“Chargers–Dose of Reality”———–
Brandon Staley meet John Harbaugh
Justin Herbert meet the Ravens defense
Chargers defense meet Lamar Jackson and that offense
And so the feel good story of the Chargers, gets punched in the mouth in Sunday’s (34-6) shellacking in Baltimore.
To quote Adam Archuleta, the CBS-broadcast analyst on the game…”It was like the JV team (Bolts) trying to play the varsity (Ravens)
It was painful to watch for the Chargers did not hold up in any facet of the game, weren’t really competitive till it was over, and confirmed glaring weaknesses in this (4-2) team.
They were never in the game, not from the first 91-yard Ravens drive for a TD. They really never made a stop. and their offense was suffocated and mugged by the Baltimore secondary.
If the Chargers were supposed to be elite, they sure did not show it against a perennially street tough Baltimore team.
So we will have to delay with the coronation of the AFC’s cinderella team for at least a week if not longer.
The Ravens pounded their way to 187-yards rushing, some of it with Lamar Jackson, the rest from a collection of tough guy running backs, running behind an offensive front that did not have Pro Bowl tackle Ronnie Stanley on the field.
Tight end Mark Andrews is still running free, an awful day by virtually everyone in the secondary, from Derwin James to any linebacker on the roster.
Justin Herbert had a bunch of 3-and-outs, and what was the last time that happened? He was not helped by at least 4-dropped passes.
Not much in getting Mike Williams, Keenan Allen or Jared Cook open when they still had a chance in the game.
A couple of pages of the playbook went missing. Where was the passing game and Austin Ekeler? Why has Keenan Allen become just a third down route runner? Why has Jaylen Guyton and his speed not been utilized more? Same with productive TE-Donald Parham?
LB-Kyzer White checked off all the boxes…2-interceptions..3-pressures…but also gave up 4-passes.
Derwin James had a forced fumble but gave up 3-receptions.
The rightside of the offensive line continues to leak oil. RT-Storm Norton gave up 2-sacks, big blowup hits on Herbert plus 2-pressures too. There really is no alternative because the Bolts are already down 2-starting offensive tackles.
Even Staley’s magic play-calling went away. He was (0-3) trying to run 4th down plays, twice deep in their own territory.
Here comes the bye week and the hope they can get LBs Kenneth Murray and Dru Tranquill back on the field by the time they play in November.
It only counts as one loss, but it was a real beatdown, and it’s evident the more video teams compile on Herbert and the offense, they may slow them down more, especially with little run game.
It’s truly evident they can’t stop the run, at all, so that is a problem. And the young DBs, who made plays in the early weeks, seemed to be struggling in coverage too.
Plus they need to solve the hot and cold kicking situation. And kick coverage was poor-giving up a 47-yard return and punt returns of 12-14-15. Defending the Ravens is hard. Putting them on a short field is harder.
The Ravens 38-minutes time of possession was an exclamation point to how bad it really was.
Dose of reality, you bet. Luckily there are 11-more games on the schedule to be played, but the Bolts truly got a black eye on Sunday from the guys wearing Purple & Black Ravens colors.
That was John Harbaugh’s playbook, the Ravens run game and the brazen Baltimore defense that beat you up. Hope you enjoyed the East Coast trip.