The fans of the blue and gold should be feeling pretty good about this year’s draft. Depending on your point of view, either Christmas came early or it came late. Glass half-full or half-empty? Mine is half-full.
The Chargers’ GM, Tom Telesco, addressed two of my biggest concerns for the upcoming football calendar. Those were center and fullback. Yes, I’m aware that there was a hole left in the secondary with the departure of Eric Weddle. However, the two most glaring chasms on the offensive side of the ball were the aforementioned spots.
We expected to see an electrified offense after Telesco moved up two spots in the 2015 draft to take running back Melvin Gordon (first round, 15th overall via trade with the 49ers).
To say that the Bolts’ offense was in tatters for the second year in a row is a fair assessment. They may not have had five centers in-and-out like 2014, but it they were still unable to provide much assistance to either help keep Philip Rivers from being pounded, or create seams for any of the Chargers’ ball carriers.
Whether you like all or a few of the choices the team’s general manager made last week, I hope that seeing Derek Watt lining up in front of Gordon in the Bolts’ backfield is one of them. The two played together at the University of Wisconsin, and both are excited to get that chemistry going once more.
Watt is 6’2″ and comes in at 236 pounds. He had 24 starts in 47 games for the Badgers, compiling 309 yards on 30 receptions and a lone touchdown. He was the 2012 Rookie of the Year for UW, as well as being named to the Academic All-Big 10 every year from 2012 thru 2015. On the down side, he missed five games in 2014 due to a foot fracture. In 13 games last season, he had 15 receptions for 139 yards to go along with 45 yards on nine rushes. It was his second best statistical year going back to his freshman days.
Whatever schemes offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt can put together for his newest two backs, I cannot help but look towards the future with excitement. There has not been a fullback on the roster since 2013 when Le’Ron McClain last played. Prior to McClain, San Diego had the likes of Mike Tolbert and Jacob Hester (2008-2011), who blocked for Darren Sproles from 2005-2010. Let’s not forget that Lorenzo Neal (one of my favorites), who is considered to be one of the best blocking fullbacks in NFL history, spent five seasons here in front of good ol’ No. 21 himself, LaDainian Tomlinson!
Should Watt and Gordon be able to get into that groove they had going on at the University of Wisconsin, I think we will see a tremendous leap from ranking 31st in 2015 with a league average 84.9 rushing yards per game.
All in all, it is my fervent wish that the San Diego Chargers get their running game back on track with the one-two punch of Watt blocking for his former college teammate, Gordon.
Thank you, Tom Telesco, for that selection. You recognized that need for the offense to excel this year.
The situation with the stadium/convention center proposal being what it is right now, there is an onus on the team to not only come out strong, but to also stay strong as the season progresses.
Looking forward to minicamp followed by preseason!
Thanks for reading!!
The date was November 4, 2007. The Minnesota Vikings and the San Diego Chargers played 60 minutes of football in the Twin City. On that particular Sunday, in those 60 minutes, both teams had broken an NFL record. Still fresh in the minds of the players and the fans, the Chargers and Vikings meet again eight years later.
The first half of that game was all in favor of the Chargers. They had limited the sensational rookie running back Adrian Peterson to only 43 yards when the half ended. Peterson had made a name for himself early on in that season. He rushed for 224 yards with three touchdowns against the Chicago Bears, a few weeks earlier.
Tied 7-7, the Vikings decided to kick a long field goal, in hopes of taking the lead before heading into the locker room. Place kicker Ryan Longwell was set up to kick a 57-yard field goal. The longest of his career was 55 yards. Second-year Chargers cornerback Antonio Cromartie had put himself in the back of the end zone, anticipating a missed field goal. Longwell missed the field goal. Cromartie returned the missed field goal for 109 yards for a touchdown. Cro had just broken the longest touchdown run of 108 yards. The record was set and recorded as 109 yards although he was just under 110 yards. This was supposed to be the highlight and talk of the NFL that week.
The Bolts had gone into the locker room on a high. The Vikings went into the locker room somewhat defeated. The Chargers felt that what they were doing was working. The Vikings knew that they had to change some things up going into the second half.
The second half of the game might have been the worst for the Chargers under Phillip Rivers. It is a toss-up between this game and the game in 2012 against the Denver Broncos, blowing a 24-0 lead.
That is a debate for another time.
