Overreaction #3: Troymaine Pope can be a part of the solution to the running problem
While the LA Chargers’ ability to run at was lacking (beyond a few big carries), it seemed like Anthony Lynn and the Chargers’ team may have found some production at the position in Troymaine Pope.
Unfortunately, Troymaine Pope was forced to leave the game with a likely concussion on a poor hit by Denver’s Kareem Jackson. For that reason, this overreaction piece will assume that Pope is able to return to full health by next week.
While he was in the game, Pope was arguably the Chargers most effective rusher, as he went for 67 yards on 10 carries, averaging a team-leading 6.7 yards per carry. Pope also contributed a bit in the passing game, where he had 5 receptions for 28 yards on several short dump-offs.
As would be expected given the offensive line he was provided, that production was well-earned. Pope displayed surprising burst and cutting ability that allowed him to gain chunks of yards at a time.
Simply put, Troymaine Pope appeared to be the best running back in this game. Could he be a part of the solution to the running game problem?
While his performance was great in this game, a good but not elite performance is not going to be enough to overcome poor offensive line performances, particularly late in the game when the defense is zeroed in on stopping the run.
Having a third good option in the running game is an excellent bonus, as it will allow the Chargers offense to employ a hot-hand approach with another candidate for having that hot hand. While this will help, the most important factor in fixing the running game will be having better offensive line performances.
Verdict #3: Slight overreaction