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Los Angeles Chargers: So close in Week 1 vs. Denver

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 11: Kicker Younghoe Koo #9 of the Los Angeles Chargers reacts to missing a game-tying field goal in the fourth quarter to lose the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 11, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 11: Kicker Younghoe Koo #9 of the Los Angeles Chargers reacts to missing a game-tying field goal in the fourth quarter to lose the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 11, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
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Has “So Close” become the mantra of the Los Angeles Chargers?

Pick whatever moment you want, past playoff losses, fourth-quarter meltdowns, missed field goals. They seem to haunt the Chargers like injuries in 2016. What will it take to shake this monkey from our backs?  When will the Chargers have a winning record in games decided by one score.  For Pete’s sake, sooner or later things need to begin breaking the Chargers way, right?

But let’s not overreact. To lose by three on the road to a divisional rival doesn’t spell the end of the season. There are 15 more games and hopefully this ship rights itself next week when the Miami Dolphins come to town. But before we move our focus to the Dolphins, let’s take a quick look back at Monday night’s game.

Good News: The good news from Monday’s game is, no major injuries!  We will take our small victories where we can get them. On a side note, Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram played well, as did Phillip Rivers.

DENVER, CO – SEPTEMBER 11: Wide receiver Travis Benjamin
DENVER, CO – SEPTEMBER 11: Wide receiver Travis Benjamin

So Close Moment: The top ‘so close’ moment from Monday was Casey Hayward dropping a pick six. It would have been a game changer.

Frustrations: The most frustrating moment was Dan Feeney getting blown up on a field goal attempt.  Just hold your block already! The second was the missed defensive holding call on the Rivers interception. I understand missed calls, but when they are on game-changing plays, it is super frustrating.  It was quite obvious that Bradley Roby grabbed Keenan Allen and used him to slingshot past him and make the play.

Areas of Concern: As much as I would like to be hopeful going forward, there are some major areas of concern.

The offensive line struggled to run block all night long. The Chargers averaged a measly 2.9 yards per carry. That’s horrible. And they did not do much better pass blocking. Guys got free up the middle all night long, forcing Rivers to throw the ball away.

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The defense is soft in the middle. The Chargers sorely missed Denzel Perryman Monday night. The linebackers cannot cover anyone.  Trevor Siemian looked great because all he had to do was find the guy that was being covered by a linebacker and make a throw for a completion. The safeties were MIA all night long.  Jahleel Addae, with his new contract, had one tackle… yeah one tackle. Tre Boston had three.

Gus Bradley is on my hot seat.  I didn’t spend a lot of time reviewing defensive scheme but when I see Brandon Mebane drop back in coverage I have to wonder what the heck is going on.

The Anthony Lynn era stumbled out of the blocks. Wasted timeouts and a bumbled 2-minute drill put the Chargers in a place to only be attempting a field goal to tie the game. When I saw the field position and two minutes left on the clock I was thinking touchdown and a victory.  The Chargers did not seem to be playing for that. They looked unprepared in the 2-minute drill and throughout the game.

What areas of concern do you have for the Chargers going forward?

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