The Chargers Achilles Heel?

Sep 15, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10) is unable to make the catch in the end zone during the fourth quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Lincoln Financial Field. The Chargers defeated the Eagles 33-30. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Today was a great game and we are 1-1. Over the last two games the offense has put up 28 and 33 points. Philip Rivers has thrown seven touchdowns. Granted there were mental miscues on the offensive side of the ball but if you figure that your offense is scoring averaging 30 points a game you should be running over people but we’re .500. When looking at the first two games, two numbers stand out. Keep these in mind.

Matt Schaub 346 yards.
Mike Vick 428 yards.

Defensively there is a pretty good push from the front seven. Not a lot of sacks against Houston or Philly but they are consistently flushing them out of the pocket and more than a few hurries. The Achilles heel at this point is our DB corps. Wright and Cox have been gashed for 774 yards in two games. In the first game they gave Andre Johnson 8-10 yard cushions and any wide out will gladly take 146 yards per game 10 yards at a time. In today’s game, DeSean Jackson torched our secondary for 190 yards. Shady McCoy added another 110. These were yards mainly gained against Wright and Cox.

To call this a serious problem is an understatement. Between now and January we will face more than a few quarterbacks who will be capable of side stepping initial pressure, extend plays and if Wright and Cox don’t step up, we’ll be locked up in shootouts every week. We aren’t built to have shootouts every week. Rest assured every team we play from the Titans next week to the Chiefs in December will try to get one-on-one match ups against Wright and Cox until they start shutting down their assignments.

What’s the answer if Wright and Cox continue to be the Achilles heel of the Charger defense? Could either Patrick or Marshall step up and perform at this level? Is there a capable free agent on the market? Is there a viable trade option before the deadline?

We are all pumped to have one in the win column and looking at the way the team has performed things will only improve. Many of us here hope that we won’t see the passing yards stay this high. But if this one aspect doesn’t improve NOW, this will be one long, disappointing and ultimately wasted year for all of us.

Topics: San Diego Chargers

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  • HighBoltage

    Bring back Jammer!!!

    • Pels04

      Unfortunately i dont think that would help. Unless he goes to safety and we move Gilly opposite of Cox. Id be ok with that.

      • Nick in PB

        He failed at safety with the Broncos… I think he’s a backup corner now.

        • Pels04

          Ah…. Did not know that

    • C.Steele

      Are you drunk?

    • Brandon Rios

      He’s with the donkeys now.

    • Gunnar Martin

      He would be even worse!

  • PakMaN

    Peyton will pick us apart. We haven’t had a decent secondary in over 5+ years.

  • Pels04

    Glad you brought this up. Shareece got torched be Desean all day. If it werent for the overthrow or Desean stepping out of bounds he couldve had 3-4 tds against Shareece. Not ready to give up on him yet but yes the do have to get better NOW! The secondary is new and it will take time to gel, i hope its soon.

  • ECAVILLE/Ace of Spades

    My brother pointed this out to me before the season start. It’s still early and this team showed some solid character this win. Secondary is no doubt a weak spot on our team but not because of lack of skill. Time to coach these guys on their mistakes and move forward.

  • Stefanie Smith

    Great write-up, Russell!

  • C.Steele

    WTH?! Yes. our corners haven’t gotten torched. However, they have gone up against 2 of the best receivers in the league, Jackson arguably the fastest. If I’m not mistaken these were Wright’s first 2 starts, Hell of a draw Johnson then Jackson. So, lets cut the corners some slack. Not only were the receivers they have had to cover been awesome, they have gotten little help from our supposed awesome front seven. The pass rush has been as bad as last years. And, the safeties have been no where in the picture as the receivers were torching the corners on deep go routes, Corner routes and post!! It might help if the DC stops blitzing our best cover safety, and sends Gilchrist, Addae or Taylor. Anybody but weddle!!! Lets see how the corners (specifically Wright) and Safeties (who aren’t Weddle) develop as the season goes on, before we jettison them over board.

    • RussinSactown

      I really want to believe that and I have a ton of confidence that these guys are going to be better than the last couple weeks has shown. I am watching how they develop. Teams took their shots at them in preseason as well. And almost every team we face is going to have someone who can potentially torch us and more than likely it’s their #1 receiver. Are we going to say “Well yeah this was a tough week, Wright had to line up against (Insert the opposing team’s #1 receiver here) all game” every time a team gets a career week against us?

      Just a couple more things to think about here. Week 1 against the Redskins Jackson had 104 yards. Yesterday he had 193. Week 1 Johnson had 146 yards against us. Against the Titans 76 yards.

      I’m not saying cut them today. But I am saying with almost all the other aspects looking better than last year* that this has got to improve.

      *Everything except Matthews. I’m not turning a blind eye to Matthews dropping it on the carpet. Again. What the Hell was that man?

      • philiprules

        That was a hack from behind much like Gates’ drop. Why aren’t you raggin on him too?

        • RussinSactown

          Gates’ first lost fumble since 2008. I’ll give him a pass. Matthews first lost fumble since care to guess?

