The Chargers currently sit at an abysmal 1-3 record. Chargers fans all around the world are used to the Bolts blowing leads and not being clutch when it matters most, but this season takes on a whole new level of the word “disaster.”
Essentially speaking, for every lead they have blown thus far (three) they have had major injuries. Just to name a few key players that were going to help this team compete this season, Danny Woodhead, Keenan Allen, Manti Te’o and Jason Verrett have all suffered season-ending injuries and its only Week 5.
So, to say that this season isn’t a rose garden in heaven is an understatement. However, I feel like these next two games can entirely make or break what the Chargers want to do this season. Facing the Raiders this Sunday in Oakland and the Broncos on a short week will be one of the biggest two-game stretches of games the Chargers have had in recent memory.
In the past 13 division games dating back to the start of the 2014 season, the Bolts are a lousy 2-11. That pair of wins coming from a sweep of the Raiders in 2014. Other than that, the Chargers could now easily be considered the little brother in the AFC West. The 2015 season in particular stands out the most because they just continuously kept getting pummeled.
The Raiders dominated the Chargers in their first meeting in 2015 at Qualcomm, much like the Chargers were doing to the Chiefs Week 1 of this year. The difference in those games? The Raiders didn’t fold completely and let the Chargers back into the game, as that game ended in a Chargers’ loss, 37-29. A couple of games later they hosted the Chiefs in a game where they failed to find the endzone. In fact, they failed to find the endzone in both meetings last year against the Chiefs and in one meeting against the Broncos.
Everything seemed to be different this year, as the Chargers literally bolted out to a 21-3 lead at the half. Well, we all know what a big lead meant at that point when you have Mike McCoy: a blown lead. The Chargers failed to get into the endzone in the second half of that game and gave us all flashes of last year while the Chiefs came all the way back to tie the game up on a two-minute drill drive aided by a very poor punt from the Bolts that gave the Chiefs life around midfield. The Bolts got hit with a double whammy that game, as their star receiver Keenan Allen went down with a torn ACL forcing him to miss the entire season.
Sunday, they face the Raiders at O.Co Coliseum. While the Raiders will most likely be without recently emerging Latavius Murray, the Chargers will also be without a stud of their own in Jason Verrett.
Just a couple of days ago, the Bolts learned that Verrett had been playing with a partial tear in his ACL. He underwent tests and, like Keenan, is now out for the rest of the season. This injury is devastating to an already banged up secondary.
Brandon Flowers is dealing with a concussion and Craig Mager is also banged up. It’s most likely going to be the Cooper and Crabtree show, and if they can’t get some magic going of their own on offense, they could be in for a very long day and an even longer week.
Now, if you can develop a consistent pass rush on the quarterback, it could in some cases make the most average corners look elite. It looks like the Chargers are getting major reinforcements in that department, as Damion Square’s four-game suspension is up and the God, Joey Bosa, is making his NFL debut. Though both will most likely be on limited snap counts, it still helps the defense immensely.
While Oakland’s offense has been great this year, ranking 4th in the league in total yards with 392 yards per game, the Chargers are no slouch. Even though they are ranked 14th in the league, their offense is scoring a scorching 30 point per game. Both defenses could be better as the Raiders are ranked 31st in the league and the Chargers are 20th. If the Chargers want to have a shot at taking control of this game and creating serious momentum, they are going to have to get Melvin Gordon going. While he has scored a TD in every game including two in Week 1, the run game has taken a dip in production in the yardage department. After totaling 305 rushing yards through the first two weeks, the Bolts got slowed down to just a measly 75 yards in the last two games against two of the worst rush defenses in the Saints and Colts.
It can be argued that Derek Carr is one of the hottest quarterbacks in the league this year, posting a blistering TD/INT ratio of 9 to 1 and having a 104.6 QB rating while completing almost 60% of his passes. He’s been great for the Raiders and, without a doubt, clutch on a couple of game-winning drives. The Chargers must make him feel uncomfortable right out of the gates. Bosa will play a key part in this game. Although he could very well struggle in the early parts of the game, his athleticism and length will draw double teams at some point, giving other players like Jeremiah Attaochu, Corey Liuget and Melvin “Supa Mel” Ingram one-on-ones.
This game should come down to the last couple of minutes. The outcome of the game will be determined by who punts the ball more and who gets more turnovers. I can honestly see the Chargers winning this game as long as they play their own game. Keep scoring, don’t take your foot off the gas, get some stops on defense and come away with a huge upset. Easier said than done.
