1-Man’s Opinion on Sports–Friday “Chargers Season-Fade to Black in Black Hole”

Posted by on November 8th, 2019  •  0 Comments  • 

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“Chargers Season–Fade to Black in Black Hole”

 

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Crap week for the Chargers.

 

They could have won the Thursday night game, but didn’t.  They should have won the Thursday night game, but couldn’t.

 

Their playoff hopes now likely gone, sunk in the sinkhole of a Raiders Stadium, the Oakland Coliseum, aka the Black Hole.

 

It was an ugly loss between a struggling battered veteran team, and a mistake prone young team.  The Raiders will take any victory they can, regardless of mistakes, penalties, breakdowns.  The Chargers cannot stomach  the losses, the injuries, the futility of not helping out their record setting quarterback.

 

The Raiders crushed a battered Chargers offensive line, finishing the night with 3-interceptions, five sacks, 10-hits and 4-pressures on Rivers.  By the time they got to the end, the pass blockers infront of Rivers were from Grambling, Sioux Falls and Fresno State.  When it was over, Russell Okung was hurt again, there was no Mike Pouncey, no Sam Tavi.  Rivers could have had 5-interceptions in all, had two picks not been negated by Raiders penalties.

 

A week ago everyone wanted to salute the new play caller Shane Steichen.  On Thursday night, he seldom called plays for big receiver Mike Williams, went away from Melvin Gordon and the running game, and will have nightmares flashing back to lineman getting pushed into Rivers face, and a collapsing pocket time and time again.

 

The Chargers put up a fist fight, slowing down Raiders running back Josh Jacobs, but in a 10-round fight, Oakland kept punching and the Chargers finally wilted.

 

There was a stretch of time where I said to myself, ‘can’t protect the quarterback, no problem, just run the damn ball’, and they did, for 105-yards in the first half.  But it’s a four quarter game and life got ugly in the second half in that ugly stadium.

 

The kids had bad days across the board for the Bolts.

 

Offensive tackle Trent Scott gave up 2-sacks, 3-big hits and took a penalty.  Fellow rookie Trey Pipkens, forced to play at left tackle, gave up a brutal sack and took a bad penalty.  Center Scott Quisenberry took a flag, got beat on plays and even rolled a shotgun snap back to his QB.  A future Hall of Fame quarterback takes a beating from what looked like a Pac 12-Conference defense.

 

On defense, it wasn’t easy for young players either.  Cornerback Michael Davis wilted in the second half, giving up 2-big pass plays and taking a pass interference penalty.  Rookie linebacker Drue Tranquill got beat 3-times on pass plays.  Rayshawn Jenkins and others were chasing receivers all night, seldom making plays

 

The vaunted Chargers big play offense had just 5-plays of plus 20-yeards, and this against a Raiders defense that came in giving up (390YPG).

 

The Raiders kept screwing up, critical off sides calls, a bunch of pass interference flags, and 12-penalties in all for 97-yards on the night, and yet the Chargers could not put them away.

 

The Bolts had two amazing drives, a 16-play series that went 77-yards, and then in the second half a 10-play 75-yard drive that gave them a temporary lead, but didn’t hold up for 60-minutes, per the league rules..

 

But in between those two impressive drives, it was awful, all that, QB hits, sacks, incompletions and breakdowns.

 

So the feel good 3-game win streak is over, and truth be told, were it not for bad kicking opening day from Adam Vinatieri and then by Chicago’s Eddie Pineiro, this Chargers team would-could-should be (2-8) this season.  Looking back, they have played 1-good game this year, last weekend’s plastering of the Packers.  1-good game in a 10-week season so far.

 

All this days after the whole Dean Spanos meltdown over the Chargers-to-London story.  Just think of the curse words coming out of his mouth last night after a loss that might have been a win.

 

Crap week for the Chargers, and just six weeks left in a season that is getting away from them.

 

Playoff hopes fade to black in the black hole.

