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Los Angeles Chargers Come Up Short on Goals

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NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s talk about the goals from last week quickly, though. Every team at every level comes up with goals going into games. Since I’m not in the meeting room it’s obviously impossible for me to know what the Chargers goals were for the Broncos. Let’s recap those goals.

Offensive & Defensive goals

Offensive goals were pretty mild, I thought.

  • 4.5 yards per carry
  • 3 pass plays over 20 yards
  • 60% TD conversion in the Red Area
  • 2 or fewer sacks
  • 1 or fewer turnover

Being down 17 made the Chargers 1 dimensional. Head Coach Anthony Lynn admitted he bailed on the run game too soon. I felt like their running game was a bit predictable as well. Averaging 2.9 yards per carry on 22 carries isn’t going to cut it. And it didn’t. They needed to wear down the Denver defense and they just didn’t do that. Melvin Gordon didn’t do himself any favors by not making a guy miss in 1-on-1 situations. I was fine with how the offensive line performed.

Aside from the bomb to Travis Benjamin in the 4th quarter, there were no explosive plays in the passing game. Not going to be able to dink and dunk against a great secondary. Especially if you’re going to challenge them on the perimeter. If you want to count the pass interference, that’s fair. Tyrell Williams had a ball poked out late in the game as well that he should’ve caught.

The team was 100% in the red area at converting touchdowns. That was good to see. Love the fact that they threw it to Gordon. Also, only 1 sack. Philip Rivers was very conscious of the Broncos pass rush and did a good job of not holding on to the ball. He threw it away as he was getting hit a couple times. I’d say he was a little frantic and too worried about the pass rush at times. As far as turnovers, just the 1 interception but they also failed miserably on a 4th down. In that situation, I’m putting the ball in my quarterback's hands. I don’t care if it’s 4th and short.

2/5 on the goals offensively.

Defense

The defensive goals were steeper but that’s because this unit is better. Or so I thought.

  • Under 35% 3rd down conversions
  • 3 or more sacks
  • More than 1 turnover
  • 3+ pass deflections/interceptions
  • 2< explosive plays

The Broncos were 8/15 on 3rd downs. A Trevor Siemian led team should not be converting 53% on you. The defense actually did a good job of winning early in downs. 9 of those 15 3rd downs were 3rd & 6 or longer. So on 3rd & 6 or more the Broncos were 4 for 9. So 44% in obvious passing situations. Yikes.

The Chargers did have 2 turnovers. Should have had 3. They also exceeded the pass deflections/interceptions goal. That was modest in my opinion considering the talent in the secondary. Desmond King made a heck of a play to force an interception. I imagine we’ll be seeing more of him at nickel. Both edge guys were fantastic. 4 sacks and could’ve easily been 6 or 7.

This last goal was going to be the kicker. I didn’t think that the Broncos would be able to methodically drive on this defense consistently throughout the game. 5 plays over 15 yards. A few others in double digits. Just far too many chunk plays that the defense gave up. Ultimately they were able to hold Denver to 3-5 on the goal line. The 3rd & goal from the 6 play that went for a touchdown hurt.

3 for 5 on the defensive goals. There will be corrections and adjustments made for Miami. From a players standpoint, they’re going to have to limit the Dolphins from being explosive.