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Chargers Fan

Why Defensive Injuries will keep Chargers out of Playoffs. posted by Chargers Fan

The chargers have the highest percentage of touchdowns allowed in the Red Zone in the NFL. That is not a playoff caliber team. That means not only are the Chargers giving up points, they are letting offenses sustain drives, which eats up clock, energy, and manpower. The Chargers can make the playoffs, but that means they have to be good again on defense, and that starts with getting healthy.

But the Chargers have the bye week to regroup and assess it’s gaping holes on defense. It shouldn’t be too hard as the Chargers, as late as five games into the season, where dominating on the defensive side of the ball. The rushed the passer, stuffed the run, had take-aways, and shut receivers down.

In fact, they led the NFL is scoring defense. They man handled Arizona, left the defending Super Bowl champs in the dust, and had their way with the Buffalo Bills as they notched a shut-out, the definition of a complete defensive performance.

But that only worked because the Chargers had youthful speed and depth to constantly rotate in and keep offenses on their heels. Rookie Jerry Attaochu is able to speed around tackles and get to the quarterback in no time. Rookie Jason Verrett with a sub 4.4 40 speed can keep up with any receiver in the league but also has the bulk to come up and stuff the run from the outside. Manti Te’o’s ability to read the line allows him to fill running gaps better than anyone in the league.

But all of that talent is of no use when all of the players sit watching the games from the sidelines for long periods of time.

Continue reading "Why Defensive Injuries will keep ..."

Dolphins Fan

What Lamar Miller’s Injury means for the Dolphin run game posted by Dolphins Fan

If you thought the Miami Dolphins were in dire straits at the running back position when they lost Knowshon Moreno with a season ending injury, things got even worse when Lamar Miller left the San Diego game with an injury.

This is a make or break moment for the Dolphins as they will have to dig deep into their roster for production on the ground.

Miami has struggled this year but the one lone bright spot has been their run game, averaging almost 130 yards a game. It was a constant, and a point of stability for an otherwise struggling offense. Moreno and Miller work a great one, two duo.

Miller was having a breakout season, setting a career high in rushing touchdowns when he got his third in Week 6 against the Packers. He averaged more than five yards per carry in three of the first four games and ran for a career-best 108 yards on 15 carries in Week 3 against the Chiefs. 

The fourth round pick was on pace for 200 carries and more than 1,000 yards, both of which would be career highs. But now with both of these work horses out, the odds of maintaining that level of production is quite unlikely.

 So now the offense falls on the arm of quarterback, Ryan Tannehill. He hasn’t been electric but now he will to step up. If there was ever a moment to solidify oneself as the framchise quarterback for this team, the quarterback to build a team around for years and years to come, this is that moment.

If Tannehill can navigate the rest of this season relatively unscathed, he will get amazing on the job training in shouldering an entire offense. He will build the confidence of his teammates that

Continue reading "What Lamar Miller’s Injury means ..."


Lions Fan

Why the Lions cannot overlook the Dolphins. posted by Lions Fan

With a restful bye-week, the Lions square off against the Miami. The Dolphins, many people may not think so, but are a very dangerous team, most recently showcased by their 37-0 route of the San Diego Chargers last week.

Ryan Tannehill is a highly accurate quarterback who can shred defenses with a barrage of crossing routes or beat you with his legs. Something the Lions need to game plan for.

Now the Lions have an excellent run defense and they will needto be more eye disciplined than ever as Tannehill runs read-options. They must stay on their assignments, linebackers and defensive ends must be disciplined and not overrun their assignments as they follow the ball through the mesh point so that Tannehill doesn’t slip out of the pocket and gash them with chunk yardage on the ground, which while is devastating from a yardage stabd point, is also demoralizing when a quarterback is eating up yardage on the ground.

On the other side of the ball, the Dolphins have a great pash rush and Lions’ right tackle Waddle will need to play his very best in order to give Stafford time to get the ball out to their playmakers.

One way to combat an effective pass rush are quick screens and short hot routes. Something the Lions naturally do well, so look to them to start their tempo with high percentage, quick release passes.

This is in no way a ‘gimme’ win for Detriot and they will need to play their very best if they stand a chance to win. Odds makers only have them favored by a few points so it’s going to be a dog fight. Hopefully with the returning healthy starters back in the line up, it will give the Lions offense a much needed boost.

Continue reading "Why the Lions cannot overlook the Dolphins."


Chargers Fan

The 2014 San Diego Chargers posted by Chargers Fan

The San Diego Chargers were able to sneak in the postseason with a 9-7 record last year. Quarterback Philip Rivers looked like a goner before the start of the 2013 season as he had a career-low 6.8 YPA while surrendering 16 interceptions. But he was able to turn things around with the improved offensive line of the Chargers.

