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Surge or Static: “Next man up” mentality continues to fall short for Boltsby Michael Peterson on September 23, 2019 at 8:28 pm
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports The Chargers dropped another game on Sunday in which they held a 10-point lead in the second half. For the second-straight game, they also failed to score a touchdown in the second half, with a field goal being the only points they have mustered after the halfway point in the last two weeks, It was another second-half implosion that should have fans reeling with PTSD-like symptoms stemming from the team’s horrendous 2016 campaign where they blew a historic amount of leads over and over again. That season, they finished 5-11. It was the final season for Mike McCoy and the year that finally caused the Chargers to move on from that lackluster coaching staff. Will this be another year that starts to warm the seat of the head coach? Will it cause Anthony Lynn to take a major look at his staff and maybe force his hand into some firings? I don’t know if we should get that far into our wallowing, but a close game to the Miami Dolphins next week, even if it’s a victory, will start to stir the pot sooner rather than later. This week was a struggle, but as always, here are the three players I believed “surged” forward with their play and three that stayed “static” or took a step back with their performance on Sunday. Surge WR Keenan Allen Amassing a career-high in receiving yardage is an easy way to land yourself on the “Surge” list. Allen finds himself on the right side of this column for the third-straight week, making him the only player to do so through the first three weeks of the season. The savvy veteran hauled in 13 of 17 targets en route to 183 yards and two scores. That makes three receiving touchdowns in three games, bringing him to the halfway mark of his six total scores he had in both the 2017 and ‘18 seasons. Allen hasn’t scored more than six times in a season since his rookie season where he found paydirt eight times. If things continue as is, Allen could be primed for a career-year in all the receiving categories. Even when Hunter Henry returns from his knee injury, Allen will continue to be a target vacuum in this Chargers offense. K/P Ty Long Of course we have to show the kicker some love after bouncing back from two missed kicks last week. Long gained much of his lost confidence after knocking home a pair of field goals against the Texans, allowing the Chargers to stay alive for as long as possible before their second half point drought continued. Long made kicks of 34 and 43 yards, his 43-yarder being the only points that the Chargers could muster in the second half. Usual starter Michael Badgley was awfully close to suiting up this week prior to a last-minute inactive annoucement on Saturday so I expect him to take back his job this coming week barring any unforeseen setbacks. CB Desmond King King got the crowd fired-up from the very start of this one, keeping his wits about him and recovering a Deshaun Watson fumble after the quarterback made an ill-advised decision to throw a screen pass into the dirt behind his body. King collected the ball and took it all the way down to the Houston 15-yard line before a offensive linemen caught him by the heel. The third-year defender was all over the field for the Chargers, collecting the aforementioned fumble, four total stops, a pass deflection, and a QB hit. It looked like Gus Bradley was attempting to use King in a variety of ways, hoping to take advantage of King’s knack for big plays in big moments. Static S Roderic Teamer After not suiting up for the first two weeks due to injury, Teamer got the starting nod at strong safety following the loss of Adrian Phillips to a broken forearm. Teamer, along with outside linebacker Chris Peace, made the team after going undrafted in the 2019 NFL Draft. Teamer got the start this week against a lot of backlash from fans who wished to see 2019 second-round pick Nasir Addelrey receive some more snaps in Phillips place. Lynn decided to stick with Teamer, who available all throughout training camp. This was the main reason given when asked about Adderley’s chances of stating. Lynn believes Adderley is still far behind after missing most of training camp before suiting up for just the preseason finale. The former Tulane Green Wave safety was a bright spot during the preseason exhibition games but wound-up looking not-so-bright when he took the field. On the Texans second scoring play, a intermediate shot