Showing posts from September, 2017

Opposition Research: Breaking Down The Eagles

After last week's Chiefs debacle, the Chargers will host their 3rd straight home game when the Eagles come to town. Despite being 0-3, the Chargers are slightly favored to win the game, currently listed as 2 point favorites in Vegas. The Eagles enter the game 2-1 and with high hopes for the season after last week's thrilling victory over the Giants that ended with a 61-yard field goal by rookie kicker Jake Elliott.

Despite the disparity in win-loss records between the teams, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the Chargers chances of winning. The Eagles were a popular pick to breakout this year with second year quarterback Carson Wentz, but haven't looked overly impressive despite their winning record. Wentz has still been inconsistent and they come to Los Angeles as one of the most banged up teams in the league. Today, I'll be taking a look at what the Eagles present on both sides of the ball:


It looks like the Eagles will get linebacker Jordan …

Melvin Ingram Named AFC Defensive Player of The Month

Melvin Ingram was announced as the AFC defensive player of the month. Ingram is currently second in the league with 5.5 sacks through 3 weeks. Ingram has been one of the few consistent players on this years team, and has been absolutely dominant at times, playing in the first year of the 4 year $64 million deal he signed back in June.

In honor of Ingram's award, here's a couple of my favorite plays of his so far this season. Both from Monday Night Football in week 1 where he embarrasses Broncos tackle Menelik Watson frequently to get to Trevor Siemian.

Film Study: What Went Right and What Went Wrong Against the Dolphins

As you know by now, the Chargers lost in devastating fashion to the Dolphins in week 2. As I did with week 1,  I went back and looked at the film to break down what went right and what went wrong during the game. I won't be pointing out the obvious about what was good or bad (looking at you Younghoe), but instead will be focusing on stuff that might not have been apparent at first glance. Since last week I started with the positive, today I'll start with the negative.


1. The Interior Offensive Line:

The interior of the Chargers O-line: C Spencer Pulley, RG Kenny Wiggins, and LG Matt Slauson all had decent moments and all 3 were horrific at other times. The inconsistency was maddening as each of them made plays that set the team back significantly. It's especially disappointing to see Pulley regress from his very solid week one, although he was facing an extremely tough matchup with Ndamukong Suh for much of the game.

On this play Slauson, #68 lined up at le…

Note to Readers

Apologies for the lack of coverage this past week, I've been sick and dealing with a broken computer. Coverage/Breakdowns will resume as normal this week. Thanks for your patience.

Jason Verrett Out For Season

It was announced today that cornerback Jason Verrett will undergo season-ending knee surgery. Needless to say it's a crushing blow for a defense that has looked shaky through two weeks. Verrett has shown he can be a dominant cover corner when on the field but has struggled to stay on the field, being active for just 25 games through 4 seasons.

The Chargers still have Casey Hayward to count on, but Trevor Williams will be needed to step up big time in Verrett's absence. Williams looked pretty good in his start last week for the most part doing what he was asked to do, which was just not get burned. In a tough matchup often going 1 on 1 against Devante Parker last week, Williams mostly held his own, only giving up one big play and preventing several others.

Chargers add OT Tyler Marz Off Of Titans' Practice Squad

The Chargers announced the signing of tackle Tyler Marz, poaching him off of the Titans practice squad. Tackle Chris Hairston was placed on the Reserve/Non-football illness list in a corresponding roster move, and is out for the season.

Hairston played a decent amount of snaps on Sunday, filling in for RT Joe Barksdale who injured his foot. The circumstances around Hairston's illness aren't clear and there isn't any word yet on what he's dealing with.

Marz is a massive second year UDFA out of Wisconsin who has spent the past two seasons on the Titans practice squad. Marz is 6 foot 7 315 pounds and was a 3 year starter at left tackle for Wisconsin. Marz has good size, but lacks the athleticism to keep up with NFL pass rushers. The Chargers will be in trouble if he is forced into action.

Game Recap: Dolphins Beat The Chargers With Another Heartbreaking Finish

Another week, another heartbreaking loss as the Chargers fell 19-17 to the Dolphins in their first game back in Los Angeles. Like clockwork, the Chargers lost another one possession game as kicker Younghoe Koo's last second game winning field goal attempt was pushed just right from 44 yards.

Philip Rivers was dealing for most of the game, completing 31/39 passes for 331 yards. For the second week in a row, the Chargers struggled to get anything going on the ground with Melvin Gordon gaining only 13 yards on 9 carries. Like last week, their were some positives and a lot of negatives. It was great seeing Hunter Henry get involved this week after going MIA in Denver, catching all seven of his targets for 80 yards. Rivers spread the ball around to his top 4 targets, with Keenan Allen, Henry, Gordon, and Tyrell Williams all gaining at least 54 yards.

