Nick Novak

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One of these days, either Philip Rivers or Eric Weddle are going to rip off their helmets, grab a microphone, and ask the 50,000 or 60,000 in attendance, “Were you not entertained?”

My prediction would be Weddle considering his look is more in line with what the gladiators of yore looked like back then.  Of course, I doubt either player would do such a thing.  After all, it’s the NFL and not WWE.

However, I wonder sometimes if such a thought ever went through the minds of players for the San Diego Chargers.  After starting the season 5-1 they’ve dropped two straight.  Now, some members of the media are wondering if the impressive start was really that impressive.  Sounds like fans are reliving 2011 all over again.  Would you like me to remind you how that season ended?  I didn’t think so.

After the Denver loss, the Chargers are past the halfway point in the 2014 season.  So, what do you think?

The good:

  1. Philip Rivers is everything we imagined an elite quarterback would be.
  2. Antonio Gates has found the fountain of youth and has been born again.  He is a record-breaking tight end who is reliable to catch much-needed touchdown passes.
  3. Nick Novak can’t miss.  Well, he hasn’t missed when he needs to put points on the board.
  4. Malcom Floyd, Keenan Allen, and Eddie Royal remind me of Wes Chandler, Charlie Joiner, and John Jefferson.
  5. Eric Weddle is the straw that stirs the drink called defense.

The bad:

  1. Just when we all thought the offensive line problems were addressed, apparently the line still can’t block a speedy defense.
  2. When that line can’t block, the run game fails to move the ball.  Thus, ball control can’t get established.
  3. Injuries will catch up with a team, no matter how much the reserves play above their heads.
  4. When the front-seven doesn’t get into the quarterback’s face, the opponent controls the ball and the defense gets winded quickly.
  5. I wouldn’t want John Pagano’s job if it was offered to me.

In my opinion, it would be so easy to blame the past two losses on the secondary, yet it sounds like I’m repeating myself.  In the past few years, it seems like the front office of the Chargers addressed a weak secondary through the draft and/or free agency only to have them underachieve or miss time due to injury. This season, so far, one would have to give the team an incomplete because injuries have made it difficult to really see the potential of the starters.

On the other side of the ball, the offense (before the losing streak), looked great even without starter Ryan Mathews.  Due to injuries, we saw the potential running threat that was Brandon Oliver.  With Mathews’ return imminent (and this season being a contract year), the seven games after the bye week are going to be interesting.

Before the season started, I attended an open training camp and declared on social media that I thought the team was dangerous.  I was reminded that had been the analysis of all 32 teams up to the that point.  As the season started and Chargers were winning, I stopped short of patting myself on the back.  I probably should’ve clarified my statement and said the team is dangerous for your liver.  Yes, a fan can be driven to drink.

Six games into the season, while some were getting sized for their rings, I reminded people to not forget the past, because people are condemned to repeat the past if they forget it.  I was called a Nancy Negative.  The Chargers have a two-game losing streak.

One thing is for sure:  I can’t help but admire the San Diego Chargers.  When playing in the dilapidated Qualcomm Stadium, with half the crowd against you (sometimes), it would be so easy to just go through the motions and mail it in.  The team has been attached to so much speculation about relocation.  They were getting no respect from the experts, who disregarded their prior achievements, before beating the Raiders.  These days, the media (in their own city) is wondering if their wins were really that impressive (thanks, Seattle).

Eight games into the season, I can only say that I have been entertained.

So, what do you think of the Chargers through the first eight games?  As always, your questions and comments are welcomed.  Please submit them below.

 

David Parada

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The Chargers are in Denver tonight to battle the division leading Broncos.  This is a statement game for the Bolts and one that the entire nation will be tuned into waiting to see who will reign supreme in the AFC West.

Tonight’s game is a battle for the lead of the division.  San Diego comes in after a tough loss at home to the Kansas City Chiefs.  The Broncos are on top of the standings and they embarrassed the 49ers last Sunday night.  Denver quarterback Peyton Manning secured the all-time touchdown pass record passing Brett Favre and he now has 510 scoring passes for his career.

The Chargers have been decimated by injuries and come into the game with a patchwork secondary and running back corps.  No one, including the Bolts, is going to feel sorry for San Diego; especially the Broncos.  Injuries happen to all 32 teams in the NFL, and the “Next man up” mantra is in full effect.  The team must come out and find ways to utilize all of the players that will be on the field.  There cannot be any thoughts toward those players that are not available to play.

There are many ways for the San Diego Chargers to beat the Denver Broncos.  Below I’ll highlight my five keys to obtaining a victory on the road at Sports Authority field this evening.

 

1)  John Pagano must call an aggressive, attacking defensive gameplan.

This is not a game where the corners can play ten yards off the ball.  Getting hands on receivers and disrupting routes is paramount to defensive success for the Bolts.  Exotic-like blitzes and disguising coverages should be the focal point of the Charger defense. When watching the game against the Chiefs, the Chargers went vanilla far too often.  In the defense’s defense, they were exhausted toward the end of the game due to being on the field for 39 minutes when all was said and done.  Pagano cannot call that soft-shell cover two or cover three defense where there cornerbacks are playing far off of the Denver wide receivers.  Peyton will slice and dice the San Diego defense if that is the case.  The outcome of this game will be determined by many factors.  But much of the emphasis toward winning lies on the shoulders of defensive coordinator John Pagano and his gameplan.

