It is Week 2 and the Bolts are coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Chiefs. Here are three things they must do in order to avoid being 0-2.
1.) If something is working, don’t stop doing it
Even writing that makes me feel weird because this should be an easy one to follow. Not to this coaching staff. The reason why they lost last week was because they did the exact opposite of what worked in the first half. They quit blitzing and running and started slinging it and playing “bend-but-don’t-break defense,” or as I like to call it, no-win defense. Stick to what works, whether it be onside kicks all game, throwing on every down or doing the wildcat. These are all extreme examples but I think you get the point.
2.) Don’t let up at any point
Again, another one that should be obvious but the Chargers are known to give up big-time leads late in the 4th quarter. I am one who hates to see teams let off the pedal. That does nothing for your team. In case the other team comes back, well the momentum is on their side and it’s not exactly easy to just automatically flip it back into high gear. If you are up 21 points, make it 28; especially against the Jaguars. They have a numerous amount of weapons on their offense that includes Julius Thomas, Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, TJ Yeldon and, of course, Blake Bortles. They are vastly underrated and they aren’t a team to mess around with at all.
Who is going to step up for Keenan Allen?
Probably a key for the rest of the season after losing Slayer to a season-ending knee injury. Who will step up and take over his role? I want to think it will be Tyrell Williams. He brings the size and speed that teams dream of and can be a huge mismatch for any opposing defense. He had a decent game last week versus the Chiefs, hauling in two passes but getting 71 yards receiving. Both plays exceeded 20 yards total and he was targeted five times. If Tyrell can step up and be the man, the Chargers’ offense will be okay.
What do you guys think is a key to victory? Let me know down below and go Bolts!
Zak Darman (@WilMyersGOAT)
The San Diego Chargers’ secondary has been tested early and often through the first five games of the season. Though their 2-3 record suggests otherwise, the banged-up unit led by Brandon Flowers and Jason Verrett has fared extremely well against the NFL’s top receiving talent.
The Chargers began the season at home against the Detroit Lions and their All-Pro wide receiver Calvin Johnson. Johnson finished third in the NFL in receiving in 2013 and fell out of the top ten in 2014 despite recording over 1,077 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. San Diego allowed Johnson one catch on the first drive of the game and one catch on the last drive of the game. At the end of the day:
Calvin Johnson: 2 catches for 39 yards.
The very next week, the Chargers traveled to Cincinnati to face the Bengals and their All-Pro wide receiver A.J. Green. Green is currently fourth in the NFL in receiving yards with 495, adding three touchdowns. He did have a touchdown reception on a perfectly thrown ball in the back of the end zone. Aside from that score, Green only touched the ball three other times. At the end of the day:
A.J. Green: 4 catches for 45 yards and one touchdown.
In Week 5 before a prime-time audience on Monday Night Football, San Diego welcomed Antonio Brown and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The All-Pro Brown finished 2014 as the number one receiver in the NFL with over 1,600 yards, and is third in the league this season with 523 receiving yards after five games. In the prime-time tilt, Brown was held to three receptions for a paltry 45 yards. At the end of the day:
Antonio Brown: 3 catches for 45 yards.
This is a great sign for a team that is once again beset by injuries in the secondary and the offensive line. Both Flowers and Verrett have missed critical game action. When they’re on the field, they have proven to be exceptional at shadowing the best wide receivers the game has to offer.
At the present time, San Diego owns the ninth-ranked passing defense in the league at 218 yards passing allowed per contest. Through three weeks, Green had been allowed the most catches with four and Bengals wideout Marvin Jones had the most receiving yards with 48. In the Week 4 overtime thriller against Cleveland, the Chargers allowed six passes for 79 yards to the Browns best wide receiver, Travis Benjamin.
In the soul-crushing Monday Night Chargers loss, Steelers’ wideout Marcus Wheaton caught only one pass. Wheaton shook off Flowers with a double move that resulted in a 72-yard touchdown. No Steelers’ wide receiver caught any more than three balls. At the end of the day:
Most yards allowed to a wide receiver: 79
Most catches allowed to a wide receiver: 6
Most receiving yards allowed regardless of position: 85 (RB Duke Johnson, Cleveland)
No player has had a 100-yard receiving day against San Diego.
Only one quarterback, Cleveland’s Josh McCown, has thrown for over 300 yards against the Bolts.
The Chargers three losses can be attributed to many things. Injuries, turnovers, clock management and play calling can be named among the various reasons. A weak secondary is not one of those reasons. Dropped interceptions can definitely be added to the list. In the Pittsburgh game alone, three interceptions were dropped, two of which had a clear path to the end zone. Dropped picks were among a list of other missed opportunities that cost San Diego a win against Cincinnati as well.
This bodes well for a team that has more elite receivers on the horizon. San Diego will travel to Green Bay (Randall Cobb) in Week 6 and still has two games against Denver (Demaryius Thomas) remaining.
There is also a trio of rising stars the Chargers secondary will face with Jacksonville (Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns) and two games against Oakland (Amari Cooper). If the Bolts can continue to keep bottling the opposition’s best weapons, the Chargers will win more games and be in prime position to challenge for the AFC West title.
Keep in mind, the remainder of the schedule after the game against the Packers is very favorable for the Chargers.
It is not over yet, BoltFam.
What do you think Bolt Nation? Encouraged or discouraged?
Leave your thoughts in the remarks below.
The Greg One