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ESPN: Chargers Special Teams Issues

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by matilack, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. matilack

    matilack #therealagent47

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    Not sure if I'm allowed to quote the whole article because you have to pay for ESPN Insider to get it, so I'll give you the first and last paragraph that sums it up nicely.


    Heres another article that says pretty much the same thing...http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/...-best-2-3-youll-ever-see/?partner=rss&emc=rss
     
  2. JohnnyX

    JohnnyX Well-Known Member

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    San Diego's offense has scored 3.2 rushing and receiving touchdowns per game -- best in the league -- while the defense has allowed only 1.2, better than anyone except Pittsburgh. IF their special teams had been merely very bad instead of cover-your-eyes-awful, they could easily be 5-0 right now and the talk of the league. With slight improvement, they can still contend for the AFC West crown. Without it, they're doomed to a sick feeling that will last all offseason.

    One thing I notice there the "if". You can say if to allot of things. If we had McNeil blah blah. If we had VJ blah blah. Its all speculation now. What is true is that we are 2-3 and have lot of things to fix, not all them are special teams. We'll see what improvements of been made in the course of the following 3 weeks.
     
  3. matilack

    matilack #therealagent47

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    What are all these things we need to fix? I'll admit our defense broke towards the end of the game, but that has been the complete opposite of the other 4 games where we got stronger each and every time.

    Offensively, (with the exception of Tolbert) we moved the ball at will. If Tolbert scores instead of fumbles on the 1yd line....we probably win this game and score 35+pts in the effort, you can't reasonably demand more than that.

    STs is what needs fixing, and Mathews needs to be getting 75+% of the carries (if healthy), thats it.
     
  4. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    IF we would have had better Special Teams play we would be 5 and 0
     
  5. JohnnyX

    JohnnyX Well-Known Member

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    Offensively were good its the defense am afraid of. Allowing a 100 yards on the ground to the SECOND string RB is bad. Allowing Jason Campbell to drive 97 yards in crucial moment (its not like we were halfassing it) for the game winning(or tying I forget) score. These teams we have faced aren't offensive juggernauts you know. What happens when we face the Texans, Patriots, and Colts? Can we be confident with this defense moving forward? Fixing needs to be done hopefully Norv and the crew can get it done.
     
  6. JohnnyX

    JohnnyX Well-Known Member

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    IF Nate had made his kicks against the Jets we would be in the super bowl. "IF"

    Its just speculations nothing more.
     
  7. Aggieman

    Aggieman I bleed blue and gold

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    Lots of IFs for the team - means we've got ourselves a lot of guys that simply can't win games, can't adjust to the situations, can't overcome the problems of one unit (I contend that the O-line and D-line have plenty to contribute to the losses). We've got losers, a team that can't put it all together and get some important wins. I'll say this now, but the chorus will only grow louder with each loss.

    EDIT: buzzed posting.
     
  8. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

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    IF McCree just takes a knee...... :(
     
  9. JohnnyX

    JohnnyX Well-Known Member

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    IF Nate made the field goal in the rain against the Jets. We would have 3 SB now sadly its only dream.
     
  10. matilack

    matilack #therealagent47

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    I'm actually really confident we can hang with all those teams, wether its a shootout or a slugfest,...IF (and yes I say IF) we don't serve the game on special teams.

    Houston has SERIOUS issues with their secondary, 32nd in pass defense right now. Patriots have zero pass rush and poor young secondary, (28th in pass D) and that mans feast for Rivers. Plus no Moss, and no RBs that scare you.....The TEs would worry me a little. Indy still can't run the ball, their O-line is really weak, and their secondary is battered.

    We don't have issues like that. Their issues are lack of talent in certain areas, our issues are STs and fumbling the ball which are fixable.
     
  11. !~BOLT~!

    !~BOLT~! Well-Known Member

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    Yeah this article is pretty spot on, can't argue with facts or the numbers. This is why arguments with opposing fans is so strange this time around. A Seahawk fan friend of mine sent me text messages telling me good luck in Jan. And told me not to get mad because his team is better than mine, and I know that's not true it just so happened on that day we found miraculous ways of giving the game away. It was a lot easier when I could just agree with them. I don't like saying the better team lost so I'm not going to but anyone who watches football should see this team has incredible potential to be the whole deal, too bad special teams has cost us 30 points and three losses.

    It's always something though ain't it?
     
