Travis Benjamin

Tyrell2

 

Man, oh man! What a day to be a Chargers fan!!

That was my reaction to the Chargers vs. Falcons game a few weeks back. And if you had Tyrell Williams in your fantasy football lineup that week – he reaped HUGE dividends! I have him on my team in two leagues and he was well over his projections: 15 points against an 8.64 in my Yahoo league while in my NFL League it was 14 versus an estimated 5.70 low.

Crazy to recall that this huge, raw talent was not invited to the NFL Combine. Guess he was considered too raw as he went undrafted.

That’s okay, because the Chargers picked him up. And while he didn’t see much on-field time until late last year, it’s all good.

Fast forward to 2016.

The 6’4″, 205 pounder made his way up the depth chart after an injury in training camp landed Stevie Johnson on IR. Shortly after that, the Bolts’ number one wide-out Keenan Allen was lost for the season. Where did that put Williams? Squarely in the starting line-up along with slot receiver and off-season signing Travis Benjamin.

During training camp last year, Chargers’ signal caller Philip Rivers made mention of how much Williams reminded him of Malcom Floyd; the way he moved, almost as if gliding his way down the field.

He is becoming adept at using that big body and 4.38 second speed to fly across the middle or along the sidelines. Through 10 games, Williams career stats are 43 catches for 720 yards and four TD scores. The Falcons game saw him mark career-highs in both targets (7 of 10) and receiving yards (140). To date, he is ninth in yards after the catch (YAC) with 317. That breaks down to an average of 7.4 YAC.

Those are all great. There are, however, a couple of things that Williams needs to tweak. One is his sideline awareness.

Early in the second quarter, first and 10 from Atlanta’s 49-yard line, Benjamin threw the ball towards Williams, who caught it and ran. A 22 yard bomb. While the toss took many by surprise, it was an awesome catch…except that it was called back incomplete. A simple nuance – dragging his right toe as he was going out of bounds would have been the difference of another set of downs rather than the challenge that followed. Second and 10 at Atlanta’s 49 yard line rather than first and 10. Sigh. The Bolts kick a field goal to cap that drive.

Williams was kind of quiet in the second half (3/4, 27 yds) as San Diego continued to run the ball with Gordon and began mixing Inman into the offense more. Williams’ last catch of the day converted a 3rd and 10 at the Falcons’ 15 yard line into a Chargers’ 1st and goal at Atlanta’s 5-yard line early in the fourth and Josh Lambo kicked a chip-shot to pull the Bolts’ within three.

The thing with Williams is that he is extremely adept at picking up those yards after the catch, much like Malcom Floyd was prone to do when Rivers was putting the ball up for him to nab. In just his second year, Williams and Rivers have quickly developed a rapport in which when No. 17 fires a bullet in his direction, he is confident that No. 16 is getting his hands on it. The game is not too big for him as he has continued to build on what began last December – opportunity knocking due to Floyd having to leave the Denver game. He hauled in his first NFL touchdown that day in front of Broncos’ corner Aquib Talib.

He hasn’t looked back since.

So what does Williams need to do at this stage of his development? One thing he MUST do is work on his route running. For example, we have all seen how at least a couple of times throughout a game he misses the option route. Those miscues just give Rivers fits. So far there have been 11 times where the chance for better field position has resulted in the ball not being in his hands. Overall better recognition of where the defender is in conjunction to when/where Williams should break or how deep into the route before he does will come with repetition. He needs to get a quicker break off the line of scrimmage also.

When Keenan Allen went down week one, it was Williams’ turn to step up. At that time, Rivers stated to Michael Gehlken (SD-UT) “We need him to catch a bunch of balls this year — a bunch of balls and have some huge days and big gains.”

From the apex of Atlanta to the debacle in Denver, Williams appeared to be hampered a bit in Mile High Stadium. Battling a knee injury had his status questionable all week, so perhaps limited practice time may have affected him in his running and timing ability. A tipped ball off his hands led to a 49-yard interception-TD by Bradley Roby and gave the Broncos the lead late in the second quarter. On the Bolts’ next series, Williams tweaked his knee again going after a pass and was done for the day. Targeted six times, he hauled in a lone catch for four yards.