The run defense struggled mightily for the second week in a row, with Jay Ajayi gashing the Chargers front for 122 yards on the ground. G…

Game Preview #2: Breaking Down The Dolphins

A new era begins this afternoon as the Chargers will play their first home game at the StubHub Center. Their opponent, the Miami Dolphins, will also be beginning a new era as Jay Cutler will start his first game with the team after a short-lived retirement. The Chargers enter the game 0-1 after a heartbreaking loss to the Broncos in week 1, the Dolphins are 0-0 after their first game was postponed due to Hurrican Irma.

The Dolphins are looking to build on the success of the 2016 season in which they went 10-6 and made the playoffs, losing in the first round to the Steelers with Ryan Tannehill out after tearing his ACL. Tannehill would go on to re-injure that ACL during training camp this year, leading the Dolphins to lure Cutler out of retirement and reunite him with head coach Adam Gase, who was Cutler's coordinator during what was probably Cutler's best year in Chicago.

In addition to Tannehill, the Dolphins also lost their defensive coordinator Vance Joseph who left to take…

Michael Davis Promoted Off Practice Squad, Geremy Davis Waived

As expected, CB Michael Davis was added to the active roster from the practice squad. WR Geremy Davis, who was added from the practice squad last week to fill the void at wideout left by Dontrelle Inman's absence, was waived in a corresponding move. Davis was needed cornerback depth after it was announced that Jason Verrett would miss the game with a knee injury. Geremy Davis' waiving is an indication Inman will be able to go tomorrow against the Dolphins. You can read a breakdown/scouting report of both Davis' and the rest of the practice squad here.

Jason Verrett Ruled Out For Sunday

And so it begins, as the injury bug has again bitten the Chargers. CB Jason Verrett will miss Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins with a knee injury. This comes after the surprise news yesterday that Verrett had missed practice. It's unclear when exactly he suffered the injury, the severity of it, or whether it's a new injury or an aggravation of the knee injury that forced him to miss most of last season. Coach Anthony Lynn said Verrett had an MRI earlier this week (not a promising sign), but the results haven't yet been released.

Verrett's absence will be a huge loss for a Chargers defense that looked shaky during Monday's loss to the Broncos. Trevor Williams and Desmond King are expected to step up and play more snaps in place of Verrett. Dolphins QB Jay Cutler loves to challenge secondaries by throwing deep, so Williams and King are sure to have their hands full.

WR Mike Williams and S Rayshawn Jenkins were also ruled out, although Williams notably did…

Film Study: What Went Right and What Went Wrong On Monday Night

As you know by now, the Chargers lost a devastating game to the Broncos on Monday night. Today I want to highlight a few things that may not have shown up in the box score, but will be crucial for the rest of the season going forward. After going back through all the film, I identified 3 things that went right, and 3 things that went wrong. Since the team no doubt deserves to be commended for some things they did, including having the resolve to fight all the way back from a 24-7 deficit, let's start with the positive.

What Went Right:

1. Spencer Pulley

In a game in which the rest of the offensive line looked shaky at best, Pulley looked great at times. Watch here on the very first play from scrimmage, as Pulley (#73) does a great job of twisting his hips and turning his man to his left, blocking a second defender in the process while sealing off a gap with his body that allows Melvin Gordon to break his explosive 21 yard run. Although Gordon didn't get much on the ground in th…

Jason Verrett Misses Practice Thursday

Just when the Chargers seemed to finally get over the hump of injuries that have plagued them in past season's there was a new startling addition to the Chargers injury report Thursday, as it was revealed CB Jason Verrett missed practice with a knee injury. It wasn't revealed when Verrett suffered an injury, as he didn't appear to be injured during Monday night's game, or how serious it is. It's highly possible Verrett was just being given a day off after suffering a season ending ACL tear last year. Needless to say, any new injury to Verrett would be a devastating blow that the Chargers simply can't afford right now. I'll update as soon as there's any new information.

Around The AFC West

As you probably know, the Chargers sit a full game behind all 3 other teams in the AFC West after week 1. This will be a recurring feature on the site, breaking down the happenings around the division once a week, with a look at each teams previous game, and any injury news/transactions/players to watch that could impact the chargers. Let's take a look:


1. Their game:

The Chiefs played first, as part of the NFL kickoff game in New England. As you know by now, they pulled off a somewhat stunning upset as 8.5 point underdogs and knocked off the defending super bowl champion Patriots.

The Chiefs lost last year's breakout running back Spencer Ware for the season due to a preseason knee injury, thrusting rookie Kareem Hunt into the feature back role. Despite losing a fumble on his first NFL carry, Hunt clearly showed he was up to the task, shredding the Patriots to the tune of 148 yards on 17 carries (8.7 YPC), while adding 98 yards through the air on 5 catches. In a divis…

Chargers Waive 7th Round Pick DE Isaac Rochell, CB Jeff Richards to Practice Squad

The Chargers announced they have waived rookie 7th rounder Isaac Rochell to make room for DE Tenny Palepoi on the 53-man roster, who was serving a suspension during week 1. They also announced they are bringing back CB Jeff Richards to the practice squad, who was waived Monday in order to make room for WR Geremy Davis on the active roster.

