Monthly Archives: September 2015
After a 1-1 start to the 2015 season, the Chargers travel to Minnesota to face off against the explosive Adrian Peterson and the Vikings.
In Peterson’s first two games this season, he has recorded 165 yards, while averaging 4.2 yards a carry; 134 yards were racked up in last week’s win over the Detroit Lions. If the Bolts plan to shut down AD, they will have to compete at a playoff-caliber level and finish flawlessly.
Currently, San Diego ranks 21st in the NFL in rushing defense. Unfortunately, this isn’t good enough to stop Peterson. In week one, the team gave up a huge run play as Detroit’s Ameer Abdullah went untouched making a 36-yard jaunt to the house. The question as to what the Bolts need to do in order to shut Peterson down is on the minds of all Charger fans.
Here’s the breakdown:
Hasn’t this been a trending issue for years now? Either way, San Diego has to go back to fundamental tackling in order to shut down the running game. Defensively, the line must hold true and close all gaps that Peterson will try to attack. Linebacker Manti Te’o has missed 10 tackles in the first two games. That can’t happen Sunday. It’s inevitable that AD will break through the line of scrimmage, however, it’s the Bolts’ duty to make all necessary tackles, especially against the veteran running back.
The Chargers have forced two fumbles along with two interceptions. In order for them to keep the offense on the field, the defense has to force turnovers and convert them to points. The Vikings quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, is entering his sophomore season looking fairly confident. With veteran players such as Corey Liuget, Melvin Ingram, and Donald Butler on the defense, disrupting his play will prove fruitful. Having only one sack on the season isn’t enough, therefore, getting after Bridgewater is mandatory come Sunday.
Time management is the name of the game in professional football. With Peterson’s running ability, Minnesota will look to manage the clock and tempo of the game. In order to obtain a win, Philip Rivers and the offense must maintain their composure and cause long-lasting drives, ultimately ending with points scored. Similar to what San Diego has done to Peyton Manning and the Broncos, the team must keep Peterson and company on the sidelines. Traditionally, the Bolts win most of their games where they hold the most time of possession. The same blueprint should be conducted against the Vikings.
Last game the offense hurt themselves with costly penalties. The same can be said about the defense, as well. Limiting the number of unnecessary penalties will help the Chargers move forward and complete plays. Additionally, having little to none on the defensive side of the ball will keep the Vikings from obtaining costly automatic first downs. Ultimately, penalties hurt progression which can’t happen in attempt for a win.
Overall, Adrian Peterson and company seek to also improve their record to 2-1, but the Chargers know it’s imperative to shut him down in order to limit the Vikings’ offense. With these four tactics, there should be no issue for the Bolts in advancing their record to two wins early in the season.
Briana Soltis (@BrianaSoltis)
Quicker. More explosive. Showing the playing ability he put on display in his last year with the Indianapolis Colts.
These were all things used to describe Donald Brown during the 2015 offseason.
After a disappointing first year with the Chargers in 2014, Brown was said to be returning to the form that made him an enticing free-agent acquisition for general manager Tom Telesco prior to last season.
Thus far through two weeks of the 2015 season, Brown has been inactive; a healthy scratch for both games.
As many of you know, the former Colt is the highest paid running back on the Chargers’ roster.
Considering the injuries and lack of depth at multiple positions, one would think that Telesco would give Donald Brown the “Derek Cox treatment,” and cut his losses, admitting his mistake in signing him.
San Diego has already been banged up along the offensive line and the suspension of Antonio Gates and concussion issues have of Ladarius Green have forced movement at tight end.
The Chargers used a first-round draft choice on Melvin Gordon. They also have fan favorites Danny Woodhead and Branden Oliver as options in the backfield. That seems to be a formidable trio to handle the team’s running-back-by-committee approach.
Gordon and Woodhead have been integral parts of the offense for the first two contests. Oliver has not seen as much time, playing only two snaps last week in the loss against the Bengals. With No. 43 not seeing the field often, and Brown standing on the sideline inactive, wouldn’t it make sense to swallow your pride and cut Brown in an effort open up a roster spot to help out along either the offensive or defensive line?
I am not one to call for any person losing their job, but Telesco and company are in the business of making tough decisions when it comes to assembling the best roster possible in order to compete for the Lombardi Trophy.
It would seem to me at this point, Donald Brown’s spot on the roster could be filled by another player that could actually contribute on game days.
Sure, you hear the reports about the players liking him and the fact that he’s a good influence in both the locker room and during the running backs’ meetings.
But how much is that really helping the team on Sundays?
