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Blues and Golds - Preseason Game 2, Chargers at Rams

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    By BlueandGold
    <em>BoltTalk Forum Member</em>

    <img class="alignright" title="San Diego Chargers quarterback Billy Volek, left, manages to slip away as he is pressured by St. Louis Rams linebacker Will Witherspoon, right, during the second quarter of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 16, 2008, in St. Louis." src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20080817/capt.02378c90af134b9585686a215f427354.chargers_rams_football_mojr101.jpg" alt="" width="197" height="167" />In a game where 2nd Stringers played Starters, it's hard to have real substantial remarks either way, so I'll try to stick to individual evaluations on this one.

    <strong>BLUES</strong>

    1. WILHELM. And no, I'm not talking the WWI German Kaiser here. Last week, I said the middle linebackers in general - this week, it's just Matt Wilhelm. Both him and Cooper finished with 3 tackles apiece, but Cooper at least made two great plays in the Red Zone - a pass deflection in the end zone of a Bulger potential TD pass to Dan Kreider, then a solo go-ahead TD-saving fourth-down open-field tackle (that's a lot of hyphens, eh?) of Brian Leonard that killed the Rams drive. He, at least, demonstrated the clutch and playmaking ability required of a starting MLB. Wilhelm? Missed some assignments in an ugly fashion, missed some tackles in an ugly fashion. He needs to step it up big time or I think of sitting him and giving a harder look to the proven vet Derek Smith (2 tackles) or a more physically talented Anthony Waters (3 tackles).

    2. WHITEHURST. Hm, another BLUE whose last name starts with a W. Anyway, I'll let his statline make speak on its own: 6 for 14 with 67 yards. That's a 43 percent completion rating, for a 12 yard average. It all adds up to a dismal 57.7 QB rating for the day, better than only Mark Bulger (20.8) on both sides this day - and two interceptions had something to do with that one. That's in one half of play against the Rams' third and fourth stringers. And he didn't even look that good - he threw to some covered guys, made some weird decisions, and generally did not look confident at all. Hey, at least he didn't throw an interception or two - which was really the only way he could have looked worse.

    3. WTF IS UP WITH NOT GOING FOR THE WIN? Hey, I had to start my last BLUE with a W too, for theme's sake. Anyhow, I know some of you are going to say, "It's only preseason, we have to evaluate the guys, yada yada." Well, great... we know that Whitehurst can throw incomplete passes on fourth down now, as well as third down. Sarcasm aside, I would have rather, ahem, <em>evaluated</em> Nate Kaeding from distances of 33 and 51 yards, instead of watching Whitey do what he had all game and fly home with the loss. Yes, I know it doesn't matter, but all things considered, I didn't think we gained much evaluation from those two fourth-and-shorts, and I think kicking even ONE of them for the win would have been better for the teams' - and Whitehursts' - mental state.

    GOAT OF THE GAME: Matt Wilhelm, for the reasons explained above. I never want to see a game that bad from him again.

    <strong>GOLDS</strong>

    1. VOLEK. Listen - the dude was playing behind a patchwork offensive line, and as a result suffered from some intense pressure and was sacked a dismal 3 TIMES IN ONE HALF. Despite the complete and utter lack of protection, he completed 5 of 7 passes for 58 yards, an 8.3 yard average (up from his 3.0 average against Dallas last week) and finished with a 96.1 passer rating. Unlike Whitey, Volek drove the team in the time he had, they just couldn't finish the deal in the red zone. He showed improvement from last week, even if he had worse players around him. I'm good with Volek as our backup guy and I think he'd do just fine with the No. 1 O as well.

    2. CLARY. I know, he didn't look good at first. But check out Leonard Little's stat line when all was said and done - 2 tackles and one sack. The other two sacks on Volek came from Will Witherspoon and Quinton Culberson - linebackers both of them. That means that Clary, after giving up the early sack and pressure, solidified his game against the Pro Bowler and even limited him to 2 whole tackles (including the sack, by the way). On the Witherspoon sack, Clary had Little stonewalled and basically pancaked, and Little was obviously frustrated at that point in the second quarter. That's what I like to see in the preseason - improvement, and Clary demonstrated that in the course of a half against one of the more complete pass rushers in the league. That gets a thumbs up from me.

    3. LAMAR DIVENS. Who? That's right, our (hopefully) heir apparent to Jamal Williams. L-DIV tied for the team game lead in tackles with four, and threw a forced fumble in there for good measure. This was after he put up no stats in very limited playing time against Dallas. Good show, Lamar. I'm hoping to see more of the 6-3, 333 pounder next week.

    PLAYER OF THE GAME: Mike Scifres. In a game where field position ruled, one punter stood above them all. OK, with less dramatic effect, let's take a look at the stats. Yesterday, Sci-Fi had 5 punts for a 46.2 yard average. His net average? 44.2 yards. That's a 2 yard average return for the Rams on 5 punts. What else can I say? Sci-Fi rules.

    <strong>THE GAME IN ONE SENTENCE:</strong>
    Rams win a snoozer, but player evaluation junkies probably enjoyed themselves anyway.

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