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BLUES AND GOLDS - Game 5, Chargers @ Dolphins

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by BlueandGold, Oct 8, 2008.

  1. BlueandGold

    BlueandGold The Oracle

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    Normally, I write these Blues and Golds after watching and re-watching the game, sometimes multiple times, on my DVR. Going over some plays, looking at some phases I don't pay enough attention to during the gameday excitement, yada yada.

    I just couldn't do it this week.

    Let me explain.


    BLUES

    1. UNINSPIRED PLAY.

    I tried to rewatch the game... I really did. But every time I got very far, I had to turn it off in disgust.

    I just didn't recognize this team out there.

    In some losses, I can accept that we are getting beaten. Perhaps outcoached. Maybe even out-physical'ed. But the Charger team I saw on Sunday did not get beat with any of those things as a root cause, although many of those things certainly came into play as proximate causes.

    The Charger team I saw on Sunday got beat because they were out-desired.

    "They wanted it more" is an over-used cliche in sports. Very seldom is it actually true - both sides, most of the time, really do want to win. They usually do leave it all on the field. They usually play to what, at least in their minds, is the envelope of their abilities.

    That wasn't the Chargers on Sunday. On Sunday, the Miami Dolphins really DID want it more.

    And nothing disgusts me more.

    Believe me, it was hard enough for me to watch this team half-*** their way around the field Sunday - I couldn't do it twice. If the quality of this article suffers a bit, I apologize. But if I see that crap again I will puke.

    There have been rumors flying around that the team (or certain members anyway) got wasted Saturday night, and played the game with a hangover. Perhaps. I can believe it.

    They didn't look right out there. Not at all.

    2. BALL CONTROL.

    Stat time. I'm going to give you two sets of stats. You guess which team had them. OK? Here we go.

    TOTAL FIRST DOWNS 10
    THIRD DOWN EFFICIENCY 3/12 - 25%
    FOURTH DOWN EFFICIENCY 0/1 - 0%
    TOTAL RUSHING PLAYS 19
    NET YARDS RUSHING 60
    AVERAGE GAIN PER RUSH 3.2
    TIME OF POSSESSION 23:19

    There's one team. Here's the other one:

    TOTAL FIRST DOWNS 23
    THIRD DOWN EFFICIENCY 7/14 - 50%
    FOURTH DOWN EFFICIENCY 1/1 - 100%
    TOTAL RUSHING PLAYS 39
    NET YARDS RUSHING 167
    AVERAGE GAIN PER RUSH 4.3
    TIME OF POSSESSION 36:41

    Can you guess which one it is? Hint - we got beaten like red-headed stepchildren.

    The Dolphins' last drive brought back horrible memories of the New England Patriots' last drive on us in the AFC Championship - just a horrible, inexorable drive, run after run, with us fans watching the defense do absolutely NOTHING to stop it.

    At one point, with many of these same players, out of this same defensive formation, there was no team that could run against us. Now we can't stop it.

    The blame rests on either the change in players or the change in coaching.

    Whichever one it is, I'll leave it for you to decide for yourself and for AJ Smith to decide for the team. Either way, it needs fixing - and soon - or else we can kiss our Superbowl dreams goodbye.

    You don't win Championships in the NFL without being able to STOP THE RUN.

    3. OFFENSIVE LINE PLAY.

    Philip Rivers was sacked only twice for 17 yards total, but what isn't in the stat sheet is the kind of pressure the Dolphins had in his face all game. As a result, he might have had one of his worst performance as a pro: 13/28 for 159 hard-earned yards and a TD. Again, stats don't tell you about the easy missed swing passes to LT, or the missed deep ball to Vincent Jackson.

    I'm not bagging on Rivers. Really. This was the second consecutive week he's faced a rush that has put him on his back - or face, or shoulder - multiple times in a game. The beating he took against the Raiders last week had a lot to do with his inaccuracy this week, I guarantee it. Sore ribs, sore shoulder, sore knees, and all this while being freshly recovered from offseason surgery. When you're that beat up, your arm (and body in general) don't always move in the way your brain tells them to.

    This falls directly on the Offensive Line, in my opinion - specifically, Marcus McNeill and Nick Hardwick, who are trying to struggle through the lack of preseason activity. Both of them have been beaten pretty regularly, both last week and against the Dolphins.