Minnesota made some adjustments going into the second half. Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson left the game with an injury. Back-up quarterback Brooks Bollinger would end up playing the entire second half. He did well, throwing a touchdown pass, but it was the rookie, Adrian Peterson, who dominated the half. Peterson had fumbled the ball in the 4th quarter but that did not change the momentum of the Vikings. It went from bad to worse for the Chargers with a three-and-out, followed by a Rivers interception on the Chargers’ next drive. Peterson ended up with 253 yards in the second half. This was against the Chargers 7th ranked defense.
Peterson ended up breaking the Jamal Lewis’ record of 295 yards rushing in a single game (Lewis was a member of the Baltimore Ravens at the tie). Peterson ended the game with 296 yard rushing, 19 yards receiving and three touchdowns. The beautiful record-breaking run by Cromartie would be overshadowed by Peterson’s record.
It was an ugly game for the Chargers. Running back Ladainian Tomlinson, whom Peterson looked up to, ended up with only 40 yards rushing and one touchdown. Phillip Rivers was 19 for 42 with 197 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. Sometimes it takes a defeat in that fashion to wake a team up. The Chargers ended up winning seven of their last eight games to win the AFC West. They went all the way to the AFC Championship game, losing to the New England Patriots. Another game Chargers players and fans would love to forget.
What does this mean for the game on Sunday against the Vikings? Probably not too much. It was eight years ago and these are not the same two teams.
Adrian Peterson is expected to have another good year, sitting out most of the 2014 season due to a suspension from his child abuse case. The Vikings will probably run a lot on the Chargers on Sunday like the did against the Detroit Lions the week before. He ran for 134 yards on 29 attempts in Week 2. It is possible that the Chargers will use the 2007 game to fuel the fire to get the win this time. Peterson is now 30 years old, which is almost ancient when it comes to running backs. It should be a better game for Chargers.
The question remains…will another NFL record be broken this year?
Chargers tight end Antonio Gates had a bit of a resurgence in 2014. Although his receptions (69) and total yards receiving (821) went down from the previous season, his touchdown total skyrocketed past his 2013 total. In fact, with his 12 touchdowns in 2014, he eclipsed the previous year’s mark by three times! That impressive stat shows that Gates is still the go-to guy for quarterback Philip Rivers in the redzone. But can he keep producing at such a high level in 2015? To answer that, one must consider what makes him so good to begin with. Does his skill-set require youth to be effective?
Answering the aforementioned questions in reverse order, I would say that Gates’ skill-set does not require youth to make him effective. In fact, it is his experience and savvy that makes him so great in the redzone. Gates has always had a knack for getting open. You cannot watch a Chargers game on television without hearing the announcers talk about how he played college basketball. He helped revolutionize the tight end position by blending his basketball skills with his football talent. He still has the ability to, “box out” defenders and position his body in such a way that only he can get to the ball. Gates has also learned to read defenses and take what they give him. He can still figure out where the open field is and get there. His connection with Rivers is so strong that he can break off his pattern and Rivers will still find him. It takes time to build that kind of chemistry.
So what makes Gates so good? The veteran tight end attributes his rebirth of sorts to an injury he suffered in 2010. While standing on the sidelines, Antonio made it his business to study defenses and learn how to exploit them. Being the consummate professional, he refused to mope on the bench. He studied his craft and became a better player. Being able to teach that lesson to younger players is reason enough to keep Gates on the team. Of course, it does not hurt that he is an incredible talent as well.
So, can Antonio Gates put up similar numbers to 2014 in the last year of his contract? There is no reason to believe he cannot. His receptions may be down. His yardage total may continue to shrink. But the fact remains, when a first down is needed, or the ball is near the goal line, Gates finds a way to get open and his hands are as good as ever. Look for him to have another solid season, in what could be his last with the Bolts.
Whether Antonio Gates retires after the 2015 season, or continues playing, look for him to eventually end up in Canton, Ohio at the Football Hall of Fame. Personally, I believe he will also be the last Chargers player to ever don the number 85.
Tell me your thoughts on the matter. Can Gates do it again in 2015? Will he retire at the end of the season? Or, is it time to move on? There is no right or wrong answer, just opinions. Please leave your opinions in the comment section below. I will be sure to get back to you.
Thanks for reading!
Alright, Chargers fans, everyone take a deep breath, in through the nose and slowly exhale through the mouth. Now, repeat those steps as many times as it takes to get you to a relaxed state. That exercise will do you, and all of us who read your social media rants a lot of good.
