Indianapolis Colts

September 25, 2016: San Diego Chargers defensive tackle Caraun Reid (91) returns a fumble for a touchdown during the NFL game between the San Diego Chargers and Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)

September 25, 2016: San Diego Chargers defensive tackle Caraun Reid (91) returns a fumble for a touchdown during the NFL game between the San Diego Chargers and Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)

 

 

News out of Chargers Park is that ANOTHER player is lost for the year due to injury.

Monday we learned it is defensive end Caraun Reid. And as has been the sickening norm for this team, it was an ACL tear to the big end’s left knee.

Reid sustained his injury in the first quarter of the Atlanta game after being hit in his lower leg as he planted his foot. Linebacker Denzel Perryman was heading for the pile and just caught Reid’s knee.

Claimed off waivers from the Detroit Lions roster, the 6’2, 302-pounder (Princeton, round five of 2014 draft) has been with the Chargers for about six weeks. Filling in while Joey Bosa (2016 draft first round #3) nursed his sore hamstring, Reid has been a contributor on the defense. In 103 snaps he collected five combined tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery for a touchdown.

That notable highlight occurred in the week three game at Indianapolis. Rookie linebacker Jatavis Brown strip-sacked Andrew Luck and Reid scooped up the ball, taking it to the house 61 yards and tying the game at 13 all.

While announcing Reid’s situation, McCoy said “Caraun came in on the very first day and did an outstanding job. He’s a smart player that picked our system up in a hurry and made some big plays for us.”

If anyone is counting, including Reid, that makes TEN – yes, I said TEN – players lost to season-ending injuries. Five of those ten are to the knee and have occurred in the last seven weeks. Here’s the long and incomprehensible list:

Keenan Allen – torn right ACL, week one vs the Chiefs
Danny Woodhead – torn right ACL, week two vs the Jaguars
Jason Verrett – torn left ACL possibly sustained in the Jaguars game
Nick Dzubnar – torn right ACL, week four vs the Saints
And of course, Caraun Reid from yesterday.

Though it was not his ACL, the Bolts lost Manti Te’o to a torn left Achilles’ tendon early in the Colts game.

On top of those, what about the non-contact injuries that besieged the team before the 2016 campaign even began:

wide-out Stevie Johnson tore his meniscus in training camp
tight end Jeff Cumberland was lost to a torn Achilles’ during the pre-season game against Arizona
rookie guard Donavon Clark tore his right ACL in the Arizona contest
change of pace back Branden Oliver had his right Achilles’ snap during the Minnesota game

It is ONLY Week 7 and that list is scary!! I don’t know if there is any other NFL team playing right now that has had the upheaval to their roster that San Diego has endured. There are still nine weeks to go to the end of the season.

I shudder to think what the “football gods” have in store for this group of men and the accursed injury phenomena as time rolls by. Every time a man goes down, I cringe and pray it is just a minor hiccup and they’ll be back quickly.

Time for the CBA to be re-evaluated. Some teams don’t lose any players, some one or two. But to have TEN is like looking at an emergency room full of wheelchairs!

Sorry to see your name added to that list, Caraun Reid. Your presence on defense will be sorely missed.

Cheryl White

#IRclaimsAnother

#VoteYesonCandD

#BoltnUp

henry4

 

Everyone knew that the time to choose a “replacement” for the Chargers’ stellar tight end Antonio Gates was fast approaching. The 36-year-old Gates has been the go-to guy for the Bolts’ signal caller Philip Rivers for the last 10 years. The pair have set many franchise records and “Gatesy” has numerous individual statistics which have come via the arm of Rivers. The veteran TE has slowed just a bit, however, so finding a viable replacement — not in terms of production but in terms of playing time — was a focal point during the 2016 offseason.

Enter dynamic tight end Hunter Henry. As in the best tight end of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Yes, the BEST tight end of his class. The only one ranked by CBSSports.com above 70.

Don’t take my word for it, though. Check out any of his draft profiles. Many football analysts and draftniks dubbed Henry as such, the consensus stating that he had good hands, ran routes well and was a good blocker. He stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 235 pounds. His 40-yard dash time was 4.66 seconds. Sounds like just what the Chargers need at that position, right?