 

2)  Philip Rivers must utilize and trust Branden Oliver in the passing game.

One of the major things that stuck out to me during the KC game was Rivers had the opportunity to check down to Oliver in the flat and he still forced the ball into tight windows and covered receivers.  At least two of the plays where Philip was sacked he had Branden open in the flat.  Give your playmakers a chance to make plays.  And, by the way, if you haven’t noticed it yet, Oliver makes plays.  Rivers must trust him to make the first guy miss – which he does more often than not – and see what happens from there.  Although I refuse to compare Oliver to former Charger Darren Sproles, Philip must find a way to trust Oliver the same way he did Sproles as an outlet/safety valve.

 

3)  Hit Peyton Manning in the mouth early and often.

Manning is a sure-fire first ballot Hall of Famer.  But like all quarterbacks in the league, putting pressure and disrupting his throws will force him to make mistakes or throw errant passes.  His arm is not what it once was earlier in his career.  Quite honestly, it is obvious when watching tape on Peyton.  That being said, give him time and he’ll tear you apart.  The weapons that Manning has at his disposal provide him with an arsenal that could make most signal callers look like a HOFer.

 

4)  The Chargers, despite a depleted and banged up backfield, must run the ball and control time of possession.

Here I go talking about the importance of an undrafted free-agent out of Buffalo.  Branden Oliver is quite possibly the x-factor in this game. Oliver must carry the ball at least twenty times for the Bolts to secure a victory.  Draw plays that force players like DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller into the backfield will allow the Chargers to take advantage of the Bronco’s speed rushers.  Although he needs no added pressure, Branden must have a career game – though he is in the infantile stages of his time in the NFL – in order for San Diego to come out victorious.  We all saw it in last year’s win over Denver on Thursday night.  Ryan Mathews’ ability to chew up clock and wear out the Bronco defense proved to be the main reason San Diego was able to pull off a 27-20 victory.  Oliver must have a similar performance to what Mathews put up last year.

 

5)  Find a way to slow down the Thomas brothers.

When examining the Bronco offense, tight end Julius Thomas and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas are tearing up the league.  Their dominance of the NFL is well documented.  Add in Emmanuel Sanders and Wes Welker, and there is no reason to not give the Broncos the title of the team with the best offensive weapons in the league.  Neutralizing and slowing down Julius and Demaryius is crucial to achieving the W in Denver.  This is a tall task for any defense, much less a Charger D that has been devastated by injuries.  Whether it’s a robber over the top or a bracket to ensure neither player has much running room, Pagano has to draw up his best coverage schemes of his short career as a defensive coordinator.

 

There are many other keys to defeating the Broncos tonight.  But those are the five that stand out to me when looking at a way for the Bolts to fly home from Denver with the lead in the AFC West.

We’re a little over three hours from the beginning of the game.  Can you feel it?  Are you hyped?  Are you ready to get loud, regardless of where you are, when the Chargers get that much-needed win?  I know I am.

The San Diego Super Chargers win this contest on a late-game field goal by kicker extraordinaire, Nick Novak, 33-31.  This game will be the best Thursday night football game of the entire season.  Book it.

 

Thanks a lot for reading.

 

Booga Peters

 

 

Vamos a tomar un recorrido por el mundo de los recuerdos, hacia el 29 de Diciembre de 2013: el último partido de la temporada de los Chargers, contra Kansas City en la ciudad San Diego. El encuentro estuvo intenso, con una conclusión de que ambos equipos querían la victoria, aunque uno de ellos ya tuviera su pase a los Playoffs. Si recuerdan, este partido (o la razón por la cual el juego se fue a tiempo extra) se definió por un gol de campo fallido por la escuadra de los Chiefs, el cual llevó a un tiempo extra donde nuestra escuadra relámpago resultó victoriosa. Esta vez, fue la misma situación con un resultado diferente.

 

San Diego y Kansas City se enfrentaron en su primero de dos encuentros en esta temporada, donde el equipo de Andy Reid dominó la mayoría, sino casi todo el partido. La escuadra relámpago parecía estar fuera de enfoque en varios momentos, particularmente la defensiva, y en varios momentos donde pudieron haber hecho grandes jugadas, no lograron hacer eso. Incluso, el equipo fue victima de varias penalizaciones, hasta penalizaciones que no tuvieron que ser, una en el último cuarto en contra de Corey Liuget, la cual podemos decir que tuvo efecto en el resultado final del partido.

 

Simple y sencillamente, fue un caso de “Déjà Vu” en la ciudad Sudcaliforniana, cuando la puntuación se decidió por un gol de campo por parte de los Chiefs; esta vez fue exitoso, y Kansas City se llevó la victoria 23-20, siendo un final triste para los Chargers, quien ahora se encuentran con un récord de 5-2.

 

En reflexión, vamos a hacer nota de puntos importantes del encuentro y de la escuadra hasta el momento:

 

1) Darle el balón a Branden Oliver con mayor frecuencia

 No vimos mucha participación del #43 en este juego, sin embargo, cuando si la hubo, estuvo espectacular. Oliver, al parecer ha fortalecido seguridad en si mismo en el campo. Tan sencillo es decir que si hubieran dado más uso a este jugador, pudiéramos haber visto un touchdown de su parte.

