Sep 20, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; San Diego Chargers running back Branden Oliver (43) runs the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
Last Sunday, the announcers confirmed something that was music to our ears. The Chargers had broken a frustrating pattern of always playing from behind. They broke a streak of not holding a first quarter lead since they held a lead after the first quarter against the Raiders in week 12 of the 2014 season. Obviously, constantly trailing your opponent after 15 minutes of play is not a great recipe for winning. But, the Chargers led 7-3 when the second quarter kicked off.
I am not one for celebrating mediocrity. Especially, when you are playing one of the worst teams in the league, in your own stadium, and barely pull out the win. However, I AM slightly superstitious about such things. Streaks like this can get into your head, and affect the way your team plays throughout a season. Also, you cannot play the way you want to when you are always playing from behind.
The defense has actually come out pretty stout in the last few games, and the offense has done nothing with the ball. They have also failed to capitalize on at least three turnovers (that I can remember), if not more. This puts them in a similar situation when points are left on the field. As poor as our special teams unit is covering punts, and with Mike Scifres outkicking his coverage, the last thing we want to do is fail to score on turnovers. We want to points on the board, and give Lambo a chance at a touchback on the ensuing kickoff. Keeping defenses honest by having them start on their own 20 yard line, instead of their 30-35 yard line, will help this team settle down. If they have a lead, they will feel less pressure to try to catch up with their opponents by getting pass happy, and using Philip’s arm.
Speaking of special teams, another awful streak was snapped. Our returners actually got some return yardage this week. It was nothing flashy, but we had ZERO return yards over the previous 3 weeks! Hopefully that is a trend that continues, as something positive needs to happen with this struggling special teams crew. If returns are the only way to get Oliver some snaps, I’m all about it. Keenan Allen looks borderline terrified back there.
Now that they have gotten those two depressing stats off of their backs, perhaps we can have similar luck with our mind-blowing injury streak. Talk about the worst streak EVER!
Keep Bolting Toward Excellence,