to tight end Darren Fells, Teamer lost track of the massive tight end, leading to a wide-open score for the veteran. Overall, he simply didn’t look ready to start for this defense. The Chargers have other options. Knowledge of the playbook, be damned. Let your best players play, and make plays. Teamer is not that, right now. WR Travis Benjamin Benjamin was once again on the wrong end of a potential big play for the Chargers on Sunday afternoon. With the Chargers down 27-20 towards the end of the fourth quarter, Rivers lofted a high-arcing pass to the speedster downfield. Although Benjamin was being double-covered, he had a step on the two defenders. Rivers’ pass landed right in between his hands but the short-armed Benjamin didn’t fully extend for the catch which caused the ball to squeeze through is digits incomplete. He finished with two catches for five yards. Obviously not what you expect from a player whose sole purpose as a member of this team is to beat the defense deep. The Pass Rush It’s widely known that Deshaun Watson has been the most-sacked quarterback in the NFL since the beginning of last year. After being brought down 10 times in the first two weeks, the Chargers only managed two sacks of the quarterback, one of which was by Brandon Mebane while Bosa and Ingram were off the field. The four that rushed? Mebane, Uchenna Nwosu, Isaac Rochell, and Justin Jones. Later on during a crucial third down, Bosa and Thomas Davis were able to get home and split a sack, but two is nowhere near enough for this defensive front. In fact, according to Aaron Reiss from The Athletic, Watson was pressure on just 13.9 percent of his dropbacks on Sunday. That was the lowest percentage OF HIS CAREER. HIS WHOLE DAMN CAREER. The Chargers literally gave him his most casual experience in the pocket as a professional quarterback, with two “elite” edge rushers. On a 1st-and-10 for the Texans with 22 seconds left on the clock in the first half, the announcers shouted “Watson is sacked!” and the quarterback proceeded to squirt out of multiple tackle attempts by Justin Jones and Jerry Tillery before tossing an incomplete pass. This was such a let-down by the defensive line and their inability to get after the quarterback on a consistent basis will also hamper the inexperienced players in the secondary that are being forced into action following the string of long-term injuries throughout the defense.
Chargers week 3 AARby Matthew Stanley on September 23, 2019 at 6:22 pm
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports What can we learn from this week? “It was the best of halves, it was the worst of halves.” Yesterday’s game was a tale of two halves for the Los Angeles Chargers. Going into halftime up 17 - 7 at home was awesome, and better than I expected it would be. Then the 2nd half happened. The Houston Texans scored 20 unanswered and took home the W 27 - 20. Before we jump into the sustains and improves for this game, I want to take a quick review of the things I pointed out last week to compare to this game. For sustains I had: Chargers RBs, Run Defense, and Pass Protection. I’ll dig more into this below, but the Chargers only sustained 1 of these 3 things, not ideal. For improves: Drops, Coaching, Personnel. None of these 3 were improved and you could argue 2 of the 3 actually got worse. Alright lets get into it. Sustains Keenan Allen...Forever It’s a good thing they aren’t going to be paying Melvin Gordon, because they’re going to need all of it and more to keep Keenan Allen around. And he deserves it. KA is slaying everyone this season and is still one of the most under appreciated WR1’s in the league. His route running is 100, his release off the line is elite, and his connection with Rivers is something special. Through the first 3 weeks of the season KA is leading the league in receptions (29) and yards (404). And it’s not close. The next closest receiver is Sammy Watkins at 311, 93 yards behind Keenan. He’s just a monster. Run Defense I’m listing this one again because it was the only sustain from last week they actually managed to...well, sustain. After holding the Detroit Lions rushing attack to 94 yards rushing and a 3.4 ypc average, the Chargers defense shut down the Texans rushing attack. Hard. The Texans only managed 39 yards rushing with a 2.1 ypc average. If you take out QB Deshaun Watson’s 7 carries for 18 yards, the Chargers defense held Houston RBs to 21 yards on 12 carries. It was a good performance and if the Chargers defense wants something positive to hold on to, this is it. Desmond King Dez is a weapon. He’s