OK, so the Rams offense is clicking is well as could be imagined.
Maybe even better than that. The Chiefs look to be the real deal.
Does this make the Chargers’ performances in Week 1 and 3 seem better
in retrospect? I don’t think so. You need to look at who you play
and when you play them. The Bills beat the Vikings in a blowout, so
does our lone win now seem more impressive?
Watching last Sunday’s game was literally like being at Super Bowl
XXIX. We couldn’t stop them all day long. I’ve been pushing the
panic button on Joey Bosa all year and him coming forward to speak
this week doesn’t reassure me. But the Chargers won’t have him until
after the bye at the earliest. Who knows if he’ll even be himself?
Some people are already wondering if he goes on IR and holds out next
year and we never see him in a Chargers uniform again. Those are also
people who blame Dean for everything. Haggling over offset language
and forcing a senseless holdout may have fucked Bosa’s rookie year and
kept the team from ever getting going, but it also led to the firing
of Mike McCoy.
Of course, the team moved right after that and hired Anthony Lynn.
It’s nice to see Lynn yell at players who make dumb penalties, but
Norv and Marty yelled too. It doesn’t matter if they don’t learn from
their mistakes. The Chargers didn’t lose because Lynn tried a field
goal down by two scores, but it was a typically stupid move. At that
point, they weren’t winning the game. But even at 4th and 8, what is
the point of kicking? Caleb Sturgis might be a choker who missed an
extra point, but the Rams missed a field goal, had an interception and
a fumble on their first drive and it didn’t matter. Why? We couldn’t
stop them all day. Again, it was like John Taylor and Jerry Rice all
over again. Lynn called out Kaser for taking a three step drop on the
blocked punt, but what about the decision to run up the gut three
times on the goal line? I’ve been ranting about this since the
Debacle in Washington in 2013, but doesn’t the Head Coach have
authority over Wisenhunt? Doesn’t Rivers? I thought Derwin James
advanced the ball out of the end zone because he couldn’t slow himself
down. I thought it was his momentum, not his stupidity. This wasn’t
a Tre Boston situation. But I’m not sold on the coaching staff. Sean
McVay has his team playing at an unbelievable level right now (and
apparently has quite a looker for a wife), but does that mean we need
to continue to play things safe?
It was nice to see us go on 4th down on the play that became a
touchdown to Mike Williams. I couldn’t believe he wasn’t seriously
hurt on the play. It looked like Keenan Allen at Baltimore all over
again. Actually, the most Charger thing would have been for him to
not catch the ball. That’s what I thought on the James interception.
At least he caught it.
Cooks, Cupp, and Woods are killing every secondary they face but is
Casey Hayward really a shut down corner? He’s been great since we got
him, except for the touchdown against KC last year and that was the
result of a hamstring. But he was just a guy in Green Bay and they
have a pretty good record of judging talent. Verrett will never be
the player he looked to be when drafted. This is the secondary we
have so there’s no point looking beyond what we’ve got. Obviously,
the lack of a pass rush makes it impossible for anyone to cover.
I don’t blame the Chargers moving or the medical staff for Bosa. I
have questioned why the team has been so shady all along because I
don’t see what they could gain? Again, the Chargers have bad luck because they are the Chargers. It’s not because of Dean or the move. The fans who thought it was weird that a foot injury that was declared “no big deal” kept him out of practice all August. Bosa claims that he was the one who pushed himself to practice for the opener. I certainly don’t think that the Chargers’ have the power to force him back early. He held out and sought a second opinion. But “week to week” with no updates was laughable.
On the positive front, Mike Williams has looked great. Keenan Allen couldn’t really get going even when his nemesis Marcus Peters went out. That fumble was a killer and it looks to be Talib’s last play for a while. Ekler’s fumble didn’t really matter although you can fault the Chargers for not calling a play that put him beyond the sticks when he caught it. Allen is questionable and has a tooth issue. I didn’t really notice him gimpy at the end of the game but I also just wanted it to be over at that point.
At least we won’t start the year 0-4 and look at Rivers’ stats, the optimists say. Our schedule is the easiest in the NFL according to some meaningless rating. That’s like the “grading” on players according to Pro Football Focus. Derwin James has looked great, but I don’t know if he’s the highest rated rookie yet. The offensive line is also not the worst the NFL which is what the rating suggests. We are basically right back where we were after Week One. We are big favorites and a loss will send the season spiraling. Could they beat SF, OAK, CLE, and TN? Sure they could. I question whether they will and what it would mean if they did. But at this point, getting to the bye with a shot is all they can hope for. If Bosa really can go, things could change. But the idea of his avoiding surgery this way doesn’t sound real positive. It clearly seems to be Lisfranc but it’s not clear that surgery is the only option for that kind of injury.
So there you have it. We are hoping young Beathard doesn’t end our season a week after San Francisco saw their highly-paid future QB go down. I’ll be watching, but not yet believing.
RIP Marty Balin