 

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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Thursday “Chargers-Raiders-Important Game”

Posted by on November 7th, 2019  •  0 Comments  • 

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“Chargers-vs Raiders”

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Thursday night football should be a dandy.  The Chargers-vs- the Raiders.

 

It’s had meaning in the past.  It’s very important for the here and now.

The storyline should be the big arm quarterbacks, Philip Rivers-vs-Derek Carr.

It might be the huge matches, how the Raiders can defend Mike Williams-Keenan Allen-Hunter Henry.

It could be how Oakland protects its quarterback with two injured offensive lineman out as they lineup against Joey Bosa-Melvin Ingram.

Some would say the big question will be how the Bolts defend the heavy duty running back Josh Jacobs, the rookie from Alabama, averaging (4.9YPC).

Others think the Raiders will present problems when they throw to TE-Devin Waller, Ethan Moreau and receiver Tyrell Williams.

One wonders what the Raiders would have been like had Antonio Brown-Vontze Burfcit not melted down early in the season.

The Bolts defense did a great job last week in stunning Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. last weekend.

The Raiders have won some tough road games, and are playing better and better week by week, protecting Carr, and hitting big plays.

The Chargers defense has had to fight thru injuries.  The Raiders ultra young defense is giving up (390YPG).

Each team is desperate for a win now, considering there are 4-teams ahead of the 4-win Bolts and Silver & Black, in the chase ahead for the 2-wildcard spots.

The winner may stay alive, the loser is likely done.

There’s so much history between these two franchises dating back to the old AFL days, the Al Davis regime, the Air Coryell years, Ross & Schottenheimer, and obviously the run that Philip Rivers has had.

Oddly, there is so much hurt left behind, with the Chargers move out of San Diego, and the Raiders flight at the end of this season to Las Vegas.

But for one night, there is a lot on the line in this Thursday night game.

Look for the Bolts to put up big numbers.  The only way the Raiders win this is to run the ball, control the clock, scores some points, and make Rivers stand on the sidelines for much of the night.

Chargers 28-Raiders 16

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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports–Wednesday “Chargers Rumors–Fact-Fiction-Fraud”

Posted by on November 6th, 2019  •  0 Comments  • 

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“Chargers–Crisis & Conspiracy Theory”

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This is so much fun to follow from a distance, especially if you have special insight and know all the players in this table, and their history of dealing with issues.  And I do.

This is like ‘Murder on the Orient Express’, a real who-dun-it.

Or maybe it is more like the old board game “Clue”, you know with Colonel Mustard, Professor Plum and Mrs. Peacock.

Talking of course about the 24-hours of rumors, innuendos, angry denials and all, about the future of the Chargers, the NFL team that vacated San Diego for the riches but no love market in Los Angeles.

“The Athletic Website” in a story floated by a longtime NFL writer, reported some ‘internal discussions’ at the owners level about the possibility the struggling ‘at the gate’ Chargers might be a candidate to be the franchise moved to London, England, where the NFL has been staging International games for years, and is dropping hints they’d like a full-time team in Picadilly Circus.

Then “Forbes Magazine” ran a story, from another NFL writer, reporting on rumors the failing Chargers might consider moving back to San Diego after 3-years of struggles in the LA market, where the team more resembles the old LA Clippers and the Donald Sterling rather than the franchise that wants to be recognized like the inconic Dodgers-Lakers-or even the heritage Rams.

Oh the angst did flow within hours of these stories going national.

There was owner Dean Spanos, emerging from the catacombs and shadows of his office, talking to the LA media, possibly for the first time since his bogus press conference, arriving in LA.  You do remember the one where the Chargers rented actors to dress up like fans?

Spanos, who never-ever says anything of value, dropped 4-“S-bombs” in his two sentence statement, denying any and all links to the NFL idea of London.  You know the rest of his story, committed to LA, grow it in LA, succeed in LA.  Eventhough the general consensus is they’ve lost the “Fight for LA.”