Henry declared his eligibility on January 4, 2016, after his junior season at Arkansas. And, why not? Just look at the former Razorback’s career stats: 1,661 receiving yards on 116 catches with nine touchdowns. Did you know that 93 of those 116 receptions went for first downs or touchdowns? Or that he had four 100-yard receiving games? His 2015 numbers of 51 grabs for 739 yards and three touchdowns plus NO DROPS culminated in Henry receiving the John Mackey Award, an honor annually bestowed upon the most outstanding collegiate tight end in the nation.

Though he has been active in all six games thus far, Henry’s debut versus the Kansas City Chiefs was quiet, as he had a lone catch for 20 yards. He came up empty in the boxscore for the Jacksonville game. The rookie finally busted out in Indianapolis to the tune of 72 receiving yards, as he caught each of the five passes tossed to him by Rivers. The only slight was that in the final minute of that game, he was stripped of the ball in what would most likely have led San Diego to a come-from-behind win.

Henry caught his first touchdown in the home game against New Orleans. It was a sweet pass caught in the middle of the field that he took to the house after 20 yards, just one of his four-catch, 61-yard day. No. 86 has scored a TD in each of the last three games. Six games into the season and he has already amassed 310 yards on 19 receptions (16.3 avg) with three scores and 16 first-down grabs.

Thursday’s game at Qualcomm had division rival Denver in town. How did Henry respond? He responded by scoring a 5-yard TD in front of Broncos’ corner Chris Harris, Jr. while the Bolts were at 2nd-and-goal in the first quarter. He finished the night with 83 yards on six catches in addition to his touchdown reception.

Having future Hall of Famer Antonio Gates as your mentor has to be right up there with being able to play in the NFL.

Just a couple of weeks ago, Gates told Ricky Henne of chargers.com: “From the time I met him, I could see he had all the intangibles.

I see him still growing. I jokingly told him, ‘If I met you before the Combine, you would have went first round! I would have showed you how to have some personality in your routes!’ Now you are seeing that personality in his routes. He already had it all, and now he is just building on it. He is a phenomenal blocker, which is rare to see coming into the league. He’s special. He really is.”

Those are TWO special tight ends that San Diego has on its roster; the master and the apprentice. Keep absorbing all the knowledge you can from No. 85, Henry. He will mold you in to a Hall of Famer, too.

“The sky’s the limit” might be a trite phrase. But in Henry’s case, there are no truer words. Whenever Gates hangs up his cleats, we all know that the team will be in good — make that great — hands!

#OROY

 

Cheryl White

@BoltnUp

 

 

Manti4

 

Well, this time it wasn’t an offensive player that left a Chargers’ game with an injury.

It was their defensive signal-caller and captain, Manti Te’o.

In what is appearing to be an extremely freakish beginning to their 2016 campaign, the Bolts have suffered significant season-ending injuries to three of their starters in each of the first three games.

Keenan Allen – ACL tear to his right knee.

Danny Woodhead – ACL tear to his right knee.

Add Manti Te’o to the list, though it was his Achilles’ that gave out, not his ACL.

Even more disconcerting is that each man sustained his injury in a non-contact scenario. We’ll discuss that in another article soon.

Te’o left the game early in the first quarter of the game in Indianapolis with an immediate announcement that he was done for the day. Who was going to be “next man up” this time?

Enter rookie Jatavis Brown, a product from the University of Akron and a fifth-round pick by the Bolts in this year’s NFL draft.

While the former Zips’ linebacker was chosen for a number of reasons, his 4.47-second 40-yard dash was a primary one. His versatility and athleticism only add to his ability. Additionally, per Pro Football Focus (PFF), he was only called twice for penalties (1,629 snaps) over the last two years. PFF also stated that in 2015 when utilized as a blitzer, Brown had 15 sacks, 12 hits, and 22 hurries in 144 pass-rushing snaps. I have to say – just WOW! This from a guy who some considered to be on the small side at 5-foot-11 and 221 pounds. Looks to me like he can hold his own for sure!

