Jared Goff is easily rattled and the Chargers need to expose him to get the W
I’ll say it flat out, Jared Goff is soft!! This in no way means that he is not a good quarterback; it simply means he is not one who deals with getting knocked around very well. . He simply does not deal with physical abuse very well and it shows on his face. I saw it throughout his time at Cal and his first season with the cross town rival Rams. When the situation is too big or when he is getting hit hard and or often he mentally folds. He starts to get paranoid in the pocket and forces his decision making. However Goff had just one interception on 152 pass attempts while under pressure so it’s obviously not the pocket pressure that gets to him. What gets to him is taking big hits. In all fairness that is fairly understandable when we consider all natural human aspects of taking crushing blows multiple times in a short period of time. The team has done a much better job of protecting him for the small sample size that we have seen this season, not to mention they were able to do so almost all season last year.
The Chargers are great at putting quarterbacks under pressure under defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. It is well documented how this scheme uses unique and well-disguised blitz schemes. Bradley uses the famous pass rusher dubbed as the “Leo” in certain packages in which teams don’t really know where it is coming from. Sometimes it’s as basic as three defensive ends along the front line, sometimes it’s an outside linebacker blitzing the outside while the end shoots an inside gap on a stunt. In fact Bradley is so creative and adaptable that during week one against the Chiefs I even saw Melvin Ingram who was lined up at his usual defensive end spot drop all the way back to the deep center field safety position as the single high safety blitzed. It was a nod to Ingrams athletic ability as he dropped back ever so quickly with ease. Last week we saw just what first round safety Derwin James brings to the pass rush aspect of thing’s as he finished with two sacks against Buffalo. Fellow rookie Uchenna Nwosu also showcased his pass rushing ability with a sack last week as well. Going forward I would like to see Nwosu’s snap count get increased, I’m just not too sure this would be the best week to do so as I’m sure they will be more focused on stopping the run game and Todd Gurley. Although I wouldn’t mind letting the coaching staff challenge Nwosu by letting him play on running downs as well as he has great sideline to sideline closing speed. What better way to do so then by testing him against one of the best back’s in the league. The way I see it even if he fails you can pull him early before it becomes too much of a hindrance, also it will quickly give the coaching staff a decent gage of his ceiling.
Getting to Goff early and often will be essential. I would even be willing to push the boundaries in risking getting called for roughing the passer just to make sure you are putting a helmet on him as often as possible as long as you do so in the first half and try to dial it back a bit as the game begins to wind down. All of this sounds great however the task has been made that much tougher and more difficult with super star pass rusher Joey Bosa expected to miss the game. The team and coaching staff will have to get creative as they usually do, but something tells me defensive coordinator Gus Bradley has a few tricks up his sleeved saved special for this game. In my opinion this will be the number one key to overcoming the odds and defeating the Lambs. This game needs to be played with a certain level of intensity and physicality that would much resemble that of a do or die playoff game.
If the Bolts truly care about winning a new fan base in the “fight for LA” they need to treat this as the biggest game of the year. On the opposite side of the spectrum if by some chance the Rams roll over the Chargers then they become even more of an afterthought and but of all jokes. This is something true Charger fans are all too familiar with already. I honestly don’t think that scenario will happen but being as how this is only the second season in LA, this is a great opportunity to make a mark on a fans base and new location.