fantastic covering the slot, he’s aggressive in run support and borderline unblockable by wide receivers or pulling linemen, and he’s an effective pass rusher. He’s too good in the slot to move him elsewhere when the Chargers have 3 CBs on the field, but I think the Chargers should seriously be considering finding ways to rotate him in as a safety in base defense. At least until someone comes back from injury or they finally start putting Nasir Adderley in the game on defense. Improves Drops There was no improvement from week 2 to week 3 here. Mike Williams and Travis Benjamin both had awful drops again this week. Benjamin’s performance was especially painful as he dropped the potentially game winning pass after it hit him in the hands. Mike Williams is more frustrating than concerning. He comes down with some pretty spectacular catches, especially in traffic, but he needs to figure out these drops. It’s hard to tell if it’s just loss of concentration or inconsistent technique but whatever it is, he needs to figure it out, and fast. Philip Rivers targeted 8 different players and only 3 of them caught more than 50% of their targets. Compare that to Houston, where 6 different players were targeted for passes and all of them caught over 50% of their targets. In fact, all 3 of the Chargers’ opponents this year have put the Chargers’ WRs and TEs to shame. The Detroit Lions had 6 of their 8 players with at least 1 target catch over 50% of their passes and the Indianapolis Colts had 7 of their 8 targeted players catch at least 50% of their passes. Week 1 was the only time this season the Chargers had more than half of the players Rivers threw at catch over 50% of their targeted passes. Mike Williams catching 8 of his 15 targets on the season and Travis Benjamin catching 4 of his 10 targets is unacceptable. Yes not all of those targets were “catchable” but both of these receivers have at least 4 drops already this season, and usually on passes that would be first downs or touchdowns. Coaching Again, the coaching yesterday was bad. Lets start on offense with Ken Whisenhunt. One of the sustains from week 2 was the running backs, both their usage and performance. For the first 2 weeks of the season they’ve been fantastic. Marvin Jones Jr, Christian Kirk, Davante Adams, Julian Edelman, T.Y. Hilton. What do those name’s have in common? They all have less receiving yards than Austin Ekeler so far this season. He leads all RBs in receiving yards, 30 yards ahead of Alvin Kamara and 70 yards ahead of Christian McCaffrey. He’s also averaging a decent 4.2 yards per carry and has 4 touchdowns. Meanwhile Justin Jackson is averaging 7.9 yards per carry and has had 2 TDs called back by penalties. TL:DR - they’re good. In the 1st half the usage was good, but not great. 7 carries combined and 9 targets. On those 18 touches, the pair had 45 yards on the ground (6.4 ypc) and 42 yards through the air catching all 9 of their targets. The Chargers took a 10 point lead into halftime and were facing a defense who through the first 2 weeks of the season had allowed 187 yards on the ground on 34 carries to running backs (I didn’t count QB rushing yards) for a 5.5 ypc average, and 13 receptions to RBs for 116 yards (8.9 ypr). Common sense here would say that you have the lead so you want to kill the clock, you’re facing a defense that hasn’t performed well against RBs either on the ground or through the air on high percentage passes, and as we just discussed, your 2 RBs are kicking ass this season despite playing behind a below average to bad offensive line. So what does Wiz do with all that information? Apparently he ignored it. The Chargers’ offense only gave 9 touches to the RBs in the 2nd half. On top of that, the 9 touches included 0 targets for Austin Ekeler, who as we identified is the best pass catching RB in the NFL so far this season, and 1 carry for Justin Jackson, who averaged 8 yards per carry, and would have had a TD if not for a Dan Feeney holding penalty, in the 1st half of the game. Opting instead to throw the ball 23 times to WRs with the drops, while facing a pass rush that had already sacked Rivers twice in the first half and been generating a ton of pressure. On Defense, it’s starting to feel like Gus Bradley cares too much about practice and is letting veteran status/”experience” dictate the lineup. Denzel Perryman got 38 snaps yesterday, and honestly he didn’t look bad. That should probably be about what he gets. Maybe a little less. Those 38 snaps counted for 63% of the defensive snaps, I think he should probably be down closer to 