Yes, I’m talking to those Chargers fans that after four days of free agency have already lit their torches, sharpened their pitchforks, and began the trek to Chargers Park and Tom Telesco’s (TT) office. Take a breath, people! Let the man do his job. Let’s be honest. If you or I know more about running a professional football franchise than the team’s General Manager (GM), the team is in worse trouble than we knew!
I read all the complaints about how TT is letting Bolt fans down and he is not going after top-notch players. If these fans had their way, Telesco would have signed DeMarco Murray, Ndamukong Suh, Dwayne Bowe, Terrance Knighton, Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, Darrelle Revis, and so on down the line of big names to contracts that would still have left us room under the cap! Well here are a couple simple facts for all fans to remember:
- There is a salary cap in the NFL. Teams can only spend up to the cap, whether they have more needs or not. If you spend a large chunk of your cap space on one player, you may not be able to fill other holes that you have. I’m sorry, but the Chargers have many holes to fill.
- Rome wasn’t built in a day. Okay, that is a little cliché, but it fits. Tom Telesco and the Chargers staff have been trying to dig out of the hole that former GM A.J. Smith left them in ever since they took over a couple years ago. The team was a mess. There were some key guys to build around, for example, Rivers, Gates, Weddle, and Hardwick, but not very many quality supporting players. Telesco has brought in some quality players via the draft, trades, and free agency, but it takes time to build a football team from (almost) scratch.
On the flipside, I understand that we live in a win now, must win society. No one likes to go to work on Monday morning and hear about how their team lost, or didn’t make the playoffs. There is nothing worse than listening to your co-worker brag about how his team has three rings and your team has none (you know who I’m referring too). So, you are mad as hell and you aren’t going to take it anymore? Well, unless you are going to jump on another team’s bandwagon, you don’t have much choice.
Now, every year we run into this kind of drama, but this year seems to be worse than normal. Why do Bolt fans seem so desperate? I have two reasons for their panic:
- The new stadium. Let’s face it; this could be the last season for the San Diego Chargers. Fans want to see their team win a championship for their city, not Los Angeles or Carson, or anywhere else. How did Los Angeles Rams fans feel when the Rams took off to St. Louis and then almost immediately win a ring? That had to sting. No one wants that in San Diego. Not to mention, if the Chargers could win the Super Bowl this season, the odds on obtaining the necessary votes to build a new stadium would greatly increase.
- The Padres. This may be a little more of a stretch, but perhaps watching the Padres spend money and seemingly sign whomever they wanted in the offseason got the emotional Bolt fan worked up. “Why can’t we sign guys like the Padres did?” Well I’ll tell you why; because of the salary cap. A.J. Preller, the GM of the Padres, was given permission to spend and spend a lot. He worked his magic and brought more talent at one time than any San Diego franchise has ever been able to bring in. But let’s face it; the Chargers do not have the ability to spend as much as they want on players. They are limited by rules that do not apply in Major League Baseball.
So do yourself a favor and sit back, relax and enjoy the process. Don’t expect more than is possible to deliver. Tom Telesco is trying to build an entire team. Remember, it takes two to Tango. You may have heard that he was the highest bidder to court Andre Johnson and Johnson decided to take less money to play in Indy. That is not Telesco’s fault. These things happen and he has to move on to the next guy on the wish list.
One last thing to remember, when building a team, the GM has free agency, the draft, and camp signings that are often after week 3 of preseason. The team you see today is not the finished product. Give Telesco a chance to prove he knows more than we do. Keep the faith! Go Bolts!
So how do you feel about the job Tom Telesco is doing so far? Is there any certain player you want him to sign? Leave a comment below to share your opinion.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a reoccurring series of the best and worst memories from Charger fans. This week, longtime Bolt fan Bill Carli provided us his greatest and most fond memory. Please read and leave a comment about your reaction to The 1995 AFC Championship win over the Steelers.
Part of being a fan is having some ruthless memories of your favorite team. On the other hand, there are also some incredibly great ones. The 1995 AFC Championship game against the Pittsburgh Steelers is arguably the greatest recollection in Bolts history.
Now, I don’t recall this game as many of my readers do because of my age, however I do remember snippets of my household during the game. In typical party fashion, my parents had the true football game time goods which included food, TV cranked, and of course beer. It’s very likely all of you had the same theme going.
The Chargers 1994 season was not perfect by all means. Head coach Bobby Ross and the team had their losses, but they still were crowned AFC West Champions and earned a ticket into the playoffs. You may have heard this before, but the playoffs are a whole different league. The NFL’s very best teams are setup and sent to battle in order to get to the ultimate game; the Super Bowl. For San Diego, it was their destiny to be there.
