LA Chargers News

Chargers trample Ravens: The good, the bad and the uncomfortable

By Dennis J. Hassell
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 06: Adrian Phillips #31 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates after intercepting a pass by Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens during the second quarter in the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 06, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 06: Adrian Phillips #31 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates after intercepting a pass by Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens during the second quarter in the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 06, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
facebooktwitterreddit

There are a lot of positive indicators from the Baltimore game toward the Los Angeles Chargers’ chances of success against the sneaky New England Patriots.

The good

Same old, same old Chargers, choked in the playoffs — oh, wait, the Chargers didn’t choke, the Chargers CHARGED.  They trampled the Baltimore Ravens. Hear that sound?  That’s the trolls skittering back to their holes in the ground.

1.   “ASAP”: Any Squad, Any Place. The Chargers’ confidence is sky high. Their approach is simple:   “We fly, we win.”  Foxboro holds no fears.

2.  Balance: The Chargers have now beaten the best defense (Baltimore) and the best offense (Kansas City) in the AFC.

3. Revenge of the Jedi: The Chargers won the turnover battle. The Chargers won time of possession. The Chargers had fewer penalties and only 35 yards (including a phantom call against offensive lineman Russell Okung). They strangled the Ravens’ vaunted running attack – and showed the entire league how to kill the two-headed monster of quarterback phenom Lamar Jackson paired with a running back. (Gus the Bus ran into Melvin the Mountain)

4. Game Balls to:

  • Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley, for putting in The Seven Samurai on 98 percent of defensive plays.  Against those seven backs, Baltimore netted 59 yards in the first half.
  • Melvin Ingram, the Thunder Bolt:  a forced fumble, a recovered fumble that iced the game with 41 seconds left, two sacks, the team high for tackles, tackles for loss, and generally disrupting a Ravens offense that was unstoppable just two weeks ago. Melvin Ingram is Thor with dreads.
  • Melvin Ingram #54 of the Los Angeles Chargers  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Melvin Ingram #54 of the Los Angeles Chargers  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
  • Desmond King-for-a-day. This special athlete rips off a great punt return and then a greater kick return. He played great on defense, too, including a sack and a TFL (Tackle For Loss)
  • Adrian Phillips – his interception was not his only great play. This Pro Bowler also recovered a fumble and played fast on seven tackles and three passes defended.
  • Honorary Mentions:  Keenan Allen for key catches, the offensive line for keeping Philip Rivers upright enough (just one sack against the relentless Ravens); and of course Rivers himself:  zero interceptions, and he took what the fearsome Baltimore defense gave him.  Also, the refs robbed Rivers when Keenan Allen got mugged on the 5-yard line, a sure touchdown.
  • The bad

    • Virgil Green apparently drank the same kool-aid as Antonio Gates in the prior Ravens game.  In the video replay, you can see tight end Green, his ankles hobbled, futilely hop not once, not twice but THREE times before the ball is punched from his flailing arms. Virgil, both arms around the ball.  And go down when your shoelaces are tied.
    • Melvin Gordon is dinged.  We need him close to 100 percent. He finished the game considerably less than that.
    • Casey Hayward looked lost, and slow, on several plays, especially the two touchdowns to Michael Crabtree.
    • That head referee. Was that Beetlejuice in stripes? There was some dark voodoo going on when Derek Watt rolled onto the goal line and not only did the ref rule the ball did not break the plane, the ball was spotted TWO FEET from the goal line!  Can someone other than Stephen A. Smith explain that? The Bolts had to risk a fourth down, which in a way was flipping their kilts, bottoms up, at the refs.

    The Uncomfortable 

    • Red zone zone-out.  Bolts are not going to be beating Tom Brady with field goals.
    • Rivers has almost stopped flowing. The threat of big plays downfield needs to return, with wide receivers Mike and Tyrell Williams, and the tight ends (including Hunter Henry!)

    More from Bolt Beat

    Next game: Bill Belichick and the Dark Arts. 

    I hope the Chargers’ staff scan their Foxboro dressing room for listening devices (and at half-time because bugs may be off pre-game to avoid detection). That may sound paranoid, but remember the damning 2015 report by ESPN, alleging the chronic taping and decoding of opponents’ signals the Patriots did of opponents, for years. 

    e.g., in the Wikipedia summary of the ESPN reportRams coach Mike Martz said commissioner Roger Goodell asked him to “let go” of the concerns over the Super Bowl (Pats beat Rams)  so the NFL would not come under a federal investigation because “it would be terrible for the league”.

    Goodell got his job through the support of Patriots owner Robert Kraft. Goodell, of course, is infamous more recently for trying to hush up, cover, and bury incidents of domestic abuse, and only affecting horror after the cat was out of the bag thanks to public video recording and social media.

    facebooktwitterreddit