The “next man up” hasn’t been good enough. A depleted roster and horrible penalties conspired to ensure the Los Angeles Chargers lose another winnable game in the fourth quarter.
- As elusive Houston quarterback DeShaun Watson literally ran circles around the Bolts’ defensive line, the thought occurs to one, “The Chargers could really use Derwin James. And Adrian Phillips“.
- As offensive (highly offensive) linemen Trent Scott and Dan Feeney committed penalties that erased crucial gains, the thought occurs: “The Chargers could really use Russell Okung.”
- Trying to catch a crucial ball, Sean Culkin turns into McCaulay Culkin, and the thought occurs, “The Chargers could really use tight end Hunter Henry.”
- The Los Angeles Chargers have a losing record. Next week they will win, but their record by season’s end could be reasonably predicted to be 8-8. And the Kansas City Chiefs are at 3-0.
- Penalties, penalties, penalties. Child, please. Tracking the outcome of Chargers’ penalties through the game, one can see Chargers’ first downs negated. Too many 3rd-and-20’s. Houston drives were repeatedly extended and converted into points. A turnover was negated on a penalty. A Justin Jackson touchdown was called back on a holding penalty by Feeney. It is fair to note that two personal fouls against Joey Bosa and Desmond King were very negligible
- The defense failed to get to a nimble quarterback and failed to stop huge pass and run plays. This rates as an “ugh”, because future opponents are going to be encouraged by Houston’s success, and go to school on the Texans’ strategies. Brandon Facsyon is a glaring weakness.
- Failed challenges ate precious time outs. They were not even close. Who is advising Anthony Lynn from upstairs? The televised video was clear on all counts that the on-the-field ruling would be withheld.
- First-round draft pick defensive lineman Jerry Tillery was invisible. I assumed he was injured during the warm-up.
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- Keenan Allen is the Slayer:183 yards and two touchdowns. Mike Williams made some terrific catches. They just need a third receiver to draw attention (paging Hunter Henry).
- Philip Rivers can still hit 65+ percent of his passes. He just needs an O-line (stop me if you’ve heard this one before). Rivers also should try counting to three after the snap and throwing the ball away if he doesn’t have a man open.
- The Chargers should demote Travis Benjamin next week. He caught two of five targets.
- Ty Long was good on his field goals, point-afters, and intercontinental punts.
- Melvin Ingram was great, and Bosa is coming on. Better days ahead for the first line of defense.
- The next game: the Miami Dolphins will restore some confidence and order.
The next man up hasn’t been good enough.
This season will be in two parts. When they get Henry, James, Phillips and ideally Okung back online, the Chargers will have a much better Act II. But they have to do better for the next six games with what they’ve got.
Get to 6-3, Bolts, somehow.