“Chargers = Playoffs”
The Bolts are going to the playoffs as a wildcard team. They earned it by battering a really bad Indianapolis Colts team in Monday Night Football.
Now with two games left, against the disappointing Rams and the incompetent Broncos in Denver, the Bolts have the real chance of finishing (11-6).
I’ll let the fans decide if the cup is half full or half empty.
Yes Justin Herbert is as vibrant a young QB as there is in the league, maybe equal to Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow, who was in the Super Bowl.
Now he has a full compliment of 3-quality receivers, and Austin Ekeler-more pass catcher than running back.
But there are glitches in lots of places. His sack totals are rocketing. They still cannot run the ball much. The defense against the run is suspect still. The secondary gives up plays.
Yes they beat the daylights out of the Dolphins, sending Miami down the ladder in the playoff race. But they scuffled against a crippled Tennessee team, and nearly let RB-Derrick Henry beat them.
And in the Monday Night win, the Colts hung with them till the 4th quarter, and had it not been for a leaky offensive line, or a rusty 3rd string Nick Foles at quarterback, it might have been a very different game.
It was a hammering the Chargers gave the Colts. You almost have to feel sorry for how incompetent the Indy offense is, beset by injuries virtually everywhere. Beset by owner Jim Irsay’s impulsive firing of regarded head coach Frank Reich.
The Chargers choked off Foles and the offense, getting them to (0-10) on third downs…coming up with 7-sacks against an immobile QB…intercepting 3-passes Foles forced into coverage…and getting lucky when Foles missed an open receiver at the 5-yard line, and threw a pick at the eight.
But they won, so the cup is half full.
But I will show you the half empty cup.
Run defense, Michael Davis at corner, weak LB pass coverage and concerns about the offensive line holding up against a quality pass rush. Herbert has been sacked 37-times and his turnovers have increased. And there has not been a Joey Bosa sighting.
Unsaid is the importance of the Rams game against Baker Mayfield and the finale in bitter cold Denver, with a new coach taking over for the just fired Nathan Hackett.
Getting the top wildcard spot-gives them a home playoff game. Finishing 2nd or third in the wildcard race, sends them on the road to a possible cold weather city and who wants that.
I wasn’t impressed with much of what they did in Indy, much like I was alarmed how close the Tennessee game was, two teams that were in tanking mode. Come playoffs, there no longer any slugs on the schedule.
As the game ended, people showed great respect to Herbert on the field.
As the game ended, I looked at all the empty seats in that domed stadium in downtown Indianapolis and that empty roster, especially at quarterback, in a building where Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck and Philip Rivers wore the horseshoe on their helmet and did well.
Chargers = Playoffs and that’s a first for Herbert, like all the other records he is setting in just his third season.