November 18, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; San Diego Chargers tight end Ladarius Green (89) during the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Last night we got our first look at the new San Diego Chargers. I will give you a positive spin on the game, as there is certainly a lot of negative to take from the game. I’m sure other writers will give you their thoughts on the game too, but here are mine.
My personal summary of the game (and, probably everyone else) was that the first teams played good, on both sides of the ball. The second and third teams played pretty awful, outside of a few plays. We lost 31-10, which really isn’t anything to jump for joy over. But, there were some good things we can take away from the game, as well. Here’s what I noticed about the first drives on both sides of the ball, which went very well. Let’s review.
First Team Offense:
– It appears that King Dunlap will be able to get the job done at left tackle this year for Philip Rivers. It’s still early, but his protection on passing downs gave Rivers the opportunity to get the ball out to his receivers quickly. Fluker also played pretty well, and was getting a little chippy, which is good to see.- Antonio Gates got open for a 20+ yard gain, and John Philips caught a pass for a first down. Tight ends looked good catching, and blocking.
– Ryan Mathews looked really good. He opened up the game with a five yard run. Then, he went up the middle behind a good block by Rinehart for 6 yards. He topped it off with an impressive athletic leap over the top of the pile, kept running for a nine yard gain, and a first down! I even saw him pick up a block on a passing play, which was nice to see (finally)!
– Eddie Royal played well, picking up a first down on the second play of the game. He also had a reverse, which was sniffed out, but he managed to salvage a yard or two. The main reason I am bringing that play up, is that he stiff-armed a defender twice his size, as if the guy was a pop-warner player! Made me chuckle a little bit, and it is noteworthy.
– Floyd caught a pass to set up 4th and inches. He was overthrown on another play, but he was covered pretty well by Sherman. Keenan Allen had a catch for 4 yards. Ronnie Brown had a three yard run to open up the game. So they spread the ball around quite a bit on the 12 play drive.
– Philip Rivers looked comfortable stepping up into the pocket for the first time in ages. The protection held up, his throws were accurate he even scrambled for a few yards. The running game really helped out a lot too, taking the pressure off of him. He was 5 for 6, and only had one incomplete pass, which was a throw away. Most importantly, he had zero turnovers! If they can keep that kind of balance going on offense, this year will be a lot better!
First Team Defense:
– Russell Wilson is a really slippery guy, and can escape with his speed. But, he never looked comfortable enough to sit back, and pass at will. The defense managed to get pressure on him, and force him to run, or make short passes. Nothing was given up over the top. And coverage was pretty good. Seattle’s first team offense did not score on our first team defense. A less mobile QB would have been sacked at least twice, or would have been forced to throw the ball away. (cough, cough Peyton Manning)
– Dwight Freeney was in Russell Wilson’s face quite a few times, and almost got his hands on him. He didn’t register a sack, but he was close. I was pleased to see that. Liuget & Reyes were disruptive, as well.
– Larry English was actually looking alright! I thought for SURE he had Russell Wilson sacked, but he squirted out the other side. There wasn’t anyone there to wrap him up, so Wilson got a good run out of it. But, if we had another pass rusher coming the other way, Wilson probably would have gone down. He then got good pressure on Wilson again, and forced an overthrow. Overall, I liked what I saw from English.
– Double J was able to set the edge on a good run play. This is something we all know he can do, but it was nice to see him doing what he does best. He is the key to our run defense, and one of the best in the league at stopping the run. Nice work.
– Weddle was good in coverage, as always, and broke up that overthrow that English forced.
– I will throw a little shout out to Shareece Wright, and Derek Cox who looked pretty good, and covered well in the backfield, which was a relief. They didn’t get torched at all like Josh Johnson / Antoine Cason style (Yikes).
After going over the notes, I felt a little bit better about what actually happened. I actually had a section on my notes sheet for “not so good players & plays”. I didn’t put anything down for the first team, and was really excited about that fact. But then, slowly but surely, Whitehurst & the backups started to go downhill into a crescendo of horror (mainly in the second half). Fortunately, the team that will play week in & week out looks like it is coming along nicely. The depth is very scary, though. We need depth players at cornerback, outside linebacker, defensive end, possibly running back, etc. There was so much bad play, I stopped taking notes, and decided to just make this a “positive” post. If you saw the game, then you know what I mean, and there is no point in rehashing it. Just go to the open thread post on here.
I was very happy to see Sorenson play as well as he did. It was good to see that Sorensen to Green connection for a TD! I almost got the feeling that McCoy left Whitehurst in there on purpose. It was almost as if he gave Whitehurst enough rope to hang himself. Maybe I am reading too much into that, but McCoy could have easily pulled clipboard out much sooner. CBJ definitely wasn’t getting any better. Let’s cut him, and save that cap money! Steve Williams, Stucky, and Patrick did a nice job in coverage, too… despite a few plays with the 2nd team, where the pass rush was awful. They had some good & bad plays, where Stucky ran into Williams on that Seattle TD. I DID think it was impressive that we used up 2/3 of the game clock in the first half! That is amazing, and unexpected. If the first team was in there in an actual game, they probably would have scored on those extended drives. Let’s hope for a more solid performance next week in Chicago ; )
Thanks for reading, and Keep Bolting Toward Excellence!