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BFTB Mailbag: In typical Chargers fashion

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Let’s take a dip into the mailbag and answer some quality tweets!

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Chargers beat the Oakland Raiders this past Sunday by a score of 26-10. The score actually should have been 26-6 as the play that resulted in a Jordy Nelson touchdown catch should never have counted.

Here’s the a clip of the moment brought to you by the head Score Moron, himself, Garrett Sisti:

It’s absolutely incredible that this play went through and even more incredible that nothing has been said about it whatsoever in the aftermath of the game. I really don’t know what else to say about it at this point. Just a hell of a whiff by the officials.

Regardless, the team won the game while playing awfully well on top of it. These things are always a bit more fun when there isn’t a recent loss hovering over the heads of fans in the form of dark clouds and rainfall.

We have a nice, diverse set of questions thanks to all of you who participated so hopefully some of you get to have your queries answered.

Let’s get to it.

One of the most visible themes to this year’s team is that the absence of Joey Bosa has directly affected not just the overall pass rush productivity of the team, but even the play of the defensive backs.

I do not believe the scheme is the issue, by any means. In fact, I think Gus Bradley has done a wonderful job up to this point in creating pressure by utilizing the talents of other players, including rookie safety Derwin James.

Initially, it was Isaac Rochell who stepped into Bosa’s spot at the “big end” position for the first three games. However, Rochell was essentially a non-factor and was soon replaced by defensive tackle Damion Square and, in turn, Rochell has been utilized as an inside technique in order to maximize his quickness against interior offensive linemen.

Since the switch, the overall performance of the defensive line has improved which is an awesome thing to see after #99 announced he would be out until after the bye week.

I believe everyone needs to start saying their prayers or sending out all the good vibes because the situations surrounding both Forrest Lamp and Bosa have been nothing but frustrating and utterly confusing.

The deal with Lamp is almost more aggravating than the situation with Bosa because at least we have a set date in time for #99 to return to the field. Lamp is well over 12 months removed from his ACL surgery and hasn’t gotten a wink of action in a game yet this season. After playing most of the final preseason game, Lamp has been inactive for every game minus this past Sunday without much of a word on the reasons why by Lynn and company.

It was to my great pleasure that Lynn recently stated that Lamp is “ready to go” but until I see that glorious man running with the first team in practice, I have to keep my feeling reserved.

Long story short, I expect Bosa to back following the bye. I am also scared out of my mind that Lynn will just never start Lamp and we will watch this season tick by with him just being a back-up to Schofield because this head coach is far too loyal to serviceable players.

This will be an interesting topic in the near future and I predict many people will be very torn on what type of contract the fourth-year back will deserve.

For context, let’s look at the top-5 contracts for running backs on a per year basis:

  1. Le’Veon Bell - Franchise Tag: 1 yr. / $14,544,000
  2. Todd Gurley - 4 yrs. / $57,500,000 ($14,375,000 per)
  3. David Johnson - 3 yrs. / $39,000,000 ($13,000,000 per)
  4. Devonta Freeman - 5 yrs. / $41,250,000 ($8,250,000 per)
  5. LeSean McCoy - 5 yrs. / $40,050,000 ($8,010,000 per)

Now you guys can probably see the massive drop-off from Johnson to Freeman on this list. I think a good place to start here would be to ask ourselves what we believe Gordon’s worth is to this team and their potential future success. We also need to take into account how each player expecting a new contract will attempt to get every penny that they think they’re worth. So we can sit here all day and debate what #28 is worth but I think at the end of the day, his final numbers will be a smidge higher than expected.

In my honest opinion, I believe his deal will likely fall under Johnson’s average but still above Freeman’s. I don’t want to think Gordon will command anything above 10 million per year but somewhere right below should be fair. However, if he somehow snaps off this year and becomes one of the hottest commodities at the position, that leverage could work wonders for his bank account.

No.

I think the dumpster fire that has been the Oakland Raiders organization and all the surrounding media coverage based off their inability to keep Khalil Mack will forever be a reason to pay your best players.

I do not think the Chargers can afford to lose Bosa to another team, especially with them getting a peak into what that reality could be like with his current absence from the field.

I don’t care if it means giving him the key to the city, they must keep Bosa.

This was my favorite question this week because, well, once you’ve been a part of this fan base for an extended period of time, this is how your mind starts to work in anticipation of certain match-ups.

For what it’s worth, I don’t believe the Chargers will lose to the Browns. I’ve always been a irresponsibly positive and optimistic and I’m not entirely jaded just yet. For the sake of Lee’s question, I’m going to do my best to imagine a nightmare scenario where the Chargers lose to the Browns for the second time in three years.

very long and deep sigh...Here we go.

In a match-up against a very up-and-coming defense, the Chargers trot out against the Browns for a second week without either of their starting offensive tackles. The Browns defensive front consists of former number one overall pick, Myles Garrett, underrated DT Larry Ogunjobi, and a group of athletic and versatile linebackers in Jamie Collins, Christian Kirksey, and Joe Schobert.

Garrett is an athletic freak while Ogunjobi is currently tied for 4th in the NFL with 22 pressures as an interior defensive linemen. I don’t know about you but a match-up of Garrett vs. Sam Tevi would be worth the price for admission in and of itself.

Ogunjobi vs. Mike Pouncey will be another match-up to watch as the athletic center will have his hands full in attempting to minimize any pressure up the middle. For this hypothetical, let’s just say this isn’t how things play out.

From the start of the game, the pressure by the Browns defense will be felt. Rivers has almost no time to get the ball off and when he feels forced to check down to one of his running backs, the LBs will already be all over it as this was all in the gameplan from the start.

Sooner than later, the immediate pressure finally gets through to Rivers and some sort of turnover occurs, leading to a quick score from Baker Mayfield to Jarvis Landry. 7-0 Browns.

The Chargers, in an attempt to regain some momentum, march down the field behind the likes of Keenan Allen, Gordon, and Ekeler. After stalling in the red zone, Sturgis trots on to attempt a 36-yard field goal. Inevitably, it dings off the left post and the whole team for some reason punches Donnie Jones in the balls because it’s somehow not the kicker’s fault.

Browns rookie wideout takes advantage of momentum swing and catches a bomb from Mayfield over the top of Trevor Williams. Just like that, the team is on the Bolt’s side of the 50. Carlos Hyde churns out some gutsy yards, converting a pair of 3rd-and-shorts before breaking the plane on a 5-yard scamper off the rear end of his right tackle. It is now 14-0 Browns.

Somehow, Brandon Mebane’s arm falls off and he is now out for the rest of the game.

On the ensuing drive, the ground game finds it’s spark in Ekeler as the electric back breaks off a pair of 20-yard gains on back-to-back plays. Tight end Virgil Green finds some space off the play-action and gets hit up the seam for a 23-yard touchdown. 14-7 Browns as the teams head into the locker room for the half.

Ok this is already getting far too long and I have a life to live so I’ll shorten this bad boy up.

The way I can see this game ending in a loss is the defense is just meh in combination with the offense failing to avoid turnovers while facing a ton of pressure. Rivers has been playing some of his best football this season and it’s hard not to put some trust in #17 to limit the damage.

But, in typical Chargers fashion, where they just can’t seem to stop themselves from Chargering in the the most Charger-way possible, Sturgis will likely miss one too many kicks which will subsequently allow the Browns to squeak out a win where the margin of victory is less than the amount of points that Sturgis left on the field that day.

#BooKickers #NeverKickAgain #AlwaysGoForIt