Rivers16

 

Danny Woodhead is wide open.

If someone were to have told me, that Philip Rivers would throw for 503 yards, two touchdowns with no interceptions – that Keenan Allen would pile on the 14 receptions for 157 yards AND the Chargers would dominate time of possession but still would lose the game??

I would have asked you to check yourself into rehab.

Leading up to Sunday’s game, there was hardly anybody that picked the Chargers to hang with the Packers. After all, Green Bay was 9-1 against San Diego, a 10-point favorite and had not lost at home since December 22, 2013. There were some sports pundits that made viewers feel that the Bolts were going to star in the 1974 movie “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” However, what was happening before our very eyes seemed to sway more towards the Biblical tale of “David vs. Goliath.”

With career days for Rivers and Allen, visions of a celebration that would be of epic proportion appeared to be a very strong possibility. The game plan implemented going into Lambeau, was planned perfectly. The “dink-and-dunk” theory had shown in the past that it would work against the Packers. And who is better to execute that philosophy than Rivers, Allen and Antonio Gates (9 receptions for 95 yards). The question during the game was not “Can the Chargers offense continue to move the ball?” It was rather, “Can they stop the Packers’ offense?”

Has anyone ever coined the phrase “Offense wins championships?”  

It has been said that Paul “Bear” Bryant coined the phrase “Defense wins championships.” I am in total agreement with this statement. With an average offense at best, look at what Seattle has done over the last few seasons with their “Legion of Boom.”  Like it or not, people remember great defenses more so than great offenses.

Let me check your football history.  Raise your hand if you have heard of:

“The Steel Curtain.”

“Purple People Eaters”

“Fearsome Foursome”      

“Monsters of the Midway”

 

Those teams dominated the defensive side of the ball and won Championships.  Of course there are creative offenses that are a household names as well:

 

“Air Coryell”

“Greatest Show on Turf”

“K-Gun”

 

However, outside the St. Louis Rams, no other offensive team listed won a Super Bowl. What does that tell you? What it tells me is that offenses sell tickets and win games, but defenses win Championships. The 2000 Baltimore Ravens and 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers were two other Super Bowl winners who had league-leading defenses. The quarterbacks that lead those offenses?  Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson, respectively – neither of whom could hold a candle to Philip Rivers

Now back to my earlier question, “Can they stop the Packers’ offense?” The indisputable answer would be “No.”

The defense has improved with personnel, however they continue to struggle; injuries or not.  In fact, this passage from ProFootballFocus.com sums it up perfectly:

The Chargers front seven continues to be completely ineffective against both the run and pass. On the defensive line, not a single player had a pass rushing grade of +1.0 or above. One has to wonder how much more they have to see from Donald Butler (-3.8) until they decide to go with someone else at inside linebacker. On Sunday he was a complete non-factor, collecting one stop in 56 snaps. He has graded negatively overall in every single game this year.”

For a while, the defense showed life in the second half, as Aaron Rodgers could not move the ball; resulting in back to back three-and-outs. Unfortunately until San Diego can consistently stop good offenses from moving the ball, the Chargers will continue to lose in heartbreak fashion. It does not matter how amazing Rivers plays, or how many fumbles Melvin Gordon has coughed up, if they cannot disrupt the opposing team’s offense by mixing up their looks, theirr record will continue to be paltry at best.

There is no doubt in my mind, that this 2015 San Diego team can compete at a high level and go far into the playoffs. Even with a 2-4 record, even with the players being infected by the injury bug, San Diego was still one play away from beating Pittsburgh at home and one play away from going into overtime against the undefeated Packers in Green Bay.

By the way, for those still wondering…Woodhead is still wide open in the end zone.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Brian “Big Kahuna” Scott

One Response to Chargers drop another heartbreaker

  • OPBolt says:

    BWK – preaching to the choir, man. I have no clue what TT and McCoy’s “vision” or “system” is. All I see is a singularly unbalanced team, composed mostly of average players. I am starting to wonder whether the coaches and scouts are only average also. I’m one of those who look at it like a three legged stool – offense, defense, and special teams. When those legs are out of balance, bad things happen. Talented coaches and players can sometimes teeter on two legs long enough to win championships, but not always. But no one can balance on one leg for 16 games, especially when that leg, offense in this case, is also completely one dimensional. Considering the OL situation, I think the GB game showed them at the best they can do. Too bad we can’t run the ball for 2 yards. On the other hand, the defense this year is an epic fail.

    I would love to be a fly on the wall when the coaches and front office evaluate the film. At the end of last year what did we see and what were we talking about? A poor DL near the bottom of the league in run defense. What did we do to improve the two weak links in the DL – nothing that can be observed on the field. I would really like to know what their unfiltered comments were/are on Reyes, Lissimore, Butler, Brown, Te’o, et.al.And don’t get me started on Special Teams – TT and McCoy seem to think that as long as you have a good PK and P you are good to go. I’m old fashioned and was raised on George Allen’s view of Special Teams as the HC’s way of body slamming the opponent and stealing Momentum. Evaluating an over the hill Jacoby Jones as a difference maker? – Please

    And so we start looking forward to the next draft, not only having to go back and fix problems we didn’t fix last year, but also new problems that need attention, like safety.

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