The Chargers have baffled many by their poor blocking in years. With the signing of King Dunlap last year as well as the drafting of D.J. Fluker, the Chargers were able to improve their offensive line. Fluker played well in his rookie year while Dunlap was a key acquisition surrendering only three sacks the past year.

The Chargers also boast of two solid interior linemen in Chad Rinehart and Nick Hardwick. Pedestrian Jeromey Clary will be challenged by rookie Chris Watt at right guard, and this would only improve the offense of the Chargers.

Rivers will also be looking to throw to sophomore Keenan Allen who compiled 71 receptions, eight touchdowns and 1,046 yards in his rookie season.  But Allen is pretty much what the Chargers have at receiver as Malcom Floyd is coming off an injury and Vincent Brown remains a project.

The Chargers defense has a lot of holes to be filled. The team was 23rd in the league in yards allowed, 29th in pass defense, and 27th in rush defense. But the defense should improve this year with the return of Melvin Ingram. The best pass-rusher in the team, Ingram was out for the first part of the season with a torn ACL.

But the Chargers’ defensive front and linebackers will also need to perform well if the team hopes to book a second straight playoff appearance.

Continue reading "The 2014 San Diego Chargers"


Joe Anello

Black Monday 2012: The Aftermath posted by Joe Anello

Black Monday was billed to be one of the worst/busiest in the NFL’s history, and it certainly lived up to that hype on the eve of the New Year. A whopping seven head coaches were fired on Monday, with a few fates to be possibly determined at a later date. Included in the dismissals were a number of general managers. Let’s wrap around the league!

Philadelphia Eagles fire HC Andy Reid

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie made a difficult decision in letting go his franchise’s winningest head coach, but it was the right one. Reid’s message had been lost in the later of his 14 years on the job. He’s still a fantastic head coach, but it was time for everyone to move. Reid could land somewhere like Arizona, but we’ve already heard that San Diego won’t be interested. Philly sounds like its leaning towards a coach with legitimate experience that can come in and quickly turn things around. This firing was probably a year too late, to be fair.

Chicago Bears fire HC Lovie Smith

Check back for an in-depth analysis of this coaching move. 

San Diego Chargers fire GM A.J. Smith and HC Norv Turner

Speaking of firings a year too late, this pair of “winners” shouldn’t have been allowed to be on the San Diego staff for 2012. Turner’s already being mentioned as a possible OC for a number of openings, the most notable of which is in NY for the Jets. But he’s likely rebuffed them already, per the Jets’ usual. Smith was a volatile front office guy, something that should have gotten him canned years ago. He let most of this team’s “immense talent” fall by the wayside or leave via free agency.

Continue reading "Black Monday 2012: The Aftermath"


Joe Anello

The Opening Drive: Week 16, 2012 posted by Joe Anello

Week 16 in the NFL season has arrived! With two weeks left in the season, I don’t need to tell you how important these games are for those teams still in the hunt. It’s time to get into all the storylines in The Opening Drive!

(12-2) Atlanta Falcons at

(4-10) Detroit Lions

Saturday night football has arrived! And it’s… relatively meaningless. The Falcons are very close to locking down their one seed (only need one win) and the Lions could be another embarrassing loss away from blowing things up. This could be an entertaining (but non-competitive) contest to open the week.

(6-8) New Orleans Saints at

(8-6) Dallas Cowboys

I’ve already seen a LOT of coverage for this game, which only features one possible playoff participant. The Cowboys can win the division if they win their final two games, and that starts with an interesting match-up against the Saints. Drew Brees won’t take it light on a Dallas secondary that has been hit-or-miss this year. But I think the Saint defense won’t play as well as it appeared to last week versus the Bucs.

(5-9) San Diego Chargers at

(6-8) New York Jets

Wait. There has to be a reason I put this game on the list. THE GREG MCELROY ERA HAS BEGUN! But honestly, I don’t know if any of the Jets’ quarterbacks will be on the roster next season. And the Chargers? They’re a train wreck. AND I LOVE IT.

Continue reading "The Opening Drive: Week 16, 2012"


Joe Anello

The Opening Drive: Week 12, 2012 posted by Joe Anello

With Thanksgiving taking up time with travel, family, and friends, I decided to forgo the now-typical Thursday posting of The Opening Drive. But don’t worry, week 12 in the NFL still has a few games worth checking out this weekend!

