OSZ: Hello from the DFO Chargers Posting Brigade—me, Low Commander of the Super Soldiers, sunrisesunrise, and blackroseMD1. Having just watched Floatception Rivers re-emerge during the Dolphins game and our secondary get burned by Ryan Tannehill… well, my optimism for the rest of the season is, shall we say, waning. My original thought for a bye week update was to blame the Spanos clan for a long period of mismanagement of the team, and talk about how every success has only been due to the players on the field (EXCEPT FOR YOU, MARLON MCCREE!), but… the team sort of exceeded my expectations lately, so my original premise doesn’t really keep. But… damn they sucked today.
So, how are you all feeling about the Chargers as they go into the bye week?
sunrisesunrise: Wait, the Chargers are still playing in San Diego? I didn’t notice. I’m treating them like the team that took over after the Oilers left. I see Gates and Tyrell Williams scoring points for my fantasy football team but I have no clue when or where those games take place.
OSZ: Appropriate response.
blackroseMD1: Well, at this point, even if they run the table, 10-6 probably isn’t enough to get a wild card, especially with everyone else in the AFCW pulling wins out of thin air every week, so not really a lot of optimism here. It’ll be nice to see Gates get the TE touchdown record, assuming it happens, and hopefully MGIII will crack 1000 yards and win Comeback Player of the Year. While I’ll watch the rest of the games for those reasons (and to see the continued development of Tyrell), I’m already halfway thinking about the Draft, whether or not McCoy will lose his job and, as they just so happened to mention in the telecast, the possible ending of this “will they or won’t they” L.A. BS.
Low Commander: Considering the injuries, I think that the team has vastly over performed at this point. Tom Telesco’s young defensive draft classes are playing far beyond what I expected, and Casey Hayward is looking to be one of the best free agency signings the team has had in probably 5 years. Tyrell has also played far beyond expectations and has the ability to become a solid Malcolm Floyd type #2, but doesn’t seem to always be on the same page as Rivers. 2 or 3 of the picks Rivers threw against the Dolphins were targeting him, and it’s been clear that he’s run a few wrong routes almost every week. I hope over the bye, he manages to correct some of that, but I really don’t expect it until next season.
That being said, the secondary is depleted, and as you mentioned OSZ, got torched by Ta-knee-hill and really, Mariota the week before. They don’t seem to have much of an ability to defend the deep ball, and Pagano hasn’t been able to dial up an effective prevent/2 minute drill defense since he took over as DC. Joe Barksdale apparently pulled a Jared Gaither on the team after signing his 4 year deal this past offseason and has been arguably the worst starting Tackle in the NFL so far this year. Coming into the last game, he was tied for the most sacks given up at his position, and I would expect that he stands alone in that now after his latest performance. Unless Mike McCoy can pull 5 more wins out of his visor to finish 9-7, I don’t expect him to return as head coach next season, wherever that might be.
OSZ: I agree with all of the above. I thought the season was done after those early injuries, but some new stars have stepped up. Jatavis Brown made me forget that Te’o exists. Mebane, Bosa, and Ingram have really impressed me. Hunter Henry is everything they’ve said about him. So maybe Telesco gets some credit within a pretty dysfunctional organization–he’s got players that can still game despite the lack of competent coaching anywhere.
With that, who would you pick as the best player so far to the bye? It’s gonna be Bosa, right? EYYYYYYY, IT’S A BOSAAAAAAAA!
sunrisesunrise: Team DPOY is easily Bosa. OPOY has to be Gordon. Who’d have thought he had this type of year in him after last year’s bust worthy performance. Although Rivers still being upright could be considered some type of miracle if one were to believe in such things. Do you think he made a deal with the devil or is he truly being held together by the power of prayer?
OSZ: Heh, yeah. Rivers was having such a great year I was thinking insane thoughts like he might be the best QB this year, seeing how great he was doing with what he had. Then yesterday happened and dispelled that right quick. That’s his career to a T.
I do think Matt Slauson as a steady and seasoned center has helped both Rivers and Gordon bounce back from last year. Unfortunately, as already mentioned, Joe Barksdale is still there, and King Dunlap isn’t helping either.
blackroseMD1: Slauson is a very underrated free agent signing. With the exception of Barksdale, who has fallen off a cliff, the O-line has been much, much better than last year with him anchoring it. I agree with sunrisesunrise that Bosa is DPOY, although Ingram and Jatavis are up there too, along with Heyward and his 5 picks back there in the secondary. The fact that Bosa was commanding constant double teams after two games shows how big of an impact he’s made. Melvin running like he did at Wisconsin has been a revelation. I wonder how much seeing Derek Watt in front of him did for him mentally and how much of it is from training with AP in the offseason. El Capitan is his usual self, aside from the occasional stinker like yesterday. Assuming Gates retires this offseason, I’m really interested to see how good Hunter Henry can be as the full time starter over a 16 game season. As an Arkansas fan, I got to watch him catch passes from a relatively mediocre QB and he made him look fantastic. If he builds the same kind of rapport with Rivers that Gates has, he could be the next big thing.
And it continues… Rapoport is reporting that Mebane is out for the year with a biceps injury.
OSZ: Well, shit. If Spanos would have campaigned for the new stadium claiming that it would reduce team injuries by 90%, he might have prevailed.
sunrisesunrise: I think the only way the Chargers get a new stadium in San Diego would be if the Spanos clan agreed that they’d sell the team. But then I don’t think anybody would believe they’d actually sell in the end.
