FORREST LAMP WAS NOT PLAYING SO THERE REALLY WAS NOT ANY REASON TO WATCH THE GAME, ANYWAY.
I am just kidding. (Am I?)
Regardless, whenever the Chargers take the field, it does not matter who does and does not play, there is always a reason to watch. Whether that is to observe how the back-ups perform against greater competition or you just cannot wait to see your team on the television screen, we all have our reasons.
Personally, it is a mix of the two.
I still get awfully giddy when the Bolts play and I always hope to see some exciting action so I can ride that high for the whole week until the next game arrives.
On the other hand, I also hope they perform well enough to give me plenty of ammo for writing.
Unfortunately, this was not one of those games.
Anyways, here are my thoughts on the game from last night. Hopefully, we can find some warm, fuzzy feelings in there somewhere.
The Game Started Flat and it Never Really Got Any Better
On the very first play from scrimmage, Melvin Gordon took a hand-off from Kellen Clemons towards the right side. He was abruptly cut off when Antonio Gates was blown back into his lap, causing Gordon to turn and head the other direction. He had no such luck as he was eventually swarmed by defenders for a loss of nine yards on the play.
This was followed by two more dud plays by Clemons which led the Bolts to trot out their punt unit.
On the very first play from scrimmage for the Saints, rookie running back Alvin Kamara to a hand-off on a wide zone play and hit the hole hard on his way to outracing the defense for a 50-yard touchdown.
You can see the difference, right? One is how you SHOULD NOT start a football game and the other is how you DEFINITELY SHOULD start a football game. Alas, the Bolts were a part of the former rather than the latter.
I was hoping to see more fire and fight from the team after last week but it was nowhere to be seen once again.
The Loss of Denzel Perryman Looks Even Worse and I Cannot Stand Kyle Emanuel
Nick Dzubnar started over Korey Toomer in place of Denzel Perryman and the step-back in talent was felt on the very first play. Dzubnar strafed right as he attempted to follow the play to Kamara. He was quickly made useless as he allowed an offensive line to get his hands on him instead of being the aggressor and blowing said lineman up. Kamara ran right off the backside of this lineman for the first score of the game.
I do not have much to say about this play other than the lack of intensity was extremely apparent. Dzubie looked afraid to engage the lineman and allowed himself to become blocked without much of a fight. Just depressing to watch. Hopefully, it was simply an experiment to trot #48 out there.
In terms of Emanuel, I do not think he is being used as he should be. If he is off the ball whatsoever, he is out of his comfort zone. He was a hand-in-the-dirt defensive end in college where he excelled and his initial transition to a standup end/outside linebacker within the old 3-4 defense was not the hardest thing to do. He stayed near the LOS and found success in stopping the run. However, this is the extent of his positives.
Emanuel is less than a liability in coverage. Go back and watch the very first game of the 2016 season against Kansas City and you will see what I am talking about. Offenses have realized that if you leak a running back to the flat on Emanuel’s side, it will more than likely go for chunk yards as he has nowhere near the skills to cover it.
I was reminded of this major flaw last night as I watched Chase Daniel throw a pass to Kamara in the flat with Emanuel helplessly running five yards behind him.
It just makes me tired. So. Tired.
Desmond King is Everything I Could Have Hoped/Wished For
In his second professional game, fifth-round pick Desmond King continued where he left off last week. He lined up everywhere, was always around the ball, and made more than a handful of plays. Like, how in the world did the Chargers get this guy in the fifth round?
Who knows, but you will never see me complaining.
After a forced fumble and his first career interception against Seattle, King walked off the field Sunday night after notching a tackle for loss, a sack, a quarterback hit, and a pass defended.
King has been the lone bright spot among the first-year players. Third-round pick Dan Feeney has been solid but fans are still waiting for him to take the right guard duties from Kenny Wiggins (something that was not expected to take this long). Although there have been a number of newcomers who have “impressed” at one point or another, King has been the only one to really put it all together in a game so far.
Let us hope it continues.
Lastly, it was only one return, but when Desmond King collected a kick return against Seattle I was instantly impressed with the poise he had as he gathered it off the turf and turned a few nifty moves into a 19-yard return.
It was nothing overly-spectacular but it still stood out. You could see the confidence flowing out of him to the point that it was visibly different than watching Isaiah Burse or Travis Benjamin do the same thing. There was no indecision or hesitation.
This is something I have been waiting to see in the return game for the last several years.
What did you guys come away with after the game? Maybe we have some similarities. Let us know in the comments.