 

2) “El Capitán” No Es Perfecto, Pero Cuando Lo Es…..

 Si empiezan a dudar por un momento sobre el calidad de nuestro QB, debes haber tenido un mal día, porque no se puede cuestionar el gran desempeño de Philip Rivers esta temporada. OK, tuvo un mal día, y hubo varios momentos donde yo en lo personal me estaba comiendo las uñas, especialmente durante algunas jugadas en “2da y algo” donde eran pases incompletos. A pesar de todo esto, se puede garantizar una cosa: No podemos culpar a Rivers por este partido.

 

3) Detalles en la Línea Defensiva

 Pensábamos que el desempeño de la línea defensiva en el juego contra Oakland era solo una pequeña fase y que se iban a hacer cambios. Sin embargo, ocurrió casi lo mismo. Hubo muchos detalles que evitaron poder parar el balón y la línea ofensiva de Kansas City. Entre ellos, penalizaciones graves que le daban “Primera y 10” a KC en varias ocasiones, y la falta grave de poder tacklear a los corredores. Peor es el caso de tener a dos de nuestros Cornerbacks lesionados: Brandon Flowers y Jason Verrett. Parece ser que John Pagano y su equipo tienen mucho que trabajar durante las siguientes semanas….

 

4) Siempre Confiar En El #85

 Antonio Gates ha tenido una temporada espectacular, y ha mostrado que sus mejores momentos van a continuar floreciendo. Se puede decir que tiene que ver mucho la relación entre nuestro tight end y Philip Rivers, que lleva casi 10 años y ha sido protagonista de un total de 67 touchdowns, además de ser una de las combinaciones QB-TE más populares de la NFL.

 

5) Nick Novak Pateando Récords

 Es algo triste que un acontecimiento muy importante y prolífico para este jugador haya sido opacado por el juego perdido. Nick Novak ha estado increíble, demostrando que el es un jugador de clase y de eficiencia. Esta temporada esta en camino a su mejor temporada, y ya rompió un récord hasta ahora, con un total de 31 goles de campo exitosos consecutivos, dos más que el récord anterior de John Carney, con 29.

 

 

 

La recepción al juego del domingo fue muy mixta, y a pesar de los errores cometidos, la escuadra de San Diego debe seguir adelante a enfrentar a los Broncos de Denver, sin duda el rival más peligroso del equipo. Si los Chargers quieren llegar el jueves a Denver, Colorado y llevarse la victoria, debe haber tres cosas: Eficiencia, seguridad y confianza entre los propios jugadores, y trabajo en equipo. Estas cosas suceden, en la magia de juegos de división, pero algo debe quedar claro: La escuadra relámpago no debe ser subestimada, porque ha derrotado a Denver anteriormente… y lo puede volver a lograr.

 

¿Cuál es tu opinión sobre el partido contra Kansas? ¿Crees que los Chargers pueden lograr la victoria contra Denver? ¿Qué ajustes se deben hacer? Comparte tu opinión aquí en la sección de comentarios en BoltBlitz.com, y además en Twitter @JoeLovesMusic24 #BoltBlitz

 

– José “Joe” Martínez

 

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A veces se tiene que sufrir para mantener (hasta el momento) el mejor récord de temporada en la NFL este año, y es exactamente lo que ocurrió el pasado domingo, en el Coliseo O.co en Oakland.

En el primero de dos encuentros que tendrán los Raiders y los Chargers este año, se dio a conocer que cuando son rivales de división, los récords, victorias anteriores, y jugadores superestrellas son “punto y aparte”. Desde la noticia sobre algunos aficionados de Oakland huevando el camión de San Diego, se hizo claro que no iba a ser un simple partido. Y en efecto, fue como si hubiera estallado una revolución en la escuadra de los Raiders, quienes hicieron lo posible para hacer el encuentro miserable para los Chargers.

Tony Sparano, en su primer partido como entrenador de los Raiders, tenía solo una cosa en mente: terminar la mala racha de juegos perdidos de su escuadra, que no ha ganado un partido desde la Semana 12 de la temporada 2013. Con la ayuda del QB novato Derek Carr, Oakland estaba a punto de llevarse una victoria y una gran sorpresa para mucha gente; sin embargo, no ocurrió, y la escuadra de los Chargers superó la intensa lucha para llevarse el partido en el último minuto, con una puntuación de 31-28.

 

Vamos a recalcar ciertos puntos sobre la escuadra relámpago en este encuentro:

 

#1: Siempre Confiar en “El Capitán”

 

Philip Rivers ha hecho un trabajo extraordinario esta temporada, un gran desempeño general, se ve que está mas enfocado en las jugadas y siempre busca formas de involucrar a todo el equipo en cada una. En el partido se mostró que Rivers no se iba a ir sin una pelea, logrando empatar el partido en 2 ocasiones, para luego, después de un gol de campo de Novak, en la siguiente bola de los Chargers, lograra que la ofensiva tomara ventaja del encuentro con un touchdown más.

