  Granted, Rivers and co. haven’t turned it over a ton this year.  Yet their -8 turnover ratio is near the bottom of the league.  Only the Giants, Jets, Steelers and the Matt Schaub turnover machine Texans are worse.  Two of those teams haven’t won a game this year.

I don’t pretend to know the answer.  I do think injuries have plagued this team like no other.  But I do know that McCoy committed to doing what his players do best.  It’s pretty clear a few games in, that we don’t know what that is defensively.  But the 3-4 with all the injuries and players that are playing injured, isn’t working.

Thanks for reading

Justin Holmerud

 

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