If the team suffers another injury to a position other than running back, will Brown be the next player on the chopping block?
I have a feeling I know what the fans would do if they were given the decision.
Thanks a lot for reading.
The Chargers made a couple of moves on Thursday by signing tight end Kyle Miller and releasing defensive lineman Mitch Unrein, according to the team’s official website.
Miller was recently waived by the team after originally making the 53-man roster. The former Falcon led the Bolts with 11 receptions for 66 yards during the 2015 preseason. Miller saw most of his game action on special teams for the team.
The team was almost forced to sign Miller after current starting tight end Ladarius Green suffered his third concussion in the last nine months.
The Bolts will enter Week 3 with John Phillips, David Johnson and Miller at the tight end position.
The tight end position was already hurting due to the four-game suspension of future Hall of Famer Antonio Gates. Needless to say, he is sorely missed. He i available to return to the field for the Week 5 contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Unrein was signed this offseason during free agency. The former Denver Bronco was seen as depth along the defensive front.
Articles from Chargers.com:
- Chargers sign Kyle Miller; release Mitch Unrein
- Subscribe to the Chargers official YouTube channel
- What does Peterson think of Gordon?
- Gordon and Waynes: From best friends to enemies
- Advantage: Norv Turner or the Bolts?
Articles from ESPN.com:
- Norv Turner faces former team in Chargers
- Melvin Gordon misses the cut on rookie rankings
- Ladarius Green suffers second concussion in two weeks
Articles from The San Diego Union-Tribune:
The Chargers released their updated injury report on Chargers.com on Wednesday.
Prior to breaking down what it means to the team, here’s the report.
Did not participate:
- S Jahleel Addae – Ankle
- OL D.J. Fluker – Ankle
- WR/KR/PR Jacoby Jones – Ankle
- OL Johnnie Troutman – Arm
- OL Chris Watt – Groin
- OLB Tourek Williams – Foot
- TE Ladarius Green – Concussion
- OLB Kyle Emanuel – Shoulder
- OL Chris Hairston – Knee
The initial timetable on Fluker’s return made it seem as though he would miss a serious amount of time; as much as six weeks. But reports have come out that his time on the sideline will not be as long as expected. This is great news seeing as Hairston had a miserable game against the Bengals, being beaten multiple times and drawing a couple of flags. Hairston, despite a knee ailment, was a full-go at practice as mentioned above.
After watching the Chargers’ defense force Cincinnati to a punt due to a three-and-out on the game’s opening drive in Week 2, Keenan Allen muffed the punt, allowing the Bengals to recover inside the 20-yard line. Although Jacoby Jones hasn’t exactly been lighting the world on fire with his returns in the offseason and season opener, it would be great to have him back there, at least to secure the ball and get the Chargers’ offense on the field. Jones suffered an ankle injury against the Lions in Week 1. His return date has yet to be determined.
On paper, it appeared that safety Jimmy Wilson filled in admirably for the injured Addae. I am not, by any means, going to sit here and say that he had a bad game, but it looked as though defensive coordinator John Pagano changed up his strategy in the secondary. Could this have been due to the fact that Addae was not available? It is hard to say, but I sure would like to see Addae back on the field making plays.
Though he struggled against a stout Cincinnati defensive line, seeing that Watt is injured is troubling. The offensive line has already been banged up, and don’t get me started on the injury issues the hogs upfront faced in 2014. Watt is still learning his role as the team’s starting center. That being said, Mike McCoy and Frank Reich named him the starter for a reason. If for some reason Watt is unable to go this Sunday in Minnesota, reserve center Trevor Robinson is more than capable of stepping up and starting.
As expected, both Johnnie Troutman and Tourek Williams were non-participants in today’s practice. Troutman should be inching closer to health as his diagnosis has him being available to return by about the fourth week of the season. Williams is still a wait-and-see type of scenario. The outside linebacking corps surely could use him.
Finally, the news that tight end Ladarius Green showed up to Chargers Park with concussion-like symptoms is very alarming. If he does indeed have a concussion, this would be a third concussion-related report on Green since being blown up by former Patriots’ cornerback Brandon Browner last season in Week 14. Green laid on the field after taking the hit from Browner. The play drew a 15-yard penalty.
With Antonio Gates continuing to serve his four-game suspension due to violating the league’s substance abuse policy, the fourth-year tight end is crucial in the success of the San Diego offense. He has already made his mark through two games, catching 10 passes for 121 yards and one touchdown. Green was shutout of the end zone in 2014. He is on pace for career highs in all receiving categories should he get back on the field.
