The news that everyone had hoped for has come true. The Chargers put on a near perfect performance out of the gate, in their home opener to beat the defending Super Bowl Champions, the Seattle Seahawks.
With this as a headline, it seemed to shock everyone. It shocked everyone almost as much as that Percy Harvin “touchdown” or that Marshawn Lynch only got 6 touches for 36 yards. Yesterday the Chargers rediscovered what they were last year. Philip Rivers wasn’t a nervous wreck like he was in Arizona a week ago. Himself throwing 37 times time, with 28 of those completed. Should also note that he was only sacked once(he also ran the ball for 17 yards, yeah, that’s a thing).]
Biggest headline has to be that the old man, Antonio Gates still has it. He can’t break off for 20+ yards, but he is still that 3rd down-Red Zone threat he always has been. The Seahawks didn’t know how to play him. I mean, they threw Chancellor on him, a freaking linebacker! Everyone knows you can’t do that with Gates. Not to mention he had 7 targets and all 7 were caught. 3 being those amazing touchdowns.
Eddie Royal. Nothing much to say about this except, when you give him routes in open field, he’ll make things happen and that’s exactly what he did. Reich took those Keenan Allen type routes he had last week and gave them back to Keenan Allen. Eddie Royal should never catch a ball only 5 yards from the line of scrimmage and that’s exactly what he didn’t do.
Keenan Allen. Well, welcome back you crazy kid. He made one of the leagues best CBs look like he was just coming out of college. Having 5 catches on 6 targets(3 of those being on Shermans side) makes for a big headline. And it’s a lesson to the Seahawks on why you don’t put your best corners in Man-to-man.
Everyone thinking because Brandon Flowers(groin) and Jarret Johnson(family emergency) were out, that the Chargers D would not be as great as they were, inconsistent, but great. Pagano put on a good game plan that helped the weaknesses get away from the spotlight. Melvin Ingram, Dwight Freeney and Shareece Wright shined like no other. Ingram, taking Jarret Johnsons spot for this game showed that either: 1) he belongs in that spot. Or 2) Seattle didn’t prepare for his speed as much as they did for Johnson. A lot of pressure from Dwight Freeney that made it near impossible for the Seahakws to break through that defensive line. And Shareece Wright, who played fantastic in that Zone defense. He’d only defend one pass, but had 7 tackles. Les not forget to mention the rookie, Jason Verrett he allowed the 4 catches that went to him, but didn’t allow much. He loves to hit and will make offensive coordinators think twice before going to that side in the future.
There were some players that didn’t do all too well. Malcom Floyd who had no targets and could barely get off the line as is, DJ Fluker who couldn’t handle the speed rush and Troutman keeps getting pushed back like a ragdoll. These two need to find themselves from the last season and quick.
Very real and very bad thing, as you all know Ryan Mathews went down pretty hard yesterday and after being carted off the field yesterday, you don’t know if we’ll see much of him again. Being in his contract year, we don’t know if we’ll see him as a Charger again. I hope he gets well soon, because losing him and Hardwick is not something you want to see going into the later weeks. With that being said, the Donald Brown signing looks even greater. He just has to pick up that work load and push through it on the field and show why the Chargers chose to sign him.
In the end, the Chargers played a damn-near perfect game on Offense and Defense. They showed how to exploit their corners exactly for what they were and I think going forward, the Seahawks will get out of that Man coverage phase. But the Chargers have to get back to work to prepare for the 2-0 Buffalo Bills back at their house on Sunday. This is what I picked as my trap game before the season started, so I hope they prove me wrong.