The bye week comes for the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 9, smack dab in the middle of the season. The team sits at 3-5 and though it experienced a four-game losing streak, could still be in the thick of a strange AFC playoff race.
The Chargers have plenty to work on, as evidenced by the multitude of mistakes they made against the New England Patriots in Week 8. In many ways, the team beat itself in Foxborough.
If the Chargers are to compete in the AFC and perhaps find a way into the postseason, things like better special teams play and more consistent offense will be a must.
With that in mind, the following question was posed to some of the staff here at Bolt Beat.
Q: The Chargers hit the bye week at 3-5. What do you feel should be the team’s focus during their week off and what are your realistic expectations for the team during the second half of the season?
Kade Dohmen: “Coming into the season, I don’t remember a lot of people worrying about the Chargers offense. Eight weeks into the season and Philip Rivers and company are very inconsistent, while the defense is finding its groove and looks like the team’s strength. The run game needs to be more consistent, pass protection can improve, and, most importantly, Rivers has had some struggles with decision-making this season. Realistically, I think this team can stay competitive in pretty much every contest and win more than they lose, but staying around .500 is what I’m expecting. Let’s hope they turn it on after the bye”.
Scott Iger: “The Chargers should focus on two main things during the bye week. Firstly, they should focus on health, especially when it comes to players like Denzel Perryman and Melvin Gordon, who has been dealing with nagging injuries all year. Also, the Chargers should use the bye week to work on some offensive consistency, as the offensive production has been relatively inconsistent. I think that the Chargers will have a strong second half of the season against an easier schedule, giving them a shot at a playoff berth”.
Anthony Totri: “I think the bye week comes at a really good time for the Chargers. They’ve won three of their last four and a close loss to the Patriots is just another learning experience for a relatively young group. However, the team needs to focus on special teams, that group alone has been the difference in quite a few of the games thus far.
My expectations for the team go as follows: JAX (W) BUF(W) DAL (L) CLE (W) WAS(W) KC (L) NYJ (W) OAK (L). At 8-8 the Bolts would need a lot of help to get in the playoffs. Nonetheless, a .500 season under a first year head coach, a new defensive coordinator and a transition year from SD to LA isn’t the worst outcome for the 2017-18 season”.
More from Bolt Beat
- LA Chargers: 3 early takeaways from 2021 minicamp thus far
- LA Chargers: Drue Tranquill takes a jab at Gus Bradley’s defense
- LA Chargers second-year players: Nothing to lose and a lot to gain
- LA Chargers: Why running back could be a big issue for the Bolts
- LA Chargers: Chris Rumph’s upside is Melvin Ingram-like, but better
Sean Kirk: “The Chargers need to focus on improving offensive play calls and strategy. What the team’s been doing clearly has not been working. Whisenhunt needs to make calls designed to get the ball to Henry and Allen. The offense needs to start out way more aggressive on the offensive side of the ball. When running, Whisenhunt should be having Gordon running behind Okung and Feeney the majority of the time. On defense, the focus should be on covering running backs. The linebackers seem to be really struggling in coverage. Last week’s game, the defense left Burkhead and White wide open a bunch of times. In addition, tackling has been an issue all season, but looked improved last week, however, the team still needs to cut down on the whopping average number of yards they allow per carry. The linebackers need to have better vision and awareness. Overall, during the bye, the team should be primarily focused on improving the offense”.
Travis Wakeman: “My hope would be that the team spent the past week working on every aspect of special teams. That includes reevaluating the kicking position, as I’m not sure Nick Novak is much better than what the team had in Younghoe Koo. As for the rest of the season, I believe the Chargers will factor into the playoff race all the way until Week 17. The Kansas City Chiefs are going to win the AFC West, but it’s not out of the realm of possibilities to think that the Chargers could get one of the Wild Card spots, particularly with teams such as the Broncos, Bengals, Ravens and Raiders having such down years”.