“Chargers–Some Good-Some Bad”
The Bolts are (3-2).
The glass can be viewed as half full or half empty, depending who you are.
A team nicked up with injuries, still has 12-games to go, but no idea when critical players like Keenan Allen and Joey Bosa will return…and if they truly survive the loss of Pro Bowl LT-Rashawn Slater.
The last 3-weeks have not given us a Chargers team that would give you confidence they can be a power in the AFC.
They got mugged badly at home by the Jacksonville Jaguars. They were running away from a bad Houston Texans team, but nearly lost the game at the end. And somehow they survived failed 4th down play calls, two of them, by coach Brandon Staley, in the win or near loss in Cleveland.
So where are the Bolts right now?
Thankful for the exceptional play of gutsy QB-Justin Herbert, who leads the league in passing yardage all this while playing with fractured rib cartilage. He may be limited in the pocket, he has run just one time for big yardage since being hurt. But he has been razor sharp accurate in a shorter passing game.,
Running back Austin Ekeler had a career record 173-yard rushing day in Cleveland, but 71 of that came on 1-play. Most of the rest of it was plodding gains.
Mike Williams has had 2-monster games catching the ball. Not much help for him from any of the younger receivers, and not much either from the tight ends.
Somebody should be alarmed at the Chargers headquarters. Where is the help for the QB and the wide receiver? This offense is not about to become a power ball control team.
Upfront, there is a gaping hole at left tackle. Jam Salyer held up against a poor Houston pass rush. He was overwhelmed in the first half against Cleveland’s rush, giving up 4-pressures and drawing a holding call. It was not until the Bolts put a tight end next to Salyer, that the protection on Herbert’s blind side got better.
Zion Johnson has been exceptional at right guard and Trey Pipkens has held up at right tackle.
On defense, the Chargers are giving up chunks of yards on the ground. Big runs of 40-50-73 yards this season already. and nearly a loss in Cleveland. Sunday’s shat sheet showed Cleveland gashing them on runs of 15-16-17-19-20 and 40-yards.
The linebacker play has been very spotty, especially in coverage.
JC Jackson has given up a pile of catches, and does not seem fully recovered from his ankle surgery. He gave up 5-catches and a TD vs the Browns. Earlier he gave up 7-receptions in one game.
Derwin James is everywhere on the field, but has given up receptions, including 3-on Sunday, a missed tackle, and a key penalty in the Browns game.
Asanti Samuel gave up 4-more catches on Sunday too.
In fact the Bolts gave up 18-plays of 10-yards or more in Cleveland.
Yes they won but is that trouble up ahead?
Lost in all the excitement of the Browns win is a real look at the schedule.
Very winnable games against battered Russell Wilson-Denver…a subpar Falcons team, and an injured Seahawks team.
Better put a hot streak together because as October turns to November, the Chargers face the 49ers…Chiefs…Arizona and Miami on consecutive weeks.
It’s been a tough couple of weeks on quarterback injuries around the league. It drives home the point your team is one snap away from losing its star QB.
They don’t look like a complete football team. They cannot afford many more injuries and there’s 12-more games left in this season. What are the chances they won’t lose more key players before this season is done.
Being (3-2) puts them in decent straits. Cross town the Rams are (2-3) and really beat up, their quarterback taking sacks and turning the ball over at an alarming rate.
Some good-some bad so far with lots of football still left to play. The Chargers don’t look like the team everyone thought they might be, at least not yet.