Do you believe in miracles? Many don’t, but I guarantee that the entire NFL football nation did that day on January 15th, 1995. Just ask Bill Carli, he was with family and friends watching every play of that game to its final seconds.
Bill distinctly remembers “On fourth down when it appeared imminent that the Steelers were going to score. Dennis Gibson knocked down Neil O’Donnell’s pass in the end zone to send the Chargers to their first Super Bowl.”
The Chargers finished the game with 14 unanswered points scored in the second half to upset the Steelers. Junior Seau certainly played one of his greatest games of his career. It was an incredible effort by San Diego who struggled to finish in the end zone majority of the game.
Immediately following the tipped pass, Bill fell to the floor. Rolling around, in full Chargers gear and Charger cape, crying tears of joy. After that play, I’m sure the City of San Diego could be heard across the nation. The blissful tears from diehard fans could have probably flooded the Nile. There was complete football ecstasy in America’s finest city that day.
After the win against the Steelers, it was official that the Chargers owned the entire AFC and would represent the conference in the biggest game of the year. It was a great season which included some of the team’s best players to wear the blue and gold jersey. Memories like these are forever kept in the hearts of Bolt fans and will never fade away. The 1995 AFC Championship game is just that.
¿CARSON CHARGERS? REALIDAD QUE NO ES TAN REAL
Era otro día casual de postemporada; ya había pasado el Super Tazón, unos jugadores de vacaciones, otros negociando para continuar en su equipo previo o pasar a la siguiente oportunidad, y un día tranquilo en la ciudad de San Diego, California. De repente, la noticia llega:
“Chargers y Raiders anuncian planes para compartir un estadio nuevo en Carson, California”
Y fue el 19 de Febrero del 2015, que las redes sociales explotaron…..
Sorpresa, shock, engaño, traición, fue en general la reacción de la afición relámpago, no solo en la ciudad de San Diego, sino en muchos otros lugares donde hay seguidos de los Chargers.
¿Cómo es que dos rivales, que tienen una historia de odio “marca llorarás”, puedan unir fuerzas para compartir un estadio en Carson?
Se puede resumir en varios factores: Por más de 10 años, los Chargers y la ciudad de San Diego han batallado en la idea de construir un nuevo estadio, con la excusa de “No hay recursos monetarios para financiar un nuevo estadio”: Lo entendemos, construir un estadio es caro, y más cuando te encuentras en una ciudad donde no solo hay Fútbol Americano; hay turismo, hay gastronomía, hay cultura, arte, teatro, entre otras cosas.
¿Pero irse a Carson, California es la solución? ¿Aparte de compartir con un rival a quien muchos aficionados desprecian?
Compartiendo un poco mi opinión, el caso de los Chargers yéndose de San Diego a Carson, no se ve como un caso real.
Para iniciar, Carson, California esta ubicado en el condado de Los Ángeles, y como sabemos por estadísticas, Los Ángeles es considerado “Territorio de Raiders y Rams”, ya que ambos equipos tienen trayectoria previa en la ciudad de ángeles. Siendo este el caso, la afición de Chargers se reduciría a una pequeña cantidad comparado con las demás aficiones. Claro, si los Chargers y los Raiders compartieran estadio, uno de ellos tendría que moverse a la NFC, cambiando un poco la organización de las divisiones en las conferencias.
En mi perspectiva, el único beneficio que tendrían los Chargers en irse a Carson, es que tendrían un nuevo estadio. Sin embargo, no sería propiamente de ellos; sería un estadio compartido con un equipo cuya interrelación es básicamente negativa.
Se ha dado actualización a esta noticia, redactando que solo es un plan en caso de que no funciones las cosas en la ciudad más fina de América (San Diego). Se deben tomar cartas en el asunto, ya que el temor de que San Diego pueda perder a su equipo de fútbol americano nunca ha sido tan grande como lo es ahora.
– José “Joe” Martínez
#BoltUp #ChargerNation #VivaCargadores!
EDITOR’S NOTE: Everyone has a story to tell about their best or even worst memory being a San Diego Charger fan. What’s better than being able to share your story with others who can relate to the raw emotion you felt that day? This will be a reoccurring series that revisits various memories from Charger fandom. It will also grant other fans the opportunity to experience those vivid memories that may not have been able to at the time.
