After a rough first half, the Chargers got it going and beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 33-14. Despite having a 17-14 lead going into halftime, the first two quarters of the game found San Diego struggling to get going. The necessary adjustments were made during the intermission, and the Bolts turned it on.
Philip Rivers was solid and showed that the only thing that needs fixing about him are the headlines around the media. He finished the day with 377 yards passing and three touchdowns. He was in control of the offense as the running game was a mess. His performance was stellar considering the team only had 42 yards rushing on 20 carries. But don’t forget the Chargers, minus yesterday’s game, have faced three of the best defenses in the NFL in Arizona, Seattle and Buffalo.
That being said, the offense misses having Ryan Mathews. And if you don’t, I can’t help you. I will be writing about that later today.
Rivers was able to find both Eddie Royal and Malcom Floyd for a total of three scores. Royal had two of those touchdowns and the crowd went crazy because both scores were long scoring plays. Floyd’s touchdown reception was a 24-yarder. Keenan Allen burst onto the scene with his biggest production of this season. Allen finished the game with 10 catches and 135 yards.
The defense was stout and managed to pick off two passes. Brandon Flowers snagged his first interception as a Charger and Eric Weddle pulled one in, as well. Those were the first two interceptions of the 2014 season for the Charger defense.
Defensively, John Pagano was dialed in and called a solid gameplan. The defense, in addition to the two turnovers, was able to pressure Jaguar quarterback, Blake Bortles, and finished the game with three sacks. Both Ricardo Matthews and Cordarro Law had their first sacks as Chargers. A blitzing Jahleel Addae had a sack, too. They held the Jacksonville running game to 85 yards. The Jags were limited to zero explosive plays while running the ball. Not a single run went for over 10 yards.
In his first start, Blake Bortles showed he can play despite his two interceptions. But the San Diego defense proved to be too much for the rookie. Not even one Jacksonville receiver reached 70 yards receiving. When comparing that to the Chargers, Allen had 135 yards while Eddie Royal racked up 105 of his own.
The team is now 3-1 and they face the New York Jets at home in week 5. It is very important that they keep rolling considering the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning provide quite the competition in the AFC West. The division rival Broncos are currently coming off their bye week and they have a record of 2-1.
This could be a magical year in San Diego. The team has improved its depth and Tom Telesco is responsible for that. Despite being banged up at multiple positions, Mike McCoy’s mantra of “next man up” is being preached all over Chargers Park. Hang on tight and enjoy the ride that the 2014 San Diego Chargers are taking you on this year.
Let me start by saying that this is not an April Fool’s joke. The Bolts will begin their offseason workouts today. This is the time of year when the players start to work on their conditioning and strength training.
Conditioning, for some players in the NFL, can be an issue at the beginning of such workouts. Although it is said that there is no offseason in the NFL, the players undoubtedly need, and deserve, to allow their bodies to heal up and rest. As you all know, Ryan Mathews actually failed a conditioning test a couple of camps ago. Add that to his other obvious issues, and people were that much more unimpressed with him and, perhaps, his lack of commitment to honing his craft.
Though there will be no installation of plays or the actual practicing of football with the players, this is a great opportunity to build team chemistry. The Chargers have signed 8 new free agents. These new players can begin to form a bond with the veteran nucleus that is already in place in San Diego.
The workouts are closed off to the media and the public. This portion of the offseason may be seen as insignificant to some, but that can’t be further from the truth. If, and when, games are kept close going into the fourth quarter, the team that has put in the work to be properly conditioned has a much better advantage in closing out the game. Players are getting bigger, stronger, and faster each and every year. The strength of the players can help to be a deciding factor in many facets of the game. It certainly plays a role when looking at the game on both the offensive and defensive lines.
These workouts are also something to keep an eye on due to the new hires of Kent Johnston and Rick Lyle. Johnston will serve as the team’s strength and conditioning coach while Lyle will serve as his assistant. Here’s to hoping those two can whip these guys into shape.
We’ll be doing our best to keep you updated on any reports or information stemming from these workouts.
Thanks a lot for reading.