Monthly Archives: December 2013
On behalf of the entire staff here at BoltBlitz.com, I’d like to wish you, your friends and family a Happy New Year.
As we venture into the unchartered territory of 2014, it’s extremely exciting to have our Chargers in the playoffs for the first time since 2009. I wish the entire Charger organization, its players and its fans the best of luck in the New Year.
Although I don’t believe in the whole resolution thing, I would like to say that one of my goals is to ensure you all that the amount of content on this site will increase and stay consistent with the needs of its readers and supporters.
Thank you all for everything you have done to add to the success of this website. It means so much to all of us at this staff.
Below you’ll find the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne. Feel free to use them tonight!
Auld Lang Syne New Year’s Eve Song Lyrics
Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot, and old lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.
And surely you’ll buy your pint cup! and surely I’ll buy mine!
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne.
We two have run about the slopes, and picked the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot, since auld lang syne.
We two have paddled in the stream, from morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared since auld lang syne.
And there’s a hand my trusty friend! And give us a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will draught, for auld lang syne.
I was there. I was at Radio City Music Hall the day that a young man by the name of Keenan Allen fell into the Charger’s laps in the third round of the 2013 NFL draft. I was overly surprised that he was till on the board when the Bolts were on the clock.
But I had no clue that his impact would be felt this early in his career. Keenan Allen has an extremely bright future ahead of him. Watching him play this season has been quite the experience. Not sure that I could be more proud of the former Cal Golden Bear.
Yesterday, at Qualcomm Stadium, Allen broke the Charger’s rookie record for receiving yards in a season. The record was formerly held by none other than John “JJ” Jefferson. JJ set the team rookie record the year I was born in 1978 with 1,001 yards receiving. After his 89 yard receiving performance on Sunday, Allen finished his rookie campaign with 1,046 yards.
Allen proved during this season that he should have been the first wide receiver off the board in the draft. His route running is solid and he does a good job positioning his body in an effort to make the catch. To see the rapport that he has built with Philip Rivers in such a short amount of time is incredible. And what’s really scary, at east for opposing defenses, the kid is only going to get better and better. Additionally, Allen didn’t even play one snap in the opening game against the Texans. His numbers could have been even better had he done so.
The Chargers have themselves a fine weapon in the form of Keenan Allen. It will be very fun watching him continue to grow and hone his craft.
Now lets see what he can do to contribute in the postseason. The sky is the limit with Allen. Best of luck to you and the rest of the Chargers on Sunday and going forward.
For the first time in four years, the football gods smiled down on the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers entered Sunday as a long shot to snag the sixth seed in the playoffs. They Chargers need a win and a lot of help from other teams. The Ravens needed to lose at Cincinnati and the Jets had to win in Miami to open the door for the Chargers to get into the playoffs with a win over visiting Kansas City.
Things did not start well. Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton threw an interception on the first play and it led to three Ravens points. On the Bengals second possession Dalton threw another interception, which led to another Ravens field goal. On the Bengals third possession, Dalton threw a perfect deep ball to AJ Green to put the Bengals ahead 7-6. From there the Bengals never looked back, leaving the punchless Ravens scratching their heads and out of the playoffs after paying quarterback Joe Flacco mega millions to make sure that exact thing does not happen.
In Miami, Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill began the game by leading a touchdown drive. From there, the Jets defense took over, intercepting Tannehill three times and pressuring him many more. Dolphins receivers dropped balls, Tannehill overthrew wide open targets and only completed 20 of his 40 attempts. The Jets won easily. Both games were played in the early time slot so the Chargers knew their fate before they took the field. The right teams lost. The door was open.
All they had to do was beat Kansas City.
In another example of Chargers kismet, Chiefs coach Andy Reid decided to rest his starters. No Jamaal Charles, the man who is second in the league in rushing. No Alex Smith. No Dwayne Bowe, out with a concussion. No Tamba Hali. The Chargers were essentially facing the Chiefs second and third teams. Easy breezy right?