 

#2: Branden Oliver = Sproles?

 

De manera inmediata sabemos que Oliver teniendo el #43 en su playera no es solo una coincidencia. Todos recordamos a Darren Sproles como un gran corredor que estuvo 5 temporadas con los Chargers, y el #43 (de aquel tiempo) hacía jugadas espectaculares. Se puede decir que en los dos juegos recientes (Jets y Raiders), Oliver ha tenido una gran participación, teniendo 100+ yardas en ambos, y fue receptor del touchdown que le dio ventaja a San Diego en los últimos dos minutos del partido. De decir que Oliver es exactamente como Sproles tal vez es pasarse un poco, ya que Oliver se encuentra en su año novato; Sin embargo, no hay que descalificar que se puede convertir en un jugador clave para el resto de la temporada.

 

#3: Cuando Una Jugada Cambia Todo…..

 

Desde los comienzos de la pretemporada, sabíamos que Tom Telesco y su equipo habían hecho un trabajo espectacular en traer novatos con un gran talento, uno en particular es Jason Verrett. Para ser la primera selección de los Chargers en el Draft de este año, el esquinero (Cornerback) de Fairfield, California ha demostrado un potencial gigante, fácilmente convirtiéndose en uno de los jugadores superestrellas de la temporada. Y que forma de demostrar esto que con una jugada clave, espectacular, que cerró el último capítulo del encuentro en Oakland, cuando Verrett logró interceptar el balón por parte del QB Derek Carr, con solo un minuto restando del partido.

 

#4: Novak Va A Patear Las Veces Que Quieras

Ya he comentado varias veces que nuestro pateador, Nick Novak, es una superestrella. Cada vez que entra al campo, muestra concentración, tiene enfoque, y en este encuentro logró empatar el récord por el mayor número de goles de campo exitosos consecutivos, con 29; ahora comparte ese récord con John Carney. Y no importa cuantas veces vaya a patear, siempre logra tener una buena precisión. El mejor ejemplo fue después del cuarto touchdown de los Chargers, cuando Novak tuvo que patear el balón 3 ocasiones, a causa de penalizaciones por parte de los Raiders.

 

Algunas personas van a decir que fue una victoria sufrida, y probablemente tendrán comentarios mixtos sobre el desempeño de la escuadra; personalmente, se puede entender. Sin embargo, los juegos entre rivales de división siempre van a ser muy intensos, y este juego puede ser una enseñanza para los siguientes: El juego no se va a decidir, hasta el último minuto. Además, como reflexión sobre la actitud de los aficionados que aventaron huevos al camión de nuestro equipo: El Karma es bueno, y puede llegar en el momento más inesperado.

 

¿Qué opinan ustedes? ¿Cómo vieron el desempeño de los Chargers? ¿Qué ajustes se deben hacer para el siguiente partido contra Kansas? Comparte tu opinión aquí en la sección de “Comentarios”, además en Twitter #BoltBlitz

 

#ChargerNation!

 

José “Joe” Martínez”

@JoeLovesMusic24

Rivers Tunnel

 

 

This season has been a success thus far and the team can only hope that it continues down the same path that it has traversed up to this point. Having a 4-1 record is impressive, but there is still so much work to be done.  The year is very young and so much can happen between now and the end of the season.

Despite suffering a multitude of injuries, the Bolts have emerged as a serious threat in the AFC.  The team is clicking in all three phases of the game and the sky is the limit for the 2014 Chargers.  They are currently playing out of their minds.  Only time will tell where this squad will end up come playoff time.

When examining the numbers, San Diego is on pace to be a feared club moving forward.  “Uncle Mo” – momentum – is building and the Chargers are preparing for a tough 3-game stretch of divisional opponents.  ( You’re welcome, Katurah )  The emphasis on staying grounded and focused is key to the success of this year.  They are certainly off to a good start.

The Charger offense has been potent, to say the least.  The passing game has taken off and Philip Rivers has been marching this team up and down the field.  With the help of kicker Nick Novak, Rivers and company are putting up points in bunches.  The defense has been stout and doing their part, as well.  San Diego has the biggest point differential in the NFL with 133 points scored compared to only 63 points given up by the defensive unit.

Not too shabby.

Let’s breakdown the rankings of the offense through 5 weeks of the 2014 campaign.

 

Charger offense:

– 11th overall:  369.2 yards per game

–  7th in passing:  281.2 yards per game

– 27th in rushing:  88 yards per game

– 8th in points scored:  26.6 per game

– Philip Rivers passer rating:  116.3  ( Best in the NFL )

– Philip Rivers passing yards per attempt:  8.75  ( Best in the NFL )

– Philip Rivers touchdown passes:  12  ( Tied for 2nd in the NFL. Andrew Luck leads with 17 and he’s played one more game than Rivers )

– Philip Rivers QBR:  84.8  ( Best in the NFL )

– Philip Rivers completion percentage:  70.3%  ( Tied with Russell Wilson for the league lead )

– Malcom Floyd yards per reception:  21.6  ( Tops in the NFL for those that qualify due to number of catches )

– Antonio Gates touchdown receptions:  5  ( Tied for 3rd in the NFL )  He’s not done, by the way.

