Monthly Archives: October 2014

 

“When Black Cats Prowl and Pumpkins Gleam, May Luck Be Yours On Halloween!” – Anonymous

Talk about haunting, right?

Well Charger fans! Halloween is fast approaching (literally, hours away) and we know many of you have been prepping up for it, and to dress up as some of the spookiest and most terrifying characters for the night of “Trick or Treating”

Let’s be honest though, after a few years, dressing up as a witch with the REALLY ugly green nose, or as one of the characters from the Addams Family, gets out of style. Let’s try and think of some new ideas to dress up for Halloween.

*LIGHT BULB*

I GOT IT!

How about dressing up as your favorite Charger player!?

Have you thought about workin’ a fancy bolo tie as Philip Rivers? Or style a beard as Eric Weddle? Maybe some sick long hair like Jason Verrett?  The ideas are endless!

Maybe if you don’t want to dress up, you have a unique talent for Pumpkin Craving! How bout carving a Bolt, or a helmet, or something unique representing the Chargers on a pumpkin?

Think you can pull it off? Well I have a treat for you! Share your photos with us on Twitter using the Hashtag #BoltBlitzHalloween, or on Facebook at the BoltBlitzLIVE group, and we’ll share the best of the best Charger costumes on this site for a special article. Show the whole world you are a Charger-nista (Wow, I really wrote that)

HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!

And remember…

“Ghosts and goblins, spooks galore. Scary witches at your door. Jack-O-Lanterns smiling bright. Wishing you a haunting night!” – Anonymous 

– José “Joe” Martínez @JoeLovesMusic24

Share photos with #BoltBlitzHalloween on Twitter and Facebook

Verrett1

 

 

As if the Chargers hadn’t received enough bad news on the injury report, Ian Rapoport just announced that rookie cornerback Jason Verrett has a torn labrum.  He is expected to miss at least 2-3 weeks.

The entire San Diego squad has been beat up.  Major contributors have been lost for the year, and there are many high-quality players that have already missed significant time.

The secondary was looking great with both Brandon Flowers – who is practicing today for the first time since suffering a concussion against the Chiefs – and Verrett in the defensive lineup.  Flowers was the highest rated cornerback via Profootballfocus.com and Jason was the 2nd rated corner.

Considering the week 10 bye is right around the corner, the Bolts will have some time to get players healthy.  The real question surrounding Verrett, is how accurate is the initial diagnosis of him only missing 2-3 weeks?  Although he played through a torn labrum while he was at TCU, it is said that this injury is more severe than the one he suffered as a collegian.

Until Verrett is healthy, defensive coordinator John Pagano will have to creative in his coverage shcemes.  It is paramount that the front-seven applies pressure to opposing quarterbacks in an effort to help out the secondary.

The recent injury news doesn’t come as a real surprise seeing as Verrett left the game in a sling and has yet to return to the practice field.  Once he is healthy again, and the Chargers get back Brandon Flowers, the defense will receive a boost from the 2014 offseason additions in Jason and Brandon.

 

Booga Peters

BoltBlitzMeetup2

 

 

On November 8th, the day before the Chargers week 10 bye, we here at BoltBlitz.com are throwing a bonfire at Fiesta Island at 6:30 pm.  We would like to encourage as many Charger fans as possible to come out and attend and have a great time hanging out.

Like our meetups that we’ve thrown in the past, we will have a raffle consisting of a few awesome Charger jerseys – Chuck Muncie and Corey Liuget – and other Charger-related items.  If you have ever been to one of our meetups, you already know what a good time we have and that we always try to show our appreciation for the readers and supporters of BoltBlitz.com and your San Diego Chargers.

Because there aren’t as many items for the raffle as people are accustomed to, the ticket prices have been reduced to 2 tickets for $5.00 and 5 tickets for $10.00.

For those of you that enjoy adult beverages, glass bottles are completely unacceptable for the event.  Make sure that the beverages you bring are in cans, not bottles.

