New Coach, Same Old Chargers

This post is coming super late and I am exhausted. It was a crazy game and I thought that we had it locked in the bag after we made the score 28-7, but then I remembered that we our the San Diego Chargers. I was hoping that the new coaching staff would be able to change that culture around, but it still was there.

That second half was full of errors. The biggest one is the Philip Rivers interception for the score. It was a great play by the defender, but was too familiar to what we had before.

The defense could not get off of the field. Matt Schaub had all day to throw the football and the Texans kept marching down the field.

How many dropped passes did we have in that second half? Antonio Gates had a deep pass bounce off of his hands. Eddie Royal dropped another pass for a first down.

As crisp as the team looked in the first half, they didn’t have that same swagger in the second. The play calling on offense got a little timid and we could not run the football to save our life. It was not fun to watch us give the ball to any of our runningbacks.

In the end, we looked like the same old Chargers, but it is only week one and we stood toe to toe with one of the best teams in the division. We put up 28 points against one of the best defenses. There are things to improve upon. We need to learn how to finish off games first. Something the previous regime was terrible at. We need to close the game out. We should have won that game. We let it slip away.

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Tags: San Diego Chargers

  • Miike Holm

    The chargers play some of the best first half football in the nfl but it is not about how you start, but how you finish and evidently the chargers haven’t been able to finish a game in years. hopefully we can get the franchise left tackle this year because I’m not crossing my fingers for playoffs. 2-3 years down the line, we’ll be pretty dangerous though.

  • Campbell Parker

    Pretty simple really. You play not to lose, you ARE going to lose…

  • NativeSanDiegan

    Just watched game on my DVR after taking my 11 yr old daughter to her best friend’s birthday party. Like you said Ernie; after we went up 28-7 I thought we had a chance. Then we shut it down.
    No more quick out of huddle to the line to give Philip the time to look over the defense and get us in the right play. Sure there were a couple of dropped passes. There were also some fantastic pass plays by Vincent Brown, Eddie Royal, Malcolm, and Gates. Also 1 or 2 great plays with Woodhead and R Brown out of the backfield, but not enough. Then Philip’s confidence had a meltdown and he made terrible decisions and poor passes.
    Over here in Hawaii I kept hearing all throughout the offseason what a solid “D” we have, especially the front 7 and Weddle. I saw some very good plays but you MUST get them off the field on third and 4th down. Especially when they need 8 to 20 yds. What happened last year is still happening. Same coach, most of same players. I only saw our SS on ONE play. Saw Richard Marshall in the picture but not making plays. Think I saw Addae doing the same, or it could have been Marshall (his hair covered his number).
    For the most part Wright looked very good as did many Chargers. But the Texans only needed to find one weak spot on offense and on defense attacked our right side of the o-line.
    Enough out of me. Hope we learn from it, and Philip has to stay more levelheaded when everything isn’t going his way.

  • SuperMatt

    The 2nd-half gameplan was some of the worst playcalling I’ve ever seen. I don’t see Mike McCoy lasting long at this job. What was up with taking Ryan Mathews basically out of the game after his first touchdown? He looks better than Ronnie Brown in running routes out there. Also, the running plays being called are terrible. They seem to be slow-moving plays that wait for blocks to develop – but all that happens is defensive penetration and running backs getting hit before they can even take a first step.

  • Mark G

    A “W” is all that matters. Fantasy football is meaningless, stats are meaningless.

    But the NFL is really losing me and my passion with these little girl rules. WE TOUCHED THE FRICKEN CENTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is now a “defenseless player” and at the discretion of the ref, if you touch him, they can ruin your game with a 15 yard personal foul. He is on the line for goodness sake and will be “touched” EVERY SINGLE TIME!! So the ref can play favorites or whatever the reason throw the flag. It has ruined football for me. The rules are meaningless which means even winning is meaningless. Sure the Texans won. But what would have happened if they got 3 points like they should have instead of 7 that late in the game? You play your heart out but the refs can take it away because of what? Incidental contact on a chip shot field goal? Meaningless.

