The Los Angeles Chargers suffer another crushing loss. Off the field, concerns rear its head.
It gets tougher and tougher to write these pieces as the season starts to slip away each week. We were right where we were every week–close, but no cigar. Let’s get into it.
1. Philip Rivers and the offensive coaches are far from being on the same page.
It’s clear that there is a massive rift between Philip Rivers and Ken Whisenhunt/Anthony Lynn. Primarily when it comes to fourth down, but you can see it on other drives as well. The offense has never really clicked in any game this season, but it’s left Rivers particularly frustrated. It’s hard to see this week after week. Rule of thumb: When Rivers is screaming into his helmet, it’s probably a sign things need to be changed.
I loved Whisenhunt and the Chargers’ offense with their great season in 2013. That year was the revival of Rivers after a few subpar years. But it’s clear it’s not working anymore. I’m not at the point where I’m calling for Lynn’s job, but when there’s this much friction between the QB and offensive coordinator, one of them has to go. In this case, I think it has to be Whisenhunt. The offense looks like a one-dimensional, half-baked mess.
2. What is up with Melvin Gordon?
Melvin Gordon had 22 yards on 12 carries and really was not a factor at all. He gained most of those yards in the first half. It seemed like he disappeared from the field in the second half, with Austin Ekeler and Branden Oliver staying on the field.
We know Gordon has a bone bruise, but it’s been downplayed by the Chargers to the max. I would guess that it’s more severe than we’ve been let on to believe, and while it may not stop Gordon from play or require surgery, it can impact him and the team in big ways on the field.
We need to know what’s going on with Gordon to decide where we go from here the rest of the season. If it was truly “just a bone bruise,” I don’t believe Gordon’s workload would be decreased this much. I suppose we’ll find out one way or another eventually.
3. It’s embarrassing that defensive players were pumping up the crowd against the Chargers…
We all knew that the L.A. market probably wouldn’t adapt to the Chargers’ arrival super well. While the Chargers are selling out games, there’s a lot of opposing teams’ fans involved. I was kind of shocked watching this, about as shocked as the announcers were on the telecast. It felt somewhat embarrassing to have your team trashed like this in what’s supposed to be their new home.
I’m from New Jersey. I’ve been a Chargers fan since I was eight. I don’t know a lot about California. All I can tell you is that it felt powerless watching a game where the home team was bleeding fans in their own stadium. This added on to what was a bad loss at “home”.
4. Use Hunter Henry MORE.
Hunter Henry is our best offensive weapon who happens to go completely unused. He caught an amazing ball in the end zone at the end of the game with some great ball control to stay in. He’s a difficult matchup for the defense. Other than the Miami game, he’s barely been used this season, and that’s inexcusable based on his level of talent. Him and Tyrell Williams had two crucial plays and both needed to be used more.
5. The run defense has to be better against New York.
We’ve given up some big rush yards in the last couple weeks to some good running backs in Jay Ajayi, Kareem Hunt and LeGarrette Blount, and all three really killed us towards the end of the game in terms of time. The secondary is fairly good for what it is, as Casey Hayward had a great game yesterday. But man, it’s stressful to see what’s supposed to be a pretty good D-Line not be able to get off the field repeatedly on drives due to some bad play.
The Chargers seem to be in full on sinking ship mode, and it there’s not many signs that indicate it’s turning around anytime soon. I’ll be in New Jersey for the game against the Giants this coming Sunday in the battle against the similarly 0-4 Giants. Maybe I’ll see some of you Jersey Chargers fans there? Don’t know if that exists or not. But we’ll just have to see how it plays out. I’d like to see some more coherent offensive play-calling and defensive run stopping primarily.