          • C.Steele

            I’m not sure what to make of Matthews. I wanna keep giving him the benefit of the doubt, but at sometime you got stop laying the rock on the carpet. If he can clear that hurdle I think his future is bright! As far as the corners go, I’m sticking to my guns, no corner veteran or rookie can cover receivers forever. Until the pass rush and run defense improves our corners are gonna be getting torched. Lets pray for the development of the whole unit! #GoBolts!

  • TheReturnOfMrBlanks

    We need a reliable SS before we can figure out the CB problem, you can’t trust Gilchrist and that can make everyone look worse.

    I was thinking maybe Taylor and Manto come back the same game to give the D a changed up look and a couple better athletes that know theie positions. Really curios what we have in Taylor!

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      Gilly was unreliable all game. This is a serious problem when teams can go over the middle non-stop all game, like Houston, and now Philly did. I will concede that Gilchrist had a good stop at the end when we needed it, though.

      • arnie

        Addae Crushed someone to halt a 3rd down conversion. Let him play SS, he can cover and hit, until Taylor is ready to go. But this is where we are missing Manti. He had 7 picks in when dropping into coverage.
        Now that i think about it, i’m convinced Manti and Taylor absence could be the other reasons our backfield play is so poor.

        • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

          the question on Addae is coverage… he is going to try and lower that boom too, sometimes sacrificing wrapping up

          • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

            Yeah… Wiffing is more the concern with Addae. But, he did look OK on the play Arnie mentioned. Gilchrist… I only saw one good play at the end.. it WAS a pretty good play. Having said that, if plays were made by him earlier, he might not have had to make it.. hahaha.

          • Nick in PB

            Addae attacks like a missile. He may miss a few tackles here and there but I like the way he closes. He seems to always be around the ball. The coaches are seeing something in him.

        • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

          Can’t be good if your two intended starters over the middle are out. In fact, I would say that is our biggest weak spot.. so many wide open shots over the middle. It hurts the whole unit. Wright & Cox still have time to clean it up, in my eyes. But, if it continues… Oh boy….

  • Calman21

    Luckily there are not that many receivers in the league as good as Jackson and Johnson. Most of Jackson had to do with just being too slow. The DBs are new, and they need to step up; however, most of them are new to their scheme. Now if the titans put up 300 yards then someone should be in deep crap. Maybe they need to get more physical with the WRs at the line, especially the speed receivers…I am sure that the defense is on MM’s hit list.

  • http://www.standupforkids.org blackroseMD1

    To be fair, Andre Johnson is a top 5 WR, and DeSean Jackson would have gotten those yards no matter who we had playing corner. He’s just faster than everyone on our team.

    That said, we definitely need some improved play, especially from Wright and Gilchrist. Honestly, I hope Brandon Taylor comes back soon and takes Gilly’s spot.

    • RussinSactown

      Less than half of Vick’s 428 yards were Jackson’s

      • http://www.standupforkids.org blackroseMD1

        Yeah, I know. Between him and McCoy they had 307 yards receiving. However, we pretty much managed to bottle up McCoy after the half. No one could stop Jackson on those go routes except for Vick overthrowing him, or penalties on the Eagle O-Line.

        My point is, our secondary is our week point, but we’re not going to go up against Andre Johnson and DeSean Jackson every week, and things will hopefully get better if Taylor can get healthy and play like he did in the preseason.

    • Gunnar Martin

      ^^^^^This^^^^^

      I completely concur with everything you said

  • arnie

    I have to agree with you Russell. Things need to change. Might i suggest as the first step you have two corners that are good at playing “man” and have been placed in “zone”. If McCoy is going to lead the charge for playing to the players strengths, then he should apply that to his DC and play more coverage.
    As seen against the texans, they forced a 3-n-out late in the 3rd quarter, with deflected passes from hopkins and johnson, in “man” coverage. The Titans did the same this week, and held johnson to 76 yards.
    So as far as the “achilles heel” goes, we can start with Pagano, by adjusting to what his players do best. C.Steele alluded to it, let Weddle give help over the top, put Cox an Wright in man, let Gilchrist, Addae and whoever else give run support, and pass protection over the middle.

    • RussinSactown

      And if they play to their strengths then that will go a long way toward solving this

  • Gunnar Martin

    To be fair, we have played above-average WRs/offenses the last two weeks. Johnson is still Pro Bowl caliber, and Jackson is just an absolute stud in Kelly’s system. I think our corners are better than they’ve been able to show so far. Of course they need to get better, but we shouldn’t overreact too fast. Remember this is the NFL we’re talking about here- don’t assume things too soon.

  • CALiFORNiAkiD

    The secondary stepped up when we need them most.

    Weddle stopped Celek when Wynn crushed Vick to the ground.
    Shareece Wright was all over Desean Jackson when Foles was out there.
    And Marcus Gilchrist had a huge pass deflection on 3 & 10 on Jason Avant for a Field Goal to tie the game instead of a TD.

    So yeah they gave up yards but they stepped up when needed the most.

    Derek Cox needs to stay at the #2 Corner spot.

  • Michael Popowich

    Secondary is a problem that needs to be fixed, but at least it seems to be the only issue.

  • joerockt

    This needs to change, otherwise Denver and probably KC will put up huge numbers against us.

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