Bye weeks are funny things. Sure, they help a team get healthy again, but they also provide the coaching staff of a team an extra week of preparation.
The go-to example, that I will use here, is Andy Reid. “Big Red” is notoriously great after a bye week, with a record of 20-2 (if you include games played after both regular season and playoff bye weeks). He is the standard to which other coaches are held when it comes to bye weeks.
History (Or Lack There Of)
Over the last five years, the Los Angeles Chargers have not been very good after the bye. With a 2-3 record, they rank among the worst teams in the league coming off their own bye week.
Image courtesy of Cheatsheet War Room
However, since I attribute bye week success to coaching staffs, I don’t think that number reflects positively or negatively on Anthony Lynn and his staff. How they respond to the extra week of preparation has yet to be seen.
A (Misleading?) Quote
Huddled in their offices for an in-depth round of self-scouting, the team’s coach said he and his staff hopefully uncovered some things that’ll help in the team’s next eight games.
“It’s always good when you have the time to go back and look and see other things,” Lynn said Monday. “We do that every game anyway, but we had a chance to sit back and really reflect on it. I thought it was productive.”
The results? Well, he’s not sharing those as of now.
“Hopefully, they show on Sunday,” he said.
When the Chargers play that day in Jacksonville against the Jaguars, they won’t have used their week without a game as an extreme amount of extra preparation.
Monday, Lynn said, the team would mostly focus on conditioning and fundamentals during a “bonus” practice before getting back into the rhythms of a normal game week Wednesday.
“(We) took a peek at (Jacksonville) last week,” Lynn said. “But last week, I really wanted to look at the Chargers, and try to fix the Chargers.”
Source: San Diego Union-Tribune
Reading that, you’d think that the extra time Anthony Lynn and his coaching staff had were spent more on the Chargers than they were on the Jaguars. I’m not sure if that’s true, and I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. However, I am pretty sure it’s not how Andy Reid spends his bye weeks.
The Focus / The Potential
Knowing that the Jacksonville Jaguars, who came off their bye last week and crushed the Cincinnati Bengals 23-7, don’t trust their QB, the focus of the coaching staff should be to try and force Blake Bortles to beat them this week.
The issue with that is the Chargers’ run defense ranks 26th out of 32 teams by DVOA.
So, how will Los Angeles try and slow down the vaunted Jaguars run game? By bringing back Denzel Perryman, who has been a pretty good run-stopper throughout his career, and using him to replace Kyle Emanuel, a pass-rushing specialist playing weakside LB. Hopefully, that’s enough.