Kansas City took the first drive straight down the field and running back Knile Davis ran 17 yards up the middle almost untouched for the first score of the game. The Chargers answered with a touchdown of their own. Chiefs quarterback Chase Daniel threw a touchdown. Rivers answered with a second touchdown of his own. At any time the Chargers defense would start rag dolling these second teamers and cruise into the playoffs. Any time now…
Knile Davis rushed for his second touchdown just before the half and the Chargers found themselves behind 21-14 at halftime in a game that should have been cake. They entered the tunnel to a chorus of boos from the home crowd. They all knew the Chiefs were playing backups and found it embarrassing the Chargers were having such a difficult time dispatching them.
The home crowd neglected to acknowledge three things. It’s still a huge rivalry game against a division opponent. Any game against a division rival is going to be more hard fought than a game against an out of conference opponent. Secondly, they may be backups but they could have an advantage because they’re fresher. They haven’t been taking the week in week out beating the starters are. This was their chance to shine and prove themselves worthy of keeping their jobs as the inevitable roster turnover begins after the Super Bowl. Thirdly, these are the Chargers. We love them to death but they don’t give us easy games. Unless they’re playing Jacksonville or against Eli Manning that is. If you’re a Chargers fan, heart palpitations and anxiety attacks are listed in the program. This game was no exception.
The Chiefs kicked a field goal to go up 24-14 after three quarters. As things looked darkest as minutes ticked away in the fourth quarter, the defense stiffened and the offense scored. Rivers hit Royal for a touchdown. Ryan Mathews picked up chunks of yardage. The defense registered two sacks, they started getting tackles for loss by sniffing out screen passes. Novak hit a field goal with with 3:21 to go to tie the game. The Chargers scored 10 unanswered in the fourth quarter. The Chiefs took the ball and drove down the field. The defense, for all their effort, couldn’t get Daniel off the field. Daniel completed passes of 14, 11 and 24 yards to three different receivers, crossing into San Diego territory and more importantly, field goal territory.
The Chiefs rushed the ball for small amounts of yardage, milking the clock under ten seconds. The Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop ran onto the field. The stadium sat in stunned silence. The Chargers have suffered this kind of fate over and over the last four years, losing in excruciating fashion. The snap was clean, the hold was clean. Succop boomed the ball toward the goalposts.
The football gods smiled.
The kick sailed wide right. The Chargers special teams ran off the field in jubilation. Overtime.
The Chargers won the overtime coin flip and took the ball. After failing to complete on third and two, the Chargers lined up to punt. Then the gutsiest call of the day was made. Direct snap to Weddle. Weddle took the ball and followed the surging offensive line up the middle for the first down, shocking everyone in attendance and the Chiefs themselves. From the Chargers own 28-yard line, it was the last thing you’d expect. Brilliant. Offensive Coordinator Whisenhunt called his best clock killing drive of the season. Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead combined for 9 of the 15 plays the Chargers ran. Mathews picked up big yards on the ground, Woodhead caught passes. Nine and a half minutes later, Novak nailed a 36-yarder to put the Chargers ahead for the first time in the game 27-24.
The Chiefs took the ball. McCluster had a big pass play over the middle for 28 yards but the Chargers defense finally held, and forced the Chiefs into a fourth down incompletion for the win. It was a grueling contest which should have been anything but if you ask anyone, including the wiseguys in Vegas who had the Chargers as 10 point favorites. The Chargers have made the playoffs.
I repeat. The Chargers have made the playoffs!
The football gods finally smiled upon the Chargers and apparently blinded the referees. Due to a new rule in the NFL pertaining to special teams on kicks, a team is prohibited from lining more than six players on any one side of the ball. The Chargers had lined seven men to the left side of the line. A flag should have been thrown and Succop given a rekick. The referees missed it. The Chargers win.
This is the kind of win that lays a new culture of winning. The new regime drafted expertly, signed the right free agents and put a team on the field that could compete with the best teams in the league. The competed and they won against some of the best teams in the league. Philip Rivers and Eric Weddle were both elected to the Pro Bowl. New GM Tom Telesco’s brilliant third round pick Keenan Allen should be the easy choice for offensive rookie of the year.
