On a day where we paid homage to a Titan of our own, Tennessee was at the Q for the home opener Sunday. With the, “White Out,” in the stands as well as on the field, it was a day where no prisoners would be taken. Rightfully so, on a day the San Diego honored the greatest Charger to ever play in powder blue. We will always remember this game, a moment where our defense was present and strong and a moment where our offense ran wild! Most importantly our moment with Junior in our mind in New Jersey or at the game in San Diego. Not much more could have been done to make this game more special then it actually was. From Antonio Garay’s hair style to the 55 blackout strips players wore, everything was almost perfect. Except the fact that our beloved linebacker with a motor that never stopped and never appeared weak was unable to witness it with us.
You really couldn’t ask for more with the opening drive of the game. The Bolts took the ball 71 yards on a 12 play 6:08 drive for a touchdown to Rosario. Something our offense had a lot of trouble doing in week one and that was putting the ball in the end zone. That one drive appeared to set the tone for the whole game as the Bolts wouldn’t slow up. Rosario and Rivers would hook up again after a Weddle interception for a 4 yard strike. Needless to say we all know where it went from here. What impressed me the most? It was the strides the Chargers made to make the running game existent and make long drives. The Chargers have jumped to 148 yards rushing from last weeks pathetic 32, and time of possession was GREATLY dominated from last weeks comparison. In week 1 the Chargers had the ball for 30:34 out of 60 minutes, yesterday it leaped to 43:39. The offense took advantage of that time and put up 5 touchdowns and a field goal.
With Mathews on the brink of getting involved I would be extremely excited for a BIG season if it weren’t for some of the issues the Chargers offensive side of the ball has. Rivers looked a little more comfortable but fumbled 2 times. One foolish play occurred when Rivers tripped and tried to make a play by getting up when he should’ve stayed down. Instead, the decision he made almost cost the Chargers the possession of the ball. If he can just try to stay a little more calm the Chargers can look forward to making a lot less mistakes. Less mistakes will equal up to more wins. One other thing that the Chargers need to improve is the consistency of the offensive line. Don’t get me wrong they did impress and improve in the running game, but if they can only protect Philip Rivers as well as they plowed holes for the running backs San Diego will be in a great position to make a lot of noise. If you watch carefully, 2 plays the offensive line would form a beautiful pocket for for Philip Rivers to step up and deliver a throw. The next two plays would lead to Rivers having to extend a play with his feet. Rivers is a smart talented quarterback who if he can feel comfortable, can gun with the best of them. No offensive line is perfect, but you don’t need perfect. You need to be get in your opponents way anyway possible. The job you do speaks on his uniform and Sunday Rivers had some grass stains this week. Still though, you can see improvement from last week till now.
Praising the defense last week was a well deserved achievement for the Bolts. Never could I believe how well San Diego’s defense played last week. This week they slacked a little bit. The front seven did a great job of getting to Locker and making him move, and throw on the run. When you can make a quarterback throw on the run you dramatically increase your chances of mistakes being made. The Chargers secondary however did not impress, outside of Weddle’s interception. Even with the Chargers putting pressure on Jake Locker, one play in particular, in the 3rd quarter on 2nd and 5 a Taylor Thompson who streak on a deep post was let go and was wide open. With the Falcons ready to come to town, the secondary can’t let that happen against Julio and Roddy or else Jammer and company will be toast. Better communication is needed as well as better knowledge of assignments. Bigby can’t let the big play up. It will make everyone else look bad.
The defense however is doing extremely well in other aspects of the game. The rushing defense has really proven to be the real deal. In two weeks the Bolts defense has made two of the leagues elite running backs look foolish allowing them to rush for a combined 49 yards. If that wasn’t impressive enough the Titans were 1 for 9 on third down (11%) which got our defense off the field. Week 1 the Raiders were 5 of 11 (33%) on third down., which was something Chargers coach Norv Turner vowed to fix in the off season. This season, so far, the Chargers are 6 for 20 (30%) on third down which is an amazing stat.
With all the flaws that Sunday showed, the great outweighed the bad and the good out weighed the great. In order to be a Championship team though the great needs to outweigh all. The Chargers have shown in two weeks that they are working hard to improving throughout the season. It is up to Norv to keep them focused and not ahead of themselves. While they are 2-0 they still have a lot of climbing to do. Rivers said it best in the post game conference, “It’s one game at a time, I know it’s boring but that’s what it is.” If they prepare week by week, these Bolts can shock the NFL.