Let’s think back at least a few years ago when the San Diego Chargers were dang near impeccable. Blazing through each game leaving their opponents in the smoke was almost like taking candy from a baby. It was apparent that during the 2009 season the Bolts were destined to make the playoffs and accomplish things they haven’t arguably done since 1994. Yet, it all came crashing down by a lousy three points.
The Chargers finished the 2009 campaign with a 13-3 record and took 1st place in the AFC West. I had such an immense feeling of pride and gratification for what San Diego was able to do that year. There were even some bragging rights when Philip Rivers marched into New York and took it to Eli Manning’s house in a 21-20 victory over the Giants. There’s no doubt that he thinks about that game every now and again.
The Bolts were set up to face off against the 9-7 New York Jets in the AFC Divisional playoff game at the Q. Full of confidence, the team looked to propel themselves past this easy win to face off against Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game. Yet, the game was poorly overlooked.
A low scoring match turned into an anxious nail biter as the clock ticked down to its final minutes. In clutch fashion, Rivers ran into the end zone and scored a 1-yard touchdown. Desperate, the Jets were left with nothing but to attempt an onside kick. Whether it was an act of God or not, the Jets recovered on San Diego’s 29-yard line. Even with a stout defense, the Bolts couldn’t stop the Gang Green from converting on a 4th and 1; granting them the first down in the final seconds of the game.
Shortly after watching Mark Sanchez and the Jets kneel down to end regulation, I felt this emotion I hadn’t experienced before. Sick to my stomach, I sat there in my living room, glaring at the television screen in shock, and thought “how could this be?” I found myself staring aimlessly and faintly hearing my so-called friends boastfully saying “the Chokers are at it again” as they laughed in arrogance. How was it even possible that the Chargers, a team that excelled in the regular season, could have taken the Jets so lightly? My fandom took a huge hit that night as I lay speechless on the carpet floor.
No, I wasn’t around for the Holy Roller, and nor was I around for other various heartbreaking games that occurred before I was even born. Yet to me, this one was the most heartbreaking of all in most recent years. I would never admit it, but it was possible that I cried that night as I watched another AFC team that wasn’t the Bolts continue onto the AFC Conference Championship game.
As I look back, the Chargers have had some rough seasons. I honestly can’t blame non San Diego fans for criticizing the Bolts for their struggles. When the word “choke” is uttered by anyone, I can’t help but get red in the face and feel the urge to backlash. I never want to feel like I did that night, but I know that’s unlikely. Football is known for upsets, shockers, and heartbreak. Have you ever heard the term “any given Sunday”? It’s a phrase often used in professional football which implies that any team has the capability to enter a match-up and take away the win.
The 2009 AFC Divisional game has forever granted me the disgust for the New York Jets. Call it as you will, but I will always remember that game as the one that got away. I can vividly remember, probably etched in my mind by now, the incredible LaDainian Tomlinson sitting on the sideline and looking at the scoreboard in disbelief and disappointment all at the same time. I felt, as did most of you, the pure letdown of the decade in that moment. I wish the Chargers will never have a game like that again, but that’s unrealistic. It is honestly one of the worst games that will forever be imprinted in my memory.
Una noche triste para la escuadra relámpago, ya que la “época más feliz del año” no inicia bien para ellos, con un mal resultado contra los Patriotas de New England. Después de un juego extraordinario contra Baltimore, este juego se caracterizó, entre muchas cosas, por una línea ofensiva deficiente, una línea defensiva que trató de quitar puntos, y una unidad de equipos especiales que sufrió una pérdida muy fuerte. A pesar de que había de esperanzas de una victoria en la primera mitad, los Chargers no pudieron resistir a la escuadra de Tom Brady, y sufrieron un juego perdido, 23-14.
Retomando un poco de datos (como en cada partido):
No Se Puede Culpar, Completamente, a Philip Rivers
Un quarterback no puede hacer su trabajo bien si la línea ofensiva no lo protege. Se debe aclarar eso. La línea ofensiva se veía descontrolada, dando la oportunidad a la defensa de los Patriotas para poder saquear al capitán, lo cual ocurrió en 4 ocasiones. Sin embargo, Rivers no tuvo un buen día, en general, con 189 yardas, 20 intentos completados de 33, 1 touchdown y 1 intercepción. Hubo un par de momentos célebres para los Chargers, como la espectacular atrapada de Malcolm Floyd, resultando en el primer touchdown de la noche (Y cabe mencionar que fue la atrapada #1 en el ranking de las mejores atrapadas de la semana, según NFL.com) .
