Sep 22, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers cheerleaders perform during the third quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

San Diego Chargers 1st Quarter of 2012 Review

September 16, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers cheerleaders perform during the game against the Tennessee Titans at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE


Now that the first four games of the 2012 season have been played, I’d like to take a moment to review the first quarter of the year.

The Chargers have bolted out to a 3-1 record while winning their first two divisional matchups in the process. Despite the fact that we have only played one serious threat, I’d like to point out that the Bolts are notorious for playing down to their competition. I feel comfortable stating that we all agree that has happened often in recent years.

To begin the season, the Chargers bested rival Oakland in a game that was aided by several miscues by the Raiders’ special teams. Despite the errors by the Raiders, the Chargers seemed to have the game in control for the majority of week one.

In Bolt-like fashion, the team managed to have a couple of injuries that were of note. Shareece Wright was injured on the first kickoff coverage play of the year. He has yet to return but is expected back in a week to ten days. It’s an obvious shame too because having an actual offseason proved to be very beneficial to Wright.

The second injury was to the thumb of Quentin Jammer. Although he has yet to miss any time, there is still a bit of concern about him having difficulty to get physical with wide receivers at the line.

In week two the Chargers had their home opener against the Tennessee Titans on what the team called a “WhiteHot Sunday.” A day which included the formal retiring of the number 55 worn by the late, great Junior Seau.

The Chargers put it on the Titans and brought their record to 2-0. While replacing Antonio Gates, who was a pre-game scratch, Dante Rosario proved that he was more than capable of being a threat in the Bolts’ offense.

My only major disappointment was the complacency in playcalling by Norv Turner in the second quarter of that game.

Now on to week three.

In what most of us called the first true test for the 2012 campaign, the Chargers faced the Atlanta Falcons and failed miserably. John Pagano called a Manusky-like game while running a cover two shell the majority of the game. This was done due to the multiple weapons on the Falcons’ offense. It is my opinion that you can not rush four defenders for 85% of the game and expect to end up with a different outcome than we did in week three.

I’ve been asked many times what I thought, if anything, came out of that game as being a positive. Well, the team managed to stay healthy. That would be about it.

In a week four contest at Arrowhead against Kansas City, the Chargers came out firing on all cylinders. The offense looked good while the defense played lights out.

Norv and company sent a serious message to Ryan Mathews by starting Jackie Battle in week four. Despite a pedestrian 2.6 yards per carry by Battle, the team was able to make the running game a small factor. Mathews finished off the game despite not starting.

The Bolts forced 6 turnovers and did what they should do against weaker competition. They won and they won handily.

Did I mention that Jared Gaither came back to play in that game? Gaither played very admirably considering he had tallied 3 practices in the last couple of months. It’s good to have him back despite a commendable effort by undrafted free agent Mike Harris in the first three weeks.

It’s also worth mentioning that Norv let off the gas in the third quarter. Norv’s complacent playcalling would have let a good team back in that game. The Chargers finished the 3rd quarter with 3 three and outs and -1 yards on offense. That is certainly not championship caliber football.

Although the only good team the Chargers have faced was the Falcons, starting 3-1 is, and should be, a good feeling for the organization and it’s fans.

The 3-1 record has come to be despite Philip Rivers not having even one 300 yard passing game.

With the first quarter of the regular season in the books, the team from America’s finest city won the games that they were supposed to win. The defense is becoming the strong point to what has been considered an offensive featured team in recent years.

The second quarter of the season is about to begin. And it begins on Sunday night against the 0-4 New Orleans Saints. Should be a very tough game despite the winless record of the team formerly nicknamed the Aints.

Side notes:

-Robert Meachem has yet to make a solid impact

-Rivers, especially in the Atlanta game, has made some throws that we all wish he could take back

-Corey Liuget is a beast

-Aubrayo Franklin is a vast improvement over both Garay and Thomas at nose tackle

-Atari Bigby has been solid despite a few dropped interception opportunities

-Richard Goodman has “tackled himself” as often as the opposing team has tackled him

-Nate Kaeding is hurt again but we lucked out to be able to have Nick Novak re-join the team

-Jeromey Clary plays well except for the four plays every single game when he does his best turnstyle impression

