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Bye week report card for Chargers

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by CoronaDoug, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Official Hater

    Feb 14, 2007
    Bye week report card for Chargers

    By Nick Canepa

    Sunday, November 14, 2010 at 4:27 p.m.

    The Chargers may be in their bye condition, but newspapers do not take weeks off. So we’re not going to let them get away clean, not with their ridiculous 4-5 record. They deserve a bye week report card, and they’re getting one.


    Philip Rivers has been the NFL’s sherpa, playing uphill most every game. Hard to do, but Rivers, throwing to everyone but Dean Spanos due to injuries to his receivers, has been brilliant, the finest QB in the league to this point. He’s thrown for a league-best 2,944 yards and 19 touchdowns. He’s really good.


    As in average. GM A.J. Smith went to great lengths on draft day to move up and grab tailback Ryan Mathews out of Fresno State, and while it’s obvious Mathews is skilled, he’s had problems. One is health, with the high ankle injury. The other is nasty fumble syndrome. He’s lost three fumbles, and coaches do not take kindly to fumblers (Note: When the Chargers fumble, the other team almost always recovers, and their turnovers have come in terrible spots). Backup Mike Tolbert has been a plus because he gains yards. Third-down back Darren Sproles has been spare parts.


    Tight end Antonio Gates, who missed last week’s win in Houston with foot problems, is beyond description good. Backup Randy McMichael had two scores in Gates’ place. Malcom Floyd and Legedu Naanee have been battling hamstrings for weeks and Bust(er) Davis, now gone for the season with a groin injury, doesn’t appear capable of staying healthy long enough to be productive. Free agent rookie Seyi Ajirotutu has been a revelation.


    Not world class, but plenty good enough so far. The return of holdout Pro Bowl left tackle Marcus McNeill sure hasn’t hurt and, unlike last year, the line basically has been healthy. Right tackle Jeromey Clary has been better than most people realize. Run-blocking is much improved over 2009, when there really wasn’t much of it (as a pouting LT will inform you).


    Ends Jacques Cesaire and Luis Castillo and nose tackle Antonio Garay (a great find) have been the mainstays, but defensive coordinator Ron Rivera likes to spin the turnstile and move people in and out. So several guys have played and, for the most part, held their own. Their worst day against the run came in Houston, when they were pushed around (dramatically) in the first half.


    Who knows? Shawne Merriman has taken his bad legs to Buffalo, too far from Hollywood for his liking. Rivera has used up 12 linebackers. Larry English has been hurt. Brandon Siler, ditto. Shaun Phillips (7 sacks) may be having his best season. Antwan Applewhite makes plays and midseason pickup Antwan Barnes can rush the passer. It seems some guys play well one week, not so well the next, but there really hasn’t been a unit here. This group needed a bye, maybe two.


    The DBs have played one great quarterback — New England’s Tom Brady — who ain’t what he used to be, anyway. Quentin Jammer was having his best season up to two weeks ago. Antoine Cason, the other corner, has held up fairly well. But there’s little ball-hawking down the middle. Free safety Eric Weddle can play but doesn’t create turnovers (much to his dismay) and Paul Oliver, who saved the game in Houston, has been an adequate replacement for Steve Gregory (suspended) at strong. This group, like the rest of the defense, hasn’t forced enough take-aways (or lucked into many).


    If cavemen played football, this is the worst special teams since then, and if they didn’t play, the worst since Adam and Eve were fitted for fig leaves. Nobel laureates couldn’t count the number of mental mistakes. Four blocked punts (for scores) and a “deflection” (which is a block), two kickoffs and one punt returned for touchdowns. Smith has to find a kicker who can reach the end zone. Nate Kaeding and Kris Brown have two touchbacks between them, about 25 behind the league leader. Historically inept.


    The Chargers opened the season against éclairs, bear claws and Danishes, games against baked goods such Kansas City, Jacksonville, Seattle, Arizona, Oakland and St. Louis, and staggered out of it 2-4 (all four losses on the road, where they were 7-1 a year ago). A 5-1 record might have been excusable. This team flat gave away too many points with their miserable special teams play. It’s all on Norv Turner, who might be 0-9 without Rivers, and his staff. They’re better than this.


    Denver, at Indianapolis, Oakland, Kansas City, San Francisco, at Cincinnati, at Denver. The Chargers should be as healthy as possible coming off the bye, and just look at this schedule. Let’s see, now that they’ve won two straight, if their annual run has begun. We keep hearing special teams will be fixed. Really. If not, the rest of this season will be as bright and cheerful as a Russian play.

    Bye week report card for Chargers - SignOnSanDiego.com
  2. scratchnz

    scratchnz BoltTalker

    Mar 1, 2009
    Looks like the Chargers have signed a special teams wizz...Safety Pat Wilkens and cut Gary Banks.

    Pat Wilkens...6'5, 220 not bad physical stats for a safety...obviously a good tackler in open field if he is used alot on special teams! I wonder if he could push for a spot on the first team D?
  3. reddenedbeard

    reddenedbeard Well-Known Member

    Aug 2, 2006
    People still read Canepa!?
  4. Pointyearedog

    Pointyearedog I only put idiots on ignore...

    Aug 19, 2008
    I thought it was Watkins...

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