Though still having a sore knee with minimal practice reps, Williams hauled in six Rivers’ passes for 65 yards and a score this past Sunday against the Titans. This week versus Miami, with fellow wide-out Travis Benjamin inactive with his own knee injury, Williams’ stat line was 5/125 and a TD. It could have been more if not for at least twice where he didn’t even look back to Rivers to recognize that the ball was headed in his direction. Or because he let the defender beat him to the ball and didn’t fight for it, thus causing an interception.

The chemistry between Williams and his signal caller continues to evolve with each rep in practice and on the field. After the Thursday Night game against Denver two weeks ago, Rivers told Tom Krasovic (SD-UT) “Tyrell, as you saw, has the potential to make every play. There’s not a play physically that he can’t make. It’s just a matter of continuing to grow as a receiver – running (optimal) routes.”

They say knowledge is power. Stepping in to fill the shoes of your team’s number one receiver at a moment’s notice shows one’s mettle to teammates and coaches alike.

So far, Tyrell Williams has proven he is up to the challenge. He MUST continue to do so for team to have any kind of chance at winning games.

Cheryl White

#LearningCurve

@BoltnUp

riversfrustrated

 

 

The Chargers looked to move back to .500 in Week 10 as they faced the Dolphins at home before heading into the Bye Week. Unfortunately, huge mistakes in key situations lead to the Miami Dolphins stealing this game away from the Chargers.

Let’s take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly of another heartbreaking Chargers’ loss.

 

The Good

Tyrell Williams– 5 REC, 126 YDS, TD 

With Travis Benjamin out with a knee injury, Tyrell Williams stepped up in a big way, as he has done pretty much all season. You have to love Tyrell’s ability to find ways to get open and his desire to learn from his mistakes. After running the wrong route and getting chewed out by Philip Rivers and Mike McCoy, Williams made up for his error the very next play with a game/momentum changing 51 yard touchdown reception. You almost wonder if Tyrell would have come this far if this team still had Keenan Allen and Stevie Johnson. None the less, look for Tyrell to get even better after the bye week, sans any injury setback.

 

Chargers Defense– No Denzel Perryman or Jatavis Brown?  No problem.  With those key injuries, this rag-tag defensive unit did their job in key moments in the game, especially Korey Toomer who lead the way with ten tackles and one assist.  In addition, this band of misfits was able to hold the NFL’s leading rusher, Jay Ajayi, to 79 yards on 19 carries. Even if I didn’t agree with John Pagano’s play calling at key moments, you can’t blame the defense for this loss. The defense kept the Chargers in it until the end and with the upcoming bye week, this defense should get even better; getting Brown and Perryman back from injury,

Worth a mentionTrevor Williams, Melvin Ingram and Melvin Gordon.

 

The Bad

Joe Barksdale

In four games with nine penalties on one player, there comes a time where you have to rethink who is out there. It would be okay if Joe was good at his job. The truth is he’s not. In those four games he has been consistently beat at the point of attack, allowing Rivers to be sacked on multiple occasions. With the present bye week, the coaching staff needs to see that just because he is healthy, Barksdale is just not getting it done.  Can they please try Chris Hairston or DJ Fluker at the right tackle position?

 

Offensive Line Pass Protection

In addition to Barksdale, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how bad this line was as whole. For the second week in a row, Rivers continued to find himself looking up at a blue San Diego sky. Three times last Sunday, Rivers was probably wondering if his line would ever protect him. This has been a consistent problem that can only be fixed by a short, quick passing game and running the ball far more consistently.

 

The Ugly

Philip Rivers– 23/44 326 YDs, 3 TDs, 4 INTs 

After the game Rivers took all the blame for the team losing on Sunday as he should have. This team lives and dies by his success and struggles. Rivers struggled a lot on Sunday throwing four interceptions; three of which were in key points of the game. The first one of those three came off of a rare Dolphins turnover, giving the Bolts a 1st and goal at the five yard line. Rivers looked like he just wasn’t paying attention to zone defense as he threw into double coverage for an easy interception.  Tough to come out of that situation with no touchdown – let alone no points at all.