-The offense will be instantly improved when Vincent Brown comes back

-Jarret Johnson has not looked particularly good at all

-Ronnie Brown is simply a receiving back at this point in his career

-Nick Hardwick is solid as usual

-Antoine Cason and Quentin Jammer are not showing that they benefit from a seriously improved front seven

-Eric Weddle continues to be a ball hawking stud

-Malcom Floyd has managed to stay healthy and produce

-Melvin Ingram leads the team in “almost” plays (Thanks Jerome Watson for that one)

-Vaughn Martin continues to improve

-Donald Butler is one of the best inside linebackers in football

-Eddie Royal has yet to make a serious impact despite one touchdown catch

-Kendall Reyes is a stud and will only get better

-Jonas Mouton has been inactive every week

-The season has gotten off to a great start

What are some of your thoughts on the play of the team in the first quarter of 2012? Let me know in the comments section.


Thanks a lot for reading.






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Tags: San Diego Chargers

  • BiggsyBolt

    Oline: inconsistent
    McClain: see above

    • Ernie Padaon

      Big Foot should help that out a bunch

  • Dan L.

    Good points, however…Royal has had a couple nice punt returns negated due to penalties. Idk about Franklin being a “vast” improvement over Garay. While only 2.5 sacks last year, he is a lane-clogging force when in the game. Agree on Rivers and sync with Meachem, I’m worried about the best long ball thrower in game yet has severely under thrown balls this year. Mathews needs to start, and to finish at goal line. Suffered from the vulture last year, he is far superior than Battle. And completely agree on Norv play calling…you’d never see GB or NE let off gas like we did against KC.

    • #TheBoltFather

      Agreed on Royal but the plays that are called back don’t win games. I do hear ya though buddy. Franklin collapses the pocket like a bulldozer. Easily handles single blocks and beats doubles all the time. Rivers has thrown off his back foot on three deep balls to Meach. He doesn’t have the arm strength to lead a WR with the speed of Meachem to do that.
      Thanks a lot Dan.

  • Ernie Padaon

    hate your comment on Richard Goodman, because it is SOOO TRUE!!! fricking ground keeps tackling him… Clary is pretty dang good, but fans only remember those 4 plays! SIGH…

    think Jammer is better than you noted though. check out this stat from profootballfocus:

    In Quentin Jammer’s last game of the 2011 season, he allowed 158 receiving yards against the Raiders. In four games this year he has allowed only 133, and no more than 45 in any individual game

    • #TheBoltFather

      lol. Yeah you wrote about Goodman being primed to break one. I couldn’t agree more. I like the fast track of that turf in the SuperDome. Is this the game?
      As far as Jammer is concerned, I like him a lot. He is definitely playing better than that Oakland game of last year that you mentioned. He looked great against the Raiders in week 1 of this year. He looked terrible against Atlanta but we hardly sent more than four to help out the secondary. It’s a long year. I am interested to see how the NO game plays out as far as our secondary is concerned.

  • @BOLTSFAN1972

    Do not take this out of context!!! I love the Bolts and no matter what I always will but I see great play at times but I want a quality win or two before I’m sold on this teams Destination !!!!

    • Ernie Padaon

      would you qualify a win this weekend as quality?

  • Pels04

    Great read man! I was hoping you were going to get to the 3rd qtr lull in the KC game haha. Terrible!! And unacceptable!! Norvs lack of “finishing” off an opponent is still an issue and it drives me nuts! What really has me fired up is our defense. It’s awesome to see all the first and second year players making a serious impact. We really have some talented young players. Nice to see Butler get some national attention btw. Booga I loved your optimism earlier in the year claiming “this is our year” and I also felt this year was different. But I wasn’t as optimistic as you were. I am now and it’s because of the defense and because of what the offense has the potential to be. Its been a ling time since I’ve seen our defense look as dominant as they did last week. They bounced back after a terrible showing the week before. Offensively, Mathews has looked like a beast!! Not being a homer but his running style makes him one of my favorite rbs to watch. When the connection between Rivers and Meachem happens (having Gaither will help with that) this offense will change dramatically and I can’t wait to see that happen. I agree with the SD sports junkies that this could be Meachems breakout game. One last thing is I don’t think Norv is using Royal enough. He really needs to get him more involved. Okay one more last thing. I can’t wait for VB to come back!! Once he does this offense should really be clicking. All these things have me really hopeful for this season and also the future of this team. So I’m right there with you, this IS our year!! BoltUp!!