  12. 65TossPowerTrap

    65TossPowerTrap BoltTalker

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    Taking care of the football has to be as big as special teams TBH.

    There is no quicker way to undue all of your statistical success than to give the ball away.
     
  13. 65TossPowerTrap

    65TossPowerTrap BoltTalker

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    This is the thing that gets me about some Chargers fans. You've said this since week one. Other teams have made strides in fixing the areas you seem to think are MUCH more important and harder to fix, and yet, the Chargers are still having the same issues week in and week out.

    Now either these issues are harder to fix and more fundamentally important than you think, or the entire team and coaching staff is just woefully inept.

    I tend to think its the former more than the latter.
     
  14. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    Can you dummy this down for me? What teams, and what areas??
     
  15. matilack

    matilack #therealagent47

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    Our problems earlier were kickoff and punt coverage, and we've allowed only 1 big return since the dreaded Leon Washington game, so you could say its already getting better. (Honestly it couldn't have gotten worse) Our problem against the Raiders was blocking for for the punt, different part of the game, but still STs.


    It doesn't take a massive amount of talent to run down your lanes and tackle someone, and it doesn't take a massive amount of coaching to teach guys how to block for a punt. Our issues have cost us games early, but they are fixable issues, its not like having Matt Cassel as your QB.
     
  16. 65TossPowerTrap

    65TossPowerTrap BoltTalker

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    Well, with the NFL being what it is in the age of parity, every team has weaknesses. Clearly many teams are addressing those weaknesses OR compensating with strengths enough that they are winning. The Chargers, in comparison, keep pointing to the same weaknesses as the cause of their failure, but have been unable to fix those problems.

    Now, because teams' rosters are pretty much set at this point, there's not a lot personnel-wise that can be done for most teams. For example - my chiefs are unlikely to have a consistently high-powered offense out of the blue.

    The argument Chargers fans have made is that special teams mistakes are much easier to fix than offensive or defensive mistakes. I think the Chargers are showing 1) how important special teams are, and 2) that when they are fundamentally broken, they are, like anything on a team, quite difficult to fix. It doesn't happen overnight.

    For the chargers to have success they will need to at least move their special teams unit from historically awful to simply BAD, and continue to have both the defense and offense pick up the slack. I cannot see the chargers coming out with a world-class or even adequate ST unit in coming weeks without some pretty major overhauls in players and coaches (both unlikely at this point).

    Can they do it?

    Sure they can.

    Is it likely that special teams will likely continue to cost them close game?

    I believe so.

    One thing is certain, when you have such a deficient unit, not only do the other units have to compensate (which they have come close to doing so far), but the offense quite simply cannot give the ball away. That's true in any game regardless of how well ST and defense is playing, but when one of those is weak, it's even more critical.
     
  17. 65TossPowerTrap

    65TossPowerTrap BoltTalker

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    Well, you keep saying that, but we have been winning even with Matt Cassel at QB and you have been losing with Phillip Rivers.

    But yeah, I guess STs are easy and not nearly as important.

    For my team's benefit, I hope the Chargers continue with your "winning" philosophy :)

    If special teams are so "fixable" (as you have said now for 5 weeks), why are they not fixed?

    Are the chargers that inept as an organization, or, is it that, just maybe, special teams are a LITTLE more complicated than "running down the field?"
     
  18. matilack

    matilack #therealagent47

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    First of all troll, we're 5 weeks into the season. Talk to me again about winning more with Matt Cassel in week 17. :lol: 9 offensive pts against the Colts, 3 against the Browns, 14 against the Chargers (with lots of help from STs)......if not for San Fran being a laughing stock on defense you'd be among the worst 5 teams in the NFL in scoring offense right now.

    Secondly, I didn't say STs were not important, I said they are more fixable. Far more fixable than an offense that can't move the ball, or a defense that can't cover anyone. And your in complete denial if you don't believe that.
     
  19. 65TossPowerTrap

    65TossPowerTrap BoltTalker

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    Well, here we are again. The entirety of your argument is based on ifs and buts and more excuses.

    I really hope the Charger's management is as blind as you.

    One of these days, when you learn about big boy football, you'll understand that all your little stats don't mean anything except in your fantasy football league. The only stats that matter are wins and losses, and right now, you cannot argue that your special teams hurt the chargers FAR more than our quarterback hurts the Chiefs.

