The Los Angeles Chargers went into week 2 with an 1-0 record, but a bunch of issues that threatened to derail them in Detroit. Unfortunately, those issues got the better of them and the Chargers now sit at 1-1 following one of the uglier losses of the Anthony Lynn era.
Despite being shadowed by Darius Slay, one of the NFL’s best cover corners, Keenan Allen was open all day and hauled in 8 catches for 98 yards on his way to an absolutely dominant performance.
He entered the game with an expectation that he would play only in the red zone and certain other high leverage situations since he was dealing with an injury all week that kept him out of practice. Instead, he played big-time snaps and caught 3 balls for 83 yards including one amazing catch down the left sideline at the end of the 1st half that setup the offense with a chance to get a field goal as time expired.
The veteran cornerback and former Packer was by far the best player in the Chargers secondary as usual. In addition to great coverage all day, Hayward also made one of the most impressive inteceptions you will ever see. He had perfect coverage, he got practically tackled by the receiver, and he showed tremendous concentration to haul in the interception.
As always, the defense struggled to tackle. They struggled to tackle running backs in the backfield and in the open field. They struggled to tackle receivers after the catch. They simply struggled all day. It was hard to watch and it showed no signs of getting any better.
Lack of cornerback depth
The cornerback group is simply overmatched when players like Brandon Facyon are asked to be on the field for every defensive snap. It really isn’t even his fault. He’s a decent if unspectacular 4th or 5th cornerback and he is being stretched way, way too far. Kenny Golladay went for 117 yards and a touchdown on 8 receptions, most of which came against guys that had no business trying to cover him.
The injuries coming into the game were bad enough, but the additional ones suffered during the game were too much to overcome. Adrian Phillips’ importance has been magnified with the loss of Derwin James and we still don’t know how much time he will miss. We also saw Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa limp off the field at different points, and one can only hope they did not sustain anything that will linger.
On one drive, the Chargers scored two fantastic touchdowns, and both times the referees called them back on phantom penalties. Neither penalty was remotely defensible and the fact that they were eventually followed by a turnover was arguably the difference in the outcome of the game.
The fill-in for Michael Badgley was great last week, and he was solid through the 1st half today, but then the good times ceased. Long missed a pair of field goals that would have been the difference between winning and losing. You can’t even really be upset with him, though. He’s a punter. He shows up in The Ugly because he’s a punter that’s being asked to kick important field goals in regular season games.