    • Ernie Padaon

      i did not even understand that stupid call…What the heck is that rule!?!?!?! so dumb

      • Mark G

        The defender’s knee (Thomas) made contact with the center’s helmet as he tried to go around him with the center trying to block him. No injury, no harm done – just a zealous ref itchin to throw his flag on the new penalty – an ego booster to show off his power and be the first to do it. There is no recourse for bad penalty calling. they have absolute power and they know it.

        • Ernie Padaon


        • joerockt

          So apparently the ref for the Packer’s v. 49ers game was “downgraded” due to the mistake he made. Which basically means his chances for officiating playoffs or SB is less. Big. Friggin. Deal. They should be suspended for a week or two if found grossly negligent in the incorrect enforcement of the rules.

          What needs to change is any FLAGGED play from a false start to a personal foul should be allowed to be CHALLENGED. Even judgement call penalties! Why not?!!? Its should be up to the coach to decide if he wants to burn a challenge. Hell, every flag they throw is practically a judgement call. Why not let a ref committee decide if it was the right call? I just don’t understand why some penalties can be challenged and others can’t. Any time a yellow flag is dropped, a red flag should be allowed as well.

          Shit just happens too fast these days for anyone to see clearly every single thing that goes on on the field.

      • Peter Thompson

        It’s to protect the long snapper from getting clobbered, I guess? Didn’t realize there was a rule change, or even a problem in the past.

  • Andy Knaus

    Wasn’t expecting a win, was stoked they played really well first half, got my hopes up, but took the foot off the accelerator in the 2nd and played standard scared Charger football. Cant do that in today’s NFL. We will see how McCoy and the team adjust…

  • Arturo Suarez

    We need 1st, run de ball guys.

  • BoltAZ

    With a lead like that, we needed to run the ball the remainder of the game! C’mon guys! why can’t we have just used RM24, Ronnie, Whittaker, LeRon McClain, Woody or a combination or RBs/FB?!?
    Not only that, but STOP the friggin’ RUN!!! Arian Foster and Ben Tate had their way with our “D”!!! It seemed that every time these guys got the ball they had a 5-8 yard gain and would march down the field with little or no difficulty at all!!! C’mon ppl from 28-7 to 28-31!!! I know its a working process and there’s still some things that can be fixed but this game was in our grasp and the Chargers just let it slip out of our hands, what a shame… smh

  • joerockt

    We saw this twice yesterday. The Eagles were torching the Skins and then they took their foot off the gas, got conservative and almost let the Skins pull off a come back. Only difference was the Skins had more turnovers than the Chargers. I don’t know why coaches do this shit. Nursing a lead NEVER WORKS. Run the score up, who gives a flying fuck how the other team will “feel” if you score 50+ on them. This isn’t Pop Warner.

    The two guys who I said prior to the game with question marks answered those questions. If Mathews wasn’t officially a bust before, he is after last nights game. While he had some hard runs, he never broke out into the open which has been his MO the past 3 seasons. Guy is a pedestrian runner with no vision what-so-ever. Rivers. I was his advocate for a long time, but after seeing the same BS we’ve been seeing the past 2 seasons, this guy will never lead us to playoff wins, much less the SB. While he can’t help dropped passes, once again he freaked out in the second half and had no sense of comfort in the pocket. He’s still second guessing himself.

    Defense played well in the first half, but when your offense goes 3 and out nearly every possession in the 2nd half, they’re going to get gassed, and they’re going to make mistakes. Pagano got conservative with the play calling with lots of zone defense. And while they never gave up a huge play, the Texans slowly chipped away at what they were given.

    Which leads to coaching. I was disappointed with McCoy. While we don’t see him often on the sidelines, the times we did I just saw him standing there with a baffled look on his face. Did you guys see Brady on Sunday? That’s what a leader does. Rally the troops and inspire confidence. I didn’t see any of this last night.

    We’re going to have a long season ahead of us if they don’t correct these Norv “remnants”.

    • I_Bleed_Powder_Blue_801

      …yup! If the D was gas’d last night, wait til’ Sunday w/ Chip Kelly’s newly installed O for them Eagles….It’s bugging me what we watched last night……Completely embarrassing.