    We win with superior defense and special teams and just enough QB play to manage the game effectively. We lose when the QB or offense is so putrid that the defense and STs cannot adequately compensate.

    If you actually bothered to read what I said instead of trolling (and yes, you are the ONLY troll in this thread), you'd see that I stated that the Chargers are capable of winning with defense, offense and JUST enough special teams to eek by. Unfortunately, for them, while the Chiefs have managed enough offense to let their strengths shine, the Charger's weakness has been SO glaring and so fundamental, that their strengths have been for naught.

    I actually think that 99% of all honest chargers fans would agree with that assessment. In fact, I have seen similar points from Chargers fans here (look at all the fire Steve Crosby threads), but you attack me because I am a Chiefs fan. That's perfectly within your right, but it makes you come off as being someone more concerned with trash talking and trolling than honest analysis.
     
  20. 65TossPowerTrap

    65TossPowerTrap BoltTalker

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    The rest of that article really shows the scope of the problem:

    ...Before we look at the Chargers, we need to check the historical precedent for STDs in the NFL. In 1986, the Pittsburgh Steelers collected six STDs, one of four teams to do so since 1950. Two years later they set a new record with seven STDs, including a whopping six blocked punts. (In between those two seasons, the 1987 Steelers had only two STDs.) With those baselines in mind, let's take a week-by-week look at the 2010 Chargers season thus far:


    Week 1: San Diego allows the Kansas City Chiefs to average 32.0 yards on five punt returns, including a 94-yard touchdown. Chargers lose 21-14. STDs: 1.


    Week 2: Jaguars block a Mike Scifres punt to set up a field goal, cutting the San Diego lead to 14-6 in the third quarter. Chargers go on to win 38-13. STDs: 1.


    Week 3: The Chargers allow Leon Washington to average 63.3 yards on four kickoff returns, including a pair of touchdowns. That's the highest single-game average for a player with at least four returns in NFL history, and, if we lower the minimum to three returns, it's still the highest average in the last 50 years. The Seattle Seahawks beat the Chargers 27-20. STDs: 2.


    Week 4: A fairly benign week. The Chargers' kicking game woes against the Arizona Cardinals are limited to a missed 38-yard field goal and a 19-yard Andre Roberts punt return (which came after a 67-yard punt). Left to their own devices, the Chargers' offense and defense blow away the Cardinals, 41-10. STDs: 0.


    Week 5: The Raiders block two Scifres punts in the first quarter, one for a safety and one for a touchdown. Chargers come back to take the lead, but eventually lose a back-and-forth affair, 35-27. STDs: 2.
    Five weeks, six STDs. That's already one of the six worst seasons in the past 60 years, and the Chargers have eleven more games to tie or break the record.


    The punting game has been the biggest embarrassment. The Chargers have a net average of 25.2 yards per punt and are allowing 26.9 yards per punt return. Both numbers would be the worst in history. The punt return average is particularly egregious -- the all-time record belongs to the 1949 Packers, who allowed 18.6 yards per return. The worst mark this century, 15.7 yards per return, was set by the 2000 Jets. There's some sample-size distortion going on here -- Chargers' opponents have returned only ten punts (partly because Scifres' punts keep getting blocked) -- but with the season nearly one-third over, San Diego seems at least an even-money bet to finish with the worst punt coverage this millennium.


    The funny thing about all this is that by Football Outsiders' metrics, the Chargers' special teams were almost exactly average in 2009. Steve Crosby has been special teams coach since 2002, Scifres the punter since 2003 and Nate Kaeding the kicker since 2004, so there's been little turnover here -- with one exception. As Aaron Schatz noted two weeks ago, Kassim Osgood has been one of the league's best special teamers over the past half-decade. After seven years in San Diego, however, he's now in Jacksonville, covering kicks for a Jaguars team that has no STDs in 2010.

    San Diego's offense has scored 3.2 rushing and receiving touchdowns per game -- best in the league -- while the defense has allowed only 1.2, better than anyone except Pittsburgh. If their special teams had been merely very bad instead of cover-your-eyes-awful, they could easily be 5-0 right now and the talk of the league. With slight improvement, they can still contend for the AFC West crown. Without it, they're doomed to a sick feeling that will last all offseason.


    Vince Verhei is an author for Football Outsiders who writes frequently for ESPN Insider.
     
