Chargers Drop The Ball
By Ernie Padaon
Seriously this makes me SICK!!! Our record is 2-3 for the fourth straight year after 5 games! This was an easy start to the season and we should have been at the least 4-2 after 6 games. We already have 3 losses after 5 games and 2 of them are in the division. We now have losses to the Oakland Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs. The team still has not won a game on the road this season (0-3).
The team was troubled with the same problems they have had all season long. The Special Teams had another terrible game! After the offense stalled on the first drive of the game with a 3 and out, the Chargers sent Mike Scifres out to punt. Snap the ball back to him and a flood of Raiders come at him to block the ball out the back of the end zone. On the free kick, Mike Scifres kicks the ball out of bounds to allow the Raiders to start their next drive at the 50 and move the ball to chip in a field goal. Chargers get the ball back and stall on the drive again and have to punt it off. This time the punt is block and returned for a Touchdown! 12 unanswered points in the 1st quarter of play due to poor special teams.
The Chargers also were troubled with turnovers and failed conversions in the red zone. The Chargers got into the red zone 6 times and were only able to score on 2 of those opportunities. The Chargers NEED to convert at a higher percentage when they drive the ball that far onto the opponent’s side of the field. Mike Tolbert lost ANOTHER fumble and this one was at the goal line. Going into the end zone, Tolbert ran into a pile and the ball popped out behind him. Brandon Dombrowski was beat off the edge with a speed rush on another red zone play and sacked Philip Rivers from the blind side and forced another turnover. The third ‘fumble’ was in the 4th quarter with the Chargers driving to take the lead. Rivers’ was hit again and the ball was fumbled forward and the Raiders were able to recover it and bring it in for another TD. Another 7 points for the Raiders without the defense stepping onto the field.
The Chargers only can blame themselves for the 3 losses. They continue to shoot themselves in the foot with the poor special teams play, poor red zone play, and poor ball security. Philip Rivers and company proved that they can move the ball on a good pass defense. The Raiders came into the game with the 3rd best pass defense, and the Chargers were able to pass for 415 yards and 2 touchdowns. They were also able to add 91 yards on the ground rushing the ball. This offense is potent and explosive! All skill positions need to practice BALL SECURITY! These fumbles are just killing drives and taking points off the board.
We need to FIRE special teams coach Steve Crosby. He has been given the different players to make it work and the units have failed in all different facets of special teams. The return game for the Chargers has been non-existent. Darren Sproles has not been able to add a spark on the return game. The coverage units has been terrible for punt coverage and kickoff coverage. They have allowed 2 kickoff returns for touchdowns and a few close calls. They have also allowed a punt return touchdown with a few close calls. And, today, they allowed 2 blocked punts. Both blocked punts looked identical and the coach made no adjustments from the first attempt. Crosby needs to go and we need to find someone to light a fire under the special teams units.