Prior to his entering the game on Sunday, the only sighting of Brown was in the preseason game versus San Francisco. He started that game and made five tackles — three of which were solo stops. Since then, he has participated in all three regular season games, racking up 15 tackles (10 solo), four PDs (passes defensed) and collecting a sack and a forced fumble.

His Sunday stats were six tackles with two tackles for loss, defending two passes and adding a sack. His strip-sack of Andrew Luck should be part of a highlight reel, as it was scooped up by the recently signed Caraun Reid and run in for the score.

One of the bright spots of the afternoon in Indianapolis.

So, just who is this guy Jatavis Brown? The answer: he is a player that many scouts, teams and the like knocked due to his size, though his playmaking ability spoke for itself. It was thought that if he couldn’t perform at this level as a linebacker that he could be a hybrid-safety type defender.

In his four years at Akron, he amassed 340 tackles (193 solo), three forced fumbles, two passes defensed and an interception. The 40.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks were not only team-bests but also led the MAC while his total tackles gave him 7th best.

NFL Draft Scout had him ranked #13 out of 203 OLBs. Brown was not only chosen the 2015 Defensive Player of the Year, he was also named to the All-MAC Conference 1st-team three consecutive years.

This is the rookie that after the draft Telesco told Chargers.com writer Ricky Henne, “This is the one guy in our draft room that if we didn’t draft, I think there would have been a revolt amongst everyone else in the room…There are certain guys sometimes that have a trigger for everybody. (Brown) was a guy who everybody wanted on our football team. He’s actually the one guy that (we got) so many different texts from across the league (about) saying ‘Great pick!’ ‘Good pick!’ Those are kind of fun text messages to get during the draft.”

Brown told Henne shortly after the draft, “I do think I’m flying under the radar, but I’ve been flying under the radar my whole life,” he said. “I guess that’s just me. I like to prove people wrong, and that’s how I (operate). I don’t like the spotlight. I’m a laid back, chill guy. So this fits me just fine. I like to do all the dirty work, do what I’m supposed to do and I don’t worry about getting the publicity.”

Well, Jatavis Brown…publicity or no, here is your opportunity to take the bull by the horns and show those detractors just who you are. You had a great start in an unfortunate situation, but it’s always “next man up” in the pros.

Yeah, my money is on this young man to get the job done. I’m looking forward to seeing him blitz Brees and blow up a few plays this Sunday afternoon at Qualcomm.

Thanks for reading and please share your thoughts.

Cheryl White

 

williamsandre

Photo Credit: Chargers.com (Official team website of the San Diego Chargers)

 

Andre Williams wasn’t left out in the cold too long, thankfully. Even better, no one tried to pick him up!

Williams re-joined the Bolts Tuesday. He was waived this past Saturday when the team had to promote tight end Asante Cleveland from the practice squad. The roster moves were necessary because Antonio Gates was not going to see the field against the Colts and there had to be another body out there in addition to Hunter Henry and Sean McGrath.

The third-year back was initially claimed off waivers by the Chargers earlier this month after being released by the New York Giants. That signing occurred after change-of-pace back Branden Oliver was lost for the season after tearing his Achilles’ tendon in the preseason game in Minnesota.

Williams (6-foot, 220 lbs) was a fourth-round pick of the Giants in the 2014 draft. With the Giants having the likes of Rashad Jennings, Shane Vereen, Bobby Rainey and a couple other guys on hand, Williams just didn’t make the final roster cut. This preseason he managed to gain only 91 yards on 25 carries in three games. He was one of 11 running backs on the depth chart in 2015, managing only 257 yards on 88 carries with a lone TD.

Since entering the league, Williams has played in 32 games. He has rushed for 978 yards on 305 carries and scored eight touchdowns — 41 of those carries went for first downs while five were over 20 yards and two were over 40. He also hauled in 19 passes for 137 yards.

Williams is a former Boston College standout. He set a BC school record in 2010 when he made 42 rushing attempts in a single game when the Eagles played Syracuse in that season’s final game. Williams was one of six finalists for the Heisman Trophy in 2013, finishing fourth. That same year he was named the recipient of the Doak Walker Award, an honor given to the nation’s best running back.

Since being in San Diego, Williams hasn’t been in the mix. Things may change this week.

