“Mid-Season Report Card–Chargers”
We have gotten to the mid-season part of the NFL schedule. The Chargers are (2-6) and out of the playoff race. Injuries have wrecked the season. The coach is under fire. The QB of the future is in place.
My report card on the Bolts:
OWNERSHIP..Guess we are lucky no fans have been allowed to attend Chargers home games. It means there would be no embarrassing moments on national TV when the Chargers were drawing 21,000-fans in a 72,000 seat stadium…The grotesque (2-6) record would look awful in an empty new stadium…Grade (D).
GMs….Tom Telesco and John Spanos have restocked the roster with athletes, but keeping them on the field has been an issue. Since they were given joint responsibility of the troubled franchise, the team has gone (55-65), most of their seasons destroyed by injuries. But because of QB-Justin Herbert, it is doubtful there will be any (2-14) seasons for Bolts fans, however many there might be. Grade (C) until you start winning.
COACH…Anthony Lynn brought fiery leadership on board when he replaced Mike McCoy. They won in the twilight years of Philip Rivers stay, The siege of injuries has wrecked 3-of Lynn’s seasons. His game management is suspect. His assistant coaching hires have been hit and miss. Dumping Ken Whisenhunt seemed a scapegoat move. Now the blame is pointed at Gus Bradley his defensive coordinator….McCoy lopped off 7-assistants and then was fired himself after the following season…If they don’t finish the second half of the year upbeat, Lynn could be gone. A (7-18) record the last two plus seasons…(3-15) in 1-TD games…an appalling (0-9)vs AFC-West teams over the last 3-years….Grade (C)…Will it get worse before it gets better.
QUARTERBACK…Justin Herbert can be what Andrew Luck was in Indianapolis-when he replaced Peyton Manning…an instant success. Forget the won-loss record (1-6) as a starter, look instead at the stats, the ability to make plays, learn, cope with the pro game and deal with the adversity of a battered offensive line and injuries to his skill guys. He is a more mobile Rivers. Grade (A)
RUNNING BACKS…No Austin Ekeler, no chance to have big time production. Maybe fool hardy to let Mevin Gordon walk out the door. You see flashes from Justin Jackson-Josh Kelly-Kalen Ballage, but none are stars yet. Just not enough quality. Grade (D).
WIDE RECEIVERS…Keenan Allen will break all Bolts records before he is done. Mike Williams makes plays and gets hurt. It would be interesting to see if they would use him for more than jump balls. He should be more of a force in his third year. Pleasant surprise the big play capabilities of the rookies Gayton-Johnson and the future may be ahead of them….Grade (B)
TIGHT END…Hunter Henry is a solid second tier tight end in the league. He has not survived a whole season healthy, and is solid, but is not a Darren Waller or one of the other emerging young studs at the position. Wish they would use him more, alot more. Grade (B)
OFFENSIVE LINE….Three of five starters hurt, force feeding kids at various positions. Until some form of Pro Bowl players arrive, Herbert is at risk, alot. They have drafted, signed free agents, traded for guys, just have not found cornerstone people yet. Next year’s high draft picks better bring a quality player here…Grade (D)
DEFENSIVE LINE….They are paying 20M a year to Joey Bosa but he has had alot of nagging injuries. He must be on the field for the defense to have a chance. Melvin Ingram has good games, off games. Had hoped Linval Joseph would make a difference but all the injuries around him have impacted his ability. A healthy Justin Jones might help….Grade (C).
LINEBACKER…A complete overhaul. Kenneth Murray is exceptional, but he is a rookie. Losing Dru Tranquil for the year has been a setback. Kyzer White is active and Uchena Nwosu plays multi position. Need more playmakers there….Grade (C)
SECONDARY…Could have been great, won’t be at least not this season. Losing Derwin James and Chris Harris was devastating. An aging Casey Hayward doesn’t seem up to the task week by week. Michael Davis is an athlete, but he gets beat. Nassir Adderly is on the come learning on the job. Unfair to give them a true letter grade without the key people, who should be there. Could be an A…give them benefit of doubt….Grade (B)
KICKERS…Ty Long can punt. Michael Badgley can run hot and cold but have you seen how bad the kicking is around the league?….Grade (B)
RETURN GAME….Joe Reed-KJ Hill-your turn…playing…learning on the job…Make some plays-make some mistakes, but they have speed….Better days to come…Grade (C)
SUMMARY…A better team than (2-6) record indicates, but as Bill Parcells says…’You are what your record says you are’. Maybe one more good draft…and a good year of health will be the difference maker a year from today….but right now….Team Grade (C+)…(2.2-GPA)