– Eddie Royal touchdown receptions:  4  ( Tied for 8th in the NFL )

– Nick Novak field goals made:  11  ( Tied for 3rd in the NFL )

– Nick Novak field goal accuracy percentage:  100%  ( Tied for best in the NFL )

 

It may seem odd for me to add Novak to the offensive numbers.  Despite him being a standout on special teams, he is putting up points and he has yet to miss a field goal.  Points scored equal offensive output.

Philip Rivers has been ripping apart opposing defenses and his statistics through the first five weeks have him on the path to reach new heights. His accuracy and innate playmaking ability to escape the opposing pass rush are definitely being showcased week in and week out.  He is playing at an elite level and it clearly deserves recognition.  Some of the throws he’s been making are reminiscent of those Hall of Fame signal callers that have earned their place into Canton.  It is special to watch what he is doing on a regular basis.  He is making it look easy.

For those of you that thought Antonio Gates was done, take a seat and enjoy that loaded plate of crow.  You won’t be able to finish it off in one attempt.  He is proving so many doubters wrong and he remains a key cog that Philip trusts to get open, create separation and make plays.

The Charger offense is clicking on all cylinders and the expectation is that they’ll continue to do just that when looking at their early season success.  Controlling the clock and outscoring the opponents early seem to be the focuses of this offense.  They are, without a doubt, on the right track.

In most of our articles this season on BoltBlitz.com, we’ve all mentioned this could be a special year for the Chargers.  Offensive numbers and performances like the ones listed above prove that there is a lot to be excited about regarding the 2014 season.

I’ll have an article looking at the Charger defense today as well.  They are helping decide games due to a new tenacity seen through the playcalling of John Pagano and the new additions acquired.

But you’re going to have to wait for that one.

 

Thanks a lot for reading.

 

Booga Peters

 

 

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October is a time of year that many people look forward to. The month is full of German Oktoberfest’s, pumpkin spiced lattes, candy comas, and of course the very spirited Halloween. Yet, it can be a somber month for those who know individuals battling breast cancer. Others are celebrating those that have survived or even celebrating the lives of those they have lost to this awful disease. During October, the NFL and the San Diego Chargers have dedicated their time and provided community outreach support to help the efforts of the international pink ribbon symbol we have all come to know.

The pink ribbon symbol was first introduced in 1991 when the Susan G. Komen Foundation handed out pink ribbons to the participants of its New York City race for breast cancer survivors. Since then, the ribbon has been displayed everywhere during the month of October to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The NFL, San Diego Chargers, the NFL Players Association and the American Cancer Society (ACS) have committed themselves to doing whatever they can to help save the lives of those battling breast cancer. Have you noticed that pink is worn by everyone on and off the field supporting this amazing cause? You might see pink apparel, special games balls or coins that resemble something pink – all of which are then auctioned off with proceeds benefitting the ACS’s Community Health Advocates. Even the NFL officials have been seen using pink penalty flags.

The Chargers have contributed to the pink month in tremendous ways. You can show your support by purchasing the hat that Ryan Mathews was sporting during the New York Jets game that has a Charger bolt outlined in pink. 100% of the NFL’s proceeds from Pink product sales will go directly to the ACS, yet the Chargers have taken it one step further. Teaming up with Komen San Diego, they provided free mammograms to qualified women at Qualcomm Stadium last Thursday. These community outreach support activities show that the Chargers are willing to help bring breast cancer awareness to the public in a positive way.

It’s not just the Chargers organization that is helping – team kicker Nick Novak is contributing to the cause as well. Everyone has a story and a purpose for supporting this noble cause. For Novak, breast cancer hits closer to home than most. In 2005, Annie Arth, a family friend of Novak, died of ovarian and breast cancer. In 2011, he made a point to help support the cause by lending his name and leg to the American Cancer Society. In honor of Annie, Nick contributed $100 for every field goal he made. His donation was matched by the Chargers and his agent and, in total, raised over $7,500 for the ACS. To this day, Novak still gives back, inspiring many others to do so themselves. This year, Novak and teammate Jahleel Addae are serving as the 2014 Honorary Race Chairs for the Susan G. Komen San Diego in order to support the fight against breast cancer. Their efforts are serving to defeat breast cancer that has affected their loved ones in unexpected ways.

October can be one of the most celebratory months for all types of people. Whether you’re celebrating the lives of those who have passed, praying for those who are currently battling or rejoicing with those who have conquered the disease and can proudly say “screw you cancer”; everyone has some kind of connection with the color pink. Next time you attend a Chargers game or watch it on TV, try to remember the meaning of the pink ribbon by keeping those currently fighting the war, or have lost it, in your thoughts. Allow October to not just be about juicy brats, cold beer and candy corn, but about coming together as a football community so that one day, cancer can be conquered and eradicated for good.

 

Briana Soltis

Floyd1

 

 

Siempre se ha dicho: “La experiencia en vivo es muy diferente que verlo en televisión”  Y esta vez no fue la excepción. En un domingo soleado, junto con 63,000 aficionados en el Estadio Qualcomm, incluyendo el escritor de BoltBlitz.com y compañero David Agranoff, disfruté de un partido que se puede resumir en dos palabras: Destrucción Masiva.

