LA Chargers News

LA Chargers: The good, bad and ugly in Week 1 win vs. Bengals

CINCINNATI, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 13: Running back Joshua Kelley #27 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates his 5-Yard rushing touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals during the fourth quarter at Paul Brown Stadium on September 13, 2020 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 13: Running back Joshua Kelley #27 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates his 5-Yard rushing touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals during the fourth quarter at Paul Brown Stadium on September 13, 2020 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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(Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images) – LA Chargers

The bad: Tyrod Taylor, first half special teams

Again, bad things are things that can be fixed and we saw that happen throughout the course of this game with one of the bad things of the first half. These also are not massive concerns (yet) but they should be on the radar.

Tyrod Taylor:

Tyrod Taylor was not good in this game. I will give credit where credit is due — he did have a few big plays, two, in fact. He had a fantastic over the shoulder throw to Mike Williams that set up the first field goal of the game and he had an excellent stiff-arm followed by a strike to Jalen Guyton that kept the drive alive for the first touchdown.

However, he made quite a few overthrows on wide-open guys and did not show the ability to move on from his designed option in the playbook and improvise. He completed 16 of 30 passes for 208 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions.

The main problem with Taylor that I noticed is that he would stare down his first option on every play. He rarely used his eyes (or head, as he was wearing a visor) to shake off the defenders. As a result, the Bengals’ safeties were able to get over to Mike Williams on some of the deep passes and read Taylor’s throws.

The Chargers are not going to beat any of the top teams in the league if Taylor is only targeting his designated receiver and not looking at his other options. If we can see it from our couches, defenses can see it from the field.

First half special teams:

The special teams unit was not fantastic in the first half and was one of the things that we wrote the team needed to improve at halftime in order to win. They did.

The Chargers’ only touchdown of the game was kickstarted by a 45-yard kickoff return from rookie Joe Reed. The Chargers did not make any mistakes outside of that, so if they can just limit the first-half miscues then they will be A-okay.

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