We’ll all just have to play the wait-and-see game.

Thanks for reading!

Cheryl White

@BoltnUp

 

Rivers-Sad

 

There comes a time when repeated tragedies occur, that you throw up your hands and bellow out a sarcastic laugh or bow your head and give it a good hearty shake.

 

dear-god

 

Week 3 is now in the books and so is the third Charger player to be out for the season due to an injury in as many weeks.

Misery certainly does love company.

After an MRI on Monday, it was officially announced that  Manti Te’o is out for the season with a torn Achilles.  

 

The “Next Man Up” mantra that has been utilized by the Chargers for the past few seasons might need to be changed to “Next Man Down.”

 

Despite the loss of the defensive captain, the Chargers (1-2) also lost another game where they had a chance to win in the end.

Circling around social media last night and Monday morning, there are many that have blamed Philip Rivers, Hunter Henry, Mike McCoy, Melvin Gordon or Josh Lambo for Sunday’s 26-22 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on the road.  

 

Sorry, but I am not going to dignify a response for blaming a kicker whose job is to kick field goals and extra points – not to prevent a rusher from getting a chance to block a kick.  

 

From the early onset of the game, the vibe and tone set by the team was extremely sluggish. The fire and passion that resonated through the first half of Week 1 against Kansas City and the entire Week 2 victory against Jacksonville seemed a distant memory.  

 

slug

 

Rivers was not the elite quarterback that fans have grown accustomed to watching, missing many targets with passes that were too high, too hard or simply off the mark. The fierce competitor that he is, after the game he admitted to the poor performance and execution of his game – even singling out his biggest mistake of the game. “Of all the plays I missed today, I wished I got the one to Travis (Benjamin) on 3rd-and-2 because we were running that thing down.  We may end up with it in our hands at mid-field, and I just missed it…”  

 

Indeed, it was one pass that if completed, the rest of his errant throws would have been forgotten. It was a crucial play that could have possibly secured the game, forcing Indianapolis to use their timeouts and dwindle the game clock down.

Chalk it up to a bad game for the offensive and team leader.

 

One player in particular took the loss solely on himself:

No, Jason, you alone did not lose this game. And might I add that your humility is a breath of fresh air and one of the reasons why you are a fan favorite.

 

It might be true that Jason Verrett was beat often against a very good wide receiver in T.Y. Hilton on Sunday. Equally important to note is that in no way shape or form is the loss all on his shoulders. Game after game the Pro Bowl cornerback has shut down the opposition’s best wideout. It was just a bad day for the talented corner – occurring on a day where others experienced lousy games, as well.

 

Moreover, it was not Feeva’s fault for being on the sidelines during a potential game-clinching 4th-and-7 play with less than two minutes left in the game. Brandon Flowers was covering Hilton and instead of playing him up close, Flowers gave T.Y. a four-yard cushion where he made the easy, wide-open catch at the first down marker, falling forward to ensure the call was a simple one. Flowers has been playing exceptionally better this year than last, and was one of three players that I mentioned on this site to have a great impact this season. It is unfortunate that this crucial play has his named associated with it.

 

Melvin Gordon was held in check by Indianapolis, who came into the game ranked as the worst rushing defense in the NFL. Clearly, the Colts knew about this dubious honor of theirs and studied a lot of film on the second-year starter. It was clear to them that “Flash” loves to run in between the tackles and does not improvise as much as an elite back would. Perhaps it is his style, or perhaps it’s his youth that explains why he runs the way the play is designed to, without recognizing other outlets.

 

Gordon did, however, hit pay dirt again for the fourth time in three games and continues to punish those would-be tacklers. The Chargers fans are very excited about his play thus far. His ability to get into the endzone, his potential, especially if he learns from his mistakes, and how high his ceiling is reinforce the fact that the excitement is justified.  

 

The second-round draft pick of 2016, tight end Hunter Henry, received the starting nod to take the place of the future Hall of Famer Antonio Gates.  Hunter had five catches for 76 yards and looked like he could be the heir apparent of Gates as he levied space between him and the defender, moving the chains on several occasions. Although, it is hard to remember those precise routes and great hands due to his late game fumble that ended any last-ditch efforts for a comeback.  

