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Upon Further Review; Chargers @ Atlanta; 8-29-09

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Concudan, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    The Chargers went to Hotlanta for their third preseason game. Now of all the preseason games this one has less of the ‘kissing your sister’ feel, because typically this is the game that the starters play the most. Chargers great from the past Dan Fouts was in the booth calling the game.

    The Chargers appeared to be ready to play; at halftime the Chargers led the Falcons 21 to 13. The offense was playing well. The Defense still looked preseason vanilla. The Vanilla play on defense still left me feeling like a sister somewhere was puckering up… I for one am a fan of aggressive, attacking defenses; That is by all reports what Defensive Coordinator Ron Rivera will be bringing to San Diego.

    All in all the Chargers were playing well, the offense played one of their better games throughout the first half. Philip Rivers for the most part was on target, and Billy Volek played one of his better games with a lightning bolt on his helmet. The Chargers show cased the ability of their large bodied, athletic receivers. Vincent Jackson, Chris Chambers, Malcom Floyd and Buster Davis all made good catches and showed why some believe that this season will see the Chargers setting up the run with the pass.

    The Chargers run defense is something that I hope will get better for opening week. It is extremely hard to judge the defensive performance based on a preseason game. As I mentioned before the Chargers are not going to give any other teams any film on how to attack the San Diego Defense. At times the rush defense looked discombobulated. I have to think that this is to be expected, and that the entire package will be on display as the regular season rolls around.

    I will say this, the Ron Rivera at the start of the 4th quarter took the time to chew his defensive player out for their play. He did not look happy and in just a few days before the cut down to a 72 man roster, I be some of the players’ hearts were pounding loud enough to be heard in the upper levels of the Atlanta Stadium. You have to think that the defensive team meetings Monday are going to be lively as Rivera continues to let his charges know what he thought of their play.

    The Chargers did not have any significant injuries on the evening; however Brandon Hughes took a hit late in the game and gave us all a worry about his knee. He left the game under his own power which was a good sign.

    The Chargers found themselves in an all to familiar situation. They were fighting to keep the Falcons from the end zone, while nursing a four point lead with one minute left in the game. The Chargers lack of pressure on the Quarterback was hurting them at this point. With 34 seconds left to play the Chargers were trying to prevent the Falcons from driving the last 2 yards for the score. They needed to burn a timeout giving the Falcons time to organize, but also allowing the Chargers to get it together for the stop.

    The Chargers stuffed the run on the flowing play, Eric Bakhitiari made the stop. They stopped the run again to bring up a fourth down play. The falcons scored on the next play, another fourth down touchdown in the final seconds of the game. I felt chills as I was forced to remember the opening game of the 2008 season where the Chargers lost in the same manner. If it were not for the red uniforms, I would have been sure that the team we were playing was the Carolina Panthers…

    The Chargers got the ball back with 3 seconds to play. Well the sister was kissed, not only was it a preseason game, which meant nothing, but it was a last second loss which is a hard pill to swallow, even in preseason. The important thing is, no major injuries.

    The Bad:
    There were some things that occurred that I believe the Chargers will have to focus on fixing. There will be some focus given to these in practice, film time this week and coaches chewing on the posterior of their players:

    Jacob Hesters’ Running: The young man does not seem to have a lot of vision to see the gaps at the line of scrimmage. On both of his first two rushes, he ran right into the blocking linemen, so either he can’t see the holes, or he can’t decide where to go with the ball quickly. Jacob ended the evening with 5 carries for 7 yards. He averages 1.4 yards per carry. He also caught 1 pass for 3 yards.

    The Pass Rush: OK, it is only preseason. We are not going to give away any crucial information. But I would like to see more pressure. The Defensive Line still isn’t beating anyone one on one. We will need to see how they do in regular season in comparison. The Falcon signal callers had far too long to survey the field and find a target. In the fourth quarter the Falcons QB Chris Redman dropped back surveys the field, at a ham sandwich and then trotted into the end zone for six points to bring that game to a one point game. Chargers 21, Falcons 20.

    Rivers Intentional Grounding: Ok, I thought he got away with one first time, then he threw to an area where no one was around. Easy call. The good part is, he did not take a silly hit. The bad, at least throw it somewhere where someone in bolts is at least in the general area…

    Third and Long: 3rd and 13, 3rd and 18, 3rd and 17 and 3rd and 24, all on the same drive. The Chargers have a great offense, but they can’t rely on their long, lanky receivers to bail them out of that type of trouble all the time. Opposing defenses will pin their ears back and try to take Rivers’ head off in those situation.

    Penalties: Nothing can kill a drive quicker than a yellow hanky on the pitch… The Chargers, mainly on the offensive line gave up 6 penalties in the first half for 45 yards. That is too much by far in my opinion.