  • joerockt

    BTW, I keep seeing people saying “McCoy sucks at playcalling” or the likes. You guys realize that Ken Whisenhut is calling all the offensive plays, right? McCoy might have some input as to the direction of play types, but its Wiz that’s calling in the plays. But regardless, they definitely changed their approach in the second half for some dumb f’n reason.

    • Peter Thompson

      It was like the Ghost of Norv Turner suddenly took over the play calling. When we had the ball on that last drive before punting it away to the Texan’s… they suddenly called three passing plays in a row, taking very little time off the clock, and everyone could CLEARLY see that Philip was rattled. I just don’t get that. I will have to go back and look, but weren’t we on our own 13?!!!! Even if they went three & out running the ball, at least you leave less time on the clock for the Texans to get the ball into field goal range. I know McCoy wasn’t calling the plays, but does he have the power to go up to either of the two coaches, and say “John.. this soft coverage is killing us.. let them press”… or “Ken… why are you abandoning the run game, and calling so many pass plays? It isn’t working”. If he doesn’t have that power, then what’s he doing here? Is he just a guy you let talk at the podium?

      • Stefanie Smith

        Exactly, pete.

      • joerockt

        Yea, I don’t know what discussions they have during the course of the game. MM has his headset directly to KW in the booth and Pagano roams the sideline, so you would think those conversations you described were going on to some degree. But how you call for 3 passing plays in a row when you need to eat up the clock is beyond me.

        Similar to the Broncos game last year, they went from doing everything right in the first half to everything wrong in the 2nd. And the things they did went to a whole different level of stupid that I can’t comprehend.

        Woodhead was SO underutilized he’s probably wondering right now what the hell he’s doing in SD. Guy is a proven playmaker and he touches the ball ONCE. FAIL.

  • PakMaN

    Cox is another Cason. He gave AJ80 10 yards everytime.

    • Peter Thompson

      So many times multiple players in the secondary acted like he wasn’t even there. He’s a good receiver, but dang son! After about the tenth time, it was almost maddening that the defense didn’t seem to think he was going to get the ball again, and played him soft. Did they ever double-team him?

      • arnie

        nope. the went press coverage after they crossed midfield for the winning Field goal.
        It was when they forced 3n out in man coverage against him in the third quarter. I don’t know why they stopped.

  • Peter Thompson

    I know it wasn’t one play, but there was one that stood out to me, and it completely changed the game. Not the Cam Thomas penalty… I know everyone is calling BS there, and thinks that was the “one play”… which isn’t totally incorrect.

    It was that fake punt that Houston ran. I saw it coming a mile away, and even posted on the open thread “Watch for the fake”!!! And, sure enough.. there it was. That was as poor a coaching breakdown, as I’ve seen. We were totally unprepared for it, for some reason. If I know it’s coming, they should know it. The Texans were already circling, and smelled blood.. they had shown they were going to go for the throat. Why weren’t they ready for that fake? If they stop them there, the momentum changes, the defense gets a rest, and I am skeptical that last FG drive by Houston ever happens, due to the time we would have used up. It cost them the game. Stupid mistake.

    • blackroseMD1

      Yeah, I was pretty much screaming at the TV that they were going to fake it. Guess Coach McCoy couldn’t hear me…

      • joerockt

        Too funny. I called it too and it was pretty obvious when you saw THREE GUYS STANDING BEHIND THE LINE.

    • arnie

      I miss Rich Bisaci.

      • Daryl Peek

        I was always hoping he would be our next HC. I love his fire and intensity.

    • Stefanie Smith

      Pete: I think you are on to something about the coaching. Pags was terrible last night as was Whisenhunt. Who, in their infinite wisdom, decided to punt in the 4th quarter with about 3 minutes left on that 4th and 2? Were we trying to give the Texans ample time to score or what? The coaches made Coach McCoy look like a clown. Something better get fixed here. And I am sick of the excuse, “yeah, it hurts, but on to the next game.”