 

The second came as the Chargers were driving down the field late in the game – trying to get in field goal range for a game winning score. Philip was baited into thinking Kiko Alonso was blitzing, As the ball was snapped, Kiko instead backs out into zone stepping in front of the first read. Tyrell Williams. and took it back for the Dolphins go ahead score. Finally, on the game sealing interception, #17 is again looking for Tyrell who wasn’t even open on the play. He forced it, instead of looking elsewhere or taking the sack and live to fight another down.With the upcoming bye week, its time for Rivers to rest up. Get Travis Benjamin back and hoping Williams gets 100% healthy he will try to get this team back into the thick of things if it’s not too late.

 

 

Situational Play Calling- Too many times this season have we seen this team get bogged down in the redzone. Why? Because we run the same predictable plays every time we get to the opponents twenty yard line or closer. Where was the screen passes? Where was the quick slants? We ran a screen to Melvin Gordon on a crucial third down and he was able to gain a ton of yards. Yet we only ran the screen again with a failed screen to Antonio Gates. Lets be realistic for a moment: Screens are for speedy and shifty players in the open field. Gates is none of those at the back-end of his career. Quick slants were one of the factors in the Chargers victory against the Tennessee Titans the previous week. Yet against Miami, the offense went away from the bread and butter.

 

Most of the season, the question most asked is “Why didn’t the charger run the ball (in key situations)?  I’m aware Gordon was getting stuffed for most of the game, however Ayaji was also getting stopped but the Dolphins had no problem running it in twice in the red-zone. So if San Diego fired Frank Reich last year for these same issues, why  does this continue to happen? The answer is Mike McCoy who seems to have some sort of say in these situations. If this is the case, Mike has to go this week. He is holding this team back from being good or great. I for one have seen enough of this McNorv experiment and its time to move on. I hope that during this time off, the “powers that be” make the right decision and let McCoy go. A change is desperately needed, although I highly doubt this organization has any guts to do it.

 

Worth a mentionDwight Lowery

 

 

Chris Hoke

BoltBlitz-800x450

The staff here at Boltblitz.com gives their takes on what they think will happen today versus the Titans.

Zak Darman: The Titans record is better than their talent says. What that means is they aren’t a team that should be 4-3. They have Murray on offense, and that’s really it. Delanie Walker didn’t practice Friday so it’s safe to assume he won’t play this week. They have been the team who has given up the most 20+ yard plays this season, and I think one of Travis Benjamin or Tyrell Williams will go for 100+ yards. Chargers 31, Titans 10

Charles LaFurno: Late Mariota drive with a TD pass to Murray seals it as the Bolts lose in powder blues and we all officially hop on the tank wagon. Titans 24, Chargers 20

Michael Brazeel: This is a game Chargers have to win at home. Rivers has big day against this secondary, and defense gives Mariota fits. Bolts win 34-21

Martin JC Jr: I see Rivers having a bounce back game against a sketchy secondary. He gets 3 touchdowns. Gordon will get to the endzone because Whiz will realize that Gordon can score the rock in the redzone. Chargers win 31-10

Travis Blake: The Chargers’ defense is going to be really sore on Monday, that is, if they can slow the Titans running attack. The Titans bring in one of the scariest ground games in the league. Scary because DeMarco Murray and Derick Henry are beasts, and the Chargers starting middle linebackers will consist of a backup and an outside linebacker moved inside. This is a recipe for disaster, in my opinion. We’re really going to see what the Bolts defensive line is made of in this game. If they can curb the Titans running game, the Chargers will have to worry about Mariota who can hurt them with his arm or legs. On offense the Bolts will sputter with no Henry, and both primary receivers banged up. I’d love to see someone else start at right tackle, not sure what’s going on with Joe Barksdale but his play is hurting this team. Chargers lose another close one, 28 – 19.