    Rushing Game: At the end of the first half the Chargers had only 26 yards rushing. Now I know it is preseason, but the Chargers will probably try and use the pass to set up the run, however without better production on the runs it will not be effective. To begin the second half the rushing game did not get much better, there were just no holes. Gartrell Johnson carried for the third time and took a nice pop. It will be important to see how he stands up to a pounding.

    The Good:
    Rivers: Rivers is a star, I would not be surprised at all to see him break all the Chargers passing records before he is done. He was 5-6 on 3rd downs, which is HUGE. If he can maintain the drive, then our Defense doesn’t get worn out and we have the chance to put points on the score board. All in all and excellent outing for our premier signal caller, he ended the day with 10 completions in 15 attempts for 185, and 1 touch down.

    Volek: Played one of the best games I have seen him play in relief, before the end of the first half, Volek took the Chargers 80 yards in just over two minutes for the score. Volek ended his day with 7 completions in 9 attempts for 102 yards and a touchdown.

    Action Jackson: Is there anyone who does not think that Vincent Jackson is going to be a premier NFL wide receiver soon? This season should be a breakout, ‘Hey wolrd! Notice me!’ season for Jackson. The catch where he jumped up and caught the ball with one hand, in a very nonchalant manner was just sick! He continues to improve his game, his size and ability are something that can’t be ignored!

    Sproles: Is there anyone who thinks that Daren Sproles did not have a good night? He averaged 5.3 yards per carry, and caught 3 passes for 29 yards. But wait, that’s not all, we have more. Sproles completed the trifecta of Rs (Rushing, Receiving, and Returning), with a 32 yard kickoff return.

    Pass Blocking: I know many fans are not happy with the offensive line. There is always something we can see where one play this person does not do X right, the next play that person gives up a Y… But the Chargers gave up only one sack on the evening. A great improvement over the last preseason game where Rivers suffered 4 sacks in the first quarter alone.

    Wide Receivers: What can I say, our receivers are good. Chambers for instance only made one catch but it was a good one for 18 yards. What it showed me was that our receivers are running good routes and can go up for the balls. That is special because we don’t force the passers to thread the needle, Rivers, and Volek can throw the ball up and allow them to go up and get the ball. The passing game looked like it was in regular season form!

    Floyd: Dear Norv, can we please get Malcom some more playing time? Floyd made a great catch and landed on his arm and side in an awkward manner in the first quarter. He left the field and I thought perhaps he could be done, but he is tougher than that! He came back and made some good catches in the second half including a catch for a touchdown with 1:11 left in the half. The play was reviewed but the evidence was inconclusive and the call was upheld. Floyd continued his great game in the second half, hauling in a third down conversion from Volek. Floyd finished the game with 4 receptions for 56 yards, and a touchdown.

    Bennett: Rushing was Ok, but on the screen he is a monster! On the TD catch by Bennett he could have gone down to an ankle tackle but kept his feet moving and was able to stay in bounds and take it to the end zone for 6. Bennett ended the evening being the leading receiver on the evening and the second leading rusher.

    Third down conversion: While I do not like the 3rd and long situations, the Chargers were simply spectacular on 3rd down conversions. Keep the drives alive and keep the opposing offense off the field, what more can you ask for?


    Notes: The first roster cut down will occur on Tuesday, September 1st. Players will be cut to bring the roster down to 72 players. Four days later, on the 5th will be the cuts down to a 53 man roster.
     
  2. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    Pass Rush and Run Blocking, the reasons I'm REALLY worried about them is that these are issues that have continued through last year into this pre-season without a noticeable difference. And I'm getting more and more concerned
     
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Very Senior Member

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    I thought they cut to 75 Tuesday and to 53 the next week?

    Great write up Conc.
     
  4. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    You are right... Thanks!
     
  5. foober

    foober BoltTalker

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    I agree. It will hurt us big time loosing Vj and sproles to free agency. I'd even cut LT to keep sproles now. LT will be not be as effecitive as sproles I'm guessing from here on. And keep; bennett or another fast back. Hester, talbot, and johnson are just too slow of foot to be rb's in the nfl. Hester is a good fullback. And thats all he should be.
     
  6. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    It is one thing to be concerned, so long as you remember it is preseason and they are not going to be showing the opposition a lot.
     
  7. Lightning's Girl

    Lightning's Girl Mod Chick =) Staff Member Moderator

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    Excellent analysis, Conc.

    Any chance of you meeting up with our DC and talking to him about losing the zone defense??:no: (That's one of my pet peeves......)
     
  8. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    I think that is slim and none. But you never know...
     
  9. Lightning's Girl

    Lightning's Girl Mod Chick =) Staff Member Moderator

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    We can always hope........

