Chargers fall to 2-3 after 5 games
Chargers fall to 2-3 after 5 games
By Cameron Buford
As a kickoff to Hispanic Heritage Month, the Los Angeles Chargers welcome the guys of Tochito, the Mexican Flag Football Champions, to their facility on Friday to meet and greet the coaches and players. To continue their recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month the Chargers welcomed three division and four-time World Boxing Champion Abner Mares to be the honorary canon firer to kick off their game against the Denver Broncos at Dignity Health Sports Park. Coming off their second win of the season last week they also were welcoming back their leading rusher, from the past few seasons, back to the team.
For the second consecutive week, the Chargers face a winless team. Unhappy with losing to a winless or the inability to put up some points on the board, Head Coach Anthony Lynn was visibly not pleased during his post-game press conference when he stated, “If we play like that, we won’t beat anybody! That team came in their more desperate for a win; play harder and outcoached us! They play faster and harder!”
The Chargers appeared to be overwhelmed with working Melvin Gordon, their leading rusher from the last season, into their offensive game plan. Though According to Coach Lynn, “Melvin’s a good football player. We welcome Melvin back to our offense!” Though there were a couple of moments in the game where they seemed to have too many options. Just before the half at the goal line, instead of pounding it in for a touchdown, they got too creative with their play-calling which lead to fumble and them not scoring at all.
A similar situation arose late in the third quarter, on the goal line, where they lined Phillip Rivers out wide and attempted a run play that fooled no one in the stadium. After Gordon picked up 5 yards on the initial down, they may have been better served by allowing Gordon to just run it again, without the schematic creativeness that wasn’t warranted at the goal line.
Once the game was over and Coach Lynn made his feelings known about the game, I thought it would be beneficial to hear from Melvin Gordon on how he felt about his return to action. When asked how he felt, he responded by saying “I feel like we practiced pretty hard. The energy wasn’t there like Coach Lynn said.” About being back out there he said, “Physically I was good. It’s different, you can’t immolate that (actually playing football), you got to get used to running guys hitting you and stiff-arming.”
When I asked about how long he thinks it would take an NFL Running back to get in playing shape to give 100% of Melvin Gordon, he answered honestly by saying, “I don’t know. I’ve never been in this position. Hopefully, the cobwebs are off after this game and next game I can get rolling.” As he went on to discuss getting in rhythm and hearing the play call and changes, I followed up to see if he was able to keep up with the plays that were being implemented. He said, “Yeah, I had my surface so I still watched camp. I still watched the plays that were going on. I knew the plays; It’s just getting adjusted to guys coming to tackle you. In practice, guys are tagging off, in games you got guys shooting at your knees, and knocking you off balance.”
I would expect Gordon would be in rhythm, before too long, next game I would suspect. Though a more concerning issue would be the Chargers overcoming injuries! We already know All-Pro Safety Derwin James is not likely to return this season leaving a major void in their defense. Mike Pouncey going out with an apparent neck injury on Sunday does not help their offensive line out and may have impacted this ability to run the ball on Sunday as well.
The coaches staff has their work cut out for them as they welcome in the 1-4 Pittsburg Steelers into town this weekend. The Chargers will be facing another loud fan base which will undoubtedly infiltrate their Dignity Health Sports Park eliminating any home-field advantage they may have. I expect them to come out hungry and assertive to show they are better than what we’ve seen from them last week and win this game fairly handily with a score of 24-10.
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