 

Yes, the Bolts still had a chance to win the game. Yes, the fumble ended that hope. However, it should not have come down to that one play, nor is it the dubious “play that lost the game.”  Hunter is a talented rookie and as you could see his reaction on the sidelines he was devastated.

 

 

hang-head

 

 

As upsetting as it was to watch the game slip away, my heart went out to him and I wondered what encouragement he would receive. Then I saw Gates call him over and give him a veteran pep talk.  

 

By now, most fans who watched the game or have seen the highlights know about all the following miscues: dropped punt, missed catches, missed throws, fumbles…etc.  Let us not take too much time dwelling on those players, because it was not one single player nor single mistake that helped in the loss on Sunday.  It was the collective faux pas of many.

 

McCoy expounded on my thoughts when he stated after the game, “There are a number of plays you look at; missed opportunities through the entire game.  It’s not just one drive or one series.  There were a number of opportunities we had, where we didn’t make the plays today.”

 

To further McCoy’s point, it was not just those mistakes, which during a loss are enhanced and nit-picked, but it was also the penalties. Those yellow flags are thrown often during NFL games, legitimately or otherwise, and this game would see 20 of them – 10 for each team. It has been instilled in many young athletes that a physical mistake is easier to forgive than a mental mistake. Having your named called out by the men in pinstripes is a mental mistake, showing a lack of discipline more often than not. That being said, at least two of those “phantom calls” would cost the Chargers points in the end.  

 

flag

 

Several times those penalties either killed a drive or allowed the Colts to continue theirs. Whether the call is obtuse or astute, it is difficult to gather momentum when the game stops for a penalty.

 

When all’s said and done, with massive blunders and penalties, San Diego still had a chance to win the game. Even with the defense unable to stop the aging wonder who is Frank Gore, collectively they were able to sack Andrew Luck twice, forced two fumbles (recovering one), scored a touchdown and had an interception. Thus far after three games, the defense has logged six total turnovers — four interceptions and two fumbles.  

In 2015, the Chargers secured only 11 interceptions and nine fumbles for the entire season. Furthermore, Rivers has yet to throw an interception, which has contributed to San Diego being at plus-2 in the turnover department, ranking 5th in the AFC.  

 

It was, without a doubt – a sloppy game but one that San Diego should have and could have won. As stated previously, with the poor play at key moments by positional players, and the horrid and massive amount of penalties, the game was still within reach in the waning moments. However, in order to take this team to the next level, a game like this is one that the Chargers needed. A victory would have given then team confidence to win close games and perhaps string a few victories together to gather momentum.  After all, the Bolts have not won back-to-back games since November of 2014.

Let that last sentence sink in for a bit.

The Chargers will return home to Qualcomm Stadium in Week 4 to face the New Orleans Saints. This game will provide the Bolts a prime opportunity to get back on track, possibly evening out their record to 2-2 against a Saints’ team that struggles defensively.

Here is to hoping that the Chargers do NOT lose another key element to their roster for the fourth consecutive regular season week in a row.

 

Please comment below on what miscue, by players or non-players, was the main contributor to the loss in Indy.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Brian “Big Kahuna” Scott        

 

Te'o

 

In what appears to be an unfortunate yet ongoing theme, the Chargers lost yet another player for the season.

The team announced on its official website on Monday that Manti Te’o suffered a torn Achilles and that he will miss the remainder of the 2016 campaign

The few snaps that Te’o saw Sunday before being hurt may very well have been his last in lightning bolts. The inside linebacker is in the final year of his rookie contract which has yet to be extended.

Te’o exited Sunday’s nail-biter against the Colts with an obvious injury to his lower leg. No contact was made as he was clearly in the middle of the field and suddenly went down, grabbing at his calf. Initial reports shortly after were that it was his Achilles and he would not be returning to the game.

This is the third non-contact injury to a Bolts’ player in as many weeks. First to be lost in the regular season was Keenan Allen, who tore his ACL in the Week 1 game against Kansas City. Last week the team saw all-around back Danny Woodhead go out with an ACL injury, as well. Sunday it was Te’o. This trend brings up many questions but I’m not going to discuss them right now.