Brian Scott: With Hunter out the Rivers-Gates combo notch 2 more on their belts. Gordon runs ragged and get his most all-purpose yards of his career. Bosa continues his dominance as he spends all day in Marcus’s kitchen. Titans maintain their run game through most of game but abandons it in the 4th Quarter as Chargers have a big lead…only to dwindle and give fans another heart attack. Chargers win 36-26

Chris Hoke: Let’s see I had us losing in close one last week which Rivers did throw a pick 6 so your boy was right! No Perryman and Brown. Our run defense is screwed just in Preseason the Titans ran us over. Murray being hurt will limit his carries but he still gets 90 yards and a TD while Henry does the heavy lifting going over 100 yards himself. Mariota throws 2 TD’s and 1 pick. On offense we don’t know whether to run or pass so we just settle for 4 Lambo field goals. Rivers throws a TD late to Gordon it’s not enough as the bolts lose another close one and hope fully the McNorv shit finally ends! 21-20 Titans

Cheryl White: Whiz says that two yard line series has kept him awake. I think this is a game where Gordon is continually given the ball. Gates will be in for a good day as well while Williams & Benjamin play as well as expected with knee injuries. Barksdale plays smart this week (no Miller/Ware/Wolfe to face). Defense does ok with the plug-in players, Bosa & Ingram get to Mariota. TD’s by Gordon (2), Gates (1) & Inman (1) with a couple of FGs by Lambo give Bolts a close win. 34-27 bolts

Mike Pisciotta: Individual accomplishments by Philip Rivers, Melvin Gordon, Hunter Henry, Dontrelle Inman, Joey Bosa, Jatavis Brown and Brandon Flowers will be erased by last-minute Tennessee heroics. McCoy, Pagano and Whisenhunt will again out coach themselves to deliver a heartbreaking loss in the closing minutes yet again. I don’t trust the coaching staff. I lost faith in Whisenhunt after Sunday’s embarrassing series of plays from the Denver two yard line. Mike McCoy gets in the way again this week, failing to manage the clock. Titans 27-24

Will McCafferty: I am quite worried about how far down the depth chart the Chargers have to go to fill spots like linebacker and receiver. On the bright side, I think the Bolts can do a decent job of stopping the run and that is the Titan’s strength. I’m not impressed with the Titans overall, but I think it will be a game. Chargers 31, Titans 27

Dave Peters: Whiz gets the better of LeBeau in this one, controlling both the tempo and the clock. Due to injuries adding up on defense, Rivers and the offense must score early and often. Gordon scores and notches another 100-yard game on the ground. Inman steps up with six catches and a TD. Ingram and Bosa each add sacks to their season totals. Bolts win, barely 29-27

9458757-avery-williamson-melvin-gordon-nfl-preseason-san-diego-chargers-tennessee-titans-850x560

Here are my three keys to victory today on how the Chargers can take down the Titans

1.) Lock on Murray, make Mariota beat you
Murray is their best player. Titans are going to want to give him the ball as much as possible. Mariota is young, so he’s prone to more mistakes. If you force Mariota not beat you, not Murray, then you have a better shot at turnovers and 3 and outs.

2.) Coaching needs to be better
This one is tough, because the staff is so incompetent. But if they would have run the ball from the two yard line last week they win the game. Whiz needs to understand his players strengths and to stop overthinking things. McCoy can’t coach scared and has to understand clock management. Pagano mustn’t take his foot off the gas and needs to consistently bring pressure. If they do all these, they will win.

3.) Take deep shots
Titans lead the league with most plays in the air of 20+ yards. Chargers have two guys who can stretch the field in Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams. One of the two will go off today (maybe both). Not sure which one, but I have a feeling it will Travis. Take shots and beat them deep.

What are your guys’ keys? Let me know below!

Zak Darman (@WilMyersGOAT)

May 14, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa looks on during rookie mini camp at Charger Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

May 14, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa looks on during rookie mini camp at Charger Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

 

The Chargers go up to Mile High looking for their third win a row and second in three weeks versus the Broncos. Here are three things they must do in order to make that happen.

1.) Pressure the quarterback, make him panic
The Chargers defense have played well. Very well. So well it’s arguably been the reason why the Chargers have won, or have at least had a shot at winning. But if there was one thing that they don’t do well, it would be rushing the passer. While they have improved, it still is about below average in terms of actual rushing the passer despite having the beast that is Joey Bosa. Is it too early for draft talk? I would like to see us go pass rush in round 1….anyways. Rush the passer and make Siemian panic and force throws like the 7th rounder he is.