Unfortunately for the Chargers, things don’t get easier. They have a short week and host the Broncos on TNF next week. So while coming away with both wins would be monumentally huge for the team going forward, it’s a daunting task that the team has to step up to and be willing to face head on. This Broncos’ defense is scary. You don’t have to check out stats to know who Von Miller, Chris Harris and Aqib Talib are. They anchor a fast, young, ball-hungry crew that almost is a lock to score a defensive touchdown every game. They only give up around 170 passing yards per game. They have an excellent secondary benefited by a great pass rush, which is the recipe for success as they are 4-0. It’s not too far-fetched to say the Bolts can grab one of these wins, because when you have Philip Rivers, you are truly never counted out of any game until the clock hits :00.
The Chargers are 0-2 on the road this season, but I believe they should win this Sunday at the Raiders. That will prove to be a small spark to what can be fireworks next Thursday.
Oh yeah, have you guys seen those Color Rush unis?!? They are to DIE for!! Possibly my favorite looking unis I have ever seen over all sports.
So, tell me and let me know what you guys feel or think about this hell week coming up. Can the Chargers end their 0-9 drought against their division, or will it turn to 0-11 by next Thursday?
Anything can happen on any given day. If there is one thing we can all agree with, it’s that the Chargers are the hardest team to predict how they’re gonna play or what’s going to happen. It makes it hard to predict but I will take a whack at it.
I say the Chargers lose a tight contest to the Raiders by the score of 35-31, with the defense having an opportunity to stop the Raiders and give the ball back to the Chargers’ offense to finish it off. They’ll come up short, however, they will rebound at home and look good while doing it with a 27-17 win against the Broncos.
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.
With the growing number of modern stadiums in the NFL these days, one thing is becoming obvious. The days of tailgating in the stadium parking lot before the game are becoming extinct. It is a sad reality of what cities need to do to fund these modern day coliseums. With the recent rendering released by Councilman Scott Sherman, it is obvious that even if the Chargers stay in San Diego past 2015, fans will have to find a new location to bond before a game. The question is, will losing tailgating be enough to turn off nearsighted fans from supporting a stadium proposal? Well, if the fans want to see their Chargers stay in San Diego, they better figure out a new way to get a cheap buzz before the game and face reality.
Reality is that a stadium, by itself, on a property the size of the current Qualcomm site is a waste of potential profit. Although the $25 parking fee brings in some money, it is a drop in the bucket when trying to turn a profit on a stadium that will cost more than a billion dollars to build. Another revenue stream must be created to not only pay the bills, but to convince voters that there is actually money to be made for the city and county. Far more money that would be made from a lone stadium that was active 20 times a year and charged for parking.
Sherman’s proposal shows the new stadium in the North-West corner of the current Mission Valley site. There is a road that leads to the stadium and a parking lot beside the Chargers beautiful new home. The parking lot looks large enough to handle the player’s cars, the necessary team personnel, and maybe personalized spots for Dean Spanos and Tom Telesco. There is no way that there will be room for a bunch of Bolt-crazed fans who want to barbecue, drink and socialize before a game. That will have to be done elsewhere.
So what sits on the current parking spaces of the Qualcomm lot, as well as what will be the empty footprint of the old stadium itself? Money! That is a simplistic way of saying that the surrounding areas are filled with buildings that will create revenue for the city and county. Hotels, restaurants, apartments, a business center, some artsy stuff to make it look classy and a trolley line to cart all of the happy fans to and from each game or other event that the stadium hosts. Yes, Sherman has created ways to make big bucks from what is currently a playground for Bolt fans on Sunday mornings.
But wait! The profits do not end there. If there is no tailgating, what will fans do before a game? How will fans loosen up and bond with fellow fans in a way that only tailgating has been able to accomplish in the past? The most obvious answer is that the fans will do their partying indoors at local restaurants and bars. Yep, pick your favorite Chargers bar, have some wings and a few drinks and then hop on the trolley to the game. That will create more profits for local business owners and perhaps keep drunk drivers off the road. Hopefully, the $10 beers in the stadium will deter most people from drinking too much more during the game so they are able to drive home from the trolley parking lot after the event. That will not work for everyone, but neither does tailgating, so it seems to be a good enough solution. No matter where tailgaters go for pregame festivities, there will be money to be made off of them.
