San Diego Chargers (0-1) vs Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1)
1:00 PM Sunday September 18, 2016 Qualcomm Stadium
San Diego, California
The San Diego Chargers are fresh off a demoralizing loss at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs in which the Bolts had the game firmly in their grasp, but failed in the end. Talk of Coach McCoy and his stale play calling in the second half dominated the local headlines as the Chargers once again gave away a game in the fourth quarter.
It is time to move on, however. The game of football is about having a short memory and focusing on the task at hand. The team must regroup after the loss of Keenan Allen to a knee injury and they must focus their attention on a common goal. It is the coaches job to grasp this concept and implement it to a team that is in disarray. If Coach McCoy wants to keep his job with the team, his players must show more emotion on the field and get the job done.
This week the Chargers take on the Jacksonville Jaguars whom they have had success against in recent memory. It is the Chargers annual “White Hot Sunday” in which the fans are encouraged to wear nothing but white as a sign of unity to the team. Ironic coming from a franchise that has been nothing but disloyal to the community of San Diego for quite some time. Never the less Chargers fans will be out in full force and this will be one of the few home games that truly feels like that. Division games are another story these days, in particular when the Broncos come to town.
Chargers on offense
With the loss of Keenan Allen someone needs to step up and this man is the likely one to do it. He has shown flashes of brilliance in his short time with the team and now it will be up to him to fine tune his craft. Philip Rivers needs to have confidence in this young man so I expect him to be force-fed the ball a lot. The best way for him to gain much-needed experience is by being thrown into the fire. Hopefully the young man can respond positively.
Another one who should benefit from the loss of Allen, is Benjamin. The speedy wideout was unable to get into much open space last week against the Chiefs. He was contained on almost all the plays intended for him. Expect the Chargers to try to get him the ball downfield to stretch the defense out a bit. Also look for Benjamin to have a positive factor on special teams where he could be the difference maker on a kick or punt return.
What can be said about this young man who has been stated. He looks like a much different runner now. Perhaps the time with Adrian Peterson in the offseason helped him understand the game better. He is hitting the hole with authority now and at the same time has shown incredible patience while waiting for things to develop in front of him. He should have another big game against a Jaguars unit that has typically struggled stopping the run.
Chargers on defense
Contain the Jags aerial attack
The Jaguars have some very potent weapons for Blake Bortles to utilize. Allen Robinson is one of the best young receivers in the game and Allen Hurns is a nice complement to him. The Jags also have Julius Thomas and Marcedes Lewis as their tight ends. Both are a handful to contain off the line. Look for the Chargers linebackers and safeties to be very busy on Sunday covering tight ends and running backs out of the backfield.
If the Chargers want a chance in this game they must get some pressure on the young QB. He has a very young line that gave up three sacks last week to the Packers. The Chargers will probably feature a few exotic blitz packages as they look to throw a couple of new looks at Bortles. Melvin Ingram and Jeremiah Attaochu will look to have a good game against the Jaguars line.
Stopping T.J. Yeldon out of the backfield will be their main job. Last week the duo was torn apart by Chiefs running back Spencer Ware for seven catches to the tune of 129 yards. Te’o in particular has had constant issues covering backs out of the backfield on receiving plays. Perryman was quiet in the first game but should come out very intense in front of the home crowd.
Matchups to watch
Verrett on Robinson
As mentioned Robinson is a handful and he will likely be shadowed by Jason Verrett. The young DB will be up for the task and you can be certain that the Jaguars will spread the ball around the offense. Verrett should be able to contain Robinson for the most part but he will need some improved play from his safeties in order to completely stop the talented young receivers. This will be a fun matchup to watch.
Derek Watt on Jags LB’s
The Jaguars have two solid inside linebackers in Paul Posluszny and Telvin Smith. Both stop the run really well and are always in the running lanes trying to make tackles. Rookie fullback Derek Watt will have a huge task as he will be needed to block these guys and open up holes for Gordon. A successful running game will be needed if the Chargers are planning on getting their first win of the season on Sunday.
The Chargers will struggle at some point in this game. Like all things in San Diego Sports, nothing comes easy… but the Chargers squeak out a late victory 31-30