Time to move around the NFL roadmap, five weeks into the season.
CHARGERS…Yes they are (3-2)…but the trend has continued from last year. They don’t do well against teams with winning records. They are (0-2) this year against the good teams, losing to the Rams-Chiefs, who are a combined (10-0) so far. Last year, the Chargers were just (3-7) vs winning record teams last year, so there is still something to prove.
RIVERS ROLLS…King Philip leads the AFC in passing, and is second in the NFL in passing. Who leads the league, the guy across the street, the Rams Jared Goff. Rivers has a 116-rating, just behind the amazing 119-rating held by Goff.
GOODBYE BOLTS…They won’t be home for five weeks, and won’t play here again till November 18th. Next weekends game will be hard, in Cleveland against a vastly improved Browns team, with a very aggressive defense. They then go to London to meet Tennessee, have bye week, then two more road games, at Oakland-Seattle. November 18 is a long ways away.
DANDY DUO…This has been impressive, the combo RB-group of Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler, catch and run. Gordon has become an ultimate power back, a slasher with explosiveness. Stunning too, his ability to be so dangerous out of the backfield catching passes. Keeler has become a rugged change of pace guy, has the extra gear when he gets outside, has the toughness inside, and catches the ball too.
MIKE IS RIGHT…Last year’s first round pick Mike Williams is a tough matchup physically, runs precise routes, wins jump balls, and is really hard to cover to in the tightness of the end zone. A star in the making, but would like to see him used more. Target him more than 3-passes a game.
TY THE GUY….Not sure when that will happen for Tyrell Williams. yes there are some big catches for big yards, but there are drops, penalties too. Thought as third year guy, he would step to the next level, but he stumbled going up the step.
BANGED UP….No Russell Okung, no Joe Barksdale, no problem last week, but that was against the worst defense in the world, the woeful Raiders. This weekend, Browns Defensive Coordinator Greg Williams will have Cleveland’s defense, led my Myles Garrett, cranked up. If they have to play the kids upfront, Rivers could be knocked down a lot.
DEFENSE…So far, so good with the young players. Everyone is raving about the big rookie safety Derwin James, big-physical-fast and a bright light. It has not been a good start for Casey Hayward, coming off a good year. the other corner Travon Williams has been picked on a lot, and given up plays. Ochenna Nwosu had a good preseason camp, but hasn’t made much of an impact. Unsung DE-Issac Rochelle has grown as a player, and now that Corey Liuget is back, could be a force on the either side. Looking for rookie LB-Kyzier White to get back on the field
KICKER CRISIS….it’s not just in LA, all these kicking problems, it’s everywhere, as witnessed by Packers star kicker Mason Crosby missing 5-kicks on Sunday. But for 2-plus million they are paying Caleb Sturgis, he’s missed 7-kicks already this year. This keeps up, they will have to swallow the money, and go find someone else.
KICKOFF KING…3-impressive returns in two weeks Desmond King should solidify his hold on the punt return team. Still waiting for these speed guys to become a force on kickoff returns. Not yet.
BRADLEY’S BOYS….Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley has not had his full lineup yet, so we don’t know hoe dangerous they can become. They are fast, and they have shown blitz ability. But now ahead, a ton of road games. They’re going to need a better pass rush, and who knows when Joey Bosa might be available. Because they had to give up a home game to go play in London, the Chargers have only 4-home games left on the schedule, and it’s just early October.