      • Peter Thompson

        Pags & Whiz made him look like a clown. Whiz has been in this game too long to be calling three passing plays, when they have no answer for the blitz, Rivers is getting pushed around & rattled, there is only three minutes left on the clock, and we are on our OWN 13!!! Even if you don’t get a first down, you burn some clock up, get the ball a little further out of your own end, and give Scifres a little breathing room. Then Scifres chose THAT moment to kick an “average” punt for some reason. I’ll have to go back and look, because maybe the rush was coming, and he was gun-shy from almost getting crippled in preseason.
        As for Pags, I can’t understand why you would be running soft coverage all night, while they are gashing you 5-10 yards a pop. That’s what got Manusky fired. Same thing with Whiz.. you go out there and pull a “Norv Turner” on us? Seriously? Do these guys NOT know why their predecessors are not here anymore?

  • blackroseMD1

    If football games were only one half, we’d have multiple Super Bowl championships.

    I blame the Chargers for the hangover I have today. That second half basically just poured beers down my throat.

  • Stefanie Smith

    Another thing: Peyton, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Eli, Aaron Rodgers all threw interceptions. Yes, they are bad. But watch how the pros handle it afterwards. That is the key. Rivers needs to calm down and get a grip and not go to pieces in the middle of the meltdown.

    • joerockt

      Yea, last night proved to me that nothing has changed with him. But hey, he thought there was nothing to fix. Norv has brainwashed him with his propensity for denial.

      All of they guys you mentioned (except for Eli, which when things go wrong for him they tend to stay wrong during the course of a game) have that thing that allows them to forget about the last play and have a laser focus on next play and/or series. I think Phillip dwells and allows his emotions to get the best of him. If he hasn’t figured it out by now, he never will.

      Not ready to throw in the towel just yet, but if we continue to see this type of play, that ticket to Cleveland might just get punched.

  • Stefanie Smith

    Also, everyone has probably forgotten, but ask Ernie about it. He did some inquiries on Coach McCoy from some Denver cohorts in the blog reporting business to see what they thought of our pick for coach when they Spanos family was hiring. They thought he was too conservative for the Broncos. Remember that controversy about not letting Peyton throw a pass?

    We got timid and conservative in SD.

    • joerockt

      All we can do is hope MM learned a serious lesson last night.

  • RussinSactown

    The simple truth is, the Chargers had the Texans down. Their foot was on their throat. If they kept the pressure up even through the third quarter they couldn’t have caught them. This team CAN NOT AFFORD to go conservative with opponents. We need to crush teams for 60 minutes.

  • mrswright


  • Daryl Peek

    The internal battle I’ve specifically been fighting the last three years as a BOLT fan. Blame AJ. Blame Norv. Blame injuries. Blame draft busts. Blame the O-line. Blame the defense. Blame turnovers. Blame ETC…

    I’ve tried over and over again to be objective big picture. I’ve beat myself up in trying not to over simplify the problems. I’ve exhausted all options in playing the blame game. (Sigh) I’ve caught tons of grief for coming to the fairly recent conclusion that, IMO, has stalked this team since 2006… leadership that’s too big to fail.

    Spanos set an impossible bar in 06 when he deemed Marty ball not good enough, thus completely empowering AJ. He then brought into a 6 year venture of continuity that progressed into lowered expectations. Said leadership structure, Spanos employed is now almost completely removed. The remnant is still somewhat at odds with the thought of needing to be fixed. Game one into change we saw remnant of previous era’s glitch.

    While blame can’t be solely placed on the one, the new leadership collective has to question its commitment to remnant. At this point it’s too early for knee jerk reactions but sooner rather than later big picture objectivity has to take action. “All things matter, We’re here to win now” –MM

  • joerockt

    You know what’s sad guys, Rivers had a picture of him wearing a tshirt that said ATTACK on it with bolt type font a few weeks ago. It was a cool shirt and it should be the simple motto of this offense. But, if you don’t practice what you preach, no one will ever take you seriously.

    Keep the playbook open, MM. That fist half proved we have the players and the talent.

    “Invincibility lies in the defense; the possibility of victory in the attack.”
    -Sun Tzu