Welcome back from the bye. The Tennessee game was scary, to say the least. I posted right before Melvin Gordon was listed as out. Wisenhunt seemed to have the same plays for Ekler as if Gordon was in there. I’m pretty sure he was asked about it afterwards. It was far too reminiscent of when Ryan Mathews couldn’t go in the playoffs and we ran Woodhead as if he had the same skill set. The offense definitely had the big plays working. I guess the bomb to Tyrell Williams was scripted and the QB coach called it as a touchdown before the game. I hope Gordon can go tomorrow. The video of him practicing makes it seem like a no brainer, but the Bolts seem to love to be sly with reporting injuries.
Kyzir White is now on IR after his “minor surgery.” At this point I’m not expecting Bosa until December. The fact that Bosa went out and talked to reporters on the week that he was supposed to return suggests that the team at least understands the fans are getting anxious. Nonetheless, I don’t believe anything that Anthony Lynn says at this point.
I still get sucked into his coaching style every time I watch Backstage: Chargers, though. This week even made me hate Joe Barksdale a little less. Either I want to believe a little too much or the guys the Chargers have working for them are amazing filmmakers. I still can’t believe we’re rolling with Caleb Sturgis. Is the two-year deal that important? He will have to kick in a big spot and I guess we are supposed to believe he’ll be up to it? Badgley’s kickoffs were awful. I saw someone on Twitter suggest that those were intentional on the part of the special teams coach. Clearly that was not the case. Sturgis was allegedly better than Aguayo in the clutch moments. I think we’re going to have to find out the hard way whether that’s true. There is no way that a quad injury is the reason for Sturgis’ struggles this season. His kickoffs after misses were always shallow and suggest to me a serious mental softness. Drew Kaser got signed by the Packers today so maybe he’s not the problem in “the process” Lynn loves to speak of.
The tackling on that last drive against Tennessee was abysmal, but both the Titans game and Niners games ARE games they would have lost in the past. Tomorrow will be a big test. Seattle has been rolling lately and I think the Falcons game of 2016 is still our last win against a good team. That was also a game we won went the opposing coach went for the win like last week. If you recall, Dan Quinn went on fourth down and later got that team into the Super Bowl. You know what happened to that Atlanta team, obviously.
It’s hard not to think about the last time we played Seattle four years ago. That was as impressive a win as the Chargers had under Mike McCoy. It was hot and the defending champs got manhandled by us. We were able to bait them into penalties and Keenan Allen went right after Sherman. Gates, of course, had 3 touchdowns with one being particularly acrobatic. But that was also the year we went 6-1 into the bye. We barely escaped Oakland with a win and came out of the bye at home against KC. You remember what happened to that Charger team, obviously.
5-2 is a great start and I didn’t think they would win all four of those post-Rams contests. The next four are “favorable” as well, with tomorrow seemingly being the toughest. But as much joy as I take in the Raiders falling apart, a loss tomorrow and I wouldn’t be so sure that they would redeem themselves for one day against us. Plus, wasn’t it after the Amari Cooper trade that everyone was calling Gruden a genius for setting himself up for the draft? Anyway, the defense needs to ready. Russell Wilson has been lighting it up and their running game is scary right now. I really want to believe that the Chargers have toughened up with playing in Carson and being in some tough spots. I find myself focusing on almost losing to San Fran and Tennessee. But the Rochell and Perryman interceptions were impressive. Eric Williams wrote an ESPN piece about the Chargers being comfortable closing out games. I do have to give them credit for stopping the Titans on the goalline, although the Hayward penalty would normally be a killer.
But then I read Lynn’s quote that this is the test this team needs right now. I agree, but will they be able to pass it? In 2014, they barely escaped Oakland with a win and came out of the bye flat. I can’t imagine them coming out flat tomorrow, but am still unsure if we can stand toe to toe with a strong team. I guess all I can ask for is that if we don’t win it’s because they simply outplay us. But it’s like my favorite line from Cocktail. None ends well or else it wouldn’t end. Let’s not let this end.
PS If you remember Arthur Cox, you know why his card is up there