I think the Spanos’s (Spanoii? Spanii?) are allergic to actually spending money on their product. They’ve been being paid to play in Qualcomm for the last few year at least (something about their rent owed being covered by losses that the city has to pay so the Chargers are actually in the black there.) The $10 million they paid in campaigning was about what they’ve paid Fabiani over the last decade and achieved the same results. I think the Spanos name is poison to San Diego voters right now and I can’t imagine what he/they can do to fix it.
Low Commander: I’d say if they just came up with a plan where that family actually had to put some capital into/assume some risk and abandoned the downtown stadium/convention center nonsense, it would be very possible. The hotel tax raise could still be a viable idea.
Then of course, there’s always this…
At this point, I don’t think that they actually have the liquid funds to make an investment at a reasonable margin. It seems a majority of the family wealth is tied up in the capital of the team itself. I’m holding out hope that this will hinder them moving the team, as it would require a sizable loan, and/or that The Shield will stand by their wanting a team in San Diego for the TV ratings/revenue. Maybe they’ll even force them to sell the team.
Of course, if they do go to LA to be Kronke’s fiddle, I can totally see Dean trying to keep some of the fans down here by trying to call them the “Southern California Chargers” or some shit like that. IT WILL TOTALLY WORK!
blackroseMD1: “Southern California Chargers of Inglewood has a nice ring to it!” – Dean Spanos
sunrisesunrise: My fantasy team last year was “LA Chargers of SoCal”
OSZ: Before we look ahead at the rest of the season, what were everyone’s best and worst moments of the season so far?
sunrisesunrise: My best moment has been not having cable so not being able to watch all of the 4th quarter collapses live. Worst moment? Can’t say I have one honestly.
blackroseMD1: I think my best moment of the season so far was Bosa getting his first sack. We’d waited so long to see him and people were already throwing around the B word and he just came in and started being dominant. I distinctly remember jumping out of my chair on that sack. The fact that it was against the Raiders was icing on the proverbial cake.
Worst moment was seeing KA13 go down, because my first thought was “Oh no, here we go again.” Unfortunately that’s proven to be true, and it’s almost always major starters. A close second goes to Rivers final INT yesterday, though. That basically wrapped up (and summed up) the season for the Bolts.
Low Commander: There’s a lot for me to pick from here for best moment, since I’ve gone to two really fun games this year (hosting Jags and Titans), but the second Benjamin TD against the Jags was special to me, since I got shown on the broadcast with a big, dumb BOLTMAN grin on my face.
Worst moment? Drew Kaser botching that field goal snap against the Raiders. That was basically the moment I knew the season was over. Special Teams have cost the Chargers 3 games this year, and nearly blew the win against the Broncos on Thursday Night. Fucking punters, man.
OSZ: I was in Zion national park during the Raiders loss, which was a high point for me and probably explains the delayed demise of my optimism. I think my favorite of actual football was the entire Titans game. I love good running games and opportunistic defenses, and that game gave me all of that. The Chargers really looked good.
Low point was probably Woodhead going down. He was such a versatile, x-factor player and was a safety valve for Rivers that can’t realistically be replaced. Plus, gotta love that little, tiny, mini dude.
Now on to the rest of the schedule: it looks favorable to some wins, so how many do we get? More importantly, do they lose to the Browns?
sunrisesunrise: It would be a perfect summation of the Ownership’s last two years if the Browns were victorious. They should go 4-2 but the way the season has gone already, I’d say 2-4 with losses to this weeks bye week, Browns, Raiders and Chiefs.
Low Commander: The Browns game scares me, because it would be the perfect one for them to play down to. I can see playing in Houston being a loss as well, even with Rivers and Co coming off a bye.
I’m going to say 4-2, and I stand by my split of the division opponents at 3-3, playing some spoiler to the Raiders and Chiefs in Jack Murph. Losses on the road in both Houston and Carolina.
blackroseMD1: 4-2 the rest of the way but don’t make the playoffs. Chargers move up to L.A. becomes official in January. One or both of McCoy and Pagano gone after the season. Hopefully the Strength & Conditioning coaches too. It’s amazing no one has died on the field yet.
OSZ: I think we run the table on the rest of the schedule…
…except the Browns. We end up their only win on the season. It would be fitting, and so Chargers, to play down that one game and not plan for anything they have. Not to mention maybe end up one game out of a wild card slot somehow. And so ends San Diego NFL, not with a bang but a whimper.
I need to talk about this picture:
While seemingly an ordinary picture of an NFLder god out for an ELECTRIFYING HIGH OCTANE THRILL RIDE (blares ROCK YOU LIKE A HURRICANE from aftermarket car stereo), there’s just… something… wrong.
No, it’s not the personalized license plate in the custom holder, or even the severe lack of team themed decals.
No, it’s not just that you don’t want to see what’s in the trunk, even if you have probable cause or a warrant.
Tell you what, take a moment and take a few deep breaths and prepare yourself, because we’re about to zoom in close to THE CROTCH OF BOLTMAN!
Okay, ready? EXTENZE!!! er… I mean, ENHANCE!
TOO CLOSE! UN-ENHANCE!
That little doodle dropping down from his jock strap area… not a wardrobe malfunction, or a Big Daddy Drew Email Of The Week candidate, but a snake, showing that he is standing in front of a Mustang Cobra.
BOLTMAN! goes for a muscle car, and doesn’t get a Charger?! A CHARGER IS THE ONLY CHOICE! I guess if the Chargers won’t go all the way, their biggest fan won’t either! Not to mention, he could get a Volt and never pay for fuel due to BOLTING UP the electric engine constantly! I AM HIGHLY DISAPPOINTED IN THE REALITY I BASED A FICTIONAL CHARACTER OFF OF! Goddamnit, this is why we’re going to lose to the Browns.