(6-4) Seattle Seahawks at

(4-6) Miami Dolphins

Wait, am I liking Seattle on the road? That’s a switch. Miami’s been disappointing in its last few outings, so another loss essentially eliminates them from the postseason picture. If Seattle can pound on Miami’s front seven with Marshawn Lynch, Russell will likely see his receivers in single coverage on the outside against lesser corners. That’s a recipe for success.

(9-1) Atlanta Falcons at

(6-4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Game of the day. Tampa Bay’s offense has been nearly dominant as of late, and they’re matching up against an Atlanta defense that can’t halt the run with any regularity. Doug Martin could be in line for a ridiculously awesome fantasy stat line today. Get him in your starting line-up. I really like the Bucs are home here.

(8-2) Baltimore Ravens at

(4-6) San Diego Chargers

I appreciate everyone thinking the Ravens are weak enough that they could travel across the country to San Diego... after a Sunday night game… against the always physical Steelers… and lose. Wait, I may have just talked myself into taking the Chargers. Wait, I’m taking the Chargers? Screw that noise. They’re terrible.

Continue reading "The Opening Drive: Week 12, 2012"


Joe Anello

The Final Drive: Week 8, 2012 posted by Joe Anello

Week eight in the NFL brought disaster upon several supposed contenders and cleared up the divisional pictures.  A few days late or not, we can’t have a week go by without an edition of The Final Drive!

(3-4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers 36

(5-3) Minnesota Vikings 17

I guess the Vikings aren’t ready to be contenders just yet. Falling at home against a team on short rest and traveling for a Thursday night game? Thursday nights are built for the home team to get a win, but the Vikings failed to produce points. I put most of that on Christian Ponder, who honestly just looked terrible. Credit the Buccaneers for never taking their foot off the gas in this one, especially when there were several opportunities to lose the momentum.

(2-6) Cleveland Browns 7

(3-4) San Diego Chargers 6

Wow. San Diego only managed to put up two field goals against a team that has severe scoring issues. So yeah, I’d say Norv Turner’s job is in trouble. But where have I heard that before? Anyways, Cleveland really looks like a team that could be a legitimate contender in a few years if they stay on this track. Good for them.

(3-4) Detroit Lions 28

(4-4) Seattle Seahawks 24

Somehow Seattle’s defense took Calvin Johnson completely out of the game but let Titus Young and Brandon Pettigrew wreck them. The fact that those two pass-catchers stepped-up like they did gives more weight toward their possible development. Matthew Stafford had an outstanding game through the air, even managing to outshine Russell Wilson’s best game of the year. While the offensive signs should be encouraging for Seattle fans, the loss is still painful.

Continue reading "The Final Drive: Week 8, 2012"


Joe Anello

Reid and Turner back for 2012: Really? posted by Joe Anello

Black Monday came and went, but the coaching news continued on Tuesday with releases in Chicago and major retentions in San Diego and Philly. Were they the right moves? Let’s break ‘em down!

 

San Diego Chargers retain General Manager A.J. Smith and Head Coach Norv Turner

OH COME ON!!! I was finally ready to break-up the Turner/Philips romance. However, you can chalk up this stay of execution to a few select reasons. First, key players (i.e. Rivers) probably bitched enough to convince management that it would cause chemistry issues to change coaches. Second, who were they going to get that was even marginally better? Turner’s still got swagger when it comes to his offense, so I’m not sure who was out there (that would come to San Diego) that would be a marked improvement. Maybe Cowher or Gruden if they got extraordinarily lucky, but I’m sure they were rejected outright on those fronts. Finally, it’s the AFC West. A couple plays would have made the difference in getting the Chargers to the playoffs, so they don’t need to improve much to get there next year.

Right Call?

Fudge no. I’m sure team President Dean Spanos thought it’d easier to improve with continuity than an overhaul. I don’t care. I still think both of these guys needed to be put down. I’m still shocked they have their jobs. You let me down Dean.

 

Continue reading "Reid and Turner back for 2012: Really?"


Joe Anello

The Final Drive: Week 17, 2011-12 posted by Joe Anello

The 2011 NFL regular season ended with a bang with some great finishes and superb drama on Sunday. Records were set by a back-up QB, a team captain was benched for “quitting” and a fat-handed QB lost missed out on the post-season. The Final Drive must begin!

(15-1) Green Bay Packers 45
(10-6) Detroit Lions 41

This makes me beyond furious. Mike McCarthy takes out his MVP quarterback and starts a fourth year back-up with one career start in Matt Flynn, and f*cking records are broken. Six touchdowns? 480 yards? Who wouldn’t want to be Matt Flynn right now? That guy is about to make BANK as a free agent. Blow me Green Bay. Take your awesome quarterback development and blow me.

