A win in Denver concludes the 2018 regular season. Thus welcomes the playoffs and the Los Angeles Chargers’ opponents, the Baltimore Ravens.
Of course, we know what the game plan will be, stop the run, pressure Lamar Jackson, and control time of possession. The real way I believe the Chargers can go to Baltimore and win is by surprising the Ravens with new personnel.
Someone shed some light on Lamp
THERE WAS A LAMP SPOTTING!
But it was while good ol’ Geno Smith was at quarterback looking like an absolute fool. It was only two drives in garbage time so it’s not like he won the game by any means, but it was nice to see him.
The Chargers are going to need to play Lamp to win this game because the Chargers are going to need to have smart, fast guards that can anchor against this stout defense, and sadly Dan Feeney and Michael Schofield looked silly against the Ravens in the first outing.
Mike Pouncey was trying to help out as much as possible, but he can’t save both guards at the same time (Dang wish there was two of him *sighs*).
Okay I know that was a horrible twin joke, but I had to. Anyways, I believe a fresh Forrest Lamp would be more valuable on the right side so he would be able to help out Sam Tevi as much as possible with stunts on the inside. The less responsibility the better for Tevi and the left side is our stronger side with the weak link being Feeney but he is between our best two linemen, Russell Okung and Pouncey.
Now I am not saying that the Chargers need to start Lamp, but at least give him a series and see what the young man can do and if it helps the offense get momentum.
Addae out, Jenkins in
Nearly every Charger fan has the same feeling toward Jahleel Addae, and that he should NOT be the starting free safety. Addae was out of the game for a while and I saw Rashawn Jenkins playing in the box and I would rather see that than having Addae be a liability as the single high man.
Now, this personnel switch may not be a popular opinion, because if Jenkins is on the field he needs to be in the box which may put our best defender in a tough position. Derwin James has been lights out for the Chargers all season long, and he has lined up everywhere on the field, but for the biggest game of the year so far, which is probably going to be a battle in the trenches we will need Derwin as a free safety.
Yes I know that sounds crazy, but the Chargers’ defense was holding its own against the Ravens the first time until there was busted coverage and the last man on the defense couldn’t make a tackle on the tight end.
That killed any momentum the Chargers were able to grasp after Melvin Gordon’s touchdown. I tell you what though if Derwin was the single high safety that play it wouldn’t have been a touchdown and probably an interception.
Another scenario I can think of is to completely fill the box with our fastest, stronger defenders by putting Jenkins as the strong safety and having James as the weak-side linebacker and have our special teams Pro Bowler, Adrian Phillips, be the single-high free safety.
So in the trenches, it could be our best against their best, and I would pick the Chargers over everyone.
Defensive line personnel
Joey Bosa needs to be a busy man next Sunday, but I don’t think he should he be positioned where he usually is. Bosa and Isaac Rochell need to be on the field at the same time, like I said before, put our biggest and best bodies against their biggest and best.
The Chargers are at their best when they have Melvin Ingram and Bosa on the same side of the field, there is no guard and tackle combination in the league that can contain those two when they stunt.
With that being said it doesn’t mean run the other way because Rochell is no slouch. When Bosa was out Rochell had a coming out party and showed that he belongs in the league with five sacks on the season.
I truly believe that Bosa at the three-technique can be an absolute game wrecker that they won’t see coming. Also, Brandon Mebane had a breakout game against the Ravens and it will be a game where we need him to play big once again.
That’s not even mentioning when Uchenna Nwosu comes in at SAM and his motor and hard-hitting ability becomes a factor. Of course on defense subs do come in and change the personnel, but starting those four can make the game interesting and even tip the game into our favor.
Two-tight end personnel
It’s the playoffs, it’s time for Hunter Henry to explode onto the scene and make the game his. As we know the Ravens’ defense is no joke and will hit the Chargers in the mouth, we need to figure out a way to counter.
So we need Virgil Green to be an integral part of the offense and block like he has never blocked before. While Green is being an extra blocker, have Hunter Henry be the pass-catching tight end to save Philip Rivers, because if Rivers just throws it in the flat to Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler, we will have the same outcome as it was the last time.
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By the Chargers having Henry and Green on the field at the same time, it will give them a look they didn’t see the first time and Henry is Rivers’ favorite target, his security blanket and he has missed him all year long.
With two tight ends, especially our two tight ends, it will help both the run and passing game open up and establish dominance early and often for the Chargers. It won’t take long for the chemistry to come back and the Rivers-to-Henry connection is going to be the key to winning the game on Sunday.
Don’t get me wrong, next week is going to be a dogfight and it will take everything the Chargers have to beat the Ravens, but it is possible because, with the right personnel, I believe that we can beat the Ravens at their own game.
Show them things they have never seen before and make them think and adjust and that’s when the game is in the Chargers favor because the Chargers are a fast-striking team, whether it’s offense or defense.
The Chargers need to win the mental game to advance in the playoffs. And the Chargers WILL advance in the playoffs.