Chargers Fall 21-14 To Kansas City - WK 01, 2010

In a game that should be forgotten faster than a Dexter McCluster punt return, the Chargers lost their season opener against the surprisingly stout Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs played exceptionally well in special teams and performed admirably on defense, and with an assist from mother nature, that was enough to win this game.

The question every coach, player, and fan will be asking is "What happened to the AFC West favorites?", followed by "How do they fix it?". Here is a brief summary of what went wrong for the Chargers on Monday night and what needs to be done fix it.

1. Poor blocking

The offensive line has seen better days. But don't blame Brandyn Dombrowski, as he was not the problem. Center Nick Hardwick did not play up to expectations (he has to be better than that) and Jeromey Clary played down to expectations (no one thinks he is better than that), leading to a crowded pocket for rivers and a tough day for Ryan Matthews and Darren Sproles.

2. Play calling

Speaking of Ryan Matthews, where the hell was he in the redzone at the end Of the game? Darren Sproles is not a true running threat, especially at the goal line. If Matthews was supposed to help re-energize the offense, why not use him to keep the defense honest? Heck, I was even rooting for some more Mike Tolbert at that point.

3. Special teams

To praise a great performance by Kansas City on special teams takes some of the attention away from the abysmal performance of the chargers special teams. Bad blocking, missed tackles, and poor punt coverage inside the five yard line erased a strength the Chargers relied on last year.

So what do the Chargers do to fix these problems and avoid dropping to 0-2 this weekend? I would like to say that they should sign Marcus McNeill, Vincent Jackson, and trade for Kassim Osgood, but that's just not how AJ Smith rolls. And really, I don't think McNeill would have made a difference in this game, other than allowing Brandyn Dombrowski to move to right tackle.

The team played like they weren't ready for a loud stadium on the road, so the first thing to work on is the communication between Quarterback Philip Rivers and his center. The delay of game penalties and blown timeouts really hurt when you are trying to sustain a drive.

The team also needs to look at their playbook circa 2001, when Norv Turner was the Chargers offensive coordinator and the team had almost 1700 yards rushing. The best way to open up the passing game and keep a defense honest is to run the ball with authority using both Matthews and Tolbert to pound on the defense.

Equally important, someone needs to kick the collective asses of the Chargers special teams units (wait, the Chiefs already did that). It's going to be a long season if they continue to give up 30+ yard punt returns. It will be even worse if Darren Sproles doesn't remember how to return the ball himself.

September 14, 2010

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Anonymous said... Sep 14, 2010, 8:58:00 AM

let me just say that i'm not gonna get negative just with one loss, but i'm very very dissapointed of what i saw yesterday!!!! after the playoffs maybe we forgot we have the worst head coach in the league! where the hell was mathews and tolbert at the end of the freaking game!! how many times it has to happend for norv to understand that sproles is not the answer at power running!! i hate to say this but, WE NEED V-JACK AND MCNEIL!! WE DONT HAVE A TRUE GO TO RECEIVER besides gates and the offensive line looked pretty lousy!
when i saw the special teams play, i thought i was watching a chiefs- raiders game!!
defense was not bad but they need to improve!

kansas is a ver very bad team their offense sucks big time and they manage to put 21 points in the board!!!

i hope this gets better but i´d think the best thing to do is to lower our expectations until we see substantial change in this team

this will not get it done and we will not get to the big game with norv!


Anonymous said... Sep 14, 2010, 9:14:00 AM

by the way this doesnt mean i wont be rooting for the team this sunday at qualcomm!!! we need to be there and support them!!! we have to sell out the game, if we dont its gonna get even harder to get a new stadium! and we all know we want the bolts to stay in san diego for life!!!!

Anonymous said... Sep 14, 2010, 12:26:00 PM

Where was Patrick Crayton? 8 tries to punch it in at the end and we couldn't.. Hopefully this was just a hiccup

Mark's Wine Clubs said... Sep 14, 2010, 2:29:00 PM

I thought they would miss Jackson, which they probably did down around the goal line, he would have given Gates a better chance at not being double or triple covered on every play. I thought the line held up ok against the pass rush, although without McNeil they simply aren't as good as they have been there.