 

(6-10) Miami Dolphins 19
(8-8) New York Jets 17
Mark Sanchez: 3 interceptions. Santonio Holmes: benched and called out as a whiny quitter by his teammates.  (Seriously. Worst team captain ever.) Bart Scott: flips off a photographer and refuses to talk to the media (For once). Finally seeing theses loathsome Jets miss the playoffs is SO satisfying to me. Take it Rex Ryan. Take it hard.

(8-8) Philadelphia Eagles 34
(5-11) Washington Redskins 10

I don’t give a crap about the result of this game. What I do care about is DeSean Jackson deciding to actually play like he means it and be remorseful for his completely idiotic actions this season in the last game of the year. I’d be surprised (not stunned though) if the Eagles kept Jackson around. Maybe franchise him and get him on a one-year deal, but you would have thought he’d have been on better behavior once he showed up to 2011.

Continue reading "The Final Drive: Week 17, 2011-12"

San Diego Chargers News

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NFL Draft Watch: These eight teams could help shape the top of Round 1 (Shutdown Corner)

Anyone who has ever attempted to put together a mock draft knows that there are a handful of teams whose picks represent flashpoint moments in the draft. Think back to last year. The Jacksonville Jaguars taking Blake Bortles third overall was the first bolt out of the blue, and it helped set the table for the rest of the first round. Then there are the trades. The Cleveland Browns shifted up, down and around the first round (and elsewhere) and easily became one of the pivotal, first-round shaping teams last season. (Which is different from being effective drafters, but that's another point.) There are a handful of teams who can change the tide of Round 1 on April 30 — either by making surprising picks or by making moves up or down that could shift the landscape significantly. We might not know what the effect of these plate tectonics might be, but we certainly can see where the fault lines might lie. Here's a look at the teams that significantly could alter how the top of the draft is shaped: Tennessee Titans (No. 2 overall pick)  — Ken Whisenhunt's professed love for Marcus Mariota felt a little ingenuine to us, but we also can buy into the idea that Zach Mettenberger might not represent their vision of a franchise quarterback either.Those things are mutually exclusive. The second pick is for sale, but how high is their price? The Titans' biggest need — outside of quarterback, that is — is talent. Jim Schwartz used this line when he took over the 0-16 Detroit Lions, and we're going to steal it and stamp it here, too. The Titans are starting to forge the broad strokes of a decent front seven on defense, they have a few OK receivers and some offensive linemen worth working around. Other than that, it's an ugly roster. Depending on what they do, whether it's trade down, take Mariota or fall back on Leonard Williams, could help shape other teams' pursuit of quarterbacks in this draft. [All Draft News, All The Time: Follow Shutdown Draft 365 on Tumblr ] Washington Redskins (No. 5 overall pick)  — We like that the Redskins have been active in free agency, but not active in a "Daniel Snyder is crazy" kind of way. New GM Scot McCloughan is one of the keenest talent evaluators in the game, and he knows the value of picks. That's why we believe any team seeking to move up for Mariota (or whomever else) could really start in earnest at No. 5 overall. That's where the Redskins' pick should be for sale. Really, their needs don't quite sync up perfectly with the talent available, so a move down makes a ton of sense. If they stay put, is it an edge rusher? If so, which one? We assume they'll lean toward either Dante Fowler Jr. or Vic Beasley, whichever one the Jacksonville Jaguars do not take third. But the Redskins are a wildcard factor in the big picture for sure. Why else? Well, we also can't rule out them taking a quarterback. Ah, the Redskins — always fascinating. New York Jets (No. 6 overall pick) — They, too, will consider Mariota. The Jets are sending six key decision makers Saturday up to Oregon to meet with the quarterback and try to decide if he's worth their investment. Otherwise, they could be the trade-up destination for another team should he still be on the board at 6. And like the Redskins, the Jets have their eyes on the edge-rush candidates; that's the one clear thing (other than maybe a rangy safety) that their defense lacks at this point. Plus, it's a first-year general manager in Mike Maccagnan, so we don't have a great feel for what direction he might go. We've had various people connect them to Todd Gurley , too, which is fascinating. Is 6 too early for him? St. Louis Rams (No. 10 overall pick) — The Rams have drafted 28 players the past three seasons (including 13 of those picks in the first three rounds) and could stand to move up if they wanted. That said, they have a mere five selections in the draft, sending fourth- and sixth-round choices to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for safety Mark Barron. Sure, the Rams might be content at 10 and could have a choice offensive lineman — it's a need — fall into their laps, or they could even get lucky and be able to pick a top receiver, such as Amari Cooper or Kevin White, whichever one the Oakland Raiders pass on at 4. But Jeff Fisher's continual hinting that the Rams' QB picture is far from complete is intriguing, and it opens up the possibilities of what this team could do. Cleveland Browns (Nos. 12 and 19 overall picks) — Ah, yes, the Browns once again find themselves in the draft vortex as big players yet riding that line of insanity. There's a good bet that when it's all said and done, GM Ray Farmer might not end up making picks at 12 and 19. No team has more draft cache right now than the Browns, with their 10 overall picks, including additional fourth- and sixth-round picks to play with. What confuses the matter and might not be clear until next week is whether Farmer and Co. are docked a selection for the texting-from-the-booth incident (how Browns is that, by the way?) and if it's a mid-rounder that could change their plans. Are the Browns interested in Mariota? Would they move up? Down? Could they go completely off radar altogether? They certainly are a get-your-popcorn-ready team if there ever was one on April 30. New Orleans Saints (Nos. 13 and 31 overall picks) — The Saints own five of the top 78 picks, plus an additional fifth-rounder, amid a napalm job to half their roster — with the other half perhaps ready to be nuked as well. We've been told by league sources that the Saints "still have a big move or two" left in them, so we only can assume that they'll be big players when it comes to Round 1. The Jimmy Graham trade netted them No. 31 and the Kenny Stills deal (which we're still trying to figure out) got them another third-rounder. Everything's on the table, but we've heard they are going all in on revamping this defense and also looking to add a big receiver. The depth of the draft at those respective positions allows them to sit tight and take several good football players. But something tells us that fireworks might be afoot. They're not done blowing stuff up. Philadelphia Eagles (No. 20 overall) — There are a handful of other teams between 13 and 20, such as the Miami Dolphins or San Diego Chargers, that are capable of shaking things up. But there will be a virtual drumroll and a tangible buzz when the Eagles find themselves on the clock. And, of course, we have no freaking clue when that actually will be. Chip Kelly is making the call on these picks now, and for all we know he could trade every pick he has; we wouldn't put it past him. Needs? They still have plenty — secondary, offensive line pass rusher, maybe receiver — the Mariota talk won't go away. It would be a profound disappointment if they stood pat at 20 and took, say, Florida State C-OG Cameron Erving. Nothing against Erving, a player we like very much. It just wouldn't be a very Kelly-ish move, right? Baltimore Ravens (No. 26 overall) — The Ravens have 10 selections total, with extra fourth-, fifth- and sixth-round picks they can move, along with all of their own picks except in Round 7. (They also have three compensatory picks — one in Round 4, two in Round 5 — but those cannot be traded by league rules.) GM Ozzie Newsome has shown a propensity to deal, and he nailed trades up for Joe Flacco and Haloti Ngata, but not wantonly, either. Newsome has to love what he sees in front of him to move up; more likely is for them to move back if the right player isn't on his plate. But they also have some real holes on their team, one that nearly took down the New England Patriots in the playoffs and could go a long way this season if they patch up the roster smartly. Staying put at 26 could land them a receiver or cornerback or pass rusher — all areas they'd love to improve. But the Ravens also could be a team to watch for a trade, and they pick right in front of the deal-happy Dallas Cowboys at 27, which ups the stakes a tad. - - - - - - - Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