    Look, I admire these guys trying to fight their way back into playing shape, but the fact is that if they're not ready, keep their butts on the bench. The fact is, LJ Shelton and Jeremy Newberry as LT and C gave Philip Rivers an eternity to throw, and now he's getting pummeled. Something's gotta give, and I'd rather it NOT be our starting QB.

    In addition, this is the second week in a row that Mike Tolbert has missed a free rusher coming hard off the weak side, resulting in said free rusher hitting LT at just about the point of handoff. Last week, it resulted in a safety for the Raiders. This week, it was just a tackle for loss, but I swear I had deja vu. He's a great young fullback with a lot of potential; he's got great feet and a great pair of hands; but up here in the NFL, you've got to BLOCK as a fullback. LT's hurt, sure, but the loss of Lorenzo Neal, who also served as his second pair of eyes, hurts worse. Tolbert's gotta learn how to do the same things Lo did, even if he never becomes as good as Lo as far as blocking is concerned. All LT needs is a crease. Tolbert just needs to help him find it.

    GOAT OF THE GAME:

    Any of the Chargers who half-assed it out there, which means probably 90 percent of them. And Ted Cottrell. Do something to STOP THE RUN.


    GOLDS

    1. ERIC WEDDLE.

    The team's leading tackler added another 8 solo tackles and 2 assists to his total.

    Why is our leading tackler a SAFETY?

    Ahem, this is the Golds section. Sorry.

    Either way, Weddle's doing a decent job back there. He finds his way to the play, and oftentimes gets the job done when multiple other guys can't make the tackle. The tagline on Weddle in the draft was that he was always around the ball. Well, it's certainly looking that way, and remember, it's his first season starting. He'll get better. 10 tackles in a game is a pretty good game for a first year starting safety.

    2. COOPER'S BACK!

    ...and he had 7 solo tackles, 1 assist, and some ludicrous trash talking toward the Dolphins bench while his defense couldn't STOP THE RUN!!!!

    (Sorry. Golds section. Gotta remind myself.)

    Look, it may look bad that the defense actually got worse when he returned, but Coop did very well in his return. Without the explosive Jyles Tucker in there, who was held out with an injury, Cooper's return was like a 1 for 1 swap, moving good LB play inside for the loss of LB play outside. I like Marques Harris, but Jyles has really come into his own on the outside, and we missed him and his athleticism on Sunday.

    I'm also happy to see a LB anywhere near the top of the tackle chart.

    3. MIKE SCIFRES.

    6 punts. A 50.5 yard AVERAGE. A 67 yard long.

    Sci-Fi is Gawd.

    (Reminder: Golds section. Uh huh, you know what I was thinking.)

    He did his part to give us a chance to win.

    PLAYER OF THE GAME:

    Mike Scifres.


    THE GAME IN ONE SENTENCE:

    The Dolphins wanted it more.
     
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  2. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    BLUES AND GOLDS - Game 6, Chargers @ Dolphins

    When you're right, you're right. :icon_sad:

    Disgusted is an apt description of my feelings about the Dolphins game. There are rumors that the team was out partying late. Whether it's true or not, I dunno. what I DO know is that the team & coaches look like crap right now.

    Too much pre-season hype? Maybe. Again, what I see is a bunch of guys who aren't putting in a championship-seeking effort. And don't EVEN get me started on Fat Teddy. :icon_evil:

    It's disheartening to see the Chargers play this way. I sincerely hope that they pull up their jock straps & come prepared to play on Sunday night. I'm pretty certain the Pats will be bringing it.
     
  3. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

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    BLUES AND GOLDS - Game 6, Chargers @ Dolphins

    Game 5, actually :lol: :icon_party:
     
  4. Gridreaper

    Gridreaper BoltTalker

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    BLUES AND GOLDS - Game 6, Chargers @ Dolphins

    ...I guess it says it all when BlueandGold names the player of the game...OUR PUNTER. Pathetic isn't even strong enough of a word to describe this effort :tdown: :no: :tdown:
     
  5. TheBeast

    TheBeast BoltTalker

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    BLUES AND GOLDS - Game 6, Chargers @ Dolphins

    I highly feel like there shoiuld be no golds. But if I had to pick it'd probably be Scifres and Hester. That's it.
     
  6. BlueandGold

    BlueandGold The Oracle

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    BLUES AND GOLDS - Game 6, Chargers @ Dolphins

    Whoopsy... thanks for the catch. MODS!