50. Where the bad comes in, is that between those snaps going to Perryman, and again leaving Thomas Davis out there for 100% of the snaps, Kyzir White basically erased from the defensive gameplan only seeing the field for 7 snaps. White is the only one of the 3 who can effectively cover TEs, and with Roderic Teamer filling the Adrian Phillips role, the Chargers D got torched by the Texans TEs for a combined 124 yards and 3 TDs (including a 53 yard catch and run). There’s also the fact that Gus and Anthony Lynn have both said Nasir Adderley isn’t playing because he’s just “so far behind” after missing training camp, but come on...he played out of his mind good in the final preseason game, and the most impressive part of what he did was his ability to read what was happening in front of him, then use his athleticism to be in the right place to make a play on the ball. You can’t teach that in practice. A guy has that or he doesn’t, and he has it. Then there was the worst “prevent” defense call I’ve seen in a while at the end of the first half when with 11 seconds left, they allowed Watson to get off a 37 yard pass to get into FG range. He was bailed out by the Texans missing the kick, but it was embarrassing for the defense as a whole, starting with Gus Bradley. Then there was Lynn, who wasted a TO by challenging a pass interference that didn’t get called. I can almost agree with the thought to challenge it there, but it was a borderline call, it was on 2nd down anyway, and if I remember correctly, only one of those challenges was successful in preseason league wide. It was the kind of high risk, low reward decisions that makes me wish the Chargers actually believed in analytics. He and his staff went into halftime with a 10 point lead and instead of continuing to do what was working, or making changes to take advantage of what has been working, they actively went away from what was working in the 2nd half. Personnel Is this looking familiar yet? First, there’s still a huge need at OT and CB if this team is actually trying to win in Philip Rivers’ extremely limited remaining window, and the only thing the front office has done to solve this is to sign a CB to play special teams. Sure there’s limited cap room currently, but there’s a lot you can do to free up space starting with cutting some dead weight. Travis Benjamin isn’t playing special teams anymore and his only contribution at this point seems to be dropping passes. Cutting him frees up $1M. Nick Dzubnar plays exclusively on special teams and through 3 games has 1 tackle and a penalty that negated an Isaac Rochelle forced fumble and recovery. Cutting him frees up $1.5M. At some point you have to look at the numbers, decide if you actually want to try to win or you’re just trying to “do well,” then make some tough choices. It also appears that there is some sort of disconnect in the philosophy of the front office and that of the coaching staff. The front office has made a huge effort the last 2 seasons to get more athletic on Defense. Drafting Drue Tranquill, Emeke Egbule, Nasir Adderley, and Kyzir White. With everyone healthy, exactly 0 of those players are starting. In fact this week those 4 players combined for 7 snaps...all by Kyzir White. Yes the front office also brought in Thomas Davis, who is still a good player and a great leader, but I don’t think Tom Telesco did that thinking “there’s my every down LB who can play 100% of snaps every week at 36 and has never been known for sideline to sideline speed.” Egbule looked good in the preseason and the other 3 all looked fantastic. Why does it seem like the front office has a pretty specific plan in mind and assembles a collection of players that could succeed under that plan, but the Coaching staff is operating like they are working off a different plan? I mentioned it earlier but there seems to be a philosophy on this coaching staff as a whole that veteran status and practice time seem to trump everything else, and they back themselves up by citing tackles as the be all end all stat on defense and “he didn’t miss a snap for us” on offense. Something needs to change here. Either everyone needs to get on board with the fact that there is a rapidly shrinking window for this very good team to go push for a super bowl, or the decision needs to be made that they aren’t re-signing Rivers and they should put all the young guys in now to see what they’ve got. At least that way they either identify pieces they can build around, or they find out they have all bad pieces and wind up with a draft pick high enough to grab their new QB.
