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Week 2 Chargers (1-0-0) @ Lions (0-0-1) Early Game

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Chargers escaped in overtime to beat the Lions last week, while the Lions managed a tie. Kind of weird that NFL games ever end in a tie but here we are. Lions finished last weeks game with an offense 477 yards good enough to rank 4th in the league. They also managed to run for 116 versus the Cardinals despite not having a single player run for more then 50. Stafford looked good versus the Cardinals and with the chaos going on in the Chargers secondary right now, that probably will continue. Devon Kennard is going to have a field day against the combination of Tevi/Scott. I can't see Ekelor replicating another 3 TD game to win this so we need someone else to step up.

 

Prediction: Lions win and stay undefeated 34-30

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I’d think with the state of our line play, we’ll be in a lot of close ones this year.  We had yesterday’s game in hand and then bam, a 62 yard TD run by Mack.  We got away with those screens and dunks to Ekeler yesterday, but it won’t be long before teams creep those safeties up and take that away. I don’t think we can protect long enough to take long shots downfield.  Hopefully Mike W is ok, we need all of our weapons available this year.  That being said, if we come and play our game this is a very winnable one.  I think we take this one and move to 2-0

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On 9/9/2019 at 5:22 PM, BoltsFan937 said:

I’d think with the state of our line play, we’ll be in a lot of close ones this year.  We had yesterday’s game in hand and then bam, a 62 yard TD run by Mack.  We got away with those screens and dunks to Ekeler yesterday, but it won’t be long before teams creep those safeties up and take that away. I don’t think we can protect long enough to take long shots downfield.  Hopefully Mike W is ok, we need all of our weapons available this year.  That being said, if we come and play our game this is a very winnable one.  I think we take this one and move to 2-0

You know I think outside of Trent Scott being absolutely terrible, the line did ok. I rewatched some of the bigger plays/highlights and paid attention to the O-lineman

- Tevi looked a lot better than I had ever seen him before. He had a really nice block on the Ekeler game winning TD.

- Feeney also looked really good in both run-blocking and pass protection.

- Pouncey was solid as he always is.

- Schofield didn't really impress me that much.

I think if/when Okung comes back, there is hope for this line. The problem yesterday was just that Trent Scott was horrific. He completely whiffed on one play early that caused Rivers to get clobbered. He had a few other really bad plays and penalties.

I would like to see Lamp take over for Schofield, and honestly it's very concerning why he hasn't been given the starting job yet. From what I've seen he looked good enough in the preseason. It would be very disappointing to have you another o-line prospect that we drafted on day 1 or 2 be a bust. Tolesco really has not done well at drafting o-lineman.

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Outside of Lamp, Telesco really hasn't prioritized drafting OL much at all.  Mid-to-late 3rd round picks isn't priority; I honestly feel like the guy is too much in his own head.  He got burned by the DJ Fluker reach blowing up in his face and he shied away from addressing the line much outside of free agency following that.  Then Lamp suffers a torn ACL in his rookie preseason and he gets largely gun-shy on the position following that.

I agree, the lack of deployment of Lamp somewhere in the starting OL is a bit baffling, especially since i kept hearing from insiders that the team viewed Lamp as their safety-valve as to why they didn't feel the need to reach if a OT prospect of good value didn't present itself.  Now, that may have been a statement issued before the team had any knowledge of Okung's clots, but you can't really feel horribly comfortable having minimal depth behind your 30+ year old starting LT unless you're confident in one of the guys already on the roster going into the draft and his ability to put in some depth reps at LT.

Fortunately, the Lions' DL strength appears to be on the interior versus the edges, which is where the strength (particularly Pouncey) of the Chargers OL lies.  Hopefully M-Dub is healthy because Slay is going to be tricky for Keenan to work against.  But, as Fitzgerald showed last Sunday, Melvin can be beaten by big bodied WR's.

