Chargers/Falcons: Week 7 Game Analysis

Credit: AP Photo

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Credit: Getty Images

Let me quote what I said about Joey Bosa after the San Diego Chargers drafted him:

Joey Bosa has been compared to J.J. Watt and while I have repeatedly said that comparison is unfair to both players, I’ve said that Bosa compares more accurately to Seattle’s Michael Bennett. However, the more I think about it, the more I think the J.J. Watt comparison actually works…and no, one reason won’t be because they’re both white.

Bosa played DE in college at 285 lbs. He slimmed down because there was chatter about his potential as a 3-4 OLB. Now that he’s a 3-4 DE he’ll go right back to 285 and since he’s only 20 years old (he’ll turn 21 in July) he’ll add more weight as his body continues to mature. Within a year or two he’ll be playing at about 290-295 (which coincidence, is about the same as Watt).

But here is where the comparison gets good. What makes J.J. great is his athleticism, work ethic, hand-violence…Bosa’s dad & uncle co-owned a gym. Bosa literally grew up in a weight room. He loves to work. Listen to him talk about his DL coach, Larry Johnson (who by the way, also coached Tamba Hali), and what he (Bosa) learned about hand placement and technique.

Watch the tape and remember that J.J.Watt wasn’t “J.J.Watt” coming out of college. Bosa was a legend before his junior season started.

Another way Bosa and Watt match up: Normally a really good 3-4 DE, such as Corey Luiget, won’t get many sacks. Bosa, however, fits the J.J. Watt & Malik Jackson mold of 3-4 DE, the sort with elite pass-rushing skills. ProFootballFocus.com rates Bosa as the #1 collegiate pass-rushing DE and #1 collegiate run-stopping DE over the past 2 years. How is that not a home run?

Joey Bosa and Brandon Mebane dominated this game. The Falcons talented RBs, Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, combined for 122 yards rushing on 23 carries. But most of those big chunks came when Bosa and Mebane had rotated off the field. The Chargers want to keep both players fresh, so these situations will happen. By the way, is Joey Bosa the front-runner for Defensive Rookie of the Year yet? Bosa got two more sacks tonight. Bosa shares the rookie sacks lead with Jacksonville’s Yannick Ngakoue at 4.0. Ngakoue has played six games however, compared to Bosa’s three.

Another defensive standout in this game was Denzel Perryman. He had seven tackles (six solo) including the TFL on 4th down in overtime. He also had an interception and a pass defended. All this despite rotating on and off the field due to various “minor” injuries. Perryman is a gamer.

Credit: AP Photo
Credit: AP Photo

Kicker Josh Lambo deserves special recognition as well. Obviously, any player who scores the winning points will receive a lot of credit, but Lambo was 4/4 in field goals and 3/3 in extra point conversions. He also kicked every kickoff deep to avoid kick returns. Lambo was special on Sunday and I hope he received a game ball.

Another game ball recipient (if I was passing them out) would be Melvin Gordon. Gordon leads all non-kickers in scoring (his 60 points leads LeGarrette Blount by 12). Against the Falcons, Gordon scored three touchdowns; two rushing, one receiving. He got some key first downs and tough yards when the team needed him.

While pointing out the good is fun, I would be intellectually dishonest if I failed to recognize Chargers’ failings as well. The Chargers continue to shoot themselves in the foot by failing to play smart football. In the 2nd Quarter, after a Falcons TD, Atlanta’s Matt Bosher kicked off. The ball was veering towards the out-of-bounds line but San Diego’s Griff Whalen tried to catch the ball. Unfortunately, as he reached the ball, he mistimed the catch and it bounced off him out-of-bounds at the SD eight yard line. Whalen should have followed the ball towards the boundary, but he never should have fielded it. If the ball went out of bounds, the Chargers would have received the ball in good field position. If it bounced into the end zone he could down it for a touchback. This was a huge mistake. And while it was a player’s mistake, these type of mistakes keep happening, and that is on the coaching staff.

I still think McCoy is overmatched, but I have to give credit where credit is due. And the team played well, particularly in the 2nd half, which is not what they have done throughout the season.

Thanks for reading.

@PickinBolts

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Peter Friberg
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