Myself and Thomas are asking for a little bit of your help.  We need some fans to bring wood for the bonfire.  We have a little bit, but much more is needed.  If you are able to help out by bringing some wood for the fire, please message me on Twitter @BoogaP, private message me on Facebook Dave Booga Peters or text me at 509-301-5838.

We look forward to everyone coming out and having a great time.  There will be some games set up for people to compete against each other including: an egg toss, limbo contest and a couple of other things.  The group picture will be at sunset in order to have the best photo possible.

 

Thanks a lot for reading. Thomas and I hope to see a ton of Charger fans there.

 

Booga Peters

 

 

ChargersDolphins

 

 

Each season is different than the previous in the NFL, while teams relentlessly attempt to improve from prior years. For the Chargers, it has been the last 32 seasons since they have accomplished what they have not since 1982 ( A historic playoff win by a score of 41-38 in one of the best games ever played). That being said, there is some unfinished business still to take care of this week. Heading into week nine, coming with a vengeance, doesn’t even begin to describe the team’s mission.

The Chargers are set to travel to Miami this Sunday and faceoff against the Dolphins. What many may not know is that the Chargers have not won in Miami during the regular season since 1980; even before many fans were born. It’s been over 33 years, a long and drawn out tenure that needs to be demolished and broken this Sunday. Forget the three divisional games played in a row, forget the loss in Denver after only having four days off, and forget that it’s difficult for a west coast team to travel over four hours to play an east coast team because this game is probably the most significant game of this season up to this point.

After Sunday, the Chargers enter their severely needed bye week. Going into Miami with a record of 5-3 isn’t terrible, but if they don’t leave at 6-3, their season is in tremendous jeopardy. No, the sky isn’t falling, but the Bolts face a tough stretch of games to finish off the regular season. Right now there are five AFC teams with a 5-3 record and three teams with a 4-3 record – Miami being one of those 4-3 teams. Already looking at the playoff picture, the Chargers absolutely need to win and head into the bye week at 6-3. If they don’t, the four other 5-3 team’s chances to snag the only two playoff wildcard spots are favorable, leaving the Chargers with no playoff appearance and some incredible soul-searching. It’s vital, like the desert needs rain, for San Diego to accomplish something they haven’t been able to in 3 decades.

It’s no secret that the Chargers are banged up and injured. Even Peyton Manning acknowledged the fact that the Chargers are in desperate need of their key players that are currently rehabilitating to get back on the field. Yet, the Dolphins don’t care. Why should they? It’s already predicted for the ‘Phins to win while adding a home field advantage to the equation.

San Diego has one of the worst rushing offenses right now; ranking 30th in the league facing Miami’s 16th ranked rushing defense. However, it’s Philip Rivers’ arm that can lead them to victory. The Dolphins given up seven touchdown passes in the last three home games. Rivers and company need to perform flawlessly in order to dismantle Miami’s secondary. With the possibility of Donald Brown coming back, and Branden Oliver continuing to impress with his talents, San Diego also looks primed to have a big rushing game against the Dolphins. Miami has allowed 11 rushing TD’s in their last 10 home games. Additionally, they have allowed 3 rushing scores at home this year. With stats like that, there’s absolutely no reason for the Chargers to not come up successful on offense.

Just imagine the plan ride home if the Chargers can get the job done. Envision the celebratory atmosphere and the utmost satisfaction of achieving something that hasn’t been done in decades. The win in Miami isn’t just needed, it’s crucial. The Charger players know how important this is and how it will pave the way back into back-to-back playoff appearances – something that has not been done since 2009. A moment in history will be made this Sunday, but which instant will occur? Another year added onto the already miserable 33? Or will the slump finally be broken? Stay tuned on Sunday and you will find out.

 

Briana Soltis

Team1

 

 

One of these days, either Philip Rivers or Eric Weddle are going to rip off their helmets, grab a microphone, and ask the 50,000 or 60,000 in attendance, “Were you not entertained?”