La Defensiva Hizo Un Buen Papel
Le tengo que dar un aplauso a la defensiva, porque hicieron bien su trabajo. Se vio una unión estable y consistencia durante la mayoría del encuentro, y vimos unas participaciones espectaculares de Jahleel Addae, quien forzó un fumble, recuperado por Darrell Stuckey quien lo llevó hasta la zona de touchdown para sumarle 6 puntos más a la escuadra relámpago. Podemos mencionar además a Melvin Ingram quien tuvo una buena noche, saqueando a Tom Brady en el primer cuarto para evitar un touchdown, y Manti Te’o que interceptó el balón al final del 2do cuarto, un gran acontecimiento para el #50. Si, todavía hay un poco de detalles, como el caso de los castigos; sin embargo, el esfuerzo y la mejoría de una semana a otra se ve.
Houston! Tenemos Problemas En Las Patadas!
Si bien creían que la peor pesadilla para los Chargers era perder el partido en “Sunday Night”, están equivocados. La unidad de equipos especiales sufrió una pérdida muy fuerte y esencial para el equipo, cuando Mike Scifres se lesionó después de despejar el balón, que fue bloqueado. Scifres, como he mencionado, es un jugador superestrella que se ha lucido durante varias temporadas como Chargers. Sin embargo, su lesión es una pérdida muy importante, probablemente la más importante para la escuadra. Scifres tendrá que ser operado y por consecuencia no terminará la temporada. Vimos a Nick Novak tomar cargo de las patadas por el resto de la noche, y a pesar de estar un poco nervioso al principio, tuvo un buen desempeño. Digo, no podemos comparar un pateador con el otro, pero la ausencia de Scifres se notó.
Para los Chargers, como cualquier temporada, este ha sido una intensa montaña rusa; sin embargo, esta se ha caracterizado por el alto número de lesiones, y un alto número de castigos durante el juego. Quedan 3 juegos en la temporada regular, y la escuadra se encuentra peleando en una carrera competitiva en la AFC. Su último juego en casa será el próximo domingo contra los Broncos de Denver, y si los Chargers quieren cerrar con broche de oro su récord local, deben tomar cartas en el asunto y empezar a jugar como si fueran los Playoffs o más allá.
– José “Joe” Martínez
Vaya que nos gusta sufrir, pero vale la pena después de ser testigos de un partido entretenido, cardiaco e intenso. Una combinación de gran estrategia, buen control del reloj, concentración y un buen espíritu de “Nunca Rendirse”, hizo que los Chargers lograran obtener una espectacular victoria de 34-33 contra Baltimore.
La escuadra relámpago se veía totalmente determinada a ganar. Claro, hubo varios detalles durante el juego (detalles que vamos a comentar a continuación) que afectaron al equipo. Sin embargo, lograron seguir adelante, y tomaron ventaja de situaciones cuando era necesario para llevarse la victoria.
Estos son los puntos importantes del encuentro:
“El Capitán” Toma Cargo Otra Vez
Philip Rivers tuvo un desempeño estelar el domingo pasado. A pesar de una intercepción en su primera jugada, el resto del partido tomó control e hizo un buen trabajo. Puedo decir que es una de las mejores participaciones de nuestro quarterback en la temporada 2014. Con un total de 383 yardas, 34 intentos completados de 45, 3 touchdowns y 1 intercepción y un rating de 113.5, su mejor rating desde la semana 6 contra Oakland. Sin duda alguna, Rivers se lució, y vimos ese espíritu luchador que caracteriza a nuestro quarterback.
Ofensiva Lucida = Grandes Resultados
La ofensiva se merece un aplauso. Tuvieron un buen enfoque y concentración durante todo el encuentro, y cuando querían hacer jugadas, lograban hacerlas. Un gran reconocimiento es que lograron convertir 3er downs un total de nueve veces, de un total de once intentos. Además vimos 4 touchdowns: 2 de Keenan Allen, 1 de Ryan Mathews, y el último que selló la victoria de Eddie Royal. El juego aéreo se lució nuevamente, con Keenan Allen llegando a 121 yardas en 11 atrapadas. Malcolm Floyd, Antonio Gates y Eddie Royal llegaron a 85, 83 y 81 yardas respectivamente, el primer jugador logrando atrapar un pase de 59 yardas. Hubo un pequeño detalle, el cual fue la lesión del centro Chris Watt en medio partido; sin embargo, entró Trevor Robinson y se vio con una mentalidad de trabajo estupenda y estaba listo para ayudar al equipo.