Defensively, the Chargers need to be drilling tackling all week.  It was poor against the Colts and, frankly, they really need to use Thomas Davis more, just to give that extra security blanket to be able to use those Bosa/Ingram/Tillery/Rochelle packages that were really effective.  With Ragnow injured currently, the Vikings are vulnerable up the middle on the OL.  Would really like to see Adderly get in ahead of Jenkins too, otherwise Tranquil and White are going to have their hands full with Hoeckensen who Stafford has shown a willingness to target often.

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12 hours ago, The LBC said:

Outside of Lamp, Telesco really hasn't prioritized drafting OL much at all.  Mid-to-late 3rd round picks isn't priority; I honestly feel like the guy is too much in his own head.  He got burned by the DJ Fluker reach blowing up in his face and he shied away from addressing the line much outside of free agency following that.  Then Lamp suffers a torn ACL in his rookie preseason and he gets largely gun-shy on the position following that.

I agree, the lack of deployment of Lamp somewhere in the starting OL is a bit baffling, especially since i kept hearing from insiders that the team viewed Lamp as their safety-valve as to why they didn't feel the need to reach if a OT prospect of good value didn't present itself.  Now, that may have been a statement issued before the team had any knowledge of Okung's clots, but you can't really feel horribly comfortable having minimal depth behind your 30+ year old starting LT unless you're confident in one of the guys already on the roster going into the draft and his ability to put in some depth reps at LT.

Fortunately, the Lions' DL strength appears to be on the interior versus the edges, which is where the strength (particularly Pouncey) of the Chargers OL lies.  Hopefully M-Dub is healthy because Slay is going to be tricky for Keenan to work against.  But, as Fitzgerald showed last Sunday, Melvin can be beaten by big bodied WR's.

Defensively, the Chargers need to be drilling tackling all week.  It was poor against the Colts and, frankly, they really need to use Thomas Davis more, just to give that extra security blanket to be able to use those Bosa/Ingram/Tillery/Rochelle packages that were really effective.  With Ragnow injured currently, the Vikings are vulnerable up the middle on the OL.  Would really like to see Adderly get in ahead of Jenkins too, otherwise Tranquil and White are going to have their hands full with Hoeckensen who Stafford has shown a willingness to target often.

I don't think TT is in his own head. I think that he just doesn't view OL as the BPA the last two years in the first two rounds. Nothing wrong with that if it prevents another DJ Fluker reach. Glad that TT is learning and improving as a GM in that regard. With this past draft, I didn't see an OL that was worth taking in the first round after Dillard went off the board.

Not sure which insiders told you that the team viewed Lamp as a safety valve at OT. Everything since the beginning points to him being viewed as a guard on this team. Lamp is going to be given every opportunity to replace one of the guards (hopefully Schofield) this year given Lynn's statement about rotating him into the line whenever possible. It's interesting to note that Lynn is moving away from his OL chemistry comment from last year. Same thing happened last year with Tevi and Barksdale.

It's great that we have Pouncey, but it's Feeney and Schofield in particular, that I'm more worried about with regards to interior protection.

Defensively the Chargers should do better especially against the run. If only because the Lion's OL is not top 5 like the Colts is. But I hope that they took last week's beating as a motivational tool to do much much better. As much as I would like Adderly to immediately replace Jenkins, he's behind the eight ball due to missing so much of training camp because of his hamstring injury. Bradley's not comfortable putting him out there yet.

Edited by Xenos

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14 hours ago, Bolts223 said:

You know I think outside of Trent Scott being absolutely terrible, the line did ok. I rewatched some of the bigger plays/highlights and paid attention to the O-lineman

- Tevi looked a lot better than I had ever seen him before. He had a really nice block on the Ekeler game winning TD.

- Feeney also looked really good in both run-blocking and pass protection.

- Pouncey was solid as he always is.

- Schofield didn't really impress me that much.