The new system brought over by new coach Mike McCoy and implemented by new Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt has worked fabulously for the most part. Ryan Mathews completed his first 16 game season and posted a career high in yards. There is a lot to look forward to with Telesco in the war room and McCoy calling the shots.
Getting into the playoffs in the first year of the new regime is the best thing that could have happened. In doing so, they created separation from the Norv/AJ years, the last three in particular. We will now see the two regimes separately more so now than we did at the beginning of the season. The foundation is laid. All the Chargers have to do is win.
There will be playoff football for San Diego now, and for years to come.
The Greg One
We all know the playoff scenario. On Sunday the Chargers need the Ravens and Dolphins to lose even to have a chance at getting into the playoffs. The Ravens plays at Cincinnati and the Dolphins host the Jets. It’s a possibility the cards can fall into place and both games go the Chargers way. That really isn’t the important thing.
The Chargers must beat Kansas City at home on Sunday.
We all want to see the Chargers in the playoffs but the Chargers don’t need to worry about things that aren’t in their control. Even if one of the above mentioned teams wins, it is no excuse for the Chargers to play with anything less than their absolute best. By the time the Chargers come out of the tunnel at Quaalcomm stadium, they will know if they are playing for a spot in the playoffs or not. If so great. If not, doesn’t matter. The win is what matters.
There are rumors that it is common for Andy Reid to rest starters when he knows his team is set to make the playoffs. Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe won’t be playing due to a concussion. Stud pass rusher Tamba Hali will not play due to injuries. Jamaal Charles playing time may be restricted. This game has no bearing on the Chiefs playoff seeding. They are in and they are playing on wild card weekend.
Whether they’re playing the Chiefs reserves or the starters, the Chargers winning will signal a successful beginning of the Telesco/McCoy era. The Chargers are guaranteed at least a .500 record. They were 7-9 last season and they are 8-7 now. A win gives them a winning season and means they closed the season on a 4-game winning streak. The Chargers need that momentum going into the offseason.
We have witnessed a return of Pro Bowl Philip Rivers. Rivers is the fourth highest ranked quarterback in the league and is in the top five in almost every passing category there is. The new offense implemented by McCoy and conducted by OC Ken Whisenhunt has kept Rivers standing upright and completing passes all over the field, putting up sensational numbers.
Ryan Mathews has played in every game this season, a first for him in his career. As a result, he has posted a career high in yards with 1,111 yards and 6 touchdowns. Mathews has played very well the last half of the season. Next season is Mathews’ last season before his rookie contract expires. A repeat of this season’s effort could earn him a veteran contract. The one-two combination of Mathews and Woodhead has been a success and will be lethal if Mathews can show he is durable enough to be counted on week in and week out.
The offensive line has turned into a cohesive unit and with one week left Rivers has been sacked almost 20 fewer times than he was last season. DJ Fluker has been every bit worth his draft position to the point where his exclusion from the Pro Bowl should be considered a snub. King Dunlap has played admirably. Clary at guard has been a great decision. The entire line is playing their best when it counts, at the end of the season. This line will only get better.
All the new names on defense from rookies Mantei Teo, Jahleel Addae and Tourek Williams to guys getting starters minutes like Thomas Keiser and Andrew Gachkar have thrived. They will make great second unit once the injured stars like Dwight Freeney, Larry English, Melvin Ingram and rookie draft pick Steve Williams return at full strength next season.
A 9-7 record highlighted by a four game end of season win streak is the objective. That’s a wave of momentum that can sway free agents to San Diego, highlights areas to enhance in the draft and sends the team into the offseason on a high. That momentum then flows into offseason workouts, minicamps, training camp and preseason. Playoffs or not, getting the win is the most important thing the Chargers can do for themselves.
The Greg One
Regardless of what happens Sunday afternoon, I consider this first season under Tom Telesco and Mike McCoy a success. Yeah, I’ve been very critical at times, but I didn’t expect to find our boys in a position to contend for a playoff spot at this point in the season. Truth be told, I had them at 7-9 on the year.