    It's not even 9 PM, and I'm exhausted. Always happens when I play the games myself, yanno?
     
  10. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Right there with you on that one. Good night!:tup:
     
  11. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    Nice write up Conc, but our starting D-line didn't start this game. I just hope it's gets better from here on out.
     
  12. BeerGuy

    BeerGuy BoltTalker

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    The 1st team offense played well.

    The pass rush seemed anemic.

    I wouldn't worry all that much based on what I saw.
     
  13. RipTheJacker

    RipTheJacker Well-Known Member

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    1 - Rivers is the man
    2 - VJ is a stud, and looking like the 2nd best player on our offense, if not team
    3 - Gartrell is patheticly slow and weak, he has no place on this team
     
  14. megold0715

    megold0715 Well-Known Member

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    cant believe it came down to anoher last play in the back of the endzone i cant take these games all season ill tell ya that fo shure
     
  15. Helljumper

    Helljumper BoltTalker

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    Great write-up. I agree with basically everything you said.

    It was kind of depressing to see another last second loss but overall, there were a lot of good signs from the game (especially from the first unit).
     
  16. Chargers-Superhero

    Chargers-Superhero Just win the Damn SB !!!

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    I didn't like the rushing attack we had. It was very weak, except that big run by Johnson in the 2nd half. If LT goes down we are F**KED in the run this year. I don't care what anybody says, I just don't see it in Hester. Didn't last year, and don't see it this year so far. He needs major improvement IMO. I think he's too small for a blocking back.

    That last drive on defense was horrible. 4th down and they let Redmen throw a TD pass with seconds left. I don't care if it was the 2nd and 3rd string. That last drive by the Falcons should not have happened that way.

    Did anybody notice that Jammer dropped 2 INT's, and Gregory dropped a INT?? All 3 passes were by Ryan. It would have been great if we got those INT's. Matt Ryan didn't play as good as his stats showed, or what the ESPN announcers said on Sportscenter.
     
  17. Alpenbolt

    Alpenbolt BoltTalker

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    Yep. New season but same problems as last year at this point. We have beef issues.
     
  18. Alpenbolt

    Alpenbolt BoltTalker

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    Did anyone notice Cro's "tackle" attempt on that first TD by the Falcons? Man, unbelievable.

    But he did knock a reciever out of the game later. That was a BS call on him though. They really are taking all of the fun out of football. Who would want to be a defensive player in this league anymore?

    Thing that seems missing from the defense (besides the obvious lack of passrush) is swarming to the ball. First guy gets to the ball carrier but there seems to be little followup. Would like to see 3 or 4 guys arrive shortly after that first hit is made.
     
  19. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    Exactly what I thought, a flashback to the Panthers game last season.

    Did you forget are were you all waiting on me to mention the WIDE LEFT?

    Now is 49 yards considered out of his range this week? I know his range changes daily for some of you. I didn't see any rain in the dome, so I am trying to figure out what excuse that you may use. Maybe humidity? :icon_shrug:
     
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  20. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    Kaeding missed a 49 yard field goal in the preseason, we may as well write off the season and hand the division to the Chiefs.
     
  21. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    I was not happy with the last minuet loss but the young guy's do have to learn just how quick you can get burned.
     
  22. Boltergeist

    Boltergeist BoltTalker

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    I was all-in-all pretty happy with the performance last night...Particularly the starters on defense.....missing Jamal Williams....versus that high octane Falcon offense which will give any team a problem.

    -Given that big Jamal wasn't in the lineup, I thought the run D was OK....Turner didn't steamroll through our defense...I think at the half he was under 4 YPC......This is a team with a very good, physical offensive front....good QB....the most physical back in the game....good wideouts...and now one of the game's top 3 pass catching TE's. Very tough matchup when you are playing in mostly a base, vanilla D without blitzing much..if at all.

    -Not worried about our pass rush......Other teams are blitzing a lot more than we are with the first units....We are holding stuff back.....I think we have some extremly athletic pass rushers on this team...and when the real games start....the dogs will be unleashed.....Remember 2006? Not much going on as far as pre-season pressure.....then the Foley incident occurred right before the season and for many of us it was doom and gloom that our key bookend was taken away from us......Then we unleashed fury in the pass rush like no other Chargers team in history during the regular season.......It's coming boys....September 14, the dawgs will be unleashed. You can trust me on that one...and feel free to call me out on it if I am wrong.

    -Kevin Burnett was awesome and all over the place AGAIN. I can't wait to see his impact on our regular season defense when we open the playbook.

    -I think Gregory should start over Hart. Solid tackler...I like that.

