1 Lather, Rinse, Repeat
The worst of all possible worlds for this team is to get a good lead in the first half. This will result in the coaching staff, in a pattern of ineptitude we have grown sadly used to in 3 and one quarter seasons usually attempt to "preserve" a win with 30 minutes of game time left. The effort to preserve the win will produce yet another loss.
Unlike the game against the Jaguars, the Bolts noticeably took their foot off the gas coming out in the 3rd quarter with a 10-point lead on the Saints. In so doing, the Bolts wasted a perfectly good opportunity starting the 3rd quarter to really put away the game. First, came an idiotic decision to run out the ball out of the end zone from 6 yards deep. Then, run, run, pass, punt, with 3 penalties mixed in for good measure. (The preparation must have been unusually good this week!) A "meh" punt, short field, and voila! The 10-point lead becomes a 3-point lead. This team refuses to attempt to put away opponents or to stick with a game plan that is working.
2 Still Can't Run
RRPP (Run, Run, Pass, Punt) is even more frustrating due to the complete inability to do the "run, run" part of that formula. Yes, I get that in this game that Slauson was the only starting o-lineman playing in the same position they were in for game 1 in KC. But that did leave 3 and a half starters on the line (Pulley has been seeing some spot starting at the RG position) against one of the worst defense in the NFL. It did not matter; the Chargers could still not get a ground game going.
I am beginning to suspect that the composition of the line itself may be an issue. The Bolts have some true giants on their line, even by NFL standards. It occurred to me watching the game that I cannot remember the last time I have seen pulling guards, tackles moving down the line for a wham block on a misdirection, or really any other lateral movement from the Bolts O-line on anything but inside zone blocking plays. Could the Bolts be limiting the types of running plays they can do because their linemen are physically incapable of doing anything but what they are doing? Just wondering in print here...
3 The Worst 5 Minutes of Charger Football I've Ever Watched
I have coherent memories of Charger Football dating back to 1971. What I saw today from around the 6 minute through 1 minute mark of the game is easily the worst 5 minute stretch I can recall seeing...
I am still not certain what disgusted me more - McCoy calling a time out with 2 seconds left on the play clock on a 4th and 2 for the opponent (the biggest bail out by one coach to another team I have ever seen) or Benjamin fumbling the ball without any physical contact whatsoever.
This is what rock bottom feels like folks. If a team was actively being instructed to deliberately lose football games, this is what it would look like. It is not so much the losing; we Bolts fans certainly know what it feels like and what it is to get honorably beat by a better team or be frustrated watching a stupid play in exactly the wring situation. Losing two games out of 4 this season where the win probability was > 99% is beyond any level of tolerance.
If Benjamin is still on the team on Tuesday, it will demonstrate that there is no accountability for any mistake made by a player, no matter how inexplicable (and unforgiveable) the mistake that they have or may make. I would not care about salary cap or dead money considerations. Setting a tone for your team in the face of THIS is beyond cap consideration. Your reputation as a franchise is at stake here. To put a football on the ground without contact in that situation is an act that would have a 10-year old Pop Warner player too ashamed to return to his team the next week.
If McCoy still has a job on Tuesday, it will confirm what we have already suspected; that ownership has no concern whatsoever in the actual product they are presenting to league or the fans of this team. There is bad coaching and then there is losing two games in a 21-day span that your team had a greater than 99% probability of winning. It will mean that this team does not deserve one iota of loyalty or emotional involvement (let alone commitment) on your part. It certainly does not have mine anymore.