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Red Zone

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Concudan, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Ok, one of the most frustrating aspects to the Chargers fast 'slow' start is the red zone production.

    Part of me likes the testicular fortitude it shows going for 6 rather than 3 in the red zone on 3rd down. None of me likes not making the TD or first down.

    However, I wanted to know what you all thought of the reason the Chargers have had so many pushes into the promised land but have not scored on many of those pushes. To go somewhere in this league you have to fix that.

    So what is the problem, what is the fix?
     
  2. Lightning_Dynasty

    Lightning_Dynasty Well-Known Member

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    I think the fix, and I'm being completely serious, is Ryan Mathews.

    Once we get close, Norv likes to give the ball to Tolbert, and I understand why, but Mathews has shown the ability to turn the corner and get into the endzone. Teams expect us to give it to Tolbert, and for him to take it up the middle. It works some times, but not often.

    I would love to see us predominately us an I-Formation set with Mathews lined up behind Tolbert. Let Rivers have the option of handing the ball off to Tolbert or Mathews based on his pre snap reads. Make the D play honest. Plus, with Tolbert can play the full back role when the ball is given to Mathews.

    Next, more screens and flats to, you guessed it, Mathews. He has shown that he can catch the ball in the back field and make plays. Make the defense cheat towards him, and then hit them with a quick out route, or a slant. I've seen some of this, but I haven't seen it be used to it's fullest.

    Small quick plays.

    I know a lot of this seems basic, after all, it's what I was doing in when I played high school ball, but our coaching staff doesn't seem to realize it.

    The minute the Bolts make it to the Red Zone, I expect Tolbert to be in instead of Mathews, and I expect a couple of runs up the middle. So do every team we play.

    And, while I love Tolbert, he is just not as good as Mathews, who is constantly becomming a bigger and bigger threat.

    Long Story Short: Ryan Mathews is the key to our red zone success.
     
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  3. Joy Division

    Joy Division Slightly-known Member

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    The problem: Norv.
    The fix: not Norv.

    Just kidding. The problem is the same problem that many offenses face in the red zone. Our offense is primarily designed to stretch the field with deep pass plays (to set up the run). The problem is exacerbated when the field is shortened considerably (red zone). When our offense gets into this zone, our playcalls are limited (as is anyone elses in the league). The difference is that we rely on a healthy TE getting open or drawing heavy coverage, which currently isn't happening. Our ground game is admittedly so, rather predictable. We we run fake reverses when we never actually run a reverse. It's been pointed out, by others on this forum and also by those fellas calling the game, that crossing patterns work well for us when we use them. I'd like to see more of them in the red zone.
    The fix? Execution. No, not the head coach execution...I mean executing the play as it is designed. Ideally (to me anyway), red zone plays should be designed as fast developing plays. None of that delay hand-off b.s. and fake this or 5 step drop that. A quick hitting play...like a direct snap to the running back, a quick slant ala late 80's early 90's 49ers, or the fade route that we don't run enough...I mean the whole league is aware that our receivers are 6'5" yet it seems that we don't take advantage of that fact in the red zone.
    I must admit that I was a fan of Marty's "gold zone" plays that emphasized fast developing plays and ball control.
    Turning the ball over is never good..turning it over in the red zone can cost a game.

    So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that our team is currently failing to execute plays in the red zone because of poor design and or lack of focus/ball control, which should be the main emphasis for any team hoping to put up points.
     
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  4. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    I think they have become way to reliant on Gates in the red zone, and are trying to figure out who to look to with him out.
     
  5. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Hmmm. perhaps. I know that they like the jump ball in the corner. I have noticed they have relyed heavily on Tolbert, but with such a small portion of the field to defend, it is much easier to stuff the run.

    I think what we are seeing is a result of the lost OTAs and practice time, but that is just a gut feeling.
     
  6. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    The Chargers "red zone" problems are a little exaggerated, as the sample size is still rather small. 6 times, they failed to score in the red zone. Once, was a knell-down at the end of the game...... doesn't count. Twice, Rivers threw an ill-advised pass that was picked off, and once, Clary committed a 15 yard penalty for knocking a guy on his ***. The Chargers have been without Gates and Floyd for much of the time, so Jackson gets double covered in the end zone.

