When I chose to write the first rendition of this article a week ago, it was because the Chargers’ performance against the Dolphins had been so wonky that I just had to share the unusual amount of eye-opening statistics that were born from the debacle. Fast forward a week and here we are again. For the second straight week, the Chargers found a way to lose a game that had never been done before. One could say they’re now 2-0 in that fashion on the year, but that’s not the record that helps them make the playoffs in the end. They’re currently 0-2 and looking about as desperate as a team can get this early in the season.
Somehow, here are three more eye-opening stats from the Week Two loss to the Titans.
Chargers allowed Ryan Tannehill to complete 20-of-24 passes (83.3%) on Sunday, marking his second-highest completion percentage in a game and the highest clip since the 2013 season
Just one week prior to this game, the Titans looked like one of the worst offenses in the NFL as Tannehill chucked three interceptions en route to Tennessee kicking five field goals with zero touchdowns scored. There was just no way the Chargers weren’t going to have a defensive bounce-back game against this unit who looked like a Pop Warner team trying to complete a pass.
Tannehill took advantage of two different starting cornerbacks for the Chargers on pass plays that went for 71 and 49 yards, respectively. Each massive completion led to one of the Titans’ three touchdowns on the day. The Chargers also failed to record one single pass breakup all game long. Tannehill’s 83.3 percent completion percentage was the second-best in his career and his best mark in 10 years. 10 YEARS!
The little things add up and the Chargers are seemingly allergic to staying on top of them.
Just under half of Ryan Tannehill’s 246 passing yards came on two plays: A 71-yarder to WR Treyon Burks and a 49-yarder to WR Chris Moore
This is essentially just an extension of the above statistic but I just felt like this needed a little bit of its’ own emphasis.
Two plays! Two!
That’s all it took for Tannehill to hit half of his 246 passing yards against the Chargers.
Brandon Staley’s defense is a big proponent of running Cover 6, a pass coverage where the Chargers split the field in half with one side playing Cover 4 (two deep defenders playing a “quarter” each) while the other side has one defender playing the entire half. Each pass play came against the side in which the defender was repsonsible for the entire deep half.
When speaking with the media on Monday, Staley said that both plays were the “hard downs,” meaning the play in which that defender had the hardest job of the secondary. When Asante Samuel Jr. was beat by Burks, Staley said he was supposed to stay on top of the route the whole way. When Moore beat Michael Davis, Staley admitted he was in great positioning with outside leverage but he was expected to make a play on the ball like any good corner does when one-on-one. That unfortunately didn’t happen.
Those two plays — just two — each led to scores. If those don’t happen, we’re probably singing a different tune at this point in the week.
With the loss, the Chargers became the first team in NFL history to go 0-2 to begin a season while scoring 50+ points without any turnovers
Last Sunday against the Dolphins, the Chargers became the first team in NFL history to lose a game where they rushed for over 220 yards, allowed less than 100 yards on the ground, turned the ball over zero times, and won the turnover by at least two. NFL teams who checked all of those boxes were 110-0 up to that point.
By losing to the Titans, the Chargers became the first of 33 teams ever to score 50 or more points and turn the ball over zero times in their first two games, and lose both.
Make it make sense because the math ain’t mathing.
Kellen Moore is doing his job as the new offensive coordinator for the Chargers. The team is scoring points throughout the game. They’re putting the defense in a position to play with more confidence by forcing them into a position to make stops while still holding a lead, not the other scenario where the defense needs a stop and THEN the offense must score.
Something has to give, and I don’t necessarily want it to be the coaching staff. But if they can’t stop themselves...