Should i be more excited or frustrated at this point?
The Chargers went in the bye week with yet again another disappointing game where they watched a big lead slip away. What makes it worse than the previous games where the lead slipped away was the fact that we were left to deal with it for an entire extra weak. So much disappointment and frustration and yet so much excitement and great hope for the future. In fact the Bolts rookie quarterback has done nothing but make all Chargers faithful everywhere have great aspirations for the long term and immediate future. Most of the frustration is because we all feel the “future” can be now. Three games against super bowl contenders and all three games the Chargers had a multiple score lead that ultimately was blown down at the wire last second…literally. All three of those super bowl contending team have former super bowl MVP’s at quarterback two of which are first ballot hall of famers and top 5 all-time quarterbacks. Yet each time we had them right where we wanted them. So much confidence for the young quarterback and fans everywhere knowing that he can sling it with the best of the best. Yet they are still losing and in disappointing fashion and it’s hard to be too overzealous with a 1-4 record.
“We are playing the best teams this close even with all of our injuries!” and yet in the minds of Chargers fans the injuries seem to be a never ending narrative. The team has also felt they improved the offensive line with the addition of Bryan Baluga and Trai Turner and yet the team has been playing without either of them leaving them with essentially the same line as last year. Probably the most exciting and yet frustrating aspect is that during the first half the offense looks very explosive and comes out hot right out of the gate. In fact Herbert is the only quarterback this season to have touchdown passes of over 50 yards in a single game. The kid has also ranked at the very top of the league in adjusted passer rating, meaning he thrives when throwing on the run and often when he has to abandon the initial read. This bodes well because this line isn’t doing him any favors. Probably most impressive of all so far from the young QB is he ranks first overall on 3rd downs with a 150.9 passer rating, 74% completion rate and an NFL best 11.47 yards per attempt with 6 touchdowns and zero interceptions. Everything you can want from a quarterback on third down. Yet still something isn’t right and maybe it’s the coaching staff?
What needs to change:
Amongst the fans so much blame and finger pointing is going around. Yet nobody can seem to agree on who to blame. Some say it’s on head coach Anthony Lynn, but first I would look too offensive coordinator Shane Steichen for his play calling. Indeed there needs to be more sort of consistency on the play calling side of things. At some points mainly the first half the team looks explosive and fluid. Then once they enter the second half they become stagnate and stale. Rather than trying to be good at everything (different formations and sets) sometimes it’s better to master a smaller amount of things. I understand that in the second half you want to run the ball when you have a lead in order to then control the clock and tempo the rest of the way. Yet what happens when you struggle to do so? This is why you must have more consistency in what the offense is running so that when the struggle hits they then have a fall back plan. Whether its more pistol formation or more spread they simply need to figure it out. Stop trying to do a little of everything and realize you first must master a few things in order to move forward.
Then on the other hand some people are blaming Gus Bradley and that is something that I believe is completely uncalled for. First and formost this defense has been missing 5 starters even 6 during the second half of week 5, not to mention Nwosu who also went down during the second half who is a main rotational piece. I would say that for a defense to be missing half of its core players that it’s a little over the top to blame the coordinator. Especially when you consider that regardless of all these injuries the Chargers defense still ranks 11th overall and 5th best in the redzone. Now some peoples response would be well he needs to blitz more and to be honest I wouldn’t be opposed to that…to a point only though. You see theoretically when you have a front four like the Bolts do you should be able to successfully get away with simply rushing 4 guys. This allows for players obviously to be in either coverage and or process of swarming the ball carrier. Remember this scheme works when players actually execute and or are healthy, just reference San Francisco last season. When Ingram and Justin Jones are both out and Joey Bosa has been hobbled this task becomes all the more difficult. Especially when guys like Kyzir White are blowing there coverage’s multiple times a game even though that’s supposed to be his strong suit and Nasir has been slow in his rotations and decision making over the top. When you give a primary look with a single high safety and he is slow to rotate into either side in determining where his help is needed most it leaves the underneath coverage men hanging out to dry especially when they run several underneath routes. The only thing I will say is Bradley needs to do a better job of getting Perryman on the field more often. He only played 17 snaps last game and that is simply unacceptable considering he is our highest graded defensive player so far this season coming in at a 91.8 overall grade.
All in all I would praise the defense seeing as how well they have maintained with as much loss as they have sustained. So many good things we sat and thought about during the bye and so many frustrating things as well. So the question remains, how does the team respond coming out of the bye?