Chargers Week 1: What We Learned

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Sep 9, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers wide receiver Malcom Floyd (80) walks off the field after the Texans defeated the Chargers 31-28 with a field goal as time expired at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY

Philip Rivers -  Played well. Not GREAT, just well enough to know he can be “fixed”. On the night, PR completed 14 of 29 passes for 195 YDS, 4 TD’s  and 1 INT.  With a 48.3% completion rate (mostly dropped balls) and 2 sacks, PR played well enough to win this game. He gave the Chargers a chance. So what’s the problem? He doesn’t play defense, catch the balls or play Special teams. Baby Giraffe did everything he could, he even ran 18 yards for a first down. In all fairness he did some things not so good, like missing Ladarius Green and Antonio Gates underneath who were both wide open and could’ve kept the drives going. We can even question his leadership, and make comparisons to Brady and Manning, but i just can’t throw him under the bus. PR came out did his part and when he needed help, he was still all alone.

REF’s- I don’t like using the ref’s as an excuse, so i won’t. I’ll share some tried and true wisdom. “…Don’t put the game in the ref’s hands…”, this means you need to go out and prepare as a team to not make stupid mistakes, to where you are arguing every little call, because you really need it. If you’re confident as team and a call didn’t go your way, brush it off, line-up for the next one and convert on 3rd &18 like the Texans did. On top of that, win CONVINCINGLY. If you are up by 21 points “in the 4th quarter with two minutes to go” the refs hands are tied.

Play Calling – if it ain’t broke, don’t _____ with it! This little piece goes out to BOTH of our coordinators. I understand that you have new players, and one of you is on a new team, but what drives me crazy is the consistent tinkering to out-think themselves, instead of keeping it simple. I understand you had a game plan in place when you came into the game, but did that plan include, STOP doing what works? Make the other team stop you, don’t do there job for them.

Ryan Mathews – Scored a TD “OUT IN SPACE”, he had 2 catches for 22 yards and 13 rushes for 33. Think. He averaged 11 yards in the air, and 2.5 on the ground. What possesses a team to be stubborn to run the ball up the middle and not use him in space? The young man showed he can be trusted with the ball, I watched as they tried to strip it away every time he had it. He held on. The most impressive run of the night was on 4th an 1, got stopped bounced out, put his feet in the ground a pushed his way for the 1st down. He didn’t run outstanding behind a new O-Line, he just looked slightly better… again play-calling. Give the young man more run plays to the guards or outside. Mathews can beat most linemen and linebacker to the corner if you let him.

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  • TheReturnOfMrBlanks

    God I hope Manti is ready Vs. the Eagles, our D is going to be sucking wind all night in that game. I hope they get a boat load of rest this week. Don’t ever start Bront Bird or Richard Mashall (even in the nickel) those 2 dudes should never be on the field at the same time.

    We need a SS so Weddle doesn’t have to try to be Houdini out there, Gilchrist is not good at being a Safety. We need a guy who can blow some dudes up and turn catches into drops. I hope Taylor can get healthy quick so at least we can get a guy that knows the position out there.

    Imagine having Ingram – Stevie and Te’o out there we would have won.

    • Bathman

      Imagine Houston having Ed Reed – Chargers would have lost by more.

      • TheReturnOfMrBlanks

        Blah he’s old news and hadn’t practiced at all

    • arnie

      That is why i missed Taylor, forgot to mention him. They could play Dime all night if the had to. Just don’t sit in the “zone”, that’s what got us beat. The Chargers have players that can play man, make the adjustment and let them do it. They forced a three-n-out in man by knocking passes away from johnson and hopkins.

  • Pingback: Chargers Week 1: What We Learned – BoltBeat

  • Stefanie Smith

    Malcolm looks worn out and sad in that picture.

    • arnie

      when they call you the #1 WR and you get one catch and two targets, i’d be sad to.

  • rickochey

    I hope they change the rules to only 2 quarters.

  • TheReturnOfMrBlanks
    • arnie

      LOL make a tackle. Make a play. Score more points. That’s all i got. LOL

  • BoltAZ

    Ernie, I believed you covered all points that needed to be address and 100% concur. Now I just hope we get T’eo and Taylor healthy enough to play. It’s one loss, now 15 wins to go! Bolt UP!!!

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      oops… this was Arnie’s.. forgot to change the author on that one

    • BoltAZ

      Thanks Arnie great write up, 100% concur!

  • kris

    Were gonna get worked by the Eagles. Our offense going 3 n out all second half basically killed our defense. They were exhausted. Now imagine a team with more versatility and speed on offense, were gonna be 0-2.

    • arnie

      You have good point, but don’t be to sure on that. See if they had just sucked all game and couldn’t score points then i’d be in total agreement. The problem were for all to see, if they make the adjustments, stop being stubborn, they can get 1-1. The Redskins were victims of RG3′s rust. They almost came back. Their defense found out how to get to vick. You do not want to give Liuget, Cam, Freeney, Reyes, and even Duba J a clean look at the QB.

      • TheReturnOfMrBlanks

        Ah dude, Imagine a good Ol fashioned area league type game where both offenses just keep scoring at rapid speed. That would be so sick

  • kris

    On the plus side, Fluker looked good against the best pass rusher in the league. Freeney is still a beast. Johnson and Butler looked awesome. Gates looked faster and well conditioned. Green looks to have a bright future.

