On Coaching: What went right and wrong at Oakland

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jerome Watson expresses his thoughts on the coaching decisions that led to the Chargers Loss to the Raiders in Sunday Night's contest.

The San Diego Chargers offense vs. Oakland Raiders

  • It's hard to argue against Philip Rivers' 36 completions for 411 yards, but 49 attempts still make me shake my head. The Oakland Raiders are stout up front and controlled the trenches. A 49-19 pass to run ratio isn't balance, and it's disheartening to see the San Diego Chargers coaches so willing to go away from the ground game.
  • Run Play Diversity. Revert to the tape. Count how many times the San Diego Chargers ran the Inside Zone after good gains or a fresh set of downs. Now, count the number of traps and/or wham blocks the Chargers ran at Oakland's best defender in Lamar Houston. What you should get is a fairly large point differential.

    Maybe I'm just jealous of Indianapolis and San Francisco and all that they do to your defense. Don't blame me though, I was led to believe the Chargers hired an innovative coach whose specialty was in the ground game.
  • Johnnie Troutman is a gem. He can play. He advances to the second level in a hurry, finds someone when he gets there and almost always finishes blocks through the whistle. He was called upon to pull in McCoy's Patent Traps last night and executed as well as Chad Rinehart did before his injury. Troutman's leading path, square shoulders and nastiness on those plays means we should see a whole lot more of this THROUGHOUT games.

    Jeromey Clary on the other hand should never be called upon to pull. His path is a confusing one; he always panics at first threat and runs it as if he just got a substitution (square to sideline). But I will say, in his defense, every time he got a one on one opportunity, it was lights out for the defender. Proving he could've been every bit as impressive as Troutman was versus Dallas.
  • Time to up Keenan Allen's role, right? Not just more catches but Randall Cobb-esque roles. Keenan is a tough tackle for defenders and runs incredibly hard behind his pads. And because of this I feel he should be getting 2 to 3 carries a game, 3 to 5 screens a game, obviously coupled with the 8 (minimum) targets he should be getting per contest. Feed 13.

The San Diego Chargers defense vs. Oakland Raiders

I'm going to keep this short because I hate defense and it's boring.

  • Lack of team speed, lack of recognition and arm tackling will ensure you a couch seat in the winter.
  • When an OC calls an 18 sweep (QB Keeper Right) out of a bunch with zero play action or deception, they have zero respect for the opposing defense's speed and tackling. Right or wrong?
  • You don't run quarters in the red zone, and you especially don't do it with a rookie ILB. (Example: 1st Quarter, 2:56 Mark. Oakland in Pistol Diamond. Terrelle Pryor play action to right, Manti Te'o opens hips correctly but then picks up the deep cross. He now has his back to the QB and the FB running underneath is uncovered and that deep cross is now double covered by Eric Weddle and Te'o. Weddle then has to come from the deep middle to sideline to make tackle, where Te'o would've/should've been had he read it correctly)
  • The defensive coordinator got somewhat creative two times last night. One was a nice play design to get a sack on Pryor by the blitzing DB. The other? Well, he decided to have Cam Thomas drop into the middle on 3rd down, with a cover 3. Oakland, in an empty set, politely took what San Diego gave them and got the first down with "all curls." At least he tried.
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