On a bright note, it is good to see that rookie outside linebacker Kyle Emanuel was a full participant today. He played a major role in the team’s win over the Lions in Week 1. Allowing him to rotate with Jerry Attaochu keeps him fresh and should enable him to continue to make an impact.
The Chargers and Tom Telesco boldly moved up two spots in the first round of this year’s draft to select running back Melvin Gordon out of Wisconsin. The team traded its first- and fourth-round picks in 2015 along with their fifth-round selection in 2016 in order to obtain the 15th overall pick.
The former Badger was a little underwhelming during the offseason and preseason, leaving some media pundits and bloggers – not anyone on this site – to prematurely call the drafting of Gordon a mistake.
When No. 28 wasn’t being impatient, he was being too patient, hesitating behind the offensive line looking for holes. His playing time during the preseason was limited to 20 carries. There truly wasn’t much NFL tape to go off of when it came to breaking down the rookie’s running ability at this level.
Gordon’s NFL debut against the Lions saw him carry the ball 14 times for 51 yards for an average of 3.6 yards per tote. He added three receptions for 16 yards in the team’s 33-28 victory over Detroit. His longest carry of the day went for 14 yards. The 22-year-old had an impressive touchdown scamper called back as he spun out of a tackle only to have his forearm touch the ground, causing him to be down by contact.
Overall, his first game in the league was decent, but not spectacular.
In a Week 2 loss to the Bengals on the road, Gordon flashed some of the ability that would justify his drafting in the first round.
His first run from scrimmage was good for a career-high 26 yards on the team’s opening offensive play of the game. He would later top that mark with a 27-yard-run.
The rookie reeled off three runs of 20 yards or more. This performance led to the most explosive runs – carries in excess of 20 yards – for a Chargers’ running back since 2007. The player that accomplished that feat eight years ago was LaDainian Tomlinson, finishing the game with four explosive runs of his own.
Gordon appreciated the fact that multiple runs of that nature in one game don’t come easily.
“It felt good,” Gordon said via The San Diego Union-Tribune. “It always feels good to break one. You don’t get many in the League. When you do, you try to make the best of them.”
The first-year ball carrier finished the Week 2 contest with 16 carries for 88 yards and one reception for 10 yards. Although he has yet to reach the end zone, you can see the youngster starting to figure it out.
The San Diego offensive line is still working on building cohesion. With D.J. Fluker being injured in the season-opening game, veteran Chris Hairston has stepped in at the right guard spot. Free-agent acquisition Orlando Franklin is manning the left guard position after playing predominantly at right tackle during his time with the Broncos. Second-year lineman Chris Watt has struggled a bit while adjusting to playing at center. Another free agent, Joe Barksdale is still learning the blocking schemes under offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris.
In time, and with a healthy Fluker returning to the lineup, the offensive line will get on the same page, gelling as a cohesive unit. This will, in turn, allow bigger holes for backs like Gordon to churn out yards on the ground, and allow time for quarterback Philip Rivers to sling the ball to his impressive receiving options.
Melvin Gordon has only played in two NFL games. As much as the young man must work on his patience as a ball carrier, the fans must also be patient in waiting for him to develop and prove his worth.
I have a feeling that people will be praising the first-round selection of Gordon for many years to come.
Thanks a lot for reading.
Articles from Chargers.com:
- Scouting Report: Chargers at Vikings
- X’s and O’s: Rivers’ record-breaker
- Bolts sign WR Williams to practice squad
- I’ve been looking forward to this by Ladarius Green
Articles from ESPN.com:
- Mike Zimmer calls Philip Rivers one of the best of all-time
- NFL owners take lead on relocation to Los Angeles
- Jimmy Wilson makes his mark in expanded role
Articles from San Diego Union-Tribune:
Entering Sunday’s contest against the Cincinnati Bengals, quarterback Philip Rivers was sitting with 254 career touchdown passes with the Chargers. That number had him tied with Hall-of-Fame signal caller Dan Fouts for the team record.
Rivers would break the record by throwing No. 255 to wideout Stevie Johnson with 10:35 left in the third quarter.
The 33-year-old would throw a second touchdown strike to Malcom Floyd, spanning 40 yards through the air to get to No. 256.
The Chargers would go on to drop a heartbreaker in Cincinnati, 24-19.
Although Rivers would have preferred to eclipse the mark in a victory, I would assume that he has been able to let it sink in that he has reached rarefied air as an NFL quarterback.