I think if/when Okung comes back, there is hope for this line. The problem yesterday was just that Trent Scott was horrific. He completely whiffed on one play early that caused Rivers to get clobbered. He had a few other really bad plays and penalties.

I would like to see Lamp take over for Schofield, and honestly it's very concerning why he hasn't been given the starting job yet. From what I've seen he looked good enough in the preseason. It would be very disappointing to have you another o-line prospect that we drafted on day 1 or 2 be a bust. Tolesco really has not done well at drafting o-lineman.

Currently our OL looks better at run blocking than pass protection. There probably is a way to use that to further protect Rivers. Though someone mentioned in another board that part of the problem is that Rivers and Whis likes the big chunk plays too much (5 guys on passing routes instead of having more behind to protect). Not a fan of this approach honestly. Trent Scott looked bad but he also looked like an UDFA playing in his second game. It may not be much, but at least it's encouraging that he did better down the stretch in the 4th quarter. 

Stealing these comments from another poster that I know because it's so true to me as well. Consider subscribing to The Athletic to get Daniel Popper's content. He offers the best Chargers reporter coverage that I have experienced as a fan. In The Athletic, he offers video breakdown to accompany his article. Here's a taste of one of his five topics in his Monday Breakdown column.
https://theathletic.com/1198219/2019/09/09/monday-rewind-five-day-after-thoughts-from-the-chargers-season-opening-win-over-the-colts/

Quote


COSTA MESA, Calif. -- Today is Monday, and that means it's time for the Monday Rewind.

The concept is pretty simple: Five thoughts from the previous day's Chargers game, accompanied by videos of all the key plays. (For the Chargers' Monday Night Football appearance, I will publish a Tuesday Rewind. For the Thursday night game, I will publish a Friday Rewind. Same idea. Different days. Accuracy matters, folks.)

I started this weekly feature last season while I was in Jacksonville, and the Jaguars subscribers enjoyed it. I'm hoping you guys will, too.

The Chargers defeated the Colts 30-24 in overtime Sunday at Dignity Health Sports Park. Philip Rivers engineered an eight-play, 75-yard touchdown drive on the opening possession of the extra period, and I covered that in my postgame story, if you'd like the details. The Monday Rewind will always focus on topics that I didn't address in that week's postgame story. Just so we're clear.

That's enough blabber. Let's get to it.

2. The pass protection was not outstanding
Scott is Okung's replacement at left tackle, and he had an up-and-down day in pass protection against the Colts.

It really came down to an ugly stretch in the third quarter. Apart from that, Scott was solid. But one missed block on the edge can result in a game-changing play, and that almost happened a couple times Sunday.

The first concerning play for Scott ended up not counting. Still, it's worth mentioning and showing here. Scott was beat badly off the left side by Colts edge rusher Kemoko Turay.

Justin Houston (No. 99 on the interior) was actually offsides on the play, so the strip sack was negated. But Turay was not offsides. He didn't start moving forward until the ball was snapped.

Scott's struggles continued on the ensuing series. He was beat for a sack on first down by defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad.

Two plays later, he let up a strip sack to Turay. Luckily, Scott was able to jump on the fumble to prevent a turnover.

Scott returned to the bench dejected. But Okung was in his ear once he got there, encouraging his young teammate. Okung has been an immensely valuable resource for Scott since he joined the Chargers last spring as an undrafted free agent out of Grambling State. And that mentorship has continued, even as Okung sits out.

"It's huge," Scott said. "It's big time."

Scott said Okung told him to "just stay calm, trust your technique and don't get in your head."

"I was frustrated," Scott added. "Nobody likes getting beat, and I'm hard on myself. But I came to the sideline, regrouped and didn't have a problem after that."

That's the key here. Scott is a still a very young and very inexperienced player. Sunday was his second career start. Young players make mistakes. In order to make it in the league, you have to learn from those mistakes and display tangible improvement.

Scott did that. He didn't allow a pressure the rest of the game.