My prediction would be Weddle considering his look is more in line with what the gladiators of yore looked like back then.  Of course, I doubt either player would do such a thing.  After all, it’s the NFL and not WWE.

However, I wonder sometimes if such a thought ever went through the minds of players for the San Diego Chargers.  After starting the season 5-1 they’ve dropped two straight.  Now, some members of the media are wondering if the impressive start was really that impressive.  Sounds like fans are reliving 2011 all over again.  Would you like me to remind you how that season ended?  I didn’t think so.

After the Denver loss, the Chargers are past the halfway point in the 2014 season.  So, what do you think?

The good:

  1. Philip Rivers is everything we imagined an elite quarterback would be.
  2. Antonio Gates has found the fountain of youth and has been born again.  He is a record-breaking tight end who is reliable to catch much-needed touchdown passes.
  3. Nick Novak can’t miss.  Well, he hasn’t missed when he needs to put points on the board.
  4. Malcom Floyd, Keenan Allen, and Eddie Royal remind me of Wes Chandler, Charlie Joiner, and John Jefferson.
  5. Eric Weddle is the straw that stirs the drink called defense.

The bad:

  1. Just when we all thought the offensive line problems were addressed, apparently the line still can’t block a speedy defense.
  2. When that line can’t block, the run game fails to move the ball.  Thus, ball control can’t get established.
  3. Injuries will catch up with a team, no matter how much the reserves play above their heads.
  4. When the front-seven doesn’t get into the quarterback’s face, the opponent controls the ball and the defense gets winded quickly.
  5. I wouldn’t want John Pagano’s job if it was offered to me.

In my opinion, it would be so easy to blame the past two losses on the secondary, yet it sounds like I’m repeating myself.  In the past few years, it seems like the front office of the Chargers addressed a weak secondary through the draft and/or free agency only to have them underachieve or miss time due to injury. This season, so far, one would have to give the team an incomplete because injuries have made it difficult to really see the potential of the starters.

On the other side of the ball, the offense (before the losing streak), looked great even without starter Ryan Mathews.  Due to injuries, we saw the potential running threat that was Brandon Oliver.  With Mathews’ return imminent (and this season being a contract year), the seven games after the bye week are going to be interesting.

Before the season started, I attended an open training camp and declared on social media that I thought the team was dangerous.  I was reminded that had been the analysis of all 32 teams up to the that point.  As the season started and Chargers were winning, I stopped short of patting myself on the back.  I probably should’ve clarified my statement and said the team is dangerous for your liver.  Yes, a fan can be driven to drink.

Six games into the season, while some were getting sized for their rings, I reminded people to not forget the past, because people are condemned to repeat the past if they forget it.  I was called a Nancy Negative.  The Chargers have a two-game losing streak.

One thing is for sure:  I can’t help but admire the San Diego Chargers.  When playing in the dilapidated Qualcomm Stadium, with half the crowd against you (sometimes), it would be so easy to just go through the motions and mail it in.  The team has been attached to so much speculation about relocation.  They were getting no respect from the experts, who disregarded their prior achievements, before beating the Raiders.  These days, the media (in their own city) is wondering if their wins were really that impressive (thanks, Seattle).

Eight games into the season, I can only say that I have been entertained.

So, what do you think of the Chargers through the first eight games?  As always, your questions and comments are welcomed.  Please submit them below.

 

David Parada

Gates

 

 

Despite painfully difficult Charger losses against both the Chiefs and the Broncos, Antonio Gates has built on his legacy as one of the best tight ends of all-time and one of the best scoring threats of all-time.  His final place among those greats has yet to be cemented in history, but he certainly will finish his career as a first-ballot Hall of Famer when it is all said and done.

Come at me, bro!

I am just kidding.  That being said, you have no argument, that I would be able to comprehend as plausible, as to why Gates is not going to be inducted as soon as he is eligible five years after he hangs up his cleats.