    • arnie

      Great points. I thought about brining it up but wanted to see if somebody noticed. The O-ilnes wasn’t spectacular, but they tightened up and played better than last years crew. Not having Ingram and Te’o out there showed.

  • Alex Pitrofsky

    I. Still. Can’t. Believe. They. Lost. All day I felt MISERABLE I know it’s just one game but I think with that loss, the best we can go is 9-7. I just don’t get it. Any other team in the league would have finished tht game off…….even the Jags. Such a TERRIBLE loss. Well Bolts, prove my dumbass wrong and make a Wild Card spot. Go Bolts!!!!! Go Bolts!!!!!!! And GO BOLTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Stefanie Smith

      Jags and Blaine Gabbert could not get the TDs that we got. That is the difference. That is what is so pitiful. We have some talent and some skill and show we can do it–then we squander it or something. I hate to think the guys are taking plays off.

  • Eddie

    Great points Arnie, I think overall things looked better than last year. If I had to complain out one thing it was on Defensive Coaching and not making the adjustment to add more coverage on Andre Johnson. I know Texas has a great run cam and it looked like the Chargers wanted to focus on stopping that, but with Foster coming off of injury and Johnson being unstopable. I have to scratch my head on this one.

    • arnie

      Hey i agree. John Pagano had a 21 point lead, and there was no reason to give johnson 10 yard cushion. There was no reason to give schaub any uncontested targets to throw to.
      Pags is on my poop list. He is starting to make me suspicious if there was one more hold over from the norv era that needed to be let go. I’ll reserve my judgement……

  • Stefanie Smith

    I’m not trying to bring the wrath of other teams’ fans here, but it would be different if we actually could not do it–like the Jaguars. Or even the Raiders–they are in rebuild. Then all we could expect is a good effort. But they actually had the game won in the palm of their hands! So we see it is possible. Someone has to tell the buying public what on earth are they doing over there. .instead of some cliche stuff or stupid pep talk sayings. They have to explain what is wrong and how it will be fixed.

    • TheReturnOfMrBlanks

      Freeny’s getting 3 sacks in each Raider game maybe more and 2-3 against the Jags.

    • arnie

      What went is they didn’t finish the game. The play calling got conservative, whether they agree with me or not, and it cost them. They believe in the players they got, so i want to see them let them go out and make plays.
      IMO, the D played not to lose, and they should have turned up the heat.

  • Will

    Is amazing how people STILL try to pin this kind of BS on Norv when it happened even with him GONE. You’d think after last night just a couple of the idiots who tried to blame the chargers woes on norv would have realized, oh maybe it wasnt his fault after all. But nope, same old stupidity. And any “chargers fan” who is bad mouthing RIVERS is a pathetic disgrace of a fan. Period.

    • arnie

      True. You can’t directly pin it on norv and McCoy would agree with you. I’d point out though, did norv go 11-5, in his first season, because he was great HC? Or was his success paved with players Marty coached?
      See my point is there is a core group of players that have been buying into what norv was selling for 6 years. And with the turnover of the roster, all of those players need to un-learn what they have learned, and learn from the new HC on how to FINISH games. It’s a mentality they did not have for at least 5 seasons. They need to get it quick. norv is not here, and there is nobody to blame but themselves. T&M know how to win, and they are not betting their jobs, to wait for the players to figure it out, 3 years from now.

  • Stefanie Smith

    Actually, when you think about it, who are these people that think we are supposed to pay $129 a ticket for half a game because they have decided to decrease their efforts after two quarters? I don’t care what the reason is, but I do think it takes a lot of gall to expect fans to keep tolerating this. 60 minutes – four quarters. That is what we pay for. No kicking the ball away. Every chance they get to be on that field attempting to score poinrts is what they are supposed to do. If there is ANY opportunity for them to do that, then that is what should be done–for the most part.

    • arnie

      I agree Stefanie. They need to improve. Fast.

  • tubbs45

    Excellent analysis Arnie, totally agree… One correct to the game that won’t change:

    Dean Blandino, NFL vice president of officiating, said on an interview that will air Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on NFL Network’s “NFL Total Access,” that the wrong call was made when Chargers defensive tackle Cam Thomas was penalized 10 yards for unnecessary roughness after making contact with Texans long snapper Jon Weeks
    The penalty took a field goal off the board and awarded the Texans a first down from the Chargers’ 9-yard line. Houston scored a touchdown on the next play from scrimmage to cut San Diego’s lead to 28-21. The Texans went on to win, 31-28.

  • Rob Base

    Still speechless

  • arnie

    Update: What else we learned

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000242206/article/nfl-exec-ref-erred-on-penalty-call-in-texanschargers

    Thanks NFL. Do they want to talk about that blow to the head of PR on that Pick six?

  • Stefanie Smith

    I have heard that “we didn’t finish” the game, as occurred last season against the Broncos. That response still skirts the issue. Why can’t we finish? Why did we not finish? Was this a conscious decision and/or strategy? Until there are answers to that, we will be hearing the same stupid lines from over there at Charger headquarters for weeks to come. Who makes the decision not to finish? Who blew it? What?

    Somewhere during the course of that game, there was a decision to change course that heavily contributed to the loss of that game.

  • garlicbutter

    What we learned was that Danny Woodhead was criminally underused.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      Truth