BOLTHYPE blogger Jeff Williams shares his thoughts and impressions of the Chargers week three preseason loss to the Atlanta Falcons. In today's post, Jeff gives his takes on the offensive line, rookie Larry English, and the Chargers' amazing ability to convert on third downs.
(Photo Credit: Mike Nowak/San Diego Chargers)
Let me get something out of the way up-front: I don't make it a habit to watch all four-quarters of NFL exhibition games. I mean, it's always on in the background while I'm cruising the internet or catching up on the latest Sports Illustrated, but I typically stop paying attention about half-way through the 3rd quarter. Sorry, but how Charlie Whitehurst performs against a bunch of 2nd and 3rd stringers doesn't do it for me. So what I'm bringing you are impressions from what we saw from the starters and from some of the major substitutions. If you saw something different, if you agree or disagree, please comment and share your thoughts from Saturday's Chargers-Falcons game.
- The offensive line looked better this week, but was it due to better play from the guys in the trenches, or was it due to a change in play-calling? Probably a little of both, but I'm leaning towards the later. Pass protection was greatly assisted by a lot of quick passes and by Rivers knowing when to move and when to get rid of the ball. Combined with the large number of screen passes thrown, you can't say the pass protection was bad. As for the run blocking, I didn't think it looked great but the three primary RB's rushed for 97 yards on 22 carries- not bad.
- I was staring at Clary for most of the first half, and he seemed to hold his own. But again, I still think the play-calling was a huge help.
- I'm concerned that in all three games so far, the Chargers offensive and defensive lines look a lot worse than the teams we are playing. Is that conservative play-calling or the signs of a slow start?
- Larry English was on the field, and it was about freaking time! Very good to see that guy rushing the QB. He looked like a rookie who was playing in his first NFL game ever- it's only going to get better from here.
- It's good to see some yelling on the sidelines. Ron Rivera lit into his guys and I'm hoping to see more of that in the regular season.
- The screen pass was HUGE in this game, and our boys looked good using it. It might be the play that keeps defenses on their toes. They can't over-commit at the line of scrimmage or they'll be completely taken out of the play.
- Hopefully it wasn't a fluke: The Chargers consistently converted 3rd-and-long. You need to practice these types of situations in the preseason so you can see how the team handles it, and the Chargers passed with flying colors.
- Is it just me or has the NFL pretty much banned teams from playing defense? Or at least pass-defense?
- Is Dan Fouts really that gray? I want him to broadcast with his MFIC hat on, at least during the preseason.
- I love Philip Rivers. Seriously.