  21. matilack

    matilack #therealagent47

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    I'm talking about scoring points moron, which is the entire point of offense, I'm not talking about yardage, I'm talking about 3 FGS when Peyton Manning did everything he could to give you that game. I'm talking about 1 FG against the Browns, and nothing else. I'm talking about Matt Cassel not being a good football player, and how as the long season drags on his lack of talent and inability to convert on 3rd down is going to cost you a lot more games, than the highly unlikely probability that the Chargers get 2 punts blocked every week.

    Don't try to mis-represent the situation here, the Chargers have played just as strong of defense as the Chiefs. We are 2nd in total yards allowed, and when our DEFENSE is on the field they are allowing less than 10ppg.(not including STs and fumbles returned for TDs)


    Long run, big picture, I guarantee you the Chargers win more games than the Cheifs this year. We don't rely on STs TDs to carry us, and thats much a more stable position.
     
  22. 65TossPowerTrap

    65TossPowerTrap BoltTalker

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    LOL You are so predictable. When you are out-maneuvered (after your first post), you resort to petty name-calling.

    I'll move past that and get to the heart of your "argument." You can "talk about" the chargers being better than the Chiefs all you like. The argument you cannot refute despite all your teeth-gnashing, name-calling, and child-like tantrums, is this - SCOREBOARD.

    Your team is a losing team.

    There are multiple reasons for that, the most important of which is special teams play, the next most important being an inability to take care of the ball.

    You continue to say that special teams are easy to fix, yet have ZERO rebuttal when I ask the simple question, "If they are so simple to fix, why have they not been?"

    You continue to say Matt Cassel is a MUCH greater detriment to the Chiefs than your special teams are to the chargers, yet you have nothing but 3rd grade taunts and pathetic excuses to offer to the simple question, "Why is it then, that the Chiefs have a winning record despite Matt Cassel, while the Chargers are languising in the basement?"

    Your only response is, "You just wait and see."

    Well, We're waiting.


    Also...you win the dunce of the day award for stating that Peyton Manning tried to give the game to the Chiefs. That Peyton Manning must REALLY suck, huh? He's no Phyllis Rivers for sure, right?
     
  23. Pointyearedog

    Pointyearedog BoltTalker

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    Sorry, I missed most of the argument here, I was in the bathroom taking a power crap...
     
  24. 65TossPowerTrap

    65TossPowerTrap BoltTalker

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    LOL I hope everything came out okay.
     
  25. Alpenbolt

    Alpenbolt BoltTalker

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    Good lord dude, it is only week 5. You have only played 4 games. Give it a rest.
     
  26. 65TossPowerTrap

    65TossPowerTrap BoltTalker

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    I think you missed the point entirely, but that's fine. I am not saying the Chiefs are a great team and are a sure lock to win the division. I am saying the Chargers have a real weakness (like almost every team) that is COSTING them games, and despite the claims of Matty the wonderbolt over here, they have shown no inclinations that those weaknesses are an "easy fix."

    Special Teams woes are likely going to plague the Chargers all year. It remains to be seen if they can limit them enough to allow their offense and defense to compensate. So far, the answer has been a resounding no.

    Making excuses and saying that it's "EASY" to fix does nothing to remedy that. If that is the extent of the action taken, the Chargers won't put up much of a fight at all in the division. I don't anticipate that will be the case though. I fully expect the Chargers to give us a run for our money, as we do have real weaknesses as well. The difference is, the majority of our fan base doesn't claim that we are anything more than a little ahead of schedule in rebuilding, and we certainly don't make so many (any) excuses for our losses. Remember - all phases of the game are important, and the rain falls on both teams ;)
     
  27. matilack

    matilack #therealagent47

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    To sum up...
    Offensively - The Chargers are 1st in total O, and 2nd in scoring (28ppg)
    Defensively - We are allowing 9.2ppg, not including STs and fumbles returned for TDS. Which is Steelers, Ravens, Jets territory.

    And this troll is banking his entire argument on STs deciding the division....not exactly a stable argument. Lets just say, I'm pretty confident he's on the crank.
     
  28. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    Here, I think "are fixable" can be replaced with "might be fixable". Nobody said it would be easy. But, good post otherwise.
     
  29. 65TossPowerTrap

    65TossPowerTrap BoltTalker

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    To sum up, Matty here is playing FANTASY football where everything but the final score matters lol.
     
  30. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    Again, nobody said it would be easy. And I'm pretty sure nobody is making excuses.
     

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