What is disconcerting is that this is the third player on the team to be lost for the year due to an Achilles’ tear. First up was tight end Jeff Cumberland, an offseason pickup. He had gone up to catch a deep ball from Kellen Clemens in the Week 2 preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals. The following week it was Branden Oliver. Everyone can recall with utmost clarity when BO’s Achilles’ snapped and rippled up his calf. Now Manti Te’o, the defensive captain and signal caller, has had the same thing happen to him.

Three players lost to an Achilles’ tendon tear in what, six weeks?! Each one coming in a situation where the individual is not being contacted by another player.

The Chargers may not be the only team to have the “injury curse” hit them this early in the 2016 campaign, but it’s damn freaky to have the SAME type of trauma effect three different players in the course of a season.

Let us all hope that this does not continue to be the theme over the course of the remaining games.

Thanks for reading!

Cheryl White

#AchillesWoes

BoltsRally1024

 

The staff at boltblitz.com give their take on the Chargers week 3 matchup vs the Colts

 

Zak Darman: Chargers come out flat and the Colts come out guns ablazin’. Colts get a 17-10 lead going into halftime with Luck picking apart this defense for 200 first half yards and 2 Touchdowns. Philip gets one before half hooking up with Travis Benjamin. Second half starts and it is the opposite this time with the Chargers leaning on Melvin Gordon and the running game to take a lead late and the defense holds to win it. Chargers 24 Colts 20

 

Chris LaFurno: Last time these teams saw each other, Luck wasn’t hurt. He was good and that Colts team actually went 11-5. Chargers won that game 19-9 not allowing the Colts into the end zone once. Now they face Luck and Co. with a much improved run game and an emerging defense. I believe MG28 will get it going as early as the first drive and the Chargers won’t look back. They’ll open up a 14-0 lead and it will go score for score from there on out. I love Luck. He’s great but just doesn’t have enough help around him for this to be a trap game. Chargers are ready. Phil will go over the 300 yard mark with 3 Touchdowns. MG28 gets two Touchdowns one through the air and one on the ground. Luck will try to test Verrett often and Verrett will answer the call. 6 targets for 2 receptions for 20 yards, 2 PDs and an interception. Defense comes up with 3 turnovers. Chargers win 35-20

 

Laura Leech: Gordon has another strong game with a touchdown. Benjamin with 2. Hunter Henry gets his first. Colts keep it close but an interception seals the deal for the Chargers in a nail biter. 31-24 Chargers

 

Cheryl White: Defense harasses Luck & Co. all day. Verrett blankets Hilton so Luck really can’t get the ball to him. Defense gets at least 2 INT’s, M28 gets two TD’S, Philip surpasses 300 yds this week with 3 TD’S and zero INT’S.. #GoBolts 38-14 Chargers

 

Chris Hoke: The chargers and Indy trade points for most of the game leading to a game winning field goal by Josh Lambo 27-24 bolts

 

Mike Pisciotta: Despite McNorv’s inability to rally the team to play a 60 minute game, Philip Rivers and the offense take advantage of Indy’s depleted secondary to win. Melvin Gordon runs for a buck again and a score, Travis Benjamin hauls in two Rivers’ TD passes and Dexter McCluster runs the first kick off back for a score for the Chargers since 1857. Bolts win 31-17

 

Will McCafferty: I really wanted to predict 41 for the Bolts but I can too easily see McCoy’s sphincter tightening in the fourth quarter once more. He just can’t help himself. The Colts have been getting killed on the ground and no reason to believe that trend shouldn’t continue. Look for Gordon to have another big day….unless he gets pulled in the fourth. The Chargers will dominate the time of preseason, as well as the scoreboard. 31-24 Chargers

 

Greg Williams: The offense keeps rolling and the defense continues to force turnovers and get good pressure on the quarterback. Keep an eye out for Hunter Henry, who will record his first pro touchdown subbing in for an ailing Antonio Gates. 30-14 Chargers

 

Bolt fans, put your prediction down below in the comment section.