 

Al parecer el equipo de los Jets de Nueva York no estaba preparado para la paliza que se iban a llevar. La escuadra de Rex Ryan tuvo serios problemas en la ofensiva, utilizando a sus dos quarterbacks, ambos teniendo estadísticas decepcionantes; mientras tanto, la defensiva parecía no presionar a la ofensiva de SD, siendo una intercepción en la zona roja la única jugada “llamativa” de los Jets.

Mientras tanto, los Chargers, tenían varios problemas durante la semana anterior al encuentro: La alta suma de jugadores lesionados, además de el grave problema en el juego terrestre. Durante el juego, todos esos detalles se fueron, y los Chargers dominaron en todos los aspectos a los Jets, con un total de 439 yardas, 4 touchdowns y 1 gol de campo, y tiempo de posesión de 38:54, para llevarse la victoria 31-0.

 

Vamos a recapitular algunos datos del espectacular desempeño de San Diego:

 

  • Nuevamente, QB Philip Rivers demuestra que sus mejores días son actuales. Un gran desempeño durante todo el partido, con 20 intentos completados de 28, 288 yardas, 3 touchdowns y solo 1 intercepción. Rivers trabajó todas las zonas del campo y nos hace saber que podemos estar seguros en que lo mejor esta por venir.

 

  • Por supuesto, el juego terrestre estuvo espectacular! Justo cuando cuestionábamos lo que iba a suceder con la ausencia de Ryan Mathews, aparece RB Branden Oliver, con un espectacular trabajo, teniendo un total de 182 yardas, 114 de estas fueron por medio terrestre. Además, anotó sus primeros dos touchdowns en la temporada regular, demostrando que hay gran potencial en el. También vimos un poco de acción de Donald Brown, que tuvo un mejor desempeño esta vez que contra Jacksonville; sin embargo, su aparición en el juego fue corta después de sufrir una lesión en la primera mitad. Para finalizar, vimos también a RB Shaun Draughn entrando en acción. A pesar de no tener corridas espectaculares, se vio que puede ofrecer un buen refuerzo para la escuadra.

 

  • Rivers a Gates! Rivers a Gates! Lo mencioné en mi artículo pasado, siempre será una de las mejores combinaciones en la NFL. Gates de nueva cuenta destruyó el campo para atrapar 2 pases y completarlos para ser touchdowns! Se puede decir igualmente, que Gates no va a ningún lado.

 

  • Por supuesto, el pateador Nick Novak lució en el partido, con 4 patadas para punto extra exitosas, más un gol de campo exitoso, sumando al número de goles de campo exitosos consecutivos a 28, cerca del record de John Carney (29)

 

  • La defensa estuvo espectacular. OK, estamos de acuerdo que la ofensiva de los Jets estuvo abismal; sin embargo se tiene que dar crédito al trabajo de John Pagano y la línea defensiva. Por supuesto, de nueva cuenta, Brandon Flowers se destacó en el partido, interceptando un pase de Geno Smith y llevando a que la puntuación siguiera siendo nula para el equipo visitante.

 

La escuadra relámpago ha estado espectacular las últimas 4 semanas. Actualmente se encuentran en el primer lugar de la División Oeste de la AFC. Claro, faltan 12 semanas de fútbol (11 partidos) y los siguientes tres encuentros son contra los rivales de división: Oakland, Kansas City, Denver. Lo mejor que pueden hacer los Chargers ahorita es seguir con la consistencia y enfocarse juego por juego. Oakland ha tenido una pésima temporada, pero después de una semana de descanso y un par de adquisiciones, nadie se debería confiar. Todo puede suceder en el juego de fútbol americano.

 

¿Qué opinas tú sobre el desempeño de los Chargers? ¿Qué ajustes se deben hacer yendo hacia Oakland? ¿Crees que las lesiones nuevas tendrán un efecto en el siguiente partido? ¿Quién es el MVP del equipo? Comparte tu opinión en Facebook y en Twitter @JoeLovesMusic24 #BoltBlitz

 

– José “Joe” Martínez

RiversGates2

 

 

Batman y Robin, Scooby Doo y Shaggy, Sherlock y Watson, Beavis y Butt-head, Laverne y Shirley…. Ok, me imagino que se dieron una idea de qué trata esta pieza.

 

Vamos a platicar sobre combinaciones en el campo; aquellos dúos dinámicos que hacen jugadas espectaculares, que nos enchinan la piel en los juegos de Fútbol Americano. Ese par de jugadores que dan su mejor esfuerzo, un desempeño completo de principio a fin, y que en particular, tienen cierta influencia en las victorias de su equipo. Estos combos varían desde la línea ofensiva, hasta la unidad de equipos especiales.

El equipo de los San Diego Chargers ha tenido varios dúos dinámicos en el curso de su historia, desde los inicios de los sesenta. Actualmente, el equipo tiene varias combinaciones y dúos que definen un buen “trabajo en equipo” y han formado parte de jugadas prolíficas. La mayoría de estas combinaciones se encuentran en la ofensiva, donde la media naranja la compone QB Philip Rivers. Sin embargo, también hay varias combinaciones en el área defensiva y en la unidad de equipos especiales.