Come at me, bro?

After passing Lance Alworth and becoming the Chargers all-time leader in receiving yardage, Antonio managed to tie for the lead-league in touchdown receptions.  Not bad for a guy that even Bolt fans had given up on; some considered him done and easily replaced by Ladarius Green.  That has not been the case, and Keenan Allen has played a huge part – due to a bracketed defender, and/or double coverage – in the resurgence of the former Kent State basketball player.

Although I am not old enough to have watched the great Lance Alworth destroy the league and its records, I grew up being force-fed how amazing Bambi was as a receiver.  His ability to run routes and go up and snag the ball at its highest point were far ahead of its time.  He continued to make his mark even after being a Charger.  He also made plays for the Dallas Cowboys.

But let’s stick on the subject of Gates.

After coming to the team as an undrafted free-agent, Gates has helped change the way the tight end position is being played in the NFL.  When looking around the league, the position has been transformed from what was, basically, an extra blocker to an athletic receiving option that defenses would have trouble matching up with.

 

Here’s a look at his numbers up to this point in his career.

 

CAREER STATS
SEASON TEAM GAMES RECEIVING RUSHING FUMBLES
G GS REC YDS AVG LONG TD ATT YDS AVG LNG TD FUM LOST
TOTAL 751 9,610 12.8 72 96 0 0 0 0 5 4
2014 SD 8 8 32 417 13 34 9
2013 SD 16 15 77 872 11.3 56T 4 2 2
2012 SD 15 15 49 538 11 34T 7
2011 SD 13 13 64 778 12.2 38T 7
2010 SD 10 10 50 782 15.6 48T 10
2009 SD 16 16 79 1,157 14.6 56 8 1 0
2008 SD 16 16 60 704 11.7 34 8 1 1
2007 SD 16 16 75 984 13.1 49T 9
2006 SD 16 16 71 924 13 57T 9
2005 SD 15 15 89 1,101 12.4 38 10
2004 SD 15 15 81 964 11.9 72T 13
2003 SD 15 11 24 389 16.2 48 2 1 1

 

As you look at his statistics, Antonio is only 390 receiving yards away from reaching 10,000.  Gates is on pace to surpass that mark this season having 417 yards thus far at the halfway point.  He is only one touchdown away from reaching double-digit scores in a season for the first time since 2010.  With four more touchdowns, he’ll be only the 10th player in NFL history with 100 touchdown receptions.

It goes without saying that Antonio Gates has had a remarkable career.  What is even more exciting is that he’s not done yet.  He still has plenty of gas left in the tank to build on what is already a one-way ticket to Canton, Ohio and that golden jacket.

 

Thanks a lot for reading.

 

Booga Peters

 

 

 

 

Mathews4

 

 

I am still hurting from the Denver loss like all Charger fans.  At no point did I think the Chargers could surprise the Broncos like they did last year who were ripe for a perfect upset.  Our boys had everything to play for and Denver had nothing to play for.  They whined all week about a short week.  The Chargers didn’t have time to care.  In the offseason, Tom Telesco did a wonderful job adding key pieces to the defense that on paper would make the Bolt defense better prepared to take on The Denver Mannings.

The reality is one by one almost all of those additions were ruled out for the game.  All week long I heard and read Chargers fans say cornerbacks Marshall and Wright could not start and beat Manning.  The reality is they did just that December 12th last year on Thursday night football. That defense had a limited returning Melvin Ingram but was essentially the same as the one the Chargers put on the field.  The Bolts won that game by seven, and lost this one by fourteen.

Coming off a 35-21 loss, I could blame the Refs for blown calls, the NFL for giving us three division games in 11 days, or Archie and Olivia Manning for not getting Peyton into a different profession. You can complain that the football gods have cursed this team’s medical staff with too much to handle.