Here he is standing up Turay on a fourth-quarter completion from Rivers to Allen.

And on one of the most crucial plays of the game -- Rivers' throw to Allen to open the overtime drive -- Scott was once again sturdy in protection against Turay.

"That says a lot about a man's character, to overcome adversity and fight back and finish the game the way he did," Lynn said of Scott. "He played a physical football game yesterday."

It's fair to criticize Scott for the blocks he missed in pass protection Sunday. But it's not fair to completely write him off. The Chargers believe he will improve. They view him as a legitimate starter in this league. He has shown he's capable of playing at that level.

And he wasn't the only offensive linemen who broke down in pass pro against the Colts.

Schofield was beat inside late in the first half, and Rivers was forced to escape the pocket.

Schofield and Pouncey then tried to double-team Houston on the next play, but they couldn't stop him. And Rivers again had to throw the ball away.

"You take away four or five plays, and I thought the offensive line played outstanding," Lynn said.

 

Edited by Xenos

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The Lions bring a different challenge this week compared to the Colts. Better QB, better defense, and it being a 10am game. But we should still come away with a victory. The defenses of both team may end up doing better compared to the Colts game.

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13 hours ago, The LBC said:

Outside of Lamp, Telesco really hasn't prioritized drafting OL much at all.  Mid-to-late 3rd round picks isn't priority; I honestly feel like the guy is too much in his own head.  He got burned by the DJ Fluker reach blowing up in his face and he shied away from addressing the line much outside of free agency following that.  Then Lamp suffers a torn ACL in his rookie preseason and he gets largely gun-shy on the position following that.

I agree, the lack of deployment of Lamp somewhere in the starting OL is a bit baffling, especially since i kept hearing from insiders that the team viewed Lamp as their safety-valve as to why they didn't feel the need to reach if a OT prospect of good value didn't present itself.  Now, that may have been a statement issued before the team had any knowledge of Okung's clots, but you can't really feel horribly comfortable having minimal depth behind your 30+ year old starting LT unless you're confident in one of the guys already on the roster going into the draft and his ability to put in some depth reps at LT.

Fortunately, the Lions' DL strength appears to be on the interior versus the edges, which is where the strength (particularly Pouncey) of the Chargers OL lies.  Hopefully M-Dub is healthy because Slay is going to be tricky for Keenan to work against.  But, as Fitzgerald showed last Sunday, Melvin can be beaten by big bodied WR's.

Defensively, the Chargers need to be drilling tackling all week.  It was poor against the Colts and, frankly, they really need to use Thomas Davis more, just to give that extra security blanket to be able to use those Bosa/Ingram/Tillery/Rochelle packages that were really effective.  With Ragnow injured currently, the Vikings are vulnerable up the middle on the OL.  Would really like to see Adderly get in ahead of Jenkins too, otherwise Tranquil and White are going to have their hands full with Hoeckensen who Stafford has shown a willingness to target often.

I mean I get that’s it’s generally unrealistic to expect a 3rd rounder to be a superstar, but Watt and Tuerk were busts even by what you expect out of a 3rd rounder. Tuerk never saw a snap in an actual game and Watt lasted two seasons with the team, barely played and has been out of the league since we cut him. Unfortunately Lamp is on the same trajectory right now, which sucks even more since he was an early 2nd round pick. That’s why I didn’t get the Pipkins pick. The Chargers have shown zero ability to develop o-lineman and you are going to take a chance on a D2 guy who while has a lot of great measurable, is incredibly raw and will probably need to be coached up a lot to make it in the NFL? Just doesn’t seem like odds our in our favor with this one. We’ve had way more polished o-line prospects that we completely failed to develop. 

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Well I thought Hunter was fine when he finished the game on Sunday, oops.  Unfortunate too, as with a good year he probably would have earned an extension.  Unless he comes back and finishes strong, I can’t see us throwing significant money Hunters way.  

Edited by BoltsFan937

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