Me gustaría compartir mis tres combinaciones y dúos dinámicos favoritos que, en mi opinión, hacen una gran diferencia en partidos:

 

  • Philip Rivers y Antonio Gates:

“Una de las grandes combinaciones en la historia de los Chargers, es fácil asumir y dar razones por la cual “Rivers a Gates” es conocida como una de las combinaciones “QB-TE” más prolíficas de la NFL. Hace un par de temporadas, analistas y aficionados cuestionaban si Gates (Charger desde el año 2003), podía todavía ser parte de grandes jugadas. La respuesta se dio esta temporada en la Semana 2 contra Seattle, cuando Rivers avienta el balón hacia Gates para un triplete de touchdowns, demostrando por qué Rivers-Gates es una combinación que marca historia en la NFL. Claro, cabe notar que esta combinación incluye un Quarterback que ha recibido un alto número de reconocimiento esta temporada, por su eficiencia durante las últimas tres semanas.

 

  • Philip Rivers y Ryan Mathews:

Cuando Mathews inició su carrera como Charger, muchos aficionados pensaron que aspiraba a ser “el nuevo LaDainian Tomlinson”, y se sintió durante los primeros partidos del corredor originario de Riverside, California, en la temporada 2010. Sin embargo, Mathews ha encontrado nuevas estrategias que logran identificar su forma de ataque para correr el balón, y durante la temporada 2011 y 2013, ha superado las 1000 yardas corridas en la temporada. Philip Rivers sabe que tiene un jugador que ha mejorado su desempeño, temporada por temporada. Y esta combinación de Rivers-Mathews ha tenido sus momentos gloriosos en la temporada. Tristemente, no podremos ver acción de Mathews por un tiempo, a causa de su lesión en un ligamento colateral tibial. Pero creo que podemos estar todos de acuerdo que cuando se trata del juego terrestre, el #24 si hace una diferencia increíble.

 

  • Mike Scifres y Nick Novak

Cuando se trata de equipos especiales, no hay nada negativo que decir sobre este gran dúo, que actualmente se encuentra en su cuarta temporada juntos en San Diego. Hay una razón por la cual Scifres es el pateador de despeje mejor pagado de la NFL, con un salario de $3.25 millones de dólares al año, y es por su consistencia en precisión de patadas; en el año 2013, 227 de 573 intentos cayeron dentro de la línea de 20 yardas, convirtiéndose en uno de los pateadores de despeje más precisos de todo el tiempo. ¿Y qué decir de Nick Novak? Ya hemos comentado que este gran jugador, originario del área de San Diego, California, se ha convertido en uno de los pateadores más eficientes, no sólo de los Chargers, sino de toda la NFL. En el 2013, completó 34 goles de campo de 38; actualmente está cerca de romper el record por el mayor número de goles de campos exitosos consecutivos por un pateador de San Diego.

 

Menciones honoríficas:

Philip Rivers y Eddie Royal (Cerca de ser una de mis combinaciones favoritas), Eric Weddle y Brandon Flowers, Antonio Gates y Ladarius Green, Jerry Attaochu y Jason Verrett.

 

– José “Joe Martínez

#ChargerNation

Sigue en Twitter: @JoeLovesMusic24

Novak2

 

 

The Chargers were in need of finding a kicker to replace an injured Nate Kaeding back in 2011.  They wound up signing Nick Novak to take on those duties. The move has paid dividends as Novak is having a phenomenal career in San Diego.

A former Maryland Terrapin,  Novak has found a home here in America’s finest city.  In 2013, he was incredibly accurate making 34 of his 37 field goals attempts.  Those numbers set a Charger accuracy record for field goal percentage at 91.9%.

Nick is currently 10 for 10 on field goal attempts in 2014.  He has made an astounding 27 in a row.  The team record is held by John Carney at 29.  How cool would it be for him to tie, or break, that record this Sunday against the New York Jets; one of his former teams.  He was in Jets’ camp in 2011 and lost the kicking job to Nick Folk.  That same season, Kaeding was injured and Novak signed with the Bolts.  After battling with Nate in training camp and the preseason the following year, he lost a hard-fought battle but eventually was called upon to replace Kaeding due to another injury.

It is safe to say that Nick Novak is making his mark in San Diego.  He has set lofty goals for this season and it wouldn’t surprise me if he achieved them.  The 2013 campaign was a special one for him for many reasons.  Not only did he help carry the team to the playoffs, he signed a four-year contract with the Chargers.

After being responsible for 15 points against the Jaguars in week 4, he was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.  This would mark the third time that he would earn that distinction in his career.  He was also named to the All-AFC West team by ESPN at the completion of last year.  He is currently in 21st place in the history of the NFL with his 34 successful field goals made in 2013.  I have a feeling that we’ll be seeing him earn those type of awards for years to come.

Novak highlights a special teams unit that is playing out of its mind.  Mike Scifres is a beast and the coverage units are doing a solid job of limiting return yards on both kickoffs and punts.  Guys like Darrell Stuckey, Seyi Ajirotutu and Mike Windt are studs and some of the best at what they do.  Nick still stands out among that strong group of names.

