After another embarrassing loss in which the Chargers floundered in the final minutes of the game, one statistic stood out to me among the others: 38 yards rushing.
That means that the Bolts averaged less than 10 yards rushing per quarter, or the equivalent of one first down on the ground per quarter.
Needless to say, in the name of a balanced offense, that is absolutely pathetic.
It is one thing to be a pass-heavy offense, but to only be able to muster less than 40 yards in an entire NFL game is unacceptable.
When breaking down the rushing totals from the first four weeks of the season, the Chargers started off hot on the ground in Week 1 and Week 2, gaining 155 and 150 yards on the ground, respectively.
The last two weeks have been quite the opposite, as the Bolts have only gained 37 and 38 yards in the last two weeks.
- @Kansas City 155 yards
- vs. Jacksonville 150 yards
- @Indianapolis 37 yards
- vs. New Orleans 38 yards
When adding the rushing totals from the prior two weeks, you get exactly half of their total output in ground-accumulated yards as they achieved in Week 2.
Again, that is not exactly a recipe for success.
The initial 2016 backfield depth chart of Melvin Gordon, Danny Woodhead, Branden Oliver and Kenneth Farrow has morphed into Gordon, the newly acquired Dexter McCluster and Farrow, due to season-ending injuries to Woody and BO.
Though second-year ball carrier Gordon has found the endzone six times thus far in his sophomore campaign, the young running back seems to be forgotten in the gameplan once the Chargers reach the second half of games in 2016.
The team must find a way to reestablish its running game, getting Gordon more of that much-needed confidence.
It goes without saying, San Diego must alleviate some of the pressure that is riding on the right arm of quarterback Philip Rivers.
Injuries, something we as Chargers fans are far too familiar with, along the offensive line have certainly not helped provide continuity in the rushing attack.
The Bolts dressed eight offensive lineman on Sunday, and all eight of them saw playing time, including three different players manning the left tackle spot.
As much as we’d all like to see Gordon become the bell-cow back who justifies the team moving up in the first round of the 2015 draft to select, he may not be that guy in the NFL like he was in college at Wisconsin. That being said, the team should sit down and reevaluate what they want to do with the former Badger.
The Chargers will travel to Oakland in Week 5 to take on the Raiders. Oakland currently ranks 31st against the run, giving up 134.5 yards per game.
It would be a mistake to not try to take advantage of a rushing defense that is next to last in the league, but it all depends which Chargers’ defense shows up come the opening whistle.
Though the Raiders had — on paper — what many would consider to be a strong offseason, their defense has struggled mightily, allowing 460 total yards per game.
Although I would love to see Rivers sling it all over O.Co Coliseum, establishing a formidable ground attack should be at the top of the docket for the Chargers as they prepare for Week 5.
Dave Booga Peters