LA Chargers News

Lessons from Chargers Week 3 home loss to Texans

CARSON, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 22: Wide receiver Kenny Stills #12 of the Houston Texans and defensive back Roderic Teamer #36 of the Los Angeles Chargers fall after a pass play at Dignity Health Sports Park on September 22, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
CARSON, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 22: Wide receiver Kenny Stills #12 of the Houston Texans and defensive back Roderic Teamer #36 of the Los Angeles Chargers fall after a pass play at Dignity Health Sports Park on September 22, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
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The Los Angeles Chargers dropped to 1-2 on the season after a 27-20 loss to the Houston Texans. The Bolts, once again, got dominated in the second half. What can fans learn from another disappointing loss?

The Chargers looked great in the first half against the Texans, going into halftime with a 17-7 lead. The offense seemed to have a rhythm, while the defense was stuffing the run but struggling to pressure Deshaun Watson.

The Chargers then did what they have done in all three of their games thus far by looking like a completely different team in the second half. They have been outscored 49-10 in their second halves so far, which shows a consistent problem with not being able to close out games. The Texans are a good team, but the Chargers once again whiffed on their opportunity to increase their lead and put the game away earlier.

Chargers Offense

 Offensive Line/Running backs:

The Chargers ran the ball really well in the first half, utilizing a mixture of motions and sweeps to put Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson in space, who both ran hard with the opportunities they had.

The offensive line continued to look solid in the run game, which unfortunately got abandoned in the second half. The pass protection was a whole different story, with Philip Rivers seemingly feeling the heat every time he dropped back.

The constant pressure mixed with crucial penalties is worrisome, especially considering the Chargers still have to play teams like the Denver Broncos (twice) and the Chicago Bears, who both holster elite pass rushers. The offensive line gave up five sacks (and 12 quarterback hits), including one that led to a detrimental Rivers fumble late in the third quarter.

UPDATE: Melvin Gordon has ended his holdout as of Thursday, September 26th.

Sources: The holdout is ending. #Chargers RB Melvin Gordon is, in fact, reporting to the team tomorrow. He won’t play this week, but he is planning to be back in the fold with his teammates.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 25, 2019

The offensive line was a point of concern coming into the season, but they haven’t been a complete disaster thus far. The Texans game was a step back, with the penalties racking up, including two holding calls coming on crucial plays for the bolts (stop me if you’ve heard that before).

Jackson had a touchdown negated by a hold on Dan Feeney, while a late completion to Mike Williams that would have put the Chargers at the Texans’ 7-yard line was also brought back. Things always seem to get worse for the Chargers in the second half, as it did on Sunday with the Chargers abandoning their first half combination of run plays and quick route designs (which are both great for the overall play and confidence of the offensive line) and going conservative in the second half, hoping Rivers can do just enough for the Bolts to keep a lead and come out with a win.

If the Chargers can stick with their game plan and stay aggressive for four quarters while maintaining a good pass/run combo, I believe the performance of the offensive line will improve.

The offensive line is currently ranked 29th in the NFL, according to PFF.

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