Equipos Especiales Con Pequeños Detalles
La unidad de equipos especiales normalmente hace un trabajo espectacular, y ha sido un área que ha permanecido constante durante la mayoría de la temporada. Sin embargo, todavía hay un poco de detalles. Baltimore tomó ventaja de los errores de esta unidad para poder correr el balón a un buen punto de inicio. Un ejemplo es durante el último cuarto, cuando Jacoby Jones, jugador de Baltimore, corrió el balón 72 yardas, jugada que culminó por un gol de campo. Se deben de hacer ajustes para el juego del domingo contra los Patriots. Nick Novak se lució nuevamente con un gol de campo de 52 yardas, que simplemente perfecto. Mientras que Mike Scifres solo despejó el balón en una ocasión durante el partido con un total de 52 yardas.
Castigos Afectan El Juego!!
Parece que los Chargers han tenido un serio problema durante toda la temporada, hablando de castigos y banderas, particularmente en la defensa. El alto número de interferencias afectó a la escuadra relámpago contra Baltimore, dando jugadas de primera y diez y touchdowns en una vajilla de porcelana. Se debe de dar un “Reality Check” a los jugadores para que se eviten estos castigos, mas que nada porque faltan 4 encuentros pesados en el itinerario de los Chargers.
Después de una buena racha de 3 partidos ganados, los siguientes cuatro juegos serán una buena muestra para saber que tan determinado está este equipo de llegar a los Playoffs. El próximo Domingo es un juego muy importante, ya que será transmitido en la mayoría de las televisiones americanas y del mundo como “Sunday Night Football de NBC”. Es una gran oportunidad para la escuadra relámpago para demostrarles a los demás que no son solo “un equipo más de la NFL”.
– José “Joe” Martinez
Week 9 on the San Diego Chargers schedule shows another cross-country trip for the bolted ones. This time, they travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins. The “Wise Guys” in Vegas have this matchup with a slim, one point advantage going to the Fins. Not a bad place for the Chargers to be considering the history between these two proud franchises.
Let’s take a look at five angles that the Head Coaches can use to help motivate their teams. Remember, motivational speeches do not have to be completely factual; they just have to fire up the players. Exaggeration and little white lies are commonplace when coaches address their teams.
Let’s start with Miami’s Coach Joe Philbin. He leads his 4-3 team to the field of battle for what could be their toughest matchup since their Week 6 home loss to Green Bay. Here are some of the things the Dolphins may be hearing this week from their leader:
- Statement Game: “No one believes in us. Even our own fans aren’t sure we are the “real deal”. All I hear is, “Who have they beaten?” Well guys, I’ll tell you that one team we beat was the New England Patriots! That ain’t such an easy feat. I don’t care who they had playing and who was hurt. We played the Patriots and walked away with a hard-fought win. Since then, our wins have been against Oakland, Chicago, and Jacksonville. Okay, maybe their records aren’t stellar. They are still NFL football teams, capable of winning any Sunday. All that being said, if we want to gain respect around the NFL, we must beat a team that is considered to be a contender. This week is our chance to earn that respect.”
- Play to Our Strengths: “Men, anytime we plan for a game, we must consider what it is that we do best, no matter what the other team has shown to be their strength. At this point of the season, we run the ball very well and our short to intermediate passing game is starting to come together. That is not to say that we won’t go deep, but we have to play to our strengths. Right now, the Chargers are struggling against the run, and their corners are banged up. Since we have been able to run successfully this year, we will focus on wearing them down on the ground and wait for opportunities to use play-action passes to hit big plays. If we execute our plan, we will dominate the time of possession and keep the Chargers strength on the sideline.”
- Take Away Rivers: “Say what you want about Philip Rivers but the man can play! He will take whatever we give him. He likes to go deep, but if it’s covered, he doesn’t hesitate to check down to a running back, or hit a quick strike to his buddy Gates. Here’s the deal; we have been very good against the pass this year. If we can keep Rivers to dump passes all day, they will be forced to beat us with Donald Brown and Branden Oliver. If that happens, I like our chances. The Chargers line is banged up and has struggled to open holes for their backs.”
- Not In Our House: “Right now, the Chargers are hearing everyday how we own them in Miami. No Dolphin team has lost them at home since the overtime playoff game in 1982! That is 32 years, gentlemen! Do you want to be the team that breaks that streak? Do you want to be the team that makes San Diego believe that they can come in here and win? I sure don’t. They are down; we need to keep them down. This is our house!
