“Chargers Football–As Advertised”
Everything Chargers new head coach Brandon Staley said would happen, did happen, in the season opening Sunday victory in Washington.
it was a gritty-grimy (20-16) win, but it was a one sided prize fight, the Bolts landing haymakers, the WFT (Washington Football Team) refusing to go down for the count.
Staley’s tent revival press conference have been fun to take part in, a combination of philosophy 101, football 101, history 101.
But what he said he wanted his team to be, turned out to be just that.
Unleashing QB-Justin Herbert, who threw for (337Y) and ran the Bolts up and down the field, though he threw for just 1-TD.
Staley used the word ‘tempo’ in all his conversations, and they ran a high octane offense, ripping off a (424-259) yardage advantage, and running 78-plays to the home teams 49-snaps.
The dominance did not show up on the scoreboard, but definitely did on the stat sheet.
The Bolts had a 15-play drive covering 75-yards…a 13-play series worth 67-yards….a 17-play-66-yard drive and 10-play possessions covering 75-and-76 yards.
They diced, chopped and seized lots of yards with chunk plays, 16-plays of 10-yards or more.
Say Alleluia about keeping drives going, with Herbert’s offense converting 14-of-19 on 3rd down opportunities. When was the last time you saw that from the Chargers? Surely not in the Anthony Lynn-Mike McCoy era.
Oh there were glitches. For all the yards and time of possession they put up, they also stalled alot too, because Washington would not let them kick the door in. The Bolts had 30-snaps inside the Red Zone (20-yard line), and scored just 2-touchdowns in those 30-snaps. They had drives that got to the 4-6-8-15 but did not result in TDs.
It was opening day and there were other issues.
Joey Bosa, who looks like a heat-seeking missile pass rushing from a standup position, picked up 2-roughing the passer flags. They survived a pass interference penalty, a possible horse collar tackle and at least 5-dropped passes, but won anyhow.
They knocked out Washington QB-Ryan Fitzpatrick with a possible hip dislocation that popped back in. When done, the Chargers had 1-sack…6-hits…7-pressures and forced two fumbles.
Tristan Vizcaino hit 2-field goals, while the guy he replaced, Michael Badgley missed two kicks in an ugly Tennessee home field loss to Arizona.
As is always the case, Brian Bulaga did not hold up, exiting in the 2nd quarter with back issues again, after giving up a sack, taking a penalty, and getting beat another time on the first 3-possessions.
The mixed blend of offensive line talent played pretty well. Considering 56-pass attempts, giving up just 1-sack and 2-hits on your most prized property was quite an afernoon of work. And yes, Rashawn Slater graded out pretty high considering how many times he has to pass block and blitz pickup.
Of course it helped to be facing an anemic Washington offense, with a limited group of receivers, no name running backs, and a battered Fitzpatrick at quarterback.
The Chargers team speed on defense was electric, they seemed everywhere covering pass routes, and rallied to the ball to negate big plays.
It was a good win, but it was against Washington.
Nextup, Dak Prescott and Dallas, with a Cowboys offense that threw for 403-yards and took the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Bucs right to the end of the game before losing.
Chargers football, a win in their pocket, played ‘As Advertised’…pretty dynamic on offense.