Another one just gets away
The Chargers did a very Chargers thing on Sunday. They let a 3 possession lead slip away and ended up losing. There is no secret as to what happened on Sunday as we slowly watched the momentum slip away and the tides completely turn. I will keep this short As really there are only two topics I want to cover here.
What was he thinking?
The momentum started to slip away at the very end of the first half when the Bucs recovered a lost fumble by Joshua Kelley. While many people will want to jump all over Kelley for this I and understandably so I don’t blame him as much as I do someone else. Another smaller percentage of people will blame Herbert because the handoff was mishandled because the handoff was much too high and put in Kelley’s chest plate rather than his belly. Both of these would be partially to blame and correct in their own right. That ball needs to be handled much better and that handoff needs to be placed much lower. However none of these errors would have ever of had the chance of happening if Anthony Lynn had made better decisions prior to that happening. To me this is the most inexcusable part of what happened on Sunday. The team is up by 3 possessions with only 40 seconds to go in the first half. Not to mention you have to know your team gets the ball back at the beginning of the second half. The Chargers also began that possession inside their own redzone. This boils down to having a better understanding of risk reward assessment. Why risk any mistakes at all with a rookie quarterback in the game when you already have a very comfortable lead and know you are going to get the ball right back anyway?!?! All of that risk just to run the ball anyways. Was he trying to help his beloved running backs statistics? It makes no sense to me what so ever. Needless to say that’s when the shift in momentum all started. The turnover essentially gave them a free touchdown, as at that point it would be asking the defense way too much to get a stop inside their own 10.
Later in the game Tampa had scored a touchdown on four consecutive drives so it was very apparent that the Bucs had all the momentum. Yet when the Chargers offense had the ball and found themselves in a 4th and 1 situation they then decided to punt the ball away giving it back to Tampa who had all the momentum. Time and time again Lynn is showing that he is unwilling to go for it on 4th down when the game is on the line but he has no problem doing so early in the game when the pressure isn’t on. Is this poor judgment or folding under the pressure? Last week Lynn said he needed to teach this team how to win but I think he needs to take accountability and teach himself how to coach to win.
A lot of people are blaming Gus Bradley’s defense and wanting to blame Bradley himself. The team is in the upper percentile of touchdowns allowed and if not for a few offensive turnovers this team might be 3-1. A lot of people were also blaming him for not running much more than the 4-3 defense. However if you are going against an offense that runs double tight end formations almost nonstop and your defense has two outside linebackers who are supposedly known for their speed and coverage ability then that is the perfect defense to run to offset it. The problem was the execution. Both Murray and Kyzir White had multiple blown coverage’s which proved to be drastic to the outcome of the game. Kyzir had a defensive overall grade of a miserable 36.6 along with a 48.4 coverage grade. Murray had a 57.3 overall defensive grade with a 46.7 coverage grade. Combine this with the fact that Nasir Adderley needs to make quicker decisions over the top and the fact that Casey Hayward did not have a good game and suddenly the Jackboys looked more like the lost boys. Hayward had a 59.7 coverage grade. Hayward is usually much more reliable so I’m not going to blame him. I put more emphases on Kyzir and Murray because of the double tight end formations they saw all day long.