You can make an argument for all those valid things to complain about.  Honestly, I think the injuries on the defense point to the importance of a man who suits up with the offense.  Philip Rivers is playing fantastic, Gates is playing like he is Benjamin Button aging backwards.  The offense is clicking .  The reality is this week’s 21 points still would have been enough to beat Denver’s effort from last year.

Of course, the Denver Mannings have gotten better since last year, so have the Chargers.  But timing is everything and not having a healthy Ryan Mathews made the difference.

I have been shaking my head a lot the last couple weeks listening to local sports radio and reading the message boards proclaiming that Branden Oliver is ready.  We don’t need Ryan Mathews, we have number 43, right?

I do think Oliver is a hidden gem.  The Chargers scored big time in finding him.  He may be the reason Ryan Mathews doesn’t return or takes less money to stay.  However, you are out of your mind if you don’t think Ryan Mathews is not the number one missing factor between last year’s result and this week.

The run game this week was pathetic, until the last garbage time run just before the clock went zeros, your rushing leader was Philip Rivers with 17 yards. Take away that 23 yarder at the end of the game, and Oliver barely managed to get double digits. Even if you count that run Oliver was still out gained by Danny Woodhead in last year’s Thursday night game.

That night, Ryan Mathews was the reason the Bolts won and now it is more clear than ever.  Mathews had 29 carries for 127 yards and a touchdown.  More importantly, the Chargers controlled the ball for 39 minutes of the game.  Peyton Manning, being a rhythm QB, only managed the Broncos as they had a 10-3 late in the first period before the Chargers went on several long scoring drives. Manning’s offense gained 13 yards on the 13 plays, over four drives during which they went three-and-out three times and picked up a total of one first down.  (With Marshall and Wright on the corners by the way).

Without the power Ryan Mathews brings to the running game the Broncos would not have been held to their season low scoring output.  Instead of driving us nuts with his Omahas we got the sideline shots of grumpy Peyton twiddling his thumbs.

Denver’s defense is improved no doubt. Certainly Oliver faced more of a challenge, but I believe at least a half a dozen of those plays where Oliver was stuffed at the line would have 5 or 6 yards for a wrecking ball like Mathews.

Go back and watch a game with Mathews. Charger fans, don’t be prisoner of the moment. Ryan Mathews was the MVP of December last year, and had the Chargers had him this last week, their chances to beat the Mannings would have a lot more likely.

— –

David Agranoff can’t stand Peyton Manning, but loves the Chargers. He is the author of three horror novels you can buy on Amazon if you into that kinda thing. His novels include The Vegan Revolution…With Zombies, Hunting the Moon Tribe and Boot Boys of the Wolf Reich. Follow him on Twitter @DAgranoffauthor or look him up on Facebook.

 

peKDm6Xv_400x400

There’s an Amber Alert out at Chargers Park. Donald Butler is missing. I don’t know if there’s a reward for information as to his whereabouts, but if you do see him, please show him the way to the team facility.

There’s been some guy on the Chargers defense wearing #56, but that really isn’t THE Donald Butler, but some imposter. I say this because it’s quite apparent the real Donald Butler, the captain of the defense and impact player has been absent.

The guy wearing #56 is putting up career norms in terms of tackles, but there’s no impact. No game changing presence. That guy out there looks pedestrian. Sometimes he looks lost, and other times looks just straight up stupid — does the Personal Foul call when Ronnie Hillman was on the ground on both knees and #56 speared him ring a bell?

As an inside linebacker, one of the responsibilities is to keep an eye on the backfield and watch for the improvisational run on pass plays. That just hasn’t happened as the likes of Carson Palmer and Alex Smith got big gains on the Charger defense when the pass wasn’t there. Inside linebackers provide run support and drop into pass coverage as well. He and his partner, be it Kavell Conner, Andrew Gachkar or Mantei T’eo are responsible for the back out of the backfield and, at times, the tight end. There have been too many times receivers come clean over the middle or the back comes uncovered out in the flat. This has to be cleaned up if our boys are going to make a serious run at the post season tournament. Butler has to come out of hiding.