- Take Advantage: “San Diego is hurting. They have injuries all throughout their roster and many of them are starters. Does that mean we take them lightly? Hell no! That means we take advantage of their weaknesses and crush them. Denver picked on their weaknesses so much last week that the Chargers cut a veteran defender shortly after the game. The poor guy was the butt of every joke spoken from San Diego to here in Miami! Let’s see who we can exploit this week. Let’s find weak links and make them wish to go back to the bench where they belong.”
On the other side of the field stands Mike McCoy and his San Diego Chargers. It is true that McCoy will face some difficult challenges going into this game. Between serious depth issues due to injury, another East coast game, and listening to all the NFL historians reminding him that his Bolts haven’t won in Miami in over three decades, he has his hands full trying to keep his team confident and prepared for this game.
Let’s take a look to some things Coach McCoy could say to keep his troops motivated:
- Huge Game: “Men, this game may not be a “must win” in order to make the playoffs, but it is still a huge game looking forward. How much better would you feel about our playoff chances if we go into the bye with a 6-3 record, rather than a 5-4? Knowing that we already had 6 wins and we should be getting several starters back from injury, would make the bye week a lot more enjoyable than kicking ourselves about how we let a few bad breaks get the best of us. Just like I say every week, treat this game like a championship game. No other game matters right now. We need to go into Miami and treat them like someone who is trying to take what we have worked hard to earn and keep. We need to go into Miami and show them what Chargers football is all about.”
- No Respect: “Men, despite all of our efforts and the many great things we have already accomplished this season, we still have to deal with the doubters and haters who say we don’t have the toughness to win, especially since we are down a few guys. They saw the lack of success that we had running the ball against Denver and think that our O line is soft. They saw Denver and Kansas City average around five yards per carry against us so they think our defensive front seven is soft! Let me ask you this, men….Are we soft? If your answer is, “yes”, pack your stuff and go home. If your answer is a firm, “NO”, then go out there and prove it to the Dolphins and the fans of NFL. I’ll tell you right now, men, I don’t think we are soft. I think we have had to recover from a lot of changes and had some learning to do. We have had a good week of practice now and guys are getting more comfortable with their roles. Now, we can think less, and react faster. Now, we can look to punish teams for thinking they can push us around!”
- Next Man Up: “Okay men, let’s face the facts. We have injuries. We have a lot of injuries. We have enough injuries that a lesser team would just curl up into the fetal position and quit. Are we a “normal” team? Are we quitters? What have I been saying all season long? NEXT MAN UP! I don’t want anyone to get hurt, but this in football and injuries happen. Fortunately, we have a roster that is stacked with quality players from number one to 53. Is it a challenge? Sure it is. So what? As men we are challenged our entire lives. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves because no one else will. If the Miami Dolphins sense weakness and fear from our side, we are through. We have to come out and show the Dolphins that we can and will beat them even if we have third string guys in the game, guys playing out of position, or guys who are brand new to the team!
- History Means Nothing: “I was told the other day that we haven’t beaten the Dolphins, in Miami, is 32 years. My answer was, “No, that’s a lie”. We have never played the Dolphins before. You see, men, every year we have a new team. Look around you. Do you see the same team that we had last season? Do you see the same team that played in 1982? Hell, do you see the same guys you saw last week?! It’s a different team in this locker room and for the most part, it is a different team for Miami as well. Just don’t worry about the past. Focus on this week and nothing else. If we go to Miami and play our best game, we will leave victorious.”
- Time to Be Professionals: “Everyone knows that we are going into a bye week after this game. Some teams show their lack of professionalism and maturity by looking past their opponent and they start thinking more about their week off than they do the upcoming game. Miami is too good for us to do that. If we walk on that field as if they will just lay down for us, we will lose, and that will put a real damper on the bye week. The good news is that I know we have a team that takes things one at a time and we are professional enough to not look past any NFL team. I have the utmost confidence that we will take the field on Sunday 100% prepared, mentally and physically. “
So, what do you think? Will the Chargers be professionals, get past their injuries, and take care of the Dolphins? Or, will the Dolphins come in wanting to show the world that they are legit and defeat the Bolts once again in their house?
I’d love to read your comments below on how you think this game will go. I’ll get back to you ASAP.
Enjoy the game and Go Chargers!!