Let me begin by saying that the Jaguars are no longer the laughing stock they were even a year ago. Sure, Doug Petersen has really turned the tides there. BUT – that’s no reason for a “Super Bowl contending” team like the Chargers to lose 38-10 to them. It was a miserable game to watch right from the kick-off. We didn’t even get a first down until the second quarter, for God’s sake.
Being an eternal optimist, when we were able to hold the Jags to field goals and were only down 6-0, I thought we still had it in the bag. But, unfortunately, as happens to many teams – we took the game for granted. Or, at least it looked like it. And THAT is the reason why my fingers type so furiously today.
Not because we lost, not because we risked Herbert’s health for nothing. While it certainly wasn’t Herbo’s best game, you can’t pin the blame on him. Nor can you blame it on any one player, for that matter. A lot of things went wrong – certain missed tackles, atrocious Offensive line play, Bosa being injured. But, that’s not why Chargers fans should be mad. They should be mad because the Bolts put up ZERO fight. The effort and intensity were not there. And to have the audacity to have the aspirations we have, the Chargers simply did not play as we belong anywhere near the top. Which I, like many fans, believe we are.
A Chemistry-less Offense
Simply put, our Offense could not get anything going. A large part of this is, of course, due to our battered O-Line. Which, we knew was battered from the start, and yet we still decided to play an injured Herbert. Now that’s just careless! Our only effective piece of the Offense, Mike Williams, was only targeted 6 times. One of which amounted to our only touchdown. Austin Ekeler had 5 rushing attempts and 8 receptions. And yet these two guys are supposed to be our biggest weapons in the absence of Keenan Allen? What in the world is going on? We had ZERO rhythm, and it showed. And to make matters worse – we didn’t make any adjustments, either. We kept going out there with blind confidence in Justin Herbert. Sometimes that works, but maybe not with a fractured rib.
A Careless Defense
The other side of the ball was even worse. Downright disgusting to watch. We let Trevor Lawrence and company do whatever they want on us, as if they were the 2013 Denver Broncos. Not only did we put NO pressure on Trevor Lawrence, but the coverage also wasn’t there, either! I get it, you don’t want to bring the house every play – but if you leave all your guys in coverage, they should cover, right? Nope. So, common logic would then sway you to bring the house, since guys are open anyways? Nope, again. It’s ironic, how we actually stopped the run pretty well. But, as you could tell from the scoreboard alone, it didn’t matter. At all. Lastly, it wasn’t even a shoot-out filled with big, fantastical plays. The Jaguars dinked and dunked us to 38 points. Short crossing routes got them down the field and converted to points. We looked like fools out there.
Lack of Intensity
This brings us to the last, and most important, point. We didn’t play like a team that wanted to win – we played like a team that expected to win. Now, we’re 1-2, and a long list of our key players are injured – including our franchise QB.
Sure, it’s too early to give up on the season – way too early. But, if a loss like this doesn’t ring the alarm for immediate adjustment, then there’s a far deeper issue than meets the eye. The adjustments we need? Our Offensive line giving Herbert enough time. Our Defensive Backs sticking to their guys, or helping out their teammates. The Defensive Line putting pressure on the opposing QB without needing to blitz. Last but not least – effort. Guys should be rallying around the ball. The Offensive Line should be bursting off of the line of scrimmage. Receivers should be getting an extra 5 YAC. If we can do that, or at least some of that – we’ll get back on track. And, we’ll look just as good as we did in Week 1.
Put the “Bolt” in “Bolt Up”
As I always say – we need to capitalize on mistakes. We were blessed with losses from the rest of our Division. Luckily, the rest of the AFC West isn’t performing up to expectations, either. We should’ve leveled the field with KC. We didn’t. And now, I’m more concerned than just the standings. Sure, a lot of our guys were injured/beaten up. But, I’m tired of excuses. I’m sick of the injury bug robbing our seasons. We need to get it together – regardless of who is out there. For now, my breath is held until we face Houston next week. And if we can’t win that one, either —
I don’t even want to think about it… we’re better than this, Hopefully, the troops can start to believe it – and act like it – too. The Bolts need to find their electricity again.
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