2.) Short passes and crossing routes
If you remember from week six, this was a HUGE part of the passing game. This and rookie Hunter Henry. Henry had a concussion last game, but he practiced this week and is projected to play. Tyrell Williams, Travis Benjamin and Melvin Gordon must all be used short and against their linebackers where the Chargers show a huge mismatch. Utilize Williams and Benjy’s speed and you will be able to move the ball. Now, will Gordon be able to see holes between the 20s?

3.) Ball control and possession
Chargers win games by keeping possession and scoring touchdowns. Chargers win games by keeping possession and then forcing turnovers on defense. This is the recipe for success with the San Diego Chargers. They dont find success being in shotgun all game, although they are. They have won two games in a row by running the ball and playing time possession/causing turnovers. They must do this again this week, in order to sweep the Broncos.

 

voteyesonc1

 

The staff at BoltBlitz.com gives their takes and predictions to Sunday’s upcoming match-up versus the Falcons.

Zak Darman: This should be a high-scoring game. Both teams have good offenses. The Chargers have a better defense but they don’t really have anyone who can stop Julio Jones. Benjamin isn’t a lock to play, and without him their receivers are Tyrell Williams, Dontrelle Inman, and Griff Whalen (yes, I had to go to the team’s depth chart to even put him down). Hunter Henry gets another touchdown and Rivers goes for 300+ yards but comes up just short. Although teams lose about 70% of the time the week after playing the Seahawks…. Falcons 35-31.

Chris LaFurno: Late Julio game-winning touchdown and Chargers offense can’t answer back as Atlanta wins a nail biter. Falcons 37 Chargers 34.

Michael Brazeel: Rivers will have to go length of field in :40 with no timeouts, as usual, and come up short. Falcons 35-31.

Corey Decker: The Falcons are coming in with a chip on their shoulder so expect them to come out firing. Falcons 34-28.

Travis Blake: I’ve been feeling all week that the Bolts will start slow and sluggish in this one. That’s probably coming from the fact it’s a mini-bye week for the team, and a later than usual start for an east coast game (game time is 1:05 PM PST). The question is can they overcome a slow start and finish out a game strong, instead of leaving us all with that familiar feeling of they screwed something up, or almost did? I believe this defense will continue to build off its improvement in the Bronco game and stop the run. The Bolts will get the running game going and pull off several long drives that quiet the crowd. Bolts win their first road game of the year. Chargers 31-24.

Laura Leech: High scoring game with two explosive offenses. Chargers defense is not facing a sub-par OL like they did against Denver. That extra rest from a Thursday game should help a little, but flying to the East Coast is never easy for any team. It will come down to which defense can cause the most turnovers. Unfortunately, though, Falcons get this one. 38-34 Falcons.

Brian Scott: The defense for the Bolts is playing at a high level and with confidence. Ryan gets sacked multiple times. Air show begins and ends with Rivers throwing his 4th touchdown pass. Gordon scores and gets 80 yards. Chargers finally win back to back games since 2014. 41-31 Bolts.

Chris Hoke: The Falcons start the game driving down the field on their first possession and scoring on a TD to Julio Jones. The bolts respond with a long drive in which we are forced to settle for a Lambo field goal. This is repeated till the second half in Which its 14-6. Chargers come out in the second half and MG breaks away for a huge TD run. It’s wire to wire from this point where the bolts go for it on 4th down. MG gets stuffed and the rest is history. The Falcons hang on 35-29.

Cheryl White: Been thinking all week that this is going to be a tough one, too. Aforementioned trip to East Coast and later start time may be detrimental. I would point out that this team did go to Baltimore and was the first west coast team to win there, although that was 2014. Downside, no Slayer/Woodhead/Verrett this time. We do have Gordon who is running better plus Henry; and lets not forget Bosa. If he can’t get to Ryan maybe he pressures him enough that someone else can. Hayward and Phillips in the secondary though versus those WRs are challenging. Atlanta’s OL is tough and their HC knows a thing or 2 about defense. There better be a damn good game plan in place. Don’t for the love of God go prevent defense or stop running Gordon. Have some guts and get after it because Atlanta WILL capitalize if you allow them to. 38-35 Bolts.