    I have no idea why I did that :icon_rofl:
     
  7. BlueandGold

    BlueandGold The Oracle

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    BLUES AND GOLDS - Game 6, Chargers @ Dolphins

    Heh, yeah, the effort was pathetic. Still, Mikey was a machine in this game, and I would have been hard-pressed not to name him player of the game anyhow. Those are some monstrous punt numbers.
     
  8. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

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    BLUES AND GOLDS - Game 6, Chargers @ Dolphins

    Kinda puts a dull edge on pontificating :icon_eek: :icon_rofl:
     
  9. BlueandGold

    BlueandGold The Oracle

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    BLUES AND GOLDS - Game 6, Chargers @ Dolphins

    I suppose so.

    I don't intend to be pontificating. I just write what I saw, and how I felt about it. :icon_shrug: I'm obviously just a fan of the team who has an opinion and likes to write.

    How did you feel about the game? In a non-pontificating manner, of course.
     
  10. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    BLUES AND GOLDS - Game 6, Chargers @ Dolphins

    You know it's bad when your punter had the best performance!!! :icon_evil:


    I think BandG hit the nail right on the head when he said "Dolphins wanted it more." :icon_evil:
     
  11. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

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    BLUES AND GOLDS - Game 6, Chargers @ Dolphins

    Ah crap, I didn't mean that like it came out, sorry.

    As for my thoughts, I'm as disappointed as any Charger fan. This team needs to get their **** together, from the HC to the guys that that bring water out onto the field during time outs.

    I'll leave the fire Norv/AJ/Cottrell/LT/etal to others, as I do firmly believe the ship will be righted.
     
  12. BlueandGold

    BlueandGold The Oracle

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    BLUES AND GOLDS - Game 6, Chargers @ Dolphins

    No worries, man. :tup:

    I agree with your comments. Especially the last one. It's not the time to talk about firing anyone or everyone. They've righted this ship before, and they can do it again.

    I just hate going through all this pain before they do :icon_party:
     
  13. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

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    BLUES AND GOLDS - Game 6, Chargers @ Dolphins

    The run D has gotta be better, or those 3 big backs'll jes keep pounding us.
     
  14. BoltFanDC

    BoltFanDC Mufflers Are Overrated

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    I agree completely that when your punter is the player of the game and the only bright spot in an otherwise abysmal showing, you've got problems -- big ones.

    Nobody has mentioned this angle yet so I will...is it remotely possible that the guys played flat because they were looking past Miami to the Pats this week? It's a byproduct of getting caught up in your own hype which also, in my opinion, manifested itself in all of the juvenile trash talking on ordinary plays. Draw your own conclusion.

    Fact is, last game all but removed any margin of error we had for the next few weeks. Not to say it's too late to right the ship, but we cannot afford any more performances like that or this season could (and will) go right down the can before the bye.

    That is all.
     
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  15. Showmeyourbolt

    Showmeyourbolt Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone seen the record of West Coast teams travelling back east this year? It's not pretty. The NFL might want to think about having those games be 4:00 east coast start times.
     
  16. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    I'm really tired of hearing that excuse. If it's an issue, then fly your *** out a day earlier to help your body adjust to the time change.

    Whatever team uses this as a reason for a loss is open to being ridiculed as weak, IMO.
     
  17. cranberry

    cranberry BoltTalker

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    BLUES AND GOLDS - Game 6, Chargers @ Dolphins

    Thank you for the Blues and Golds. We got to get optimistic
    again, there's no other way out of this sad week.
     
  18. Enormo

    Enormo BoltTalker

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    Great read again. I'm sad.
     
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  19. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Me, too man. Me too. :icon_sad:
     
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  20. Showmeyourbolt

    Showmeyourbolt Well-Known Member

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    I'm not talking about the Chargers, I'm talking about all west coast teams. 0-10 when traveling back east this year.
     
  21. VikingBolt

    VikingBolt BoltTalker

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    Good post. It's sorta what I've been trying to say, they are not playing as a team with heart. This game, in particular, I think they just thought they would win with little effort.
     
  22. VikingBolt

    VikingBolt BoltTalker

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    I haven't checked it out, but it makes sense. Changing time zones does affect one's psyche and equilibrium to a certain extent.
     

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