I’m not going to rehash the mistakes. What’s done is done and not the point of this piece. Here’s why I consider this season to be a success, playoffs or not:
Philip Rivers has put together a Pro Bowl year. His 4249 passing yards ranks fourth in the NFL, his 69.7 completion percentage leads the league and he’s cut down on his mistakes with only ten interceptions.
Ryan Mathews has quieted his doubters this year. He’s been durable, he’s held on to the football, he’s turned the corner to become the back everyone hoped he would. Mathews has achieved career highs in games played, rushing yards and rushing attempts. Add to that he’s only fumbled twice, and only lost one of those.
The offensive line was supposed to be the Achilles’s heel going into the beginning of the season. Just about everyone on the line missed time due to injury. Chargers played with three LTs, two RTs, 75,000 guards. Even Nick Hardwick missed time to injury, yet surrendered only 27 sacks, third best in the NFL They’ve afforded Rivers time to find an open receiver and have opened up running lanes for Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead.
Keenan was an absolute STEAL in the third round. He came off the bench with the loss of Danario Alexander and Malcolm Floyd to put together a compelling argument for Offensive Rookie of the Year. He needs 43 yards to hit the 1,000 yard plateau. He’s already beaten John Jefferson’s rookie record for receiving yards.
Eric Weddell also earned Pro Bowl honors this year. He’s been rock steady on the defense as a player, leader and teacher of the younger players. He continues to be considered one of the top safeties in the game today and his leadership has helped gel the Bolt’s defensive unit.
All in all, though a playoff berth is what all Charger fans want to see, even if they fall short, the season should still be considered a success. We all should be excited about the upcoming offseason and see what talent Telesco brings in with cap room to work with.
When the roster was announced for the players that made the Pro Bowl, I immediately recognized the lack of surprise behind the selections of both Philip Rivers and Eric Weddle. But, another quick-twitch reaction was the fact that neither Darrell Stuckey, nor Ryan Mathews, made the squad. Upon further review, Stuckey was snubbed and Mathews was not.
Do not get me wrong, Ryan Mathews has had a breakout 2013 campaign. The tenacity and hard-running that has been on display is certainly something for the organization and its fans to be proud of without a doubt. But when you look at the names in front of the fourth year back, it comes as no surprise that he was not included.
Lets take a look at the running backs that did make the Pro Bowl. They are listed below.
- Jamaal Charles Not only did Charles earn a Pro Bowl nod, he should be in the running for the NFL’s MVP honor.
- Matt Forte He just so happens to be one of the most under-rated players in the NFL; even among Bear fans.
- Marshawn Lynch This guy gets his #BeastMode running style from hard work and Skittles. Awesome ball carrier.
- Adrian Peterson What more can be said about Peterson? I don’t feel the need to elaborate.
- LeSean McCoy This runner was already a duel threat but the Chip Kelly offense has enhanced his talent for sure.
- Frank Gore I am a big fan of Gore. He earned this spot, in my opinion. Despite Colin’s struggles, he’s been solid.
Looking at this list, it is obvious that the NFC running backs dominated in comparison to those that play in the AFC. Had the vote been similar to past years, Mathews would have been a lock to make another Pro Bowl.
In an effort to point out my appreciation for Mathews, I’d take him over a couple of the running backs that were selected for the NFL’s most meaningless game. Additionally, if he runs the way he has for the latter part of the 2013 season, he may just pass them all up in 2014.
Thanks a lot for reading.
You all know the drill when it comes to these poll articles. Place your vote and then leave a comment at the bottom stating why you voted the way that you did.
Although the odds are not forever in our favor – a little Hunger Games reference – I do feel there is a good chance that when the ball kicks off at Qualcomm Stadium the Chargers may be in position to earn the first playoff visit since the 2009 season.
I know it’s been talked about ad nauseum, but just a quick reminder of what help the Bolts need on Sunday.