Then Fred Maas, one of Spanos’ trusted advisors, who helped him move the team from San Diego, went nuclear saying there would never be a thought of leaving LA to return to the teams 55-year home San Diego, the city they spurned after all those decades of loyalty.  He stopped short of cursing, but he was emphatic they would succeed in LA, no matter what.  Wins-losses-other teams-a bad owner-or Santa Ana fires.

Fascinating 24-hours.  Of course all this erupted a day after the LA Times lead columnist saluted the players on the field, for their surprise win over Green Bay, and went on and on, how the team deserved support, from its longtime San Diego fan base, and wouldn’t have support-ever in Los Angeles.

And now back to the ‘Who dun-it” part of all this.

Are you big into conspiracies?  Agatha Christie was with Hercule Poirot investigating this-that and some of the other, in Murder on the Orient Express.

So the LA Times lambastes the Chargers, just like they did the day the franchise was moved in 2017.

Then the Athletic runs a story about supposed conversations at the league level about London.

And Forbes digs into the depths of a move back to San Diego, where fans would welcome the team back with open arms, as long as it left th owner behind in Los Angeles.

Is it possible, and I am not a conspiracy guy, but is it possible, all these stories were planted by someone,  either designing to bury the Chargers once and for all in the LA market?

Or possibly float these stories, so there could be instant denials from a financially threadbare owner who is not well liked in his new home, after conducting a scorched earth policy to destroy his old home, to evoke some sort of tale-about love for LA-love us back?

Might say a Mark Fabiani have planted one of these stories and Fred Maas the other, so that Spanos could come front and center to deny it all, re-sell his love for a loveless LA market, and try to be painted as a victim in this Chargers-to-LA mess, rather than the guy to be blamed?

Could somebody within the Rams have dropped these rumors out there for the media to feed on, to destroy the Spanos-led franchise once and for all, so that the Rams will forever be the NFL team for Los Angeles?

Connect all the dots on all these angles for me and then let me know what you think.

In the train station in life, they are paging Colonel Mustard or Inspector Poirot to come investigate all this.

Nice drama involving the Bolts.  Fact-Fiction-Fraud.

Follow the clues.

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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports–Tuesday “Teams in Town–Tuesday Topics”

Posted by on November 5th, 2019  •  0 Comments  • 

“Teams in Town–Tuesday Topics”

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PADRES….I guess you could say “Never Say Never” when it comes to this group of Padres owners, even with the floating rumor that the Padres want to make a bid for Stephen Strasburg.  The Washington Nationals spent the weekend reopening talks with agent Scott Boras and what could be a (3Y-99M) extension that pushes his earning power to 33M a year. I doubt the Padres would be a player at that price, but then we probably did not expect them to do the 30M deal for Manny Machado.

PADRES…Half way home to cleansing of the 40-man roster, lopping off fringe players.  But there is still a logjam, a serious logjam now, because there are at least 9-minor league prospects who either have to be elevated to the 40-man roster before the Winter Baseball Meetings  or be exposed to the Rule 5-Draft in December.  The next deadline for the Padres is November 20th-when the final 40-man roster must be turned in for that draft.  Look for more changes involving some name players between now and December 12th, the draft day.  Will Myers, Ian Kinsler, even Austin Hedges might be moved other places to open roster slots.  Some of the young pitching could be dealt for lower level prospects that don’t have to be protected at this point.

PADRES…If questions still float around about the Jayce Tingler managerial hiring, one wonders about the followup choices of an inexperienced Bobby Dickerson (Phillies) as bench coach, and then Wayne Kirby (Orioles) as first base coach.  The lack of experience question resurfaces again.

DODGERS…Here comes free agency and you wonder if ‘there goes’ Hyun Jin-Ryu, off to a big payday somewhere else.  If the going price for star pitchers is going to be in the 30M range, will the Dodgers be willing to ratchet up Ryu’s deal from 18M the year to the 30M circle for next season.  Somebody might do it.

 

DODGERS….Keep track of the rumors-they are out there that some name players might be moved in a shuffling of the off season Dodgers roster.  Would they trade SS-Corey Seager and OF-Joe Pederson?  Stay tuned.

 

DODGERS…Everyone has spoken often of the potential of Mark Priory, once his pitching career ended prematurely.  Now we find out as he is the pitching coach in the LA dugout, after learning and doing things with the Padres and Angels.  He replaces Ricky Honeycutt.

ANGELS…So in need of pitching, after a year full of mistakes from GM-Billy Eppler, it becomes an Arte Moreno-Scott Boras series of conversations involving Washington Nationals free agent Gerri Cole.  The price tag there, 30M too.  Please don’t tell me the weekend signings of ex Cardinal Mike Mayers and ex-Pirates pitcher Parker Markel won’t be more of the same bargain baseman shopping the struggling GM did last year.  The Yankees will likely get in on Cole too.  A backup for Moreno and the Halos, if not Cole, then the other Boras client Strasburg.  Bet one of them winds up at the Big-A with lots of Big Bucks.

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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports–Monday “Chargers Mid Season Report Card”

Posted by on November 4th, 2019  •  0 Comments  • 

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“Chargers Mid-Season Report Card”

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They’ve stumbled to the mid-season break with a (4-5) record, well below what most of us thought the would be.  Their playoff hopes are behind the 8-ball right now, with so many tough games upcoming.a season still in jeopardy.  Despite the impressive dominant win over the Packers, it’s the only complete game they have played.  The future of the Hall Fame quarterback still in doubt, and the knowledge the franchise has failed in its move to Los Angeles, still haunts them..

A mid-season evaluation of where the Chargers are in 2019 at the mid-season point of the NFL schedule.

DEAN SPANOS…If you thought the color Black & Gold was overwhelming in your futbol stadium when the Steelers were in town, you saw all the Green & Gold with the Packers weekend.think about next weekend.   A Silver & Black Sunday is coming, and so is a Purple Viking day too?  Ownership made a monumental mistake moving to Los Angeles, as witnessed by the total lack of fans support and the upcoming embarrassment that when you play in the new stadium next year, the Rams will likely draw 65,000 per game and the Chargers will draw 25,000 per game.  Could have-should have stayed in San Diego.  Could have been revered for building the new stadium, reviled instead by family greed. Grade (F) as a person and professional.

TOM TELESCO….Responsible for putting together a good roster and winning.  Not responsible for the siege of injuries.  Will never know how good this team would be since a stupid holdout by Melvin Gordon and losing 12-players in 8-weeks to injury and illness wrecked team potential.  Only gripe, crosstown Rams make player moves like trading for people like Jalen Ramsey-Dante Fowler, the Chargers sign street free agents from Oberlin and Buffalo and don’t show any boldness to do something over the top. Grade (B)

JOHN SPANOS…Vice President of something, has totally disappeared in public.  I guess the last name makes it hard for him to have any credibility in public.  But give credit, part of group that scouted the likes of good young talent on the roster.  Grade (C).

COACHING…Cannot argue with Anthony Lynn career record since taking over the Chargers (25-18).  Victim of injuries and contract disputes.  Thought  he had two of best coordinators, Whisenhunt-Bradley, anyone could have on his staff, but then he fired Whisenhunt last week in what seemed to be a scapegoat move.  Don’t think special teams coach should still be on the job.  Tough to win when you have half a roster hurt.  Like the approach-even keel attitude-but his demands too.  Grade (B).

QUARTERBACK…Philip Rivers looks like he is aging.  A lot more series this year with poor results.  Never thought I’d see stretches of games where this quarterback would be (5-for-15) passing, or have 1-first down in 28-minute stretch.  Awful lot of turnovers in key games too, trying to force things.  Best QB in league to never win anything, sadly this is the way his career will finish out.  Enjoy him while he is still here, for when he is gone, the Chargers become Buffalo without the snow-cold, Jacksonville without the heat-humidity.  Grade (A)

RUNNING BACK…Potential to be good or great, became garbage with Melvin Gordon holdout.  He can play on my team as the backup to Austin Ekeler, who was going great guns till Gordon ended the holdout and came to camp.  Now no run game.  Hate to see Justin Jackson get hurt, for he was giving team tough guy dimension.  Maybe they should trade Gordon for a high pick and add assets rather than hassle again on a contract.  Grade (C)..should have been better.

WIDE RECEIVERS….When healthy, strong group.  When not healthy, dropped passes and substandard games.  Think Kennan Allen as underrated a tough guy as their is, but cannot do this buy himself.  Want to see more of Mike Williams on crossing routes and out patterns, rather than just jump ball football.  Hunter Henry excellent-just has to stay on the field.  Travis Benjamin, too many drops, give the money back.  Let the kid Andre Patton have a chance, maybe he’s an Edelman or Amendola. Grade (B)

OFFENSIVE LINE…Losing Russell Okung for half a season and now Mike Pouncey for a whole season is devastating.  We’ll never know how good Forrest Lamp would be because he has had 3-major injuries in 3-years.  Dan Feeney struggling with all position moves, Sam Tavi solid.  Mike Schofield just a guy.  Trey Pipkins-let him play and learn.  Grade (C)

DEFENSIVE FRONT…When healthy, the team of Joey Bosa-Melvin Ingram are active.  Bosa has chunks of games he owns, but then disappears other weekends. When not, no hope of making plays.  Uchenna Nwosu makes some plays.  Inside tackles haven’t stopped the run for two years.  Learning curve season for 1st round pick Jerry Tillery going okay.  Anybody seen Issac Rochelle from a year ago? Grade (C)

LINEBACKER…Thomas Davis has not been a difference maker.  Waiting for Kyzir White-Drew Tranquile to step up and make plays Sunday by Sunday.  The veterans Denzel Perryman-Jatavis Brown no longer dominant. Collectively group is weak.  Grade (D)

SECONDARY…Losing Derwin James was devastating, he made plays everywhere.  Then the fast developing trustworthy Adrian Phillips went down.  Casey Hayward has had as many bad plays and what few good plays.  The athlete Michael Davis can run, but can’t cover.  Desmond King has regressed and is poorly rated now as a corner.  Never saw second round pick Nassir Adderly, now on IR, so it has been a lost season. Rayshawn Jenkins may turn out fine, and the same with Rod Teamer, but this is a learning curve season for young players, and young players keep making mistakes.   Grade (D)

KICKING…Just get a scary feeling next kick will be a bad kick, but Bolts are not alone, since it seems half the league has field goal issues.  Oh Canada-Ty Long has been okay punting, and thought he would merit longer look on field goals considering all he did for BC Lions. Michael Badgley one good game, but there’s lots more to play.  Is the position trustworthy?  Grade (C)

RETURN GAME…Desmond King makes some plays on returns then botches some plays on return.  Has to be him since they gave up on Travis Benjamin after two years of mistakes.  Just okay should not be okay.  Andre Patton ready for this?  Need some explosion there.  Grade (C)

SUMMARY….Remember we still have to watch the Chargers take on the Chiefs twice, the Raiders twice, play in Denver, play the Vikings  and go back East to Jacksonville.  So there is a lot of football to still be played, but this is a hole they have dug. Considering what the record is, has to be disappointing, considering they did not have to face Andrew Luck-Ben Roethlisberger.  I think playing “16 road games a year” is wearing this team down.  No home field advantage, you left that behind when you screwed the fans in San Diego.

13-different categories graded…..  Last year mid season GPA was (2.75)…almost a “B”.

This year GPA (2.07)…just a shade above a “C”, and you know who is still left on the schedule.

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