 

Thanks for Reading

colts-vs-chargers

 

 

It’s week three and the Chargers are on the road. Here are my three things they must do to have a happy flight home

 

1.) Get Hunter Henry involved
Antonio Gates is out this week due to his  ankle so it is the Chargers second round pick time to step up. Henry has one catch on the season for 20 yards and that came in week one vs the Chiefs in the second half. Used mostly as a blocker, Henry will be a huge reason why the offense moves and needs to be implemented as a legitimate pass catching threat.

 

2.) All aboard the Gordon train
Weird coming from me, I know, but Melvin Gordon looks far better this season than he did a year ago. He is making quick decisions, holding onto the ball (simultaneously knocks on wood) and has cut down on the stutter stepping, although still does this at times. His vision has improved and he is fighting through arm tackles. He is, for the most part, what Telesco moved up to get a year ago. Keep his mojo going and hand him the rock and hopefully he continues his recent success.

 

3.) Contain Luck, contain the Colts
Andrew Luck has been turnover prone since joining the league in 2013 and taking over for Peyton Manning. Since then, the Chargers have faced him once, beat him, picked him off once and held him to less than 300 yards passing. Whatever worked then, do it again. The Colts are without Donte Moncrief and Jason Verrett is most likely going to be on T.Y. Hilton, unless Hilton goes in the slot. The Colts don’t have the playmakers they once have, but no NFL team should be taken lightly.

 

What do you guys think? Let me know below and go bolts!

 

Zak Darman (@WilMyersGOAT)

mccoil

 

We have seen it fairly often, Jahleel Addae streaking towards his man. We’ve seen that result end up with Addae being out because he concussed himself making the hit.

Sunday, we all watched as Addae ran towards Jacksonville’s Denard Robinson late in the game and tackled him. I know many people thought Addae had used his helmet to hit Robinson; especially as both Robinson and “Hitman” remained on the ground after the two players collided. I did see that it was his shoulder Addae had employed to initiate the contact and just knew as he was helped to his feet that HE wasn’t going to come back any time soon.

Lo and behold, word came that the Chargers’ starting safety had broken his collarbone. Anticipation is that he will be out 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery today to fix the injury.

So who steps in to fill the void left by his absence?

The team will most likely look to rookie Dexter McCoil and Adrian Phillips to pick up the reps during practice. The team heads to a meet-up against the Colts in Indianapolis on Sunday, so naming a starter quickly is paramount.

At 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, McCoil may get the call. As part of the Edmonton Eskimos from 2014-2015, McCoil was named Most Outstanding Rookie (2014) after amassing 67 tackles, four sacks and six interceptions, of which three were returned for touchdowns.

McCoil signed with the Chargers in January and quickly proved throughout OTAs and minicamp that he was more than capable of playing at the NFL level. In the first two weeks of the 2016 regular season, he has already made four tackles, adding a defended pass.

He may be considered a rookie but I anticipate that his experience and size give him the nod to fill in until Addae returns to the lineup.

The next option is Adrian Phillips, who has been with the Bolts since 2014, albeit primarily on the practice squad. At 5-foot-10, Phillips is similar in size to Addae though a bit heavier (210 to 195). The former Texas Longhorn has participated in 12 games (two starts) and collected 12 tackles, an interception and defended one pass.

Will Phillips’ endeavors get him the starting job? We’ll know sooner rather than later.

The defense played pretty darn well Sunday afternoon. The secondary looked great. I’m hoping it is easier to plug the gap that Addae’s absence creates than in the past.

McCoy and Pagano will have a tough decision to make and I don’t envy them.

We’ll all be watching and waiting for the announcement.

Thanks for reading!

Cheryl White

@BoltnUp

#secondaryprospects

Go Bolts!

Gordon5

 

After blowing a huge lead in Week 1, much was made of this team for not finishing the game against the Chiefs. As the Bolts jumped out to a quick 21-0 lead once again. This time the lead would not be relinquished, as the Chargers seemed to be fired up in front of their home crowd completely, embarrassing a Jaguars’ team that looked to show a lot of promise last week against a good Packers’ squad.