Who would have thought after 1 week the biggest loss in fans eyes was going to be Osgood?

Long season still and it's not like they play in the AFC East where you have 3 other playoff caliber teams.....the division still looks pretty bad.

Anonymous said... Sep 14, 2010, 4:19:00 PM

The offensive line played okay. The pocket collapsed a few times but it came from all directions, not one. Dombrowski did not play as well as everyone is saying. He gave up a lot of the pressure. He is a natural left guard, so the transition to left tackle is not that big of a deal. I think Clary played well, never gave up a sack, and had one false start. Which with the crowd noise, that could have been anyone. To call for a move to replace him is ridiculous. To be a fan of the game is different than someone who really studies the game at all levels. Unless you are in there playing, you have no idea what is going on. This is week 1 and the team will get better. 1 loss means nothing.

Mike D said... Sep 14, 2010, 9:42:00 PM

The pouty scowl on Philip Rivers' face reminds me of a kid who didn't get a toy he wanted at Christmas. Watching him throw a temper tantrum AGAIN was the highlight of my week. Why the analysts keep glorifying him I have cannot comprehend. Here's to the most overrated "competitor" in the NFL! Cheers Phil!

LaMichael S said... Sep 14, 2010, 9:46:00 PM

That "forgettable Dexter McCluster punt return" is one of the many reasons SD lost this game, and will undoubtedly be one of the nfl plays of the week. The Chargers have nothing to look forward to but more L's in the win column.

Anonymous said... Sep 14, 2010, 10:32:00 PM

"I have cannot comprehend" huh? I'm guessing that you are a raiders fan due to your ignorance and lack of education.

Anonymous said... Sep 14, 2010, 11:17:00 PM

After see the game it's almost looking like are door is closing fast. I don't understand why AJ will not sign VJ and McNeil. We do not have a true number one. The defense is not that good average at best. Without VJ it is going to be hard for Gates to get open. Teams just have to focus on Gates and are pass game is going to be in trouble. AJ is killing this team because he keeps let great player go. I could understand if he was bring in replacement but that's not happen here. I just hope we are not in the rebuilding phase.

Anonymous said... Sep 15, 2010, 12:32:00 AM

It's really funny how much The Bronco Fans hate Phillip Rivers. It would be endearing if it weren't so pathetic. Good luck with your QBs this season. I'll enjoy watching there drooped pathetic gates walking off the field and sitting on the bench after yet another 3 and out. Don't hate because your team is boring.

Jeff Williams said... Sep 15, 2010, 9:21:00 AM

Pointing out the bad is par for the course with the Chargers in September. They have always fixed their issues as the year progressed. Hopefully this is not the year it all changes.

Mark said... Sep 15, 2010, 9:00:00 PM

We'll, as a Charger fan, I can only quote a lame Milli-Vanilli song to sum up this game- "Blame it on the rain."

Rivers was clearly having trouble throwing due to the slippery ball in the 1st half and seemed to be more himself after the rain stopped. And of course, the many other reasons that Mr. Williams noted-especially the bad play-calling by Letherface Norv.

But at least there were two Chargers who were quite happy with the results of this fans know who I mean (hint: they were not even in uniform!)

Mark said... Sep 15, 2010, 9:10:00 PM

And for the Broncos fans talking smack on this site about Rivers- who do u guys have? Kyle Orton?!! Tim Tebow (good luck with that)!! And a self-proclaimed QB who cares more about his physique than his throwing ability- Mr. Myoplex Brady Quinn???

And then you guys trade for Patsies reject Mulroney???!!!

GOOD LUCK! BTW- your team takes a back-seat to San Diego in both football and baseball!! Oh, well. At least your city gets snow!!

Mark said... Sep 15, 2010, 9:15:00 PM

Lastly, I'm not worried at all about this loss. We fans know our modus-operendi. Lose the first 3 of five,run the table on the rest of the season, then maybe win a playoff game.

That sums life as a Charger fan the past three seasons. I hope it changes.

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