Out hit, out schemed, out coached.
That pretty much sums up a difficult day in the jungle for the Chargers, in the aftermath of their lopsided loss to the Cincinnati Bengals (25-19) yesterday, a game that was not as close as the score indicated.
A week ago, the Bolts masterplan was to put a safety over the top, and another defender underenath to slow down and takeaway the Detroit Lions star receiver Calvin Johnson.
That never happened yesterday, and Cincinnati torched the solo coverage offered by cornerback Brandon Flowers, who was overwhelmed by star AJ Green, and big tight ends. He gave up all 3-TD passes to Andy Dalton.
But the beating was not just on him. Cincinnati kept hammering the ball, and when they were done, they ripped up another 175-yards on the ground to compliment Dalton’s passing stats.
San Diego’s defensive front got slammed all over the field.
And the offensive line had a bad day, protecting its quarterback, even if the Bolts had a good day running the ball. A superb day of chunk plays from rookie Melvin Gordon and running mate Danny Woodhead was offset by everytime Philip Rivers dropped back to pass..
But the front got beat and shoved around. They gave up 4-sacks of Rivers and took on 6-offensive line penalties.
Add to that, last week’s star, Keenan Allen, with his 15-catches, dropped a punt, that led to a score, and dropped a sure pass too.
Mike McCoy’s staff called lots of blitzes and never got there. Dalton picked them apart, when Giovani Bernard wasn’t running over them.
The refs gave San Diego a gift touchdown, when they failed to call two penalties on an offensive pass interference facemask call, and then a block to the back on a TD pass.
It only counts as a loss, but it might be a sign of bigger issues. San Diego misses its starting guard DJ Fluker. Running mate Orlando Franklin still isn’t playing consistent.
They need more from Malcom Floyd to help Allen and the kid tight end Ladarius Green, who has put two good games together.
But there’s no help coming in run defense, and the tandem of Flowers and Jason Verrett did not have a good day yesterday.
Next up, similar problems, when they go to Minnesota. The weather there will be cloudy, cool and a 100% chance that Adrian Peterson will run the football on them.
You knew going to Cincinnati would be tough; Dalton is (24-10-1) at home. San Diego helped him alot by turnovers, penalties.and lack of toughness in both lines.
As good as the coaching staff was creating things in the Detroit win, they were equally bad in not handling matchups in Cincinnati. McCoy’s men have alot of work to do.