The Chargers pulled out the win on Thursday night, but nobody is perfect. There were some things that need cleaned up. Here are the 3 worst.
Travis Benjamin as a punt returner
I thought the team had taken punt return duties away from Benjamin last week, but I was wrong. Benjamin started the game off as the punt returner again and it went terribly. He let a ball drop inside the 10, again, that got downed inside the 5, but he lucked out that the Broncos initially touched it back out on the 7. Then things got worse. Benjamin waived everyone away from a ball, but then he ran up and touched it allowing the Broncos to recover, and if not for the refs blowing the call, would have scored a touchdown. After that the team sent Dexter McCluster out to return punts. Their excuse for not doing it the whole game was that McCluster is a little banged up and limited all week. Well there should be no more excuses. McCluster, or Craig Mager, or anyone else not named Benjamin (or Kenny Wiggins).
Pretty much the same story in the 4th quarter
The play calling was once again garbage in the 4th quarter with the lead. “Coach” Mike McCoy did a great job in the 1st half, but in the 4th quarter with a 2 score lead, McCoy (and his staff) took their foot off the gas. 1st and 2nd down were almost always a run, up the middle, which hadn’t worked all day. Even national media like Gregg Rosenthal noticed:
Let Rivers pass on first down. My God.— Gregg Rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) October 14, 2016
McCoy looked like he was playing to “not lose” rather than playing to win. They wound up winning anyway, but it was almost like they won in-spite of McCoy’s 4th quarter decisions, not because of them. If he wants to be employed much longer he needs to find that killer instinct.
Many of us couldn’t appreciate what was happening while it was happening.
The Chargers players did a great job last night. They put on a pretty awesome performance in basically every aspect of the game. But if you were like me, and many others based on what I saw happening on Twitter, you couldn’t appreciate it while it was happening. The ever present sense of impending doom that has been conditioned into us as Charger fans, especially this season, prevented you from getting excited. Sure there were moments of “oh nice!” and “yeah!” but the overall feeling of “when is the fire going to start?” was always there. I hope they can right the ship and string together a couple of wins so that we can go back to enjoying the games for what they are, but this was probably the worst thing during the game.