So, all of this information begs the question; will losing tailgating be enough to lose your vote? Being totally honest, there are many who tailgate on Sundays and do not even have a ticket for the game! They pay their parking fee; bring in their own food, drinks and entertainment and just party all day, right through the game. All they want is to have fun and be a part of the atmosphere on game day. Although their passion and support of Chargers football is inspiring to a point, there is very little money to be made off of these stadium squatters. San Diego would be much better off forcing those fans to spend their Sunday at a local sports bar and hope that they are smart enough to call for a cab ride home.
Finally, if you have looked at the rendering submitted by Councilman Sherman and find yourself getting angry about losing tailgating. Think long and hard before you decide to boycott games or not vote for the stadium. The only people you are hurting are your fellow fans and yourself. Take advantage of what is likely the last year that you will be able to tailgate and have some fun. Take your kids and create some fun memories that they can tell your grandchildren someday. Whatever you do, just remember that it is better to lose tailgating than to lose the Chargers. It is not like the city will open up the parking lot on Sunday mornings after the Chargers are gone so you can drink a couple of cold ones. More likely, the stadium will be demolished and the entire site will be turned into a business and residential center just like the rendering shows, minus just two things; the Chargers and their new stadium.
So what do you think? Are you devastated at the idea of losing such a great tradition as tailgating? Or, do you completely understand why it must go and support the new plan as long as the Chargers stay?
Please add your comments below and I’ll get back to you. Thanks for reading!
What will a joint venture between the City of San Diego and the County of San Diego mean to the Chargers? To begin with, it does is alter one bone of contention – the vote. Or does it? Secondly, it paves the way for the two entities to (hopefully) meet on mutual ground in the bid to keep the Bolts in San Diego. Third, it perhaps gives the team, and its fan base, hope for the future. Finally, it may prove that the deal in Carson is what many believe it to be – a bluff rather than reality.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced Thursday that the city and the County, behind Supervisor Ron Roberts, will be splitting costs in the hiring of attorneys, consultants and other experts to assist with the impending issue. Each side will present its findings/proposals by the May 20 deadline. It has to be fair to all the involved parties – the city, the county and the team. Keep in mind that this undertaking not only affects Chargers football but that of San Diego State in addition to other events which provide revenue.
Does a new stadium need to be voted on? Since the City and County are pledging to work together, it does not appear that the two-thirds vote is going to be needed. However, Mayor Faulconer has indicated that even if a ballot measure for that two-thirds approval is not required, he feels it is mandatory for San Diego voters to have a say. The likelihood of a “yay” vote occurring in the sole circumstance of the City voting is like paddling your canoe upstream against the current. This team has fans that trek not just from downtown but also fans that travel from inland North County and the coastal communities as well as from East County and South County. Do you see where this is headed? Why should only those registered voters in downtown San Diego be responsible for making a decision that will ultimately affect those who reside outside its boundaries? Let us not forget what has been common knowledge for quite some time: the city coffers are not in the best financial state. Enter the county which is in a better position to assist. To best serve the San Diego Chargers and their many devotees, a county-wide ballot must be proposed, as it was back in the day when San Diego/Jack Murphy/Qualcomm stadium was initially presented in 1964.
The team has tried for many years to gain approval for a new home in San Diego. The city hasn’t always wanted to play ball even though its former mayors had stated that they would help facilitate such a project. Now, at the nth hour with Los Angeles becoming a mecca as it were, the timeframe is tightening. The facility that the San Diego Chargers currently play in is decrepit, falling apart, outdated and before long will not be a viable venue for anything. So, while the City and the County of San Diego each hire and task their chosen attorneys, advisers, and specialists with searching for a plausible, cohesive plan to make dreams reality, Dean Spanos and his special counsel, Mark Fabiani, will continue to pursue Carson, CA as an alternative.
Bottom line, it is do-or-die for Mayor Faulconer, Supervisor Ron Roberts, and the Citizens Stadium Advisory Group.
Thank you for reading! Please share your thoughts below.
What’s good! This is BoogaP and I want to know who is going to the game on Sunday. I have a poll below this intro that I’d love for you to let me know if you will be attending or not. If you vote yes and you are attending the game, please leave a comment below telling me where you’ll be tailgating and I’ll try to stop by and say what’s up.
Remember to leave a comment below so I can find you at Qualcomm. I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible.