Are the Chargers really in the mix for a playoff spot at 3-5? I don’t think so. I haven’t seen enough, especially from Anthony Lynn, to think that they will beat Jacksonville and Buffalo. Yes, there were years (even under Mike McCoy) that these games would be givens. Those teams have improved, but I’m also not convinced that Lynn/Wisenhunt/Bradley are putting players into the best spot to succeed. When you read that the Rams have “inventive coaching,” I assume that means that McVay and Co have figured out how to use the players they’ve got. As I mentioned last week, the Chargers have much talent as the Rams. But look at the results. If Dean was really committed to the “Fight For LA,” wouldn’t he expect more out of his coach?
Perryman is coming back, but I’m similarly skeptical. He’s been pretty fragile and as a result the sample size of his career is reasonably small. There were times, like in the Atlanta game last year, where he showed his playmaking ability. But with the record and remaining schedule the Bolts have, how long can we wait for him to make an impact? Jacksonville’s strength this year has been their defense so maybe I should be more concerned with the offense.
Melvin Gordon has been hurt, but when they leaned on him against the Giants and Denver he was great. Rivers was forcing the ball to him with passes and it was still working out. Lynn has to trust him at this point. 3rd and short can’t be the down where Williams and Benjamin are getting the ball. Gates may even be falling into that category at this point. I know that defenses are planning on taking away the best playmakers, but we’re not even targeting these guys. Keenan Allen doesn’t have a touchdown, unless I’m mistaken.
These next three games will decide this team’s fate. However, I’m not counting out the Bolts losing to the Browns. The Jaguars have been good at running the ball and we’ve been shitty at stopping it. Plus, Jacksonville has Laughing Lambo who will automatically be better simply by not being a Charger. Don’t get me wrong, he and his fucking Man Bun needed to go. But I’m not sold on The Organization right now. While reading the aforementioned article on McVay, it said that he admitted there are things he needs to improve on. I think playcalling and clock management were what he was referring to. I don’t think I can remember a Charger coach saying that. I’m sure Bobby Ross took some responsibility for things. Marty probably did at some point even if he still couldn’t buy a postseason win in San Diego.
I went into the last game saying that there wasn’t any room for moral victories. But with all the bonehead calls, penalties, and whatever the fuck Benjamin was doing on that kick return that’s exactly what Anthony Lynn tried to claim. If not for the two missed field goals, he couldn’t even say that. Remember McCoy’s call to punt against New England in 2014? When McCoy actually went back to defend his decision a few days later people said “well of course he has to say that.” But that was the decision he kept making. I fear Lynn will do the same thing.
If they go 3-6 after losing to Jacksonville, there is no way they can try to spin a “playoff push.” Win and at 4-5 you can at least look to get to .500 against Buffalo before facing the (I think) Elliot-less Cowboys. So I guess Sunday really is the turning point of the season. I’ll be watching before I head to The Garden to see what’s left of The Justice Is Coming House Band. After that, we’ll know where we stand.
Talk to you next week.