Open Thread: Chargers Travel To Lambeau
By Peter Thompson
[BOLT BEAT POLL #300 AT THE BOTTOM]
The San Diego Chargers are coming off of a heartbreaking home loss to the Steelers which left a “Pitt” in everyone’s stomach. It would have been much better to be 3-2 heading into this game. Instead, they are 2-3, and facing the 3rd ranked team in the league on their home turf. One does not simply walk into Lambeau, and beat the Green Bay Packers. To make things worse, the Chargers are coming off of a short week, are going on the road, and are fielding a lot of players that are still nursing injuries. Looking at the injury report alone is disheartening. Knowing that some of the players that aren’t on the list are also “barely healthy” makes one feel even more nervous.
After watching the Chargers squeak out wins against 2 terrible teams, and losing to some middle-to-good teams, going to Lambeau field feels like the Bataan Death March. This reminds me a lot of when we went into Denver last year with an injury ridden team, and lost 35-21. The following week we hoped the team could rebound, but Miami blanked us in embarrassing fashion. This game could be very much like that, if not worse. The Packers are much better than Miami was last year, and the Chargers are even more beat up than they were in that game. This might be a case of just getting through the game without getting Rivers killed, and racking up even more injuries.
If the Chargers are going to win this game, they need to stop beating a dead horse. Frank Reich’s play-calling has been atrocious, even if he has been working with a depleted o-line. The only way I see them winning this game is by getting creative, and controlling the clock with the running game. This is why we brought Melvin Gordon in. If we keep hearing “Gordon up the middle, over the top of the guard” all game, we are finished. I know they REALLY want Gordon to be a “between the tackles runner”, but quit already! Wait until this interior gets more experience, and is at full health. When Gordon bounces to the outside, his speed creates a much bigger threat than trying to navigate behind an overmatched interior line. There have been times when he almost gets past the last man on the outside, and almost takes it to the house. They need a homerun play from him more than ever. Today is the day to do it.
Keeping Rodgers on the sideline is a priority. If I were Pagano & McCoy, I would revisit what won the Denver Broncos road game in 2013. They came off a short week, went into their house, and controlled the clock with a heavy rushing attack & quick passing game. They kept Manning on the sideline. If they can do that again, and keep this team from committing bone-headed penalties, they might have a fighting chance. Generating a consistent pass rush and getting to the quarterback will make & break this game. If Rodgers is allowed to sit back and carve up this defense, or scramble around the backfield, they are in trouble.
Furthermore, Brandon Flowers needs to stop letting Verrett make him look like he is the rookie, as well. Somebody in the secondary will need to get their hands on the ball, and give it back to the offense. Then, heaven forbid, the offense needs to turn that into points. They have been lousy at that this season. Say what you want about Wilson’s play, and his drops. But, at least he is getting close. Guys like Weddle, Addae, Robinson, Williams, and Flowers need to create more turnovers. As for the defensive line, itwould be nice if they generated pressure too, or AT least cleaned it up to 3-4 yards per carry, instead of their usual 5-9 yards a carry. I’m hoping for a big game from Liuget, who will be double-teamed all day, most likely.
This is going to be an interesting open thread. I hope people aren’t going to be cracking the bottle too quickly! Try to keep a good attitude, and let’s root for the Chargers to upset the Green Bay Packers. It’s unlikely, but hopefully they at least make it a good game, and we are not rushing out to mow the lawn instead by the end of the third quarter. If nothing else, it’s good to be on here with all of you, and talk Chargers. With a little luck, Mike McCoy won’t be kicking field goals in the red-zone on 4th & 1, and John Pagano will be playing his defensive backs in man coverage, and bringing the blitz early & often.
Don’t forget to vote in the poll, and Go Chargers!
Despite these horrific injuries, can the Chargers recover, and contend for a wild card spot, and/or the division if they lose today?