I had the opportunity to talk briefly with his former mentor, Takeo Spikes on SiriusXM NFL Radio Saturday afternoon and he agreed. Spikes stopped himself short of saying Butler is off to a slow start this year, but did say “he just needs to play his role.” But Spikes added, “When you’re a linebacker, you’re responsible for everything going on around you.”

Butler wears the headset and is captain of the defense. As such, he is responsible for making sure the other 10 guys are in the right position. He’s responsible for making the pre-snap adjustments as the opposing offense audibles, goes in motion or changes the formation.

Spikes went on to say that, in that role, sometimes a player mentally tries to do too much and winds up not making the plays he needs to make. When Butler and Spikes played next to each other, Butler’s role was to make plays with only 10% of the mental “responsibility” for others. Takeo wore the headset when he played for the Bolts. He also said that he’s been waiting for T’eo to show up, and alluded to his absence might be part of the issue as Spikes isn’t working with the top of the depth chart at his side.

Spikes did not say that any of this is definitely the cause of his lack of impact on the defense. He said he doesn’t know what the cause is as he hasn’t spoken with him recently, but offered up possible scenarios. He did say that Butler does need to spend more time worrying about himself and not “worrying about everyone else.”

Right now, it’s safe to say the Butler didn’t do it.

 

Mike Pisciotta

 

No fue un buen día para la escuadra relámpago, cuando visitó la ciudad de Denver, Colorado para enfrentar a los Broncos, en un partido que se puede resumir en una sola palabra: Catástrofe.

Casi 77,000 personas asistieron al encuentro en donde hubo pocos momentos donde parecía ser un partido “limpio”. Explicaré esto más adelante. Podemos decir sin embargo, que a partir del 2do cuarto, los Chargers no tuvieron ninguna oportunidad de ganar este partido. ¿Por qué digo esto? Porque el ritmo del partido estuvo mal sincronizado. A pesar de la actitud de nuestro equipo a seguir luchando, todo se fue al olvido después de una intercepción, con Denver ganando 35-21.

 

Vamos a analizar los siguientes criterios

 

1) Arbitraje Espantoso

OK, vamos a analizar eso. Creo que si vas a ser árbitro, debes tener ciertas características: Tener dos ojos buenos, un pensamiento crítico y poder analizar jugadas y penalizaciones. Sin embargo, parecía ser que el arbitraje durante este juego no tenía NI UNA característica de lo anterior. Y créanme, digo en general porque he visto la mayoría de los partidos de la NFL esta temporada, y hace tiempo que no había visto tal participación abismal por parte de los árbitros; en general! Sabemos muy bien todos que el fumble del 2do cuarto y la intercepción de Weddle debían haber sido balón de Chargers. Sin embargo, estas 2 jugadas, anuladas por los árbitros, además de otras malas penalizaciones, hicieron que mucha gente cuestionara y criticara de forma negativa el arbitraje del partido. Entiendo, no se puede culpar el resultado del partido en estas fallas; sin embargo, podemos estar de acuerdo en que las jugadas como el fumble y la INT, que fueron anuladas, cambiaron el ritmo del partido, a favor del local, y ellos por supuesto tomaron ventaja.

 

2) Una Línea Defensiva Invisible

Se sabe desde una perspectiva humana que nadie es perfecto, todos tenemos un mal idea. Y vaya, que mal día tuvo la línea defensiva. Retomando la observación de que Denver tomó ventaja del mal arbitraje para hacer sus jugadas, la línea defensiva parecía no poder hacer nada al respecto. Poco a poco, Denver iba manteniendo su ventaja en la puntuación. Parecía ser que en ocasiones, había solo uno o dos jugadores participando. Es algo que necesita ser ajustado rápidamente, y mas por las lesiones de jugadores como Ingram, Flowers, Verrett, Te’o, etc. Lo bueno es que la escuadra relámpago tiene 10 días para descansar antes del juego contra Miami, entonces es hora de trabajar.

