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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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Greg Cosell's Look Ahead: Aaron Rodgers' off day (Shutdown Corner)

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is a bit of an outlier. Nobody throws the ball like him, with that compact delivery and velocity and great ball placement. He also has a random element to his game, although he isn’t really a runner. He plays on the edge of the offense’s structure, often making plays late in the down. Once in a while, he’ll play on the wrong side of that edge. That’s what happened last week against the Buffalo Bills. He just didn’t have it. I’m not taking anything away from Buffalo, because they have a good defense, but tactically they didn’t do anything where you said, "This is amazing, I’ve never seen that before." And while they have a good front four that gets bodies around the quarterback, they weren’t drilling Rodgers to the turf. They did a good job recognizing routes based on formation, but mostly it was a game in which Rodgers’late-in-the-down tendencies just didn’t work. It was immediately evident that Rodgers was having a bad day throwing the ball; he was glaringly inaccurate beginning in the first quarter. The plays where Rodgers moves and navigates n the pocket and makes a big throw late in the down didn’t happen in this game. Both of Bills safety Bacarri Rambo’s interceptions were mistakes by Rodgers. On the first one, it was actually a busted coverage. The Bills showed “Cover 3”to cornerback Stephon Gilmore’s side, but “Cover 2”to cornerback Corey Graham’s side. Reading it as “Cover 3,”Rodgers looked to Randall Cobb on the “over”route, and his throw had to beat Rambo, the single high safety. It was just an inaccurate throw to the inside of Cobb that allowed Rambo to jump it. An accurate throw might have been a touchdown. On the second interception, the Packers went to four receivers and Rodgers threw a slant to Jarrett Boykin. Rodgers hesitated on the initial throw, threw the slant late, and it was picked off as a result. One thing also caught my eye and I wondered about it as I watched this game: The Bills dictated where Rodgers didn’t throw the ball. It reminded me of Week 1, when the Packers didn’t throw to Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman’s side, or when the Packers played the New England Patriots and Rodgers rarely threw at top two cornerbacks Darrelle Revis or Brandon Browner, picking on other matchups instead. In this game, the Bills played a deep safety over Cobb’s side often, and Rodgers didn’t target Cobb against that defense. Can other defenses dictate where Rodgers goes with the ball? The sample size from these examples is way too small to draw any conclusions, but it’s something worth monitoring. Manning's strength Peyton Manning dealt with a thigh injury and the flu last weekend, but he was still able to do something he does as well as any quarterback: exploit matchups in man-to-man coverage. That was the story of the Denver Broncos’win over the San Diego Chargers. The best example came on a 28-yard touchdown to Demaryius Thomas late in the third quarter. The Chargers ran “man free blitz”so Manning had Thomas against Brandon Flowers. He threw a back-shoulder throw and it turned into a touchdown. The Broncos have played a much different offense in the last month, with far less shotgun formation and a lot less passing, but if the Cincinnati Bengals give Manning man-to-man matchups to exploit, he will do it. Griffin progress, but still work to do Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III started last week against the Giants, and he showed some improvement overall. He was more comfortable, less frenetic in the pocket and coach Jay Gruden helped him tremendously with an emphasis on play action and bootleg action with defined either/or reads. But there are still things Griffin needs to work on, as we saw. When it was third and long and the play-calling couldn’t control his reads as much, he struggled. The longer he stayed in the pocket, the less effective he was, and he still lacks refined pocket clarity. Let’s take a look at an example. On a fourth and 2 early in the third quarter, the play design was a quick slant to tight end Jordan Reed, the “X iso”against safety Antrel Rolle. Griffin didn’t believe he had the throw initially because linebacker Jameel McClain filled the passing lane. Reed was wide open in the second window after McClain passed, but Griffin came off of Reed despite no pressure. He didn’t have a good sense of the concept against the man coverage. [read full article]

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