Rochell, the 225th pick in this year's draft out of Notre Dame, is a high-motor player who has decent bull-rush skills, but lacks the speed and array of pass rush moves necessary to make it at the NFL level. Palepoi is a capable reserve pass-rusher who played well at times for the Chargers last season after missing all of 2015 with an injury. Richards, who has seen time in the CFL but not an NFL game yet, was claimed off waivers from the Panthers towards the end of camp and is a somewhat intriguing prospect who could be bumped back up to the active roster once the Chargers' receiving corps are at full strength and they elect not to keep Dav…

Game Recap: Chargers Fall To Broncos In Heartbreaking Fashion

Wow. The Chargers seem to have a flair for the dramatic and that was again the case on Monday night. In front of a raucous Denver crowd, the Chargers looked lost the first 3 quarters before mounting a last second come back off of two 4th quarter turnovers by the Broncos. Ultimately they fell just short, as K Younghoe Koo's potential game tying kick was blocked with 1 second left on the clock.

There's plenty of blame to go around, as the Chargers looked unprepared in nearly every aspect of the game for the first 3 quarters. Credit must be given to the defensive line, particularly Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram who provided pressure all night long. The first 3 quarters of the game were excellently foreshadowed by the Chargers drawing a false start penalty before their first snap of the game. Those mental errors would continue to plague them throughout the game. Those mental lapses due to the crowd noise were one of my keys to the game, one which the Chargers obviously did not accom…

Chargers @ Broncos Inactives

Inactvies have been released for tonight's game with no major surprises. WR Dontrelle Inman is inactive, as Geremy Davis' promotion earlier seemed to signal. Here's the full list:

WR Mike Williams
WR Dontrelle Inman
QB Cardale Jones
TE Sean McGrath
OL Sam Tevi
DE Jerry Attaochu

QB Paxton Lynch
DE Jared Crick
DE Zach Kerr
RB Devontae Booker
CB Lorenzo Doss
OL Billy Turner
WR Jordan Taylor

Game Preview: Chargers @ Broncos MNF 9/11/17

It's finally arrived. After a long wait, game day is here as the Chargers will travel to the Mile High City to take on the Broncos in a Monday Night Football clash that will wrap up week 1 of the NFL season. Both teams have lofty expectations and aspirations heading into the season, and the loser will begin the season significantly behind the other three AFC West teams after Kansas City and Oakland both picked up tough road victories.

Both teams are coming off seasons to forget, as the Chargers suffered through injury after injury on their way to a 5-11 finish. The Broncos went 9-7 but missed the playoffs for the first time since 2010. Both teams enter the season with first time head coaches, Vance Joseph for the Broncos and Anthony Lynn for the Chargers. Both have new defensive coordinators, and the Broncos hired Mike Mccoy to be their offensive coordinator after the Chargers sent him packing after the season.

That's about where the similarities end however. The Chargers are…

Chargers Add WR Geremy Davis to Active Roster, Waive CB Jeff Richards

WR Geremy Davis has been promoted from the practice squad to the active roster. CB Jeff Richards was waived in a corresponding move to make space. The move makes sense with the Chargers only carrying 5 WR's on the active roster and Mike Williams already ruled out for this week and likely beyond. It could be a sign that WR Dontrelle Inman, who was previously listed as questionable, won't play or will be limited tonight. Davis is a big target who's college tape show's he's good at making contested catches and is a decent route runner. He has just 2 career receptions since entering the league as a 6th round pick of the Giants in 2015, and spent 3 weeks on the Chargers active roster last season. For a full review of Davis and the rest of the practice squad check out our breakdown here.

Opposition Research: Breaking Down The Broncos Defense

Last season, the Broncos' long dominant defense finally began to show some cracks and some signs that the end might be nearer than expected for what has been one of the best defensive stretches by any team in league history. To be clear, the defense was still quite strong last season (4th in total scoring defense, 18.6PPG), most of the key pieces are still there, and new head coach Vance Joseph is a defensive scheming mastermind. Joseph was able to get an incredible amount of production out of the Miami Dolphins last year considering the very limited talent he was working with while coordinating their defense.

All that being said there's still plenty of reason for opposing offenses to be optimistic, or at least more optimistic than usual, about their chances against the Broncos D this year. While the core of the "No Fly Zone", the Broncos legendary secondary of CB's Aqib Talib, Chris Harris Jr., and Bradley Roby and S Darian Stewart remains in tact, they aren'…