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Random Thoughts on the San Diego Chargers after Sunday’s collapse

NFL: San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Every positive change that we thought we saw from Melvin Gordon in the preseason and training camp translated over to the first game of the season. He was patient but decisive. He only had one play I can remember during the entire game where he hesitated and it cost him. He was simply fantastic. I truly believe that he had more than half of the best runs of his career against the Chiefs on Sunday.

I’m a huge fan of Danny Woodhead and he played well on Sunday, but why did he out-snap Gordon in a game where the Chargers had a 21-point lead? That makes no sense at all.

Keenan Allen really was primed to have a breakout year. He was open on nearly every snap. Whenever Philip Rivers needed a first down, he knew he could just look for Allen and he would pick it up. The loss of Allen for the rest of the season really hurts. You hate to see someone who works as hard as Allen lose an entire year of his athletic prime like this. And the offense simply isn’t the same without him. Everyone is worse.

The offensive line looked a lot better for most of the game. They picked a bad time to start giving up pressure on Rivers, though. Ken Whisenhunt also picked a bad time to turn back into a pumpkin.

Where were all of the two tight end sets? Hunter Henry was a ghost. Antonio Gates was barely involved either.

Tyrell Williams is a playmaker. Every time he touched the ball, good things happened. I hope we get to see more of him moving forward. Travis Benjamin was involved in one of the biggest “hidden plays” of the game. He was going to be wide open in the end zone for a touchdown late. Eric Berry knew he was burnt and made the veteran move of holding Benjamin. The Chargers ended up settling for a field goal after the penalty.

We were all so excited to watch Jatavis Brown in the preseason and then he spent most of training camp and preseason injured. Well, on Sunday we got to see him in action and it was impressive. He is the only inside linebacker on the roster that has the athleticism necessary to actually cover anyone on a regular basis. I’m still wondering where he was in the second half.

Manti Te’o made some of the best and most athletic plays of his career that I can remember in the first half. In the second half, it’s as if the Chiefs realized he still couldn’t cover anyone and they went after him and after Denzel Perryman. Both were badly exposed in coverage and repeatedly so.

We spent a lot of time worrying about the lack of starting-caliber safeties on this roster leading up to the game and through the first half our concerns seemed misplaced. In the second half, Dwight Lowery and Jahleel Addae became far more noticeable as they were completely incapable of slowing down the Chiefs passing attack. I’m scared to think what they will look like against a quarterback that can throw the ball more than 15 yards downfield.

Brandon Mebane was everything we could have asked for and more. It wasn’t like having Jamal Williams back, but it was the first time since Jamal that you could feel good about the nose tackle position. I need to go back to watch the game again, but watching live, Mebane seemed to impact the play consistently.

Caraun Reid was a pleasant surprise. We had reason to believe he could play, but he stood out much earlier than I dared hope he would. I didn’t understand how he became available and I still don’t. Sometimes you get lucky and Telesco made the smart move to claim him.

Jason Verrett is just as good as people have been saying all offseason. That interception he made was insane. Watching it back, I still don’t understand how he did it. Hopefully, we will get to see him play a full 16 games this season, so he can get the credit he deserves for how good he is.

A missed field goal and a 17-yard punt did not help matters. Coverage teams were not good. Special Teams has been a problem area for what feels like years now.

I understand that the Spanos family is incredibly cheap and that they do not want to pay two head coaches at the same time. I understand that no coach would necessarily want to take a job where he wouldn’t know where he was coaching in two years. What I struggle to understand, even given those factors, is how a head coach as bad as Mike McCoy still has a job. I miss Norv Turner. I miss Marty Schottenheimer. Hell, I almost miss Mike Riley, June Jones, and Kevin Gilbride. Okay, maybe not the last three.