The Los Angeles Chargers exist on a cycle. A cycle of fixed hope, pleasure, then a disappointing trek right down to actuality, despair, then apathy. Take this 12 months for instance. The group added an thrilling new offensive coordinator in Kellen Moore, lastly bought defensive stalwarts Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack absolutely wholesome, and eventually appeared to have sufficient to say themselves on the prime of the AFC.
Via two weeks, the sobering journey to actuality is already beginning. The Chargers are 0-2 and coming off an extra time 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 your complete league to date:
Prime-5 offenses primarily based on success price (much less weight on turnovers and explosive performs) via 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 via 2 video games
They’re the one group to begin 0-2
— Doug Clawson (@doug_clawson) September 17, 2023
Nevertheless, the endurance is carrying skinny, particularly on the prime of the chain. Moore was introduced in to alter the offense and make it extra environment friendly, and that has been true. The offense seems to be totally different and thru two video games, and for the higher now and again. Via two weeks they’ve been extra environment friendly on the bottom and never every part has been so constrained, not like the offense beneath Joe Lombardi. Nevertheless, this group goes off a cliff within the fourth quarter, inexplicably. In Sunday’s loss, the Titans have been in a position to management the road of scrimmage, making it extraordinarily tough for them to generate any straightforward offense. Herbert additionally wasn’t the very 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’ve got bought to speak in regards to the protection. The facet of the ball that head coach Brandon Staley is an professional on. As a result of via 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 the very best offense within the NFL proper now. Towards Tennessee, although, they regarded misplaced once more within the passing recreation, permitting a number of large performs within the secondary regardless of sacking Ryan Tannehill 5 instances. The Chargers allowed two passing performs of over 50 yards downfield, permitting the Titans to be explosive in methods they only weren’t projected to be this season.
Ultimately, somebody has to pay the invoice for all of the inventory being thrown within the Chargers 12 months over 12 months. Final 12 months 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 via two video games this 12 months, the Chargers protection has executed every part however that. It’s an issue while 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 large cash guys on it by the way in which) is struggling to defend the move. It’s a fools’ recreation to say the Chargers are executed 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 inclined to main protection busts, which fits 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.