Chargers week 3 snap countsby Matthew Stanley on September 23, 2019 at 2:26 pm
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Who saw the field for this second bad loss? Week 3 ended up with another ugly game resulting in a 2nd bad loss in a row for the Los Angeles Chargers. With an injury to Adrian Phillips last week and Denzel Perryman being back to full health, there were some significant snap count changes on Defense this week, while the offense saw some smaller changes. Offense provided by nflgsis.comThe Chargers wound up playing 10 more offensive snaps than they did in week 2. The first thing that you’ll notice is Sean Culkin and Lance Kendricks splitting snaps at about the same rate as Virgil Green and Culkin were. Green went down with an injury early and did not return, but the Chargers still kept a rotation between TEs and overall had basically the same % of offensive snaps with a TE on the field as in week 2. One of the biggest changes this week was that Mike Williams saw a huge bump in usage. In weeks 1 and 2 Mike Will was on the field for 65% and 62% of the snaps respectively. In week 3 he was on the field for 93% of the snaps. The huge increase in percentage, combined with the fact that this game had 10 more plays on offense for the Chargers meant that he played 30 more snaps than he did in week 1 or week 2. This did get him a season high 7 targets (I think it’s actually 8 but his big catch near the end of the game got negated by penalty so I think that erases his target from the official numbers), but he only came down with 3 of them. Forrest Lamp also saw a 50% increase in snaps!!! from 2 to 3... Defense provided from nflgsis.comRoderic Teamer, UDFA who made the 53 man roster and kept the Chargers’ streak of an UDFA making the roster alive, went from being inactive for weeks 1 and 2 to playing 100% of the defensive snaps for the Chargers at SS (listed as a CB on this chart, ignore that). He had a very mixed showing. He was tied with Thomas Davis for the team lead in tackles with 7 (6 solo), which was good to see, however he was consistently out of position in pass coverage and gave up some big catches, especially to the Houston TEs. Denzel Perryman was back in the starting lineup this week. After playing 0 defensive snaps in weeks 1 and 2, Perryman jumped to 38 snaps this week. He wound up with 6 tackles (5 solo) and during the live watch of the game, didn’t look bad. Unfortunately though, Perryman’s increase in snaps came at the cost of snaps for Kyzir White. White dropped to only 7 snaps this week. I just don’t get that at all. More on that in the AAR later today. The Chargers found themselves in nickle a lot more this week which meant Desmond King saw an increase of 18 snaps this week over last week. Boy did he make the most of it. He blew up multiple screens, got a big time fumble recovery that he almost returned for a touchdown and set the Chargers offense up with fantastic field position and led to a score. He was all over the field. Special Teams provided by nflgsis.comDontae Johnson saw a huge jump in special teams usage this week. After playing 4 special teams snaps in week 2 he lead the team tied with Nick Dzubnar for 23 snaps. Jatavis Brown also saw his first action of the season. After being inactive in weeks 1 and 2, Brown was active over rookie Emeke Egbule this week and saw 11 special teams snaps.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly; Week 3 loss to the Texansby Daniel Stebbins on September 23, 2019 at 12:43 am
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports After the loss to the Detroit Lions last week, the Los Angeles Chargers were in major need of a rebound to get back in the win column. Both teams made the playoffs last year and it was expected to be a good match up heading in. Sadly, the Chargers were unable to maintain their early lead and couldn’t respond once they fell behind. Now 1-2, the team will be in desperate need for a win next week against the Miami Dolphins. The Good Keenan Allen This shouldn’t even be “good” when you consider how well Allen played in this game. Coming off of a great showing last week, he would exceed that output by a great deal. With a final tally of 13 catches, 183 yards and two touchdowns his impact was obvious from start to finish. He was reliable when the big play was needed, something Charger fans are certainly used to. Casey Hayward Casey Hayward had a tough match up this week, lining up across from Deandre Hopkins. Hopkins was able to get loose for a 34 yard catch however that was actually against Desmond King on a short slant. Outside of that, Hopkins had five catches for 33 yards. When you are able to hold a top three wide receiver in the NFL to those numbers you have had yourself a day. Rush Defense