Normally, I write the "three good things" from the San Diego Chargers previous game, and leave the "three bad things" to another author to handle. Today, we're doing things a little bit differently.
Below are my "three bad things", and later today you can expect to read "three worse things" from the loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
It was not just a problem in this game. The San Diego Chargers special teams are a problem.
The team has zero punt returns, the kick return game hasn't done much of anything, the coverage teams are mostly awful, and Josh Lambo hasn't added much value that Nick Novak didn't already have.
Overall, this season, the Chargers rank 28th in special teams according to Football Outsiders, and I'm a little surprised they're not lower than that.
Health / Injuries
Darren Smith was recounting the other day an old interview he had done with Jim Fassel, when he asked the former Giants head coach if injuries were ever a viable excuse.
"They're not an excuse, but sometimes they're a reason," was the answer given, to the best of Darren's memory.
Injuries right now are a reason for the Chargers, and occasionally an explanation, and possibly an excuse. However, when looking forward, they're cause for concern.
The Chargers are not a healthy team right now. Each week, when their injury report comes out, it is twice or three times as long as their opponents. The offensive line is not healthy enough to field a squad, and the only healthy guy in the secondary is the one who is playing more to protect his body than he is to win his team games.
It's difficult to stay healthy. It's even more difficult to get your team healthy in the middle of an NFL season, with the bye week well over a month away. The Chargers will now be dealing with their injuries week in and week out, which is not an uncommon occurrence for this franchise. At some point, health has to be viewed as something that the Chargers don't do well rather than just bad luck.
This one is two-fold, and get ready to call me crazy.
Danny Woodhead was, for the first time in a long time, wildly ineffective. He carried the ball 5 times for just 11 yards. Outside of a 22 yard catch, he had next to no impact in this game at all.
At the same time, the coaching staff shied away from getting him involved at all.
Now, you could say they shied away from it because he wasn't being very productive, but to that I reply "small sample size" and now we're at an impasse.
The point is, this offense works best when Woodhead has a Darren Sproles-like impact and role in it. The whole gameplan doesn't have to be focused on him, but he better be a part of it and not just an afterthought. On Sunday, he was an afterthought.