– The Cincinnati Bengals must beat the Baltimore Ravens
– The New York Jets must beat the Miami Dolphins.
But what I think doesn’t matter for the purpose of this poll. Place your vote. Leave a comment. And we’ll all discuss it below.
Thanks a lot for reading and voting.
As some of you already know, I am currently on a flight to the best city in all of the world, San Diego. I am extremely excited for this trip due to the playoff implications of tomorrow’s game.
As always, I hope to be able to meet as many of you as possible. Today is kind of all over the place regarding where I’ll be and what I’ll be doing. However, I do know that we’ll be at Buffalo Wild Wings at the location that used to be Seau’s. Feel free to meet up with us there. I believe that we should be there around 10:30 pm tonight.
Other than that, you can contact me via the website in the comment section, Twitter ( @BoogaP ), send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call/text if you have my cell number.
Again, with this being the last regular season game for the Chargers, I would like to meet as many of you as possible. I am writing this while on my flight and I’ll also be posting articles during this trip as well. If you aren’t already, be sure to follow me on Twitter for gameday updates and highlights. I’d also like to remind everyone that I’ll be attending the post-game press conference. Be sure to keep it locked on BoltBlitz.com for some seriously in-depth coverage of Sunday’s game versus the Chiefs.
It is no secret that the Chargers lost a few games that they had no business losing. We have all gone over those losses and I feel that we won’t accomplish anything by rehashing events that cannot be changed. Let us, instead, focus on this Sunday and what needs to happen for the Bolts to venture into the postseason for the first time since the 2009 campaign.
San Diego is going to need a little help in the form of both a Baltimore loss and a Miami Loss. The teams face the Bengals and the Jets respectively. It is my opinion that those contests are toss-ups as far as who could ultimately end up the victor. For Charger fans, the hope is that the team from America’s finest city proves to win due to victories by Cincinnati and New York. Oh, yeah. San Diego must then win their matchup versus the Kansas City Chiefs.
The game at Qualcomm has, perhaps, been overlooked due to the Charger win at Arrowhead earlier this season. Despite the rumors that Andy Reid may rest many of his starters – as his coaching track record shows – you just never know until the game is being played.
Even if the Chiefs are playing their backups and their backup’s backups, the Chargers must play this game like it’s a playoff game. Because, quite frankly, it is a playoff game, in theory.
I feel confident that I can speak on behalf of every Charger fan that this playoff drought must come to an end. Although many of us did not peg this team as a playoff-caliber team, with a little bit of help, they have indeed positioned themselves to possibly receive an invitation to the dance. A dance that has taken place for three consecutive years without your San Diego Chargers.
Is it time for the fans of the Chargers to have something to root for during the playoffs? That is not something that I can answer. But, we will all know soon enough.
For those of you that don’t know, I was lucky enough to get a press pass for the game against Kansas City. I’ll be up in the box with the rest of the media. At the conclusion of the game, I’ll be attending the post-game press conference. I’ll be doing a quick article tonight that will allow you to leave your questions for the players and coaches that will be stepping to the podium.
Additionally, make sure you’re following me on Twitter, @BoogaP. I’ll have live in-game updates regarding plays, stats, injuries etc. Be sure to check out BoltBlitz.com for articles and posts this weekend, too. I’ll be providing the most in-depth coverage that time permits while on this week 17 visit to San Diego. I look forward to getting you as much information as possible.
It took almost a full season but the San Diego Chargers are finally starting to become the team we envisioned at the beginning of the season. The possibility of a team that would once again become playoff relevant looked good but not great as the Chargers took a 4-3 record into the bye week. The bye week came as the Chargers had won two straight games against Indianapolis and Jacksonville. After the bye, the Chargers dropped three straight games to fall to 4-6. With that losing streak, all hope for a return to prominence looked lost.
The Chargers went to Arrowhead to face the Chiefs. The Chiefs were 9-1 and coming off their first loss at Denver. The Chargers took it to the Chiefs and won a shootout 41-38. That win began a Chargers run that has seen them win four of their last five games. The Chargers now sit at 8-7 with a shot at getting into the playoffs if they can beat the Chiefs at home and the right teams lose on Sunday.
