Sunday made most Charger fans want to sit down and cry. To lay an egg in a game that could have been a statement game was so disheartening. All good things must come to an end at sometime though. Is it the end of the season? Not by any means, but Charger fans are left to sit here and question a team, that they have been told time and time again, is special. San Diego shouldn’t lose that mentality. Only one team finished without a loss, and by no means this team can’t compare to the ’72 Dolphins.
So many have questioned the firing of Marty Schottenheimer and the hiring of Norv, was it right to do? No. It’s hard to justify to the Bolt Faithful why a coach was fired after a 14-2 season. Marty’s Chargers may have exited the playoffs early, they may have let all the hype fly out the window, but one thing that was evident that we all loved was… Marty Ball. Now for the new fans what is Marty Ball? Quite simple, play great defense, PROTECT THE BALL, and take your chances when you can get them. Nothing in the system of Marty Ball was more important then ball security. Something that can most certainly determine a game, such as today, has proven all year to be so VITAL in big games. The Chargers had two costly fumbles on Sunday, one on the 3 and the 5 yard line. That is two potential scores taken away from the Chargers. One of those was at a HUGE spot during the game where they could have taken the lead over the Falcons. Mathews didn’t have a terrible game, but when you see someone who has consistent problems fumbling the ball you need to address it. If you can’t address it, then you need to find a better back. Norv Turner should have been on that problem the first time it presented itself.
Why did I bring up Marty besides what I stated above? Norv Turner seems to be relaxed on the side line with his players. This will take pressure off of the players but that isn’t what you need at this point. He needs to understand and comprehend that his job is on the line. Malcom Floyd, Antonio Gates, the offensive line, and Ryan Mathews all should have been reamed out on the side line. All of which should have seen decreased play time as the game went on. Gates has dropped a couple of routine catches that he always makes. Malcolm Floyd almost put fans in their grave as he dropped a pass that hit him in the chest. It’s not threatening if it is motivating. If they can’t find their grove then you need to find someone who can. Big plays were missed because the offense was out of sync, well your job as a coach is to find a way to get them in sync.
The offensive line looked about as useful as a poopy flavored lolly pop. Rivers was running for his life consistently and couldn’t really get settled. I am not taking anything away from the Falcons defense. You could definitely tell that the Falcons defense wanted to make a statement more then our offense. The Falcons defense proved that speed still kills. The only way the tackles could have looked worse is if they just sat down after the ball was snapped. So goes the offensive line, so goes the offense and with play like that no wonder why the offense could only muster up only 3 points. The only one that did the job they were supposed to was Nick Hardwick. Everyone else slacked. They need to improve for next week or the Bolts are in extreme trouble. The offensive line has shown they are capable, they need to find a swag and be consistent.
The offense was so bad and gave the ball back so fast you couldn’t even judge the defense. The secondary kept giving the falcons the short passes and Atlanta kept taking advantage. Too much cushion will lead to long drives that tires the defense. After Mathews fumbled the Falcons put together a 96 yard drive that took 8:00 minutes off the clock. That is a great job by the Falcons offense. This is a drive though that should have been ended on a 3rd and 5 play. The referee called a phantom defensive holding call. You need to be able to rise above that and state your case as to why you are 2-0 and overcome the adversity. Was it a horrific call? Yes. Would we have still been in the game? Yes, but we still would have been in the game if we stopped the Falcons on the next set of downs. The front seven was the only (if anything) good thing you could take from this game. They stayed persistent and kept finding a way to make Matt Ryan move. The only problem was Matt Ryan had no problems throwing out of the pocket.
They say you can take something good away from every game. This game? Next week will be coming sooner then later and The Bolts will visit they Chiefs. Now what does that mean? Bad News for the Chiefs! I couldn’t resist. The analysis of this game is simple, quick sand is a bitch. San Diego will need to improve on all aspects of the game this week. They took steps back and that will hurt in the long run. Double J said it best, “You will lose games, but it’s what you do with that loss that counts. You can either watch film and try to improve, or you can just sit back and take it for what it is.” Which team will show itself? A team that is going to struggle and take it for what its worth, or a team that is demanding success? Stay tuned for the next episode of, “Super Chargers, Time to Bolt Up!”