I can’t think of a better image to sum up Monday’s game. It actually looks like Hopkins is kicking Washington. I have given our kicker a lot of shit, but he really gutted it out against Denver. It’s weird to see Kelley on the sidelines as well, especially since he is now on IR. I didn’t even see him get hurt on special teams. Michel, who I also was sick of seeing, also had some big plays on Monday Night. It was ugly, no doubt. I know I said we’d learn a lot about this team from the game. I don’t know what to think now. They won, and that speaks volumes. Besides Hopkins kicking through a hamstring injury that caused him to fall over every time he followed through, Jackson got benched. As Daniel Popper pointed out
in the video, it took guts for Staley to do that. He was the one who pushed to sign Jackson. I have no idea if he was a product of New England’s system or if he was overrated as “Mr. Int.” But Michael Davis isn’t good enough right now. Of course, Asante Samuel has been playing really well, especially since the KC game. Regardless, it takes guts to make that call. We all criticize Chargers coaches, even Staley for being beholden to contracts and draft positioning. We have no idea, but assume that something must force them to make the decisions they do. Nonetheless, Staley realized we would lose a game we absolutely needed to have at the half and he sat Jackson. Can’t fault him for that. I also think Jackson will come around and Davis is as he always has been. He’s limited but he did play “assignment sound” and that’s all he needed. The defense was really impressive in the second half. We (or at least I) blame the team for never making adjustments. Wilson looked awful and yet put us in a 10-0 hole. The final drive that led to their field goal was clearly the last straw. The defense did everything they could in the second half. If we could have mustered any offense whatsoever, perhaps we could have put the Broncos away.
The offense was really rough to look at. It was just sad to see Herbert constantly have to go to the checkdowns. His interception was a weird decision as it was a really tight window and woudn’t have resulted in a particularly long gain.
But maybe Denver’s defense is really that good. Pipkins could barely move but gutted it out like Hopkins. Clapp helped push Ekeler into the end zone, but then got hurt. Lindsey’s food poisoning left the line in shambles. Johnson had three holds alone. Sure, I could have seen more Bandy. We didn’t test Surtain much. We got screwed on some calls early but were rewarded with a few makeup penalties. That roughing call on Chubb was pretty favorable. I know Herbert’s ribs are hurting him more than we know. When he runs, he’s become Rivers like in that he slides so early sometimes it seems like he’s going backwards. There was a play where he could have run for the first but opted to throw. But we won, which is all that matters. I know we can’t expect to win them all, but it would be great to see them keep it going at home. I remember writing in 2018 that the team wasn’t that good as they kept winning without Bosa. London, Cleveland, Seattle…They know they have a bye after this. They haven’t won four in a row since 2018. I suspect Keenan will play but not his usual amount of snaps. Palmer has a concussion, but Bandy will be active. Without Guyton we really don’t have anyone to stretch the field. It sucks for Parham that he got another concussion. I really don’t trust Everett. I’m not in on McKitty, either.
But let’s look at the positives. Mack has been great, especially without Bosa. Tranquill was fantastic and Derwin has been Derwin. We know the Seahawks are improved and probably better than Denver is. Geno is mobile and has been playing mistake free. But the Chargers have won three games in a row without really playing a complete game. As injury riddled as they are, I think they might be ready to do just that. I know, I can’t believe I am being positive either. Don’t make me regret it.