Mike Pisciotta: Chargers will again open an early lead and go conservative. McCoy, Whiz and Pagano love to sit on leads, and they will piss away another one. 37-31 Atlanta in overtime.

Will McCafferty: Honestly, I’m far from confident this week. I felt better about he Denver game. This reminds me of the New Orleans game with a higher power offense. It should be a shootout as both teams can move the ball. Hopefully, the Chargers can get the ball in the end zone and not settle for field goals. Atlanta should be able to score as well. Chargers 38 Falcons 34

Dave Peters: The Chargers actually play a game well from start to finish in this one. This is one of those games where no one, for the most part, expects them to win. The Chargers’ offense outpaces Atlanta, as Hunter Henry scores for the fourth consecutive game and Philip Rivers throws for over 300 yards and three scores. Bosa gets his third and fourth sacks, respectively, while Denzel Perryman recovers a fumble and takes it to the house. Bolts 41 Falcons 27.

flowers

 

For the first time in what seems like forever, the Chargers’ injury report does not seem to be too overwhelming.

As opposed to having a plethora of names on the report, the list features four players who will either miss the game or are questionable.

The three-game stretch that began with Denver last week, a game in which the Chargers won 21-13, continues with a road trip to Atlanta and then ends at Mile High in Denver. This run is critical when it comes to determining whether or not the Bolts can turn around their disappointing 2-4 start.

 

OUT:

  • SS – Jahleel Addae    Clavicle
  • OLB – Jerry Attaochu    Ankle
  • CB – Brandon Flowers    Concussion

 

QUESTIONABLE:

  • WR – Travis Benjamin    Knee

 

 

The fact that Attaochu is out this week is a bit concerning, but it is not the end of the world. Though the linebacking corps is getting thin both inside and outside, Attaochu has been relegated to pass-rushing situations this season.

His presence on passing downs will be missed, but the Chargers will run with Melvin Ingram and Kyle Emanuel as the usual starters with Tourek Williams coming off of the bench.

Veteran cornerback Brandon Flowers will miss his fourth consecutive game for San Diego. He has been dealing with concussion issues for a month now. The team has gone on the record saying that he is getting closer to joining his teammates in practice and on game day, but that time is not now.

Seeing wideout Travis Benjamin listed as questionable is a big issue. With the Chargers already rolling out a depleted wide receiving group, Benjamin’s playmaking ability would certainly be missed should he not be able to play on Sunday.

If Benjamin is unable to play, the team would trot out Tyrell Williams, Dontrelle Inman and Griff Whalen. Calling up Dom Williams from the practice squad is not out of the equation.

One thing of note on the injury report is that inside linebacker Denzel Perryman was a full participant in practice for all three days this week. Perryman has been dealing with a shoulder ailment the last few weeks, and a healthy No. 52 should pay dividends this week against a dangerous Falcons’ offense.

 

The Chargers need all healthy hands on deck for this week’s game in Atlanta. The Falcons are one of the hottest teams in the NFL, boasting a 4-2 record, the league’s top scoring offense and leading the NFC South.

The Bolts must not get behind early in this one, or it could be a long day for the fellas in lightning bolts.

 

Thanks a lot for reading.

 

Dave Booga Peters

May 14, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa looks on during rookie mini camp at Charger Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

May 14, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa looks on during rookie mini camp at Charger Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

 

It is game day, Charger Nation! Time for another installment of Keys to The Game. I am filling in for Zak Darman, who is on vacation. This week has been a short one for the Chargers as they get set to take on their second division rival in a row, the Denver Broncos, on Thursday Night Football. The Broncos come into this game with a record of 4-1, the opposite of the Chargers’ 1-4 record. The Broncos are coming off a tough road loss to a 4-1 Atlanta Falcons’ squad.

As fellow BoltBlitz.com staff writer Brian Scott pointed out in our staff predictions article: “Denver holds a 9-1 record over the last 10 games against San Diego, winning the last five in America’s finest city. In San Diego, the last five (games) against Denver, the Broncos outscored the Chargers 23.6-14.” These are not encouraging numbers for our Bolts, however, these are not the same Broncos the Chargers faced last year.