 

3) Decepción por parte del Staff: Addae

Normalmente no comento sobre el staff de los Chargers, solo porque cuando hay un juego, el enfoque principal está en los jugadores. Sin embargo, hoy voy hacer la conexión entre el Staff y Jahleel Addae, safety de la línea defensiva. En la primera jugada del partido, Addae tomó un fuerte golpe, y se cuestionó si seguiría en el partido o fuera sustituido. A pesar del golpe, permaneció en el juego hasta el último cuarto, donde en una jugada, parecía ser que Addae tuvo un pequeño ataque en pleno campo, algo que asustó a muchos aficionados. Se cuestionó particularmente el porqué el safety seguía jugando a pesar del golpe, y se dio la explicación de que se le hizo una prueba administrada de contusión, la cual pasó y se autorizó que volviera a jugar. Es inaceptable que la seguridad y la salud de los jugadores sea puesta en peligro, y más sabiendo que actualmente los Chargers han sufrido un alto número de lesiones.

 

 

No es común para mi escribir solo sobre “Lo Malo” del partido, pero en lo personal no puedo encontrar algo positivo en el partido. Y está mal, porque el resultado del encuentro no fue culpa de nuestra escuadra totalmente. Deberíamos estar celebrando varias cosas, como Keenan Allen con su primer touchdown de la primera temporada, o Antonio Gates rompiendo récords, pero no se puede. Al parecer, a pesar de la lucha por tratar de regresar de atrás, y las esperanzas que daba la línea ofensiva, el partido parecía estar ya decidido, desde una decisión mala por parte del arbitraje

 

¿Qué opinas? ¿Quién es responsable por el resultado del partido? ¿Se debe cuestionar el arbitraje? Comparte tus opiniones en la sección de comentarios, o en Twitter @JoeLovesMusic24 #BoltBlitz

 

José “Joe” Martinez

 

#ChargerNation

Oliver2

 

 

No pressure, BO.  But, the fact of the matter is, Branden Oliver’s play during tonight’s game has so much to do with the final outcome.  He may be an undrafted free-agent, but he is, without a doubt, the x-factor in this evening’s contest against the Denver Broncos.

Coming into the 2014 draft, Oliver was passed up repeatedly by all 32 teams.  In fact, if you include other free-agent running back signings, he was then the 32nd ball carrier to be picked up.  There were 22 drafted running backs and 9 UDFA RBs taken prior to Branden being signed to the Chargers.

Talk about overcoming the odds.

Oliver ended up, after training camp and the preseason, securing a position on the 53-man roster with your San Diego Chargers.  It is an honor that he doesn’t take for granted.  BoltBlitz.com was the first website to interview him.  I’m very proud of that and Brian Scott for making it happen.

Branden’s impact on this Charger offense is about to be showcased tonight as the Bolts attempt to gain the division lead over the Broncos.  The need to have him involved in the offense cannot be overstated.  Philip Rivers needs to trust him in the passing game and not be afraid to dump it off to him when the protection breaks down.

Due to the multitude of injuries to the Charger backfield, the Bolts must rely on Oliver to carry the load.  This game is a true test of what Branden Oliver is made of.

Can he tote the rock 25 times a game?  Can he add in 4-5 receptions and not be worn out?  Is he a liability in pass protection when blocking in the backfield?

I believe that all of those aspects of his game will be tested this evening.  Mike McCoy and Frank Reich need to have confidence in BO and find what he is capable of as a featured back.  His performance tonight, and going further, have a lot to do with how the running back situation will be handled going into 2015.

San Diego has to take a huge gamble on relying on Branden Oliver to carry this team to a win.  The best defense against Peyton Manning is to keep him off the field.  Oliver is the key to making that happen.  It should be a fun game to watch.

 

Thanks a lot for reading.

 

Booga Peters

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