If there is one big takeaway I had from this game, it is that the Chargers stayed refreshingly calm and collected in the face of adversity. Let me break down what I liked and disliked about week 1.
- I loved Staley's sense of urgency on the opening drive. Lynn was all about establishing the offense, trying to work into a rhythm first. This first drive was "Go 110% and get a touchdown RIGHT NOW". You could see WFT reeling from that tempo, because they weren't able to cover shit. That drive went 10 yard pass -> 6 yard pass -> 11 yard run -> 9 yard pass -> 13 yard run -> 11 yard pass -> 3 yard run -> -3 yard pass -> 7 yard pass -> 3 yard touchdown run. No incompletions, and only a single play that didn't go for positive yards.
- The line was incredible, especially vs what a lot of people consider to be the best defensive line in football. Watching Rashawn Slater in this game felt like watching a current all-pro player. Having a stat like the one below is a feeling so foreign to me as a Chargers fan that it's almost hard to comprehend .
- Herbert hasn't missed a beat. My beautiful baby boy was 14/19 on third down, had 337 yards and a touchdown along with one goofy interception. He joined Mahomes to be one of the 2 quarterbacks in NFL history to have 4500 yards through their first 16 starts He also set the NFL record for most career completions through 16 games with 427. Lombardi's offense looks fresh as hell, with the same efficiency as NO but with longer pass plays included.
- On defense, they mostly limited mistakes that they usually made which I credit to Staley's system. Bosa had a pair of roughing the passer penalties, Asante Samuel Jr. had a DPI and Derwin had a horse collar. Those are mistakes that might cripple them in other games, so I'd love to see them a little tighter. They also continued the longstanding tradition of not being able to cover TEs, giving up a touchdown to Logan Thomas. I had a parlay+ of Chargers ML, Herbert O 265.5 Yards, Logan Thomas to score and Chargers O 22.5 points. 3/4 thanks to some shid-ass refs.
- When they entered the 4th quarter behind by a FG, and their first offensive possession ended with an interception, you could hear the sigh I made from outer space. SAME OLE CHARGERS. But the defense forced a fumble, the offense finished the play with a TD, and they played great defense to force a punt on Washington. By the way, Ron Rivera had a very Lynn-esque fuck up drawing down the clock on that play. Lastly, they trusted the offense to cook, and they chewed up nearly 7 minutes of clock to end the game. It sounds easy, but that was about as rare as a blue-eyed white dragon for the Bolts.
- LASTLY: They battled through some TERRIBLE refereeing. That fumble -> touchback you can watch at the top of the blog is earnestly one of the worst refereeing calls I've seen held up after a replay. In addition to that, they were hit with a hands-to-the-face which not a single camera could find on replay, and the WFT got away with an egregious false start on 4th and 1 to keep a drive alive. I'm not typically a bitch about refs guy, but it was a BAD day for the zebras.
They take on a dangerous looking Cowboys team in their home opener on Sunday.