The main story in this is Melvin Gordon. Ken must’ve learned from last week as he fed Gordon early and often late into the 4th quarter. This would be the main stay of the offense after the Bolts suffered another huge loss as Danny Woodhead went down with a knee injury (it’s being reported on Monday that Woodhead suffered a torn ACL and is out for the season, per NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport). With Gordon being fed, he didn’t disappoint, scoring a touchdown in his second straight game and racking up his first career 100-yard rushing game.

Defensively, the John Pagano’s unit played lights out. Don’t let the score fool you. This defense stepped up big time! The San Diego secondary blanketed the talented receiving corps of the Jags. Outside linebacker Melvin Ingram showed up big, sacking Blake Bortles twice. It appears as though the free-agent acquisition of Casey Hayward is already paying huge dividends, picking off Bortles two times and stopping what could’ve been a huge red zone opportunity for the Jags early. If one thing is for sure when this defense plays like this you can see why we were all excited for this team in the off-season.

MVPs of the game:

Philip Rivers– If you questioned how Philip would do without Keenan Allen, those questions were quickly put to rest, as Rivers was at his best as he usually is against the Jags. Rivers completed 17-24 for 220 passing yards and four touchdowns; just another day at the office for Rivers. The veteran signal caller once again proved this offense still relies on the arm of Rivers to get things done.

Travis Benjamin– I would be fool if i didn’t mention this man. He completely torched the jaguars secondary for six receptions for 115  and two scores. Getting Travis going with the loss of Keenan Allen was huge. With the way they showed cased him, this Chargers’ receiving corps looks to still be dangerous, even without Allen. I’m excited to see how they build on this going forward.

The whole back-end of Bolts’ Defense– I already pointed out how good Hayward was on Sunday. How about this unit as a whole? The secondary was flying to the ball, being really aggressive. The Jags looked like they were scared to throw to Verrett’s side for the vast majority of the game. Flowers was solid when he had to be; even Addae lead this team in tackles for the day before going down with a shoulder injury in the 4th.

Tyrell WilliamsThe youngster is looking like the second coming of Malcom Floyd. Williams had a fantastic day with three receptions for 63 yards and scoring a huge 44-yard touchdown, busting through multiple tackles to break into the endzone for his first TD of 2016. He could be so dangerous going forward, especially with Benjamin having a breakout game of his own.

Honorable mentions – Drew Kaser, Manti Teo, Matt Slauson, Antonio Gates and Darrell Stuckey

Bums of the game

Joey Bosa – Everyone who has read my prior pieces knows how high I am on Joey. Still, he has yet to see the practice field in pads yet. Should we think of this as a red-shirt year for Bosa? Uh, no. The Chargers are paying this kid too much money to not see him play a snap. Look for Bosa to start seeing game snaps when this team plays the Broncos in Week 6, if not sooner.

Isaiah Burse  I know the expectations on him weren’t suppose to be really high. The guy was a ghost in this game, though. Perhaps that’s because he was supposed to be mainly on kick returns and they only had three today. Even in garbage time Burse was nowhere to be found. It wouldn’t hurt to change things up and see him take snaps from fellow wide receiver Dontrelle Inman (who I’ve never been overly high on). With all the injuries to this offense, head coach Mike McCoy may want to limit Benjamin’s Involvement in special teams, possibly leading to more of Burse.

The seat still burns for McNorv

Like I’ve already said, this game was even worse for the Jaguars than the score let on, meaning we didn’t have to deal with the curious case of Mike McNorv. He rarely had to make any game-management decisions. The only exception I can think of was on the 4th-and-2 play in the first half near the goal line where Philip ran a hard count and drew the Jags offsides. If Rivers didn’t draw them of,f you know “Field goal Mike” would’ve struck again. He was bailed out by his veteran quarterback and the hardest decision he had was when to put Kellen Clemens in. Until he proves otherwise, McNorv and his goons will remain on notice all season.

 

In closing, overall this game being compared to last week is like day and night. This team did exactly what it should’ve done by beating the Jaguars. Hopefully this game is a template on how the Chargers will win games going forward. Any given Sunday, though.

Now we’re on to Indianapolis in Week 3!

Go Bolts!

@supercharged17

Chris Hoke

 

**featured image credit to Chargers.com

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