“Chargers-Mid Season Report Card”
They’ve arrived at the mid season mark of their NFL season as the Los Angeles Chargers. Missed, hated, despised, loathed in San Diego. Ignored, mocked, derided in their new home in Los Angeles. They are (3-5) as they prepare to play the back half of the schedule. Here’s my mid-season report card on the franchise on and off the field.
OWNERSHIP…(F)….Dean Spanos is no Stan Kroenke. The Chargers left a town in rage to go to a city that mocked them from day one-remembering the lead column “You’re not wanted here”. Spanos is nowhere near the entrepreneur Kroenke either, and yet he advocated picking a fight for fans in the market, his “Fight for LA” branding. Spanos net worth is just over 1.2B. Kroenke’s is 12B. As the Rams owner builds the new stadium in Inglewood, his people went out and just landed a Super Bowl, and won a bid to host the College Football Championship game. His NFL team is (6-2) in first place the division. He runs the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, the MLS Colorado Rapids, owns radio properties and the Pepsi Arena, as well as an English Premeir League. He accomplishes a lot. Spanos owns one team, and he cannot even run that without struggling….
ORGANIZATION….(D)..Every decision Team Spanos’ front office has made has had a black mark against it. From the highest tickets pricing in the league, to the sale of huge blocks of tickets to brokers, to opposing teams fans flooding the stadium, it has not been a good experience in the soccer stadium they play in. Add in the logo snafu, the hiring of actors to show up at their fan fest, to unsold tickets, to tarps on the upper deck, to the game day bio mistakes, to the sleazy free hot dog and free tattoo promotions, to the fan who mocked them at a press conference, to the planes flying overhead with critical banners, the Chargers presentation has been an embarrassment.
COACHING…(D)…Anthony Lynn may have served his time under some good head coaches, but this has been a very rocky road. Game management issues…play-calling from his coordinators…questionable game plans, losses to bad teams…lack of overall toughness..he has been less impressive than other coaches in his debut.
QUARTERBACK…(C).. .Phillip Rivers is (13-30) in his last 43-starts for the Bolts….recent years have been about turnovers, sacks, and 4th quarter failures…not all his fault…but he is the quarterback who once was a winner, and whose team now is not.
RUNNING BACK…(C)…Melvin Gordon runs angry, but cannot do it by himself…take away two long runs over 7-weeks, and he is averaging just around 3.0 yards per carry. They do miss Danny Woodhead’s proven versatility and don’t have much else.
WIDE RECEIVERS…(C)…Keenan Allen is as good as it gets…and Travis Benjamin has had some big plays, but there is virtually nothing else happening on a Sunday-to-Sunday basis with any of the other wide outs….It’s not much of a big play group.
TIGHT END…(B)….Hunter Henry is breaking thru as a very good tight end….Antonio Gates is just window dressing now and to much of the game plan.
OFFENSIVE LINE…(C)…Russell Okung has played better this year than in the past and is still healthy….and rookie Dan Feeney shows promise…but they have had problems at the other three spots and have virtually no depth with the losses of Matt Slauson-Forrest Lamp.
DEFENSIVE LINE….(C)…The pass rush is really special, and Bosa-Ingram might be the best combo in the league…but there is nothing else positive….the run defense is not tough enough and Corey Liuget has virtually disappeared as a playmaker…Chris McCain, as a role player makes plays, but could not stand up to a ton of snaps.
LINEBACKERS….(D)….Without Donzell Perryman, there are no physical force guys against the run and the pass coverage is non-existent…add to that across the board bad-tackling.
CORNERBACKS….(C)….Jason Verrett now has three major injuries in three years…Casey Hayward is not having the season he had a year ago-some good games, some big plays against him….they are force feeding the young corner Williams plus others….luckily the pass rush covers up for some deficiencies.
SAFETY…(C)…Thank goodness for the across the field toughness of Jaleel Addae, but there is not much else there, especially with the decision to get rid of Craig Mager and Dexter McCoil…tell me again what Tre Boston brings to the party?
PUNTING…(A)…Drew Kaser has had a strong bounce back season.
FIELD GOALS…(D)…Goodbye Josh Lambo and his attitude…goodbye to Young Koo the replacement…and hope Nick Novak can get healthy and can kick key field goals and give them long kickoffs.
KICK RETURNS…(C)….Yes there was one big play from Travis Benjamin, but there were lots of bad returns too, including that game costing safety. Add in bad decisions when to bring the ball out of the end zone on kick returns. The kick cover units have been leaky too…Amazing, with how important special teams are, and that this unit has been a disgrace for years.
FINAL GRADE….1.80-Grade Point Average…..(C-Minus)
Agree or Disagree…