    -Speaking of solid tackling....Cromartie should take notes on how Cason wraps up and brings people down. I'm convinced that Cromartie will be playing somewhere else in the future and Cason is going to take his job.....and frankly, I'm fine with that right now based on what I'm seeing. Cason is going to be a legit CB in this league.

    -Rivers and WR's were great last night. I'll give our OL a break also as they were definitely improved from a week ago. I've concluded that we're not going to have a top tier OL...but if that group can at least be average in both pass and run blocking....this offense will continue to be lethal.

    -I don't know what to make of Gartrell Johnson. I have my doubts he is going to make the team now....Conversly, is there any doubt now that Michael Bennet will make the team? He's emerged as a good third option for us. A little worried about both of our FB's...Hester hasn't impressed.

    -Something tells me we are going to lead the league in screen passes this year....We have the NFL's best trio of backs for that IMO....LT and Sproles are just lethal in the flat.
     
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  23. in_a_days

    in_a_days dgaf

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    Interestingly enough I thought the starting d-line played better last night with Castillo, Scott, and Nwagbuo, than previously with Williams and Martin starting. And I certainly don't think Scott is a better NT that Jamal. Methinks Mr. Martin has a long LONG way to go before he's even going to be a reliable backup.

    Also Vasquez showed marked improvement. He was playing much more instinctively and was crucial on several of the screen plays we ran. Clary was also improved, just not quite as drastically.

    Oh yeah, and Hester continues to cement his status as unimpressive, both with the ball and attempting to lead block.
     
  24. Eat My Boltage

    Eat My Boltage Well-Known Member

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    I think it way to soon to fully tell how everything will pan out. Oh and I hear Marlina is a guy.:lol:
     
  25. Scott the Rock

    Scott the Rock BoltTalker

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    You pretty much nailed it on all accounts. I have to say, I agree that Cro is a piece of garbage tackler. HE reminds me of Deon Sanders. He's great when the ball is in the air but if its on the ground he's like a girl. F'n hit or wrap up the ball carrier. It's like its not his job to tackle. He's just there to make interceptions. I really wouldn't a give two sh*ts if he was gone. The O line was fine and so was the D line. People are paniking. It's preseason. The one thing I was really watching was the kickoff coverage. It was better. Seriously people, your worried about are runnibg back situation? Were fine. I only hope Merriman believes in himself because we need him.
     
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  26. Chargers-Superhero

    Chargers-Superhero Just win the Damn SB !!!

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    I did notice Cro's side arm "swipe" at the guy. If he went for the tackle at his legs, he could have stopped him short of the goal line. Weak effort by him. If that happens in the regular season, then I would sit his *** on the bench for the rest of the game.
     
  27. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    I don't doubt that will be discussed in Monday meetings, with the above warning in the firmest of tones. Overall, the first team looked better. Other teams seem to be running season packages against us. We are staying bland and not revealing much of anything. My adopted boy VJ is impressing the hell out of me.
     
  28. ntman68

    ntman68 Well-Known Member

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    Gartrell continues to be the biggest disappointment to me. I guess I had my hopes too high based on what I saw from him in college. He just looks flat out there, almost like he is overwhelmed by the speed of the game. Bummer.
     
  29. Dublin Bolt

    Dublin Bolt BoltTalker

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    Just watched the game this afternoon on NFL Network replay. I hated how we got ourselves into all the 3rd and longs, having said that it was fantastic to watch Philip et al get us out of those holes time and time again.

    When it matters though I prefer to see 3rd and 3 or something not freakin 3rd and 18 or whatever.

    Loved the sure hands on our wideouts, Jam and Gregory need to get the gloves those guys have.

    Liked the look of Bennett too, never thought I'd be saying that when we picked him up last yr just to 'keep him away from the Broncos'. Funny how things turn out.

    Not bothered about the D at all (apart from a couple of dropped INTs) I expect we will see a much more aggressive pass rush when it matters.

    Like many have said Gartrell is headed for the PS at best, he might turn into something down the line once he knows how to beat someone cos he sure won't outrun anybody.

    Thought Vasquez did well considering. His block on the Bennett screen made the TD.

    Roll on Sept 14.
     
  30. coachmarkos

    coachmarkos BoltTalker

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    my thoughts:

    D-line did a nice job of containing Turner. He'd averaged something like 10 yds per coming into this game.

    No real pressure, true...but we only brought 4 really about 95% of the time. As opposed to atlanta who ran numerous blitzes.

    The OL looked much better, the sack was on Michael Bennet. As far as run blocking...meh. Wasn't it LT who said in a interview last week, that they only run like four running plays in a pre-season game.

    Agreed on Gartrell. He just doesn't look like he has it. I'm cheering for him, but it's not looking good.

    It was nice to see English on the field, got some good penetration.

    Rivers is straight up money.
     

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