 

The Broncos lost some key pieces on defense via free agency and no longer have The Sheriff, Peyton Manning, slinging the ball around. Still, the Broncos pose a significant threat to the Chargers’ chances of winning. The Broncos’ defense is still dominating at times, and they have a pair of promising young quarterbacks to throw the ball to a talented receiving corps.

So, here are four keys to the game that I think the Chargers must complete to win this first match-up of the season again the Denver Broncos.

 

No. 1): Get pressure on the young quarterbacks!

 

I say quarterbacks because Trevor Siemian is going to get the start for Denver, but he suffered a sprained left shoulder against the Falcons five days ago. If Joey Bosa gets a hold of him and he plants him on that tender left arm his night might be done early.

Paxton Lynch is the next QB up for Denver. He is tall and can run but is very unpolished as a passer. If the Bolts can contain Lynch and put consistent pressure on him, I foresee several interceptions by the Chargers’ defense this evening. The same prediction goes for Siemian if he lasts the whole game. Remember, the Chargers forced five turnovers last year at the Q against Denver.   

 

The Chargers’ pressure on opposing quarterbacks this season has been spotty at best. If they want to win this game they have to get consistent pressure, while containing Denver’s more athletic quarterbacks. Consistent pressure will help the Bolts banged-up, waiver-wire secondary not give up so many long plays in the passing game.

 

No. 2): Breathe on offense, don’t turn the ball over.

 

Breathe, meditate, hum Hindu mantras, I don’t care what these offensive players do to calm down, but they need to stop pressing, including Philip Rivers. As much as we enjoy a fiery Rivers, his passion for the game and him shooting laser beams out of his eyes, we equally dislike “chuck-and-duck” Phil playing “Three Flies Up” and heaving the football up for grabs fifty yards downfield into double coverage for an interception.

Melvin Gordon, Hunter Henry, Antonio Gates, Travis Benjamin all need to breathe, hold on to the ball and have a good game.

 

No. 3): Contain. Von. Miller.

 

Demarcus Ware is ruled out for this game (phew), so that leaves Super Bowl MVP Von Miller to apply pressure on Rivers. Miller has had success at getting to Philip in the past. To make matters worse, three of San Diego’s five offensive linemen showed up on the injury report for various ailments. It could be that King Dunlap and Matt Slauson are the Bolts only healthy starters along the offensive front. Special attention needs to be paid to Miller if he is to be kept out of Rivers’ face. If that happens, I believe the Bolts could win this one.

 

No. 4): Unleash the Bosa!

 

In recent years, the Chargers have failed in the primetime spotlight. Pass rushers like Melvin Ingram and Jeremiah Attaochu have, at times, disappeared in big games. This is a BIG GAME, perhaps the biggest of the season. If the Chargers lose, their season is essentially over. If they win, there is hope. Joey Bosa played 27 snaps on Sunday and looks primed to play in double that amount of time in this game. Unleash the Bosa and see if he can provide the spark this team needs to win, allowing the rookie to tally a few sacks. 

 

One thing I know: The Chargers are going to look like the best team in the NFL in their Color Rush uniforms!

Go Bolts!

 

Let me know what you’ll be looking for in the Chargers versus Broncos match-up on Thursday Night!

 

#BeatTheBroncos

 

#ColorRush

Travis Blake

@TravisBlake101

mccoy11

 

The shootout in Mission Valley became just another 4th quarter collapse under Mike McCoy, who has seen his team fail to close out three games in the second half in the four opportunities of 2016.

The Chargers would fall to the Saints by a score of 35-34 in a contest that they most certainly should have won.

Sunday was no different, as the Bolts carried a 13-point lead into the 4th with 6:50 to go. The Chargers would then proceed to fumble on two consecutive drives; the first by Melvin Gordon and the second by Travis Benjamin.

The real story here is coaching, which if you’re a diehard Bolts fan like I have been, you’ve watched this team your whole life.

Since the miracle season in 2013 which honestly Norv Turner himself could’ve done that, this team has fallen off the rails. McCoy is 13-20 in that span, losing too many games by one score or less than one fan can remember.

