Forgive me if this sounds like a re-run, but the San Diego Chargers lost another game they should have won.
I don’t know how big of a role King Dunlap played in the early dominance against Kansas City or how much credit he deserved in the Jacksonville beat-down, but the big left tackle was unavailable for Sunday’s game against Indianapolis due to an illness. And coincidentally or not, Chargers RB Melvin Gordon ended up averaging only 2.2 yards per carry (he averaged nearly 4.2 YPC in the first two games).
I didn’t note it in last week’s game review, but when I was looking through some team statistics I noticed that Chargers had allowed only 152 combined yards rushing through two games (while rushing for 150+ yards in each of those games themselves).
That statistic however was tempered by the fact that they were allowing 5.1 yards per attempt. The Chargers were getting gashed by the run but weren’t being exposed to a lot of rushing attempts because they were playing with a lead and teams were passing. This week we got the opposite situation. The Chargers “held” the Colts to 3.6 yards per attempt and only 93 total yards rushing but the Colts frequently gashed the Chargers D-Line and kept the defense off-balance.
Then, on offense, the Chargers team hurt themselves by having open receivers drop passes. Uncharacteristically, Philip Rivers got in on the fun and missed open targets. There was plenty of blame to go around. The offense looked like a team that was missing two of its top three WR’s, two of its top three RB’s, its Hall of Fame security-blanket TE, and the aforementioned starting left tackle. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to be pleased with such a competitive showing. But every team deals with injuries and in fact the Colts on Sunday were working with a patch-work O-Line and they got it done.
Speaking of injuries, the Chargers appear to have lost team captain Manti Te’o to an Achilles injury. It hasn’t been confirmed yet, but reports are that the team believes this to be the situation. Rookie ILB, Jatavis Brown played quite well. It would be surprising if he wasn’t the starter for the rest of the season. Fellow rookie ILB, Joshua Perry played earlier in the season but was inactive against Indy. He’ll figure to be a key backup for the rest of the season.
Another thing I mentioned last week, “The next thing I want to highlight is penalties. The Chargers have been very disciplined so far this season having committed only eight penalties in two combined games.” After committing eight penalties in the first two games, the Chargers committed 10 against Indy, five of those penalties resulted in first downs for the Colts. So much for disciplined play. Though admittedly the Chargers were on the wrong end of at least two very questionable calls.
To the positive, the Chargers should finally reveal their first round draft pick, Joey Bosa, next week against New Orleans. Additionally, Dunlap and Gates should play as well.
Thanks for reading.