The Los Angeles Chargers exist on a cycle. A cycle of fixed hope, pleasure, then a disappointing trek all the way down to actuality, despair, then apathy. Take this yr for instance. The group added an thrilling new offensive coordinator in Kellen Moore, lastly acquired defensive stalwarts Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack absolutely wholesome, and eventually appeared to have sufficient to claim themselves on the prime of the AFC.
By means of two weeks, the sobering journey to actuality is already beginning. The Chargers are 0-2 and coming off an time beyond regulation loss to a Tennessee Titans group that regarded offensively moribund. Los Angeles has additionally discovered methods to lose regardless of having what seemingly is likely one of the most effective offenses in the whole league to this point:
Prime-5 offenses primarily based on success fee (much less weight on turnovers and explosive performs) by means of two weeks earlier than MNF:
29. Panthers (1 recreation)
— Sheil Kapadia (@SheilKapadia) September 18, 2023
Much more embarrassing is the truth that of all of the groups to lose within the methods the Chargers have to start the season, none of them have been pretty much as good on paper as this group has been. It’s not solely shedding at this level, however the Chargers are a meme in itself, and when given a possibility to defeat the meme, Chargering turns into stronger and stronger:
The Chargers are the thirty third group within the Tremendous Bowl period (since 1966) with 50+ factors and 0 turnovers by means of 2 video games
They’re the one group to begin 0-2
— Doug Clawson (@doug_clawson) September 17, 2023
Nevertheless, the persistence is carrying skinny, particularly on the prime of the chain. Moore was introduced in to vary the offense and make it extra environment friendly, and that has been true. The offense seems totally different and thru two video games, and for the higher occasionally. By means of two weeks they’ve been extra environment friendly on the bottom and never every thing has been so constrained, in contrast to the offense below Joe Lombardi. Nevertheless, this group goes off a cliff within the fourth quarter, inexplicably. In Sunday’s loss, the Titans have been capable of management the road of scrimmage, making it extraordinarily troublesome for them to generate any straightforward offense. Herbert additionally wasn’t one of the best in that quarter, with the offense turning into one-dimensional and so vertical that it created inefficiencies the Titans took benefit of:
UPDATE: Replace: #Chargers Justin Herbert had FOUR straight possessions to win this recreation within the 4th quarter/OT with a TD:
Possession 1: Punt
Possession 2: Punt
Possession 3: FG
Possession 4 (OT): Punt
— Dan W. (@DanWSports) September 17, 2023
Nevertheless, we have now acquired to speak in regards to the protection. The facet of the ball that head coach Brandon Staley is an knowledgeable on. As a result of by means of two video games, they’ve been extraordinarily poor in each the run recreation and the passing recreation. In Week 1, the Dolphins threw for 466 yards in a 36-34 victory over the Chargers, however that may be excused as a result of the Dolphins appear to be one of the best offense within the NFL proper now. Towards Tennessee, although, they regarded misplaced once more within the passing recreation, permitting a number of huge performs within the secondary regardless of sacking Ryan Tannehill 5 occasions. The Chargers allowed two passing performs of over 50 yards downfield, permitting the Titans to be explosive in methods they simply weren’t projected to be this season.
Ultimately, somebody has to pay the invoice for all of the inventory being thrown within the Chargers yr over yr. Final yr it was OC Joe Lombardi, however the way in which issues are trying now, the protection and fourth quarter meltdowns appear to be the issues, and that comes again to 1 man: head coach Brandon Staley. Staley designed this protection to restrict explosive performs passing, however by means of two video games this yr, the Chargers protection has performed every thing however that. It’s an issue once you’re consistently placing your QB within the place to must play hero ball as a result of a protection (one which has a number of excessive draft picks and massive cash guys on it by the way in which) is struggling to defend the cross. It’s a fools’ recreation to say the Chargers are performed after two video games within the season, however it’s not trying fairly on the facet of the ball Staley stated he was going to repair. The group has expertise sure, however they’re skinny and nonetheless prone to main protection busts, which matches again to teaching. The fourth quarter blown leads and poor play comes again to poor preparation and failure to regulate, and that lies on the person carrying the headset.
Once more, it’s very early within the season, and the Chargers might find yourself superb. Nevertheless, Brandon Staley must determine it out with this protection, or the Chargers will transfer on from him faster than a bolt of lightning.