If last year didn’t set a precedent, the start to this season should. Simply put, McCoy is not getting it done at the head coaching position. It’s time to make a change before this season gets too far out of reach for these Bolts to even catch a wildcard birth.

 

 

Duds of the game:

Melvin Gordon – Yes, he had two touchdowns for fantasy owners. Hooray…. For Bolts fans, this was his worst game of the season. He was never able to get going running the ball. Though the Saints were selling out to stop the run, it is fair to say that good running backs still find a way. His biggest miscue, fumbling the ball with just under seven minutes to go in the game, is something that is just unforgivable. Just hold on to it and live to fight another down for God’s sake!

Travis Benjamin – A miserable day as a receiver: four receptions for 48 yards. His biggest blunder coming a drive right after the Melvin Gordon Fumble, as he caught the ball and carelessly fumbled it, allowing the Saints to get the ball for a go-ahead TD.

Mike “Choke” McCoy – This may seem redundant, but I will do it anyway. What halftime adjustments did you give this team? What was the message given to this team going into the 4th? Whatever it was, it didn’t work.

Mike this loss and the other two fall right at your feet. For two weeks in a row your team had a lead and two weeks in a row they have found new ways to lose it. Here’s hoping the Spanos family wakes up and gives you the ax you deserve, ensuring that I don’t have to put you as dud for the rest of the season.

Dishonorable mentions: injuries at linebacker continuing to mount, DJ Fluker and Spencer Pulley

 

Studs of the game:

Hunter Henry –  After a costly fumble last week as the Bolts were attempting a comeback, Henry had another solid week, gaining 61 yards on four receptions, including his first touchdown as a pro.

Dontrelle Inman – After lackluster games to begin the 2016 season, Inman had the game of his life, totaling 120 yards and a TD on seven receptions. You knew going into this game that the Saints would have hard time with all of the Chargers’ offensive weapons. Have a day, though, Inman.

Craig Mager – Was it just one interception? Yes. It should’ve been a key one if not for the offensive fumbles. Mager did his job, showing up and making a play for this team when it mattered most.

Honorable mentions: Philip Rivers, Jason Verrett(way to come back, kid) and Tyrell Williams

 

The 2016 season has not gone as hoped in the eyes of Chargers fans all over the world. Despite a heightened amount of excitement surrounding a strong free-agency period and draft, the team has struggled to close out games, losing three games in which they should have most definitely won; the Bolts should be 4-0, to be honest, and I think you all know that.

With that in mind, do you think the Chargers can rebound from their 1-3 record and put themselves into a position to compete for a playoff spot?

Let me know by leaving your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

Chris Hoke

@SuperCharged17

Dontrelle+Inman

 

After losing wide receiver Keenan Allen in Week 1 and running back Danny Woodhead in Week 2 for the season, questions arose as to who would step up and make plays in the absence of two marquee players in the San Diego Chargers’ offense.

Well, as it would turn out, the team would be missing tight end Antonio Gates for Week 3 and Week 4, too.

In a game that was sure to be a shootout, the Chargers invited the Saints to Qualcomm Stadium for a Sunday afternoon tilt in America’s finest city.

Similar to my first article this morning on Matt Slauson, I have been trying to find bright spots in what was another excruciating loss for the Bolts.

Here is where we talk about wide receiver Dontrelle Inman and his performance on Sunday.

The former CFL wideout had himself a game on Sunday, setting career-highs in receptions (seven), receiving yards (120) and tied his career-high for receiving touchdowns (one) in a game.

The highlight of Inman’s day came on a 57-yard catch-and-run score where he made a defender miss and galloped into the endzone for a touchdown.

 

 

Though Inman’s career-day would come in a losing effort, his performance in Week 4 will hopefully fuel the inexperienced wideout moving forward, allowing him to solidify his rapport with quarterback Philip Rivers.

Since joining the Chargers in 2014, the 27-year-old Canadian product has totaled 59 receptions for 809 yards and four touchdowns.

 

The team will head to Oakland in Week 5 for their second divisional contest of the 2016 season. After going 0-6 in the AFC West in 2015, the Bolts look to grab their first divisional win since 2014.

 

Dave Booga Peters

 

 

 

 

 

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