San Diego city, county join forces on bid to keep NFL (Yahoo Sports)

The county and city of San Diego are joining forces in a bid to keep its NFL franchise. Mayor Kevin Faulconer and county supervisors said Thursday that the two governments would spend up to $500,000 on consultants, attorneys, bankers and other experts. Voters will eventually decide whether to back a new stadium for the San Diego Chargers. The mayor's stadium task force is expected to announce a financing plan by May 20 in San Diego's Mission Valley area. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


NFL playoff expansion delayed, LA relocations pondered (AFP)

National Football League team owners postponed a possible expansion of playoff qualifiers for another year and are looking intently at possible relocation of one or two clubs to Los Angeles. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday other issues discussed by the owners included looking at a possible punishment for Greg Hardy in a domestic violence case that did not result in charges and that there is no timeframe for a resolution in the deflated ball investigation into the New England Patriots. Owners had considered adding at least two new teams into the playoff mix and at least two more games to the opening week of the NFL playoffs, possibly with games on Thursday or Monday. The Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams and San Diego Chargers are all looking into a potential move to Los Angeles, which has not been called home by an NFL club since the 1994 season. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Task force members holding line in Chargers stadium tussle (Yahoo Sports)

[read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

NFL suspending TV blackouts for 2015 season (Yahoo Sports)

[read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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