Well well well, here we are yet again. Another week another disappointment. One week people want to blame the defense, the next the coaches, then the offense. Well this one lands particularly well on the special teams and guess what? It had nothing to do with missed field goal’s or extra points. For the most part the first meeting between Tua and Herbert did not live up to the hype; not much drama or highlight reel plays were made by the QB’s like everyone expected.
In my keys to victory prior to the Dolphins game I highlighted that Miami is a very good special teams unit and has blocked several punts so far this season while we had a weak spot there. Well as fate would have it almost right out of the gate on the Chargers first drive, Boom blocked punt Miami recovers at the 1 yard line essentially giving them a free touchdown. However it was still just the beginning of the game so they could still right the ship. However late in the first quarter the Chargers defense was able to get a stop on a good looking Miami drive to force them to settle for a field goal. To everyone’s dismay during the kick attempt the Chargers committed a penalty which resulted in a automatic first down to continue Miami’s drive which ultimately led to Jakeem Grant catching a touchdown from Tua giving them a 14 point lead and an extra 4 in what should have been just 3. Essentially the special teams had given up 10 free points in just the first quarter alone. It didn’t stop there however, no sir the special teams kept having themselves a day and during a punt at the end of the first half the long snapper managed a 5 yard penalty for a false start then on the actual punt Grant returned the kick for 19 yards. That’s 24 free yards we gave to the Dolphins which led to them being in field goal range to get a field goal at the end of the first half. That’s now a total of 14 free points the special teams gave up. Keep in mind the Chargers lost by 8 points. You dont need to be a mathematician to figure it out.
The ever hyped quarterback dual was a bit of a let down, as neither one of them really shined. Herbert did have a rushing touchdown on the goal line where he was essentially untouched. He also had 2 passing touchdowns, one of which was in garbage time and the other to a wide open Hunter Henry in the back of the end zone. Both Tua and Herbert had less than 200 yards passing each (169 for Tua; 187 for Herbert). Also of note is the fact that Tua had two would be interceptions dropped by Denzel Perryman and Kenneth Murray. This ultimately salvaged Tua’s day. So the ever hyped match up of rookie quarterbacks was a dud to say the least.
Comments were also made after the game that the offense was confused by the coverage’s the defense was giving them. This isn’t a good look for a coaching staff that is already under the microscope and meant to prepare a team during the week for what to look for.