    While the Chargers red zone problems have been disappointing, I don't see any reason why they won't be able to overcome them. The offense has moved the ball very well, they just have to finish drives better.
     
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  7. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Agree. I believe the past will hold true and the team will start clicking better as the season gets older.
     
  8. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    this
    And I know this wasn't the point of you we're trying to make but I agree with this part of it.

    We are simply way too predictable in the RZ. Run up the gut, run up the gut, panic on 3rd and chuck up some crazy pass to wide covered receivers. Every. Single. Time. That's wonderful when you have an OL that just destroys people off the line, or a RT who doesn't crap himself every few plays and cost the team 15 yards.

    As for one of your main points Conc, I love when a team goes for it on 4th down inside the 5. If you make it, awesome, if not the other team has a very long field to travel down and the D needs to step up. Any farther out and you kick it automatically. The only downside is the momentum shift (if you believe in that and I do).

    My gut feeling is that Norv's biggest problem is constantly trying to out think (LOL) the other team and it tends to backfire on him, usually in the worst possible situations. Just play ball. If the D is giving you the underneath all day, TAKE IT!!! Dink and dunk them to death like the Pats love to do. If the run is shredding them, STICK WITH IT!!! Don't all of a sudden go empty backfield 5 wide and chuck it 70 yards down field.

    Since everyone seems to think of NE as the model team to emulate I'll pose this question: You know why NE is so much better than everyone else? Because they take what you give them and use it against you, making teams reap what they sow. I don't like them, but I do respect them for it. If we could do that instead of constantly trying to force the issue we would dominate.
     
  9. ViennaLager

    ViennaLager FC Eintracht Bamberg Smokey Beers

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    I think the lack of Gates has hurt us in the redzone where he excels. The OL has been part of the problem as well, although I think we should give Ryan Mathews more touches down there, but the OL needs to get some push and open up atleast 1 hole where Ryan can make a cut if needed.
     
  10. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    We had Gates in the opener and in NE and still had problems in the RZ.

    Guess again.
     
  11. ViennaLager

    ViennaLager FC Eintracht Bamberg Smokey Beers

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    He wasn't healthy... try again.

    We had 3 TD's in the redzone in the opener against MINN. All of them were Tolbert.
     
  12. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    And he'll never be healthy again.

    I concede the Tolbert point.
     
  13. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    A team has to be able to punch it in on the ground and I think Ryanna's speed can help with that. It looks like Tolbert is in slo-mo around the goal line and he rarely bounces out and change direction in short yardage situations or do mine eyes forsake me?
     
  14. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    Nope, your eyes are fine. He goes head down right up the gut, sometimes right into the blockers back. At least he was covering the ball with both hands near the goal line the last 2 weeks. It's time for a play action pass to the TE out of that jumbo formation. IIRC we tried one last week and there was a penalty (might have been the Clary fight play).

    We need to bring back the HB pass. :tup:
     
  15. Lancer 1

    Lancer 1 Eternal Optimist

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    Have Marcus McNeil report “eligible” and toss it up to him…..
     
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  16. JohnnyX

    JohnnyX 2017 Chargers Head Coach

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    Haven't we been having this problem for a few years now? It's the conservative play calling inside the 10 that's doing us in. Instead of giving it to the person who has the "hot hand" and in this case "hot feet" we handed up to bumbling fb who can't seem to grip the ball at all. It's not he's fault that he comes out 3 plays to END the sseries. For Crying out loud give #24 the ball Norv sheesh.
     
  17. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    There was also once last week where Tolbert dropped a passon 3rd down. On that play, as Norv said, Rivers was also being very careful with the pass, since the Chargers were up by 7 with not much time left.

    I agree that the problems have been largely exaggerated. Like Rivers INTs, I expect the red zone issues to get ironed out as the weeks go on.
     
  18. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Losing, or having a less-than-healthy Gates, is a big part of the issue. Even when he wasn't targeted, he still posed a huge threat that had to be covered. For whatever reason, we haven't yet seemed to grasp that reality & make adjustments. We have enough other weapons to keep the opposing defense on its toes as has been already offered here. I wonder if, at some level, PR isn't missing his Gates security blanket more than is realized. I do believe that we'll work this out as he gains confidence in Mathews, McMichael, etc. Let's also not forget that penalties & turnovers have foiled a few chances.

    Quick fix? Score from beyond the 20. ;)
     

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