He is currently on pace to make 40 field goals this year.  According to profootballreference.com the NFL record for field goals made in a season is 44 and was set by David Akers in 2011 when he was with the San Francisco 49ers.  I would guess that Novak would like to one day break that record.  After watching him these last few years, it is certainly not out of the realm of possibility that one day we’ll see Nick Novak at the top of that list.

 

Thanks a lot for reading.

 

Booga Peters

 

 

 

 

Qualcomm

 

 

The San Diego Chargers defeated the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday night, 12-9.  However, unless you listened to simulcast on the Chargers Radio Network or lived outside the blackout area, you didn’t see it live.  I did.  At the stadium formerly known as Jack Murphy Stadium.  This game was the first of what I hope to be many games I hope to see in person this season.

I’ll spare you fine readers all the fun of getting to San Diego, the horror of living outside of San Diego is a story on its own.  Like many fans who fly solo, I loath having to pay $20 to park at the Q.  Fashion Valley Mall intimidates me because I take their threats of being towed seriously.  Fortunately, a vacant lot adjacent to Fashion Valley provides free parking and a short hike to the trolley stop.

Of course, every other Chargers fan had the same idea so I reluctantly squeezed into a car.  Then it hit me, the trolley door that is.  A transit cop reminded me to clear the second step and I obliged.  I bumped into the gentleman in front of me and assured him I was carrying a pencil in my pocket.  In the next stops, the crowded car found creative ways to make room for those leaving the trolley and there were a few.

As the trolley approached the parking lot, many fans near me remarked how they should have parked there instead.  I still believe that $20 is too much for a man flying solo.  If I had three other fans in the car with me and we’re tailgating. . . . well, I suppose it is a better investment.

The first thing a fan will notice upon arrival at Qualcomm Stadium is the bronze stadium of Jack Murphy and a dog.  Tonight, Gate K was closed and so Gate J had to do.  With increased security measures, a female fan was turned away because the only bags permitted beyond the gates had to be transparent.  I hope she didn’t take the trolley.  I emptied my pockets and removed my Chargers cap, per the guard’s instructions.  My paper ticket was scanned and I was inside.  My $23 ticket meant a hike to the view section.  Fortunately, an escalator provided a one-way ticket to the top.  I could hear the National Anthem, so I had to hurry.

My seat was in section 61.  I was in section 37 meaning I had to walk half-way around the stadium.  As the sections passed me by, I couldn’t help but notice how empty the concessions were.  When I located my section and stopped for a beer, I found out why.  The Super Chargers Dog cost $8 and a Coors Light served in an aluminum bottle ran $9.  And how much of that goes to the team?

The announced crowd of over 51,000 was treated to a game where both teams seemed to be allergic to the end zone.  Yes, with the exception of Nick Novak, Mike Scifres, and Mike Windt (he’s the long snapper), it was the final audition of about 22 men who were on the roster bubble.  Many fans who sat around me confessed that if it wasn’t for GroupOn they wouldn’t be there.  One college-aged woman who I assumed didn’t watch football cheered on the Cardinals in an attempt to upset her friends.  I spent a chuck of the game explaining the rules to her.

With the game tied at nine in the middle of the third quarter, the fans demonstrated how bored they were when they decided to make a wave.  Of course, they do the wave with the Chargers driving down the field (when the crowd should be on its best behavior).  I refused to participate.  It made six laps before petering out.

The wave has been in existence since 1981 (do a Google search and you’ll find another reason to hate Oakland).  Yes, the phenomenon has been alive for almost 33 years.  I repeat, the wave started at an Oakland A’s game on October 15, 1981 and have been a distraction ever since.  On Thursday night, this particular wave wouldn’t have been so bad if the Cardinals had the ball instead.

By the end of the third quarter, it was pretty clear that Brad Sorensen was not going to do enough to make the team and it was time to beat the crowds to the trolley station.  Since every loyal Chargers fan wants to add to his collection of apparel, I thought I’d check out the Chargers team store which was located at Gate A.  I’m sad to report it’s not there.  However, the good news is the store has moved to bigger location behind Gate G.  As a guy who thought that the best place to buy Chargers apparel was Sports Fantasy, I was blown away.  Honestly, I’m not hard to please.  I did have a difficult time justifying why I should pay almost $300 for a sewn on genuine jerseys.  Also, I won’t be talking about unauthorized jerseys that can be purchased from China (another story for another day).  Perhaps I’ll return when it is open on a non-game day.

The trolley ride back wasn’t too bad (minus one individual who forgot his manners and hit a bunch of riders with his bike).  The crowded trolley thinned out at Hazard Center since I can only assume the owners here don’t have a problem with fans using their parking and taking the trolley to the stadium.

For a moment, I thought the stadium was adequate and didn’t need fixing.  Of course, with the price of fielding a championship caliber team always going up that viewpoint won’t fly with the constant threat coming from the north.  For this season, I’ll believe that the Chargers have as good as chance as any team in bringing the Lombardi Trophy to San Diego.  I’ll enjoy as games as I can afford at Qualcomm Stadium.

My only wish for now is that fans make noise when the opponent has the ball, helps the offense by staying quiet, and if at all possible, lower the price of beer.

Finally, call me David Downer, but kill the wave.  It had its moment but after all these years I think we’re too busy live tweeting to even bother participating.

 

 

David Parada

 

 

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