With today’s passing NFL being far different than the league that Fouts played in, there is no guarantee that Rivers will become a Hall of Famer despite the fact that he may surpass him in all statistical categories. He trails Fouts by 6,740 yards passing to earn the team record in that category. It goes without saying, a Super Bowl ring for Rivers would go a long way in ensuring his place in Canton.
Rivers currently sits 19 touchdown throws from tying Vinny Testaverde for 10th place all time with 275 touchdown passes. Having 14 games left to play, that number is certainly attainable.
Fans outside of San Diego, and some within the city, do not necessarily hold the 12-year veteran in that high of a regard. He doesn’t get the respect that many other passers of his caliber receive.
Quite frankly, he doesn’t care.
The man has already cemented himself as arguably the best quarterback in Chargers’ history, and now he’ll continue to strive to be one of the best in the history of the National Football League.
For his career, Rivers has completed 3,081 out of 4,747 passes for 37,300 yards with 256 touchdowns and only 125 interceptions.
The Chargers have signed wide receiver Tyrell Williams to the practice, according to Michael Gehlken of The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Chargers have signed WR Tyrell Williams to practice squad, per source. He cleared waivers earlier today.
— Michael Gehlken (@UTgehlken) September 21, 2015
Williams was released from the team’s 53-man roster in order to promote safety Adrian Phillips to the 53-man roster due to the injury status of Jahleel Addae.
Now that he has cleared waivers, he can now join the club’s 10-man practice squad. The practice squad was only at nine players prior to signing Williams. There is no need for a corresponding move.
Williams, a fan and media favorite, made a strong enough impression this offseason as an undrafted free-agent rookie out of Western Oregon to initially make the team’s opening day, 53-man roster. At 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, the 23-year-old has great speed for his size, a wide catching radius and solid hands. Although his route running needs work, the team was wise to find a way to bring him back on the squad.
The Chargers entered Week 2 with only four wideouts on the game-day roster: Keenan Allen, Malcom Floyd, Stevie Johnson and Dontrelle Inman.
Hey, Chargers fans and friends. I’m glad to be back with my first article in quite a while. There certainly will be more to come.
Why is it that, over the years, San Diego has been plagued by the “terrible yellow flag”?
The Chargers, like all NFL teams, have to play mistake-free football on the road. Too many penalties and mistakes have plagued the team for years. That would continue to be the case in the Chargers’ 24-19 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
To be down by only 4 points at the start of the 4th quarter against the Bengals shows a lot of maturity and resilience from our boys in blue.
San Diego played well enough to stay even with the Bengals throughout the game. If you’ve heard the phrase “this is a game of inches”, that doesn’t just refer to yards gained by the offense. Many don’t understand how much penalties are detrimental to a team on the road. As I write this, the Chargers have had 8 penalties so far.
I don’t need to remind you of the offense. It could have been better. With D.J. Fluker out of the lineup, the Bengals took advantage. The Cincinnati defense crowded the line of scrimmage. That is not to say Hairston didn’t do a good job, but it shows how the talent level of the backups, especially on the O-line, is crucial. And, quite honestly, Hairston was terrible, being flagged and beaten ad nauseam on Sunday.
Malcom Floyd was wide open with that last touchdown but where was he during the first 3 quarters? Additionally, although the final throw of the game is being viewed as a poor decision by Philip Rivers, it appeared that Floyd was a bit lazy, rounding off his route as opposed to sharply breaking it off.
Defensively, the Chargers still need to get better against the run. Despite forcing two Jeremy Hill fumbles, John Pagano’s unit was thrashed by Gio Bernard to the tune of 123 yards. The defense gave up a total of 175 yards on the ground. There were too many big holes and missed assignments. A mention of Brandon Flowers…I love the guy’s talent, but he got beat too many times today. Flowers was beat on all three Andy Dalton touchdown passes.
Melvin Gordon, what can I say, huge improvement, great job. I saw quick feet and better decisions. Gordon had three runs of over 20 yards in his second game as a professional. The first-round draft picked carried the ball 16 times for 88 yards.
Overall, my opinion is this:
Frank Reich needs to get more creative with the play calling, especially on the road. Don’t fall into “Norv Turner” mode. Predictable and it showed throughout the game.
I’m sure I don’t need to tell football fans this, but I’ll say it anyway: Any team that plays on the road needs to play like they’re playing at home and the other team is the visitors. On the road, the Chargers seem to play equal to the other team’s talent, but not much better. Although the Bolts had flashes of emotion, I saw more intensity in the Bengals.
I wasn’t all that impressed with Cincinnati. I was more disappointed with the Chargers’ mistakes, penalties and overall lack of consistency and intensity.