Take 3: The LA Chargers need to make big changes on special teams
Special teams can swing games and Charger fans certainly know that. The special teams side of the ball did not really make an impact in this game since it was such a blowout but that does not mean it was good. It was bad and the Chargers have a week off to potentially address that side of the football.
The Bolts rank second-to-last in special teams DVOA and quite frankly, it is not all that surprising. A lot of fans had too much blind faith in Derius Swinton, who has not produced the turnaround that fans were expecting.
This is not to say that Swinton is a bad coach (although he has not been very good), there was just this expectation that a coaching change would completely change things. That is not how this works. This is still mostly the same special teams unit from last season, which was one of the worst in NFL history.
The kick return game is woeful. Teams are deliberately kicking it short of the endzone to make the Chargers return it and when they do return it is a pleasant surprise when they get to the 20-yard-line. K.J. Hill and Larry Rountree are not good returners but their blockers certainly are not doing them any favors.
The other side of the return game is also really ugly with the Chargers often allowing big punt returns and kick off returns, significantly hurting the field of position value.
And of course, last but not least, Tristan Vizcaino has been awful. He has missed five extra points this season, including his one attempt in Week 6. He needs to go. If he is not cut during the bye then Brandon Staley and Tom Telesco are being too stubborn.
Verdict: Not an overreaction, at all