What has been the reason for this turnaround? The offensive line has solidified and while it isn’t a list of marquee names, the same guys are suiting up every week and staying on the field. Last season the offensive line was a turnstile with a new starting five almost every week. First round draft pick D.J. Fluker has done a great job at right tackle, helping open holes for the running backs. When starting left tackle King Dunlap missed games because of a concussion, Fluker moved to left tackle and played just as well. Jeromey Clary has found new life at right guard, Nick Hardwick hasn’t missed a game at center. Rich Ohrnberger, Johnnie Troutman and Chad Rinehart have all played well at left guard. The unit is playing better as the weeks go by and it shows. Rivers has been sacked 27 times through 15 weeks this season. Last season, Rivers was sacked a league high 49 times, a drastic improvement.
Ryan Mathews has found his stride and has put together his best season as a pro. Whether it was a change in philosophy or the new system implemented by head coach Mike McCoy, Mathews has run with a purpose and was one yard away (he had 99 against Oakland) from tying LeSean McCoy with six 100-yard rushing games this season. Mathews has more 100 yard games than higher profile backs like Jamaal Charles(4), Arian Foster(2), DeMarco Murray(3), Alfred Morris(3), Matt Forte(4) and has as many Adrian Peterson(5).
Mathews has run for over 100 yards in five of the last ten games and has a 99 yard game as well. For the first time in his career, he is set to play all 16 games and has already posted a career best 1,111 yards rushing. The Chargers are 4-1 when Mathews rushes for 100.
As a result of the first two factors, Philip Rivers is having an All-Pro season. Only Peyton Manning has more 400 yard games(4) than Rivers(3). Rivers is the fourth highest ranked quarterback in the league.
Wide receiver Keenan Allen was rushed into the starting lineup after a season ending injury to Malcolm Floyd. Allen quickly became the number one receiver and has burst onto the scene over the last 11 games. If Keenan Allen isn’t the Offensive Rookie Of The Year, the award should be discontinued due fraud. Allen is going to be a big name in the NFL as he gets years under his belt.
A who’s who of big names on defense hit the injured list before the season began including Melvin Ingram, Dwight Freeney, Larry English and draft pick Steve Williams. Out of that necessity, lesser names have had to fill greater roles, thrust into the spotlight as starters. As a result, unknowns such as Thomas Keiser, Andrew Gachkar, Bront Bird, Sean Lissemore and rookies Tourek Williams and Mantei Te’o have logged significant playing time and thrived. Now the defense has solidified and become a cohesive unit. The defense now has 33 sacks, 74 passed defensed, 11 interceptions and forced 11 fumbles (recovering 6).
The Chargers have finally all come together and look like one of those teams no one will want to play should they get into the playoffs. They played as close to a perfect game as possible in beating the Giants at home and Broncos in Denver with only five days between games. They played sloppily in the first half of the Raiders game but took over the game in the second half and cruised to victory.
The story of the season is the Chargers have beaten Denver, Kansas City, Dallas, Indianapolis and Philadelphia. Each are teams who are now or were at the top of their division. Their quality of wins are excellent. They have lost to Washington, Oakland, Tennessee and Houston. Those teams are now or were last in their division. Questionable play calling, poor execution and mental lapses have made the difference in the Chargers being in the playoffs now as opposed to fighting for a spot at the end of the season.
The good news is the Chargers are finally playing together. The offense is on track and all the moving pieces on both sides of the ball are set in place and formed a solid wall instead of a Jenga building. The new faces on defense are making fewer mistakes as they get valuable playing time in and that on-the-field experience has made all the difference here at the end of the season. Those unknowns will make the Chargers a dominating defensive unit once the injured players like Freeney, Steve Williams and Ingram start next season healthy.
At 8-7 the Chargers are guaranteed at least a .500 season. Most (not me) expected the Chargers to finish with fewer than eight wins. The McCoy/Telesco era is already off to a promising start and as this program is reshaped, will only get better.