This one is more in comparison to where they started the season than this specific game. Not to say they didn’t perform well today, they did. Holding a team to 2.1 yards per rush is great anytime you do it. That being said, the Texans didn’t run the ball a ton as they were playing from behind for a solid portion of this game. Still, it’s encouraging to see this unit hold an opponent like that and to me should be recognized for it. The Bad Pass Rush Joey Bosa and Brandon Mebane both had a sack today, both in the second half and at moments when the team needed them. Sounds good, right? Not when you consider that this Texans offensive line gave up 10 sacks total the first two weeks. They have notoriously been awful at pass blocking and the Chargers employ one of the better duos at edge rusher with Bosa and Melvin Ingram. Beyond sacks, there just wasn’t much pressure on Watson for the entire game. The few times they did get pressure they were unable to bring him down, in embarrassing fashion I might add. One of those occasions resulted in Watson getting free and finding a TE for a touchdown. This unit has to get better if this team is to do anything this year. Travis Benjamin Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but plays designed or including Benjamin tend to not be positive. While he didn’t make a mass amount of errors, the egregious drop at the end of the game that should have tied it up makes this an earned award for the wide receiver. There was also the drop earlier in the game during the first drive after the Texans took the lead that made it 3rd and 9. Not to mention the screen that they insist on running to him at least once a game, this time resulting in a loss of yards because of course it did. The Ugly Covering Tight Ends Apparently this is just something they decided not to do. The tight ends combined for 8 catches, 122 yards and 3 Touchdowns. That is far from ideal. On two of them, you can see that the communication between the defensive backs just wasn’t there. They left a zone completely open that the TE found, making it an easy target for someone as good as Deshaun Watson Offensive Line I wanted to pick on Dan Feeney specifically for killing two drives all on his own, but the others had too many issues to ignore. Michael Schofield and Feeney did their part by giving up sacks or pressures. Sam Tevi couldn’t let them be the only ones, so he gave up a huge sack near the end of the game when his man just ran right by him. Trent Scott with the holding call that negated a play that took the team within the 10 yard line. Five total sacks given up will earn this honor every time.
Chargers-Texans final score: Another second-half implosion dooms Bolts, 27-20by Michael Peterson on September 22, 2019 at 11:53 pm
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports The Chargers dropped another game following their third second-half implosion to the Houston Texans, 27-20. The game started out better than the team could’ve asked for as Deshaun Watson threw an ill-advised pass into the dirt that landed behind his person, cultivating in a fumble recovery by cornerback Desmond King. After returning the fumble to the Houtson 15-yard line, Rivers found Keenan Allen in the front corner of the end zone to give the Bolts a 7-0 lead. On the next Chargers drive, after forcing a three-and-out, they marched down the field to the Houston six-yard line. Justin Jackson took a handoff left and extended over the goal line but the touchdown wass brought back by a holding penalty against left guard Dan Feeney. On the very next play, Rivers was sacked which lead to a Ty Long field goal from 35 yards out which made it 10-0, Chargers On the ensuing drive, the Texans took advantage of a flea-flicker, compounded by a roughing-the-passer penalty on Joey Bosa, to get into the Chargers’ red zone. Several plays later, Watson hit tight end Darren Fells for their first score of the day to bring the Bolts’ lead to 10-7. The Chargers brought the ball out to midfield on their next drive but a sack by defensive tackle DJ Reader, who had his way with Dan Feeney the entire game. The drive eventually stalled and Long punted it away to Houston’s seven-yard line. Missed tackles continued to ravage the Chargers as running back Duke Johnson took advantage of Brandon Facyson and Roderic Teamer a few plays later, hitting a big gain on the ground with some nifty moves. Fortunately, the Chargers pressure was too great for Watson who dirted a pass on third down, forcing them to punt back to the Bolts. WIth one minute and forty seconds left in the half, Rivers marched the Chargers down the field, aided by a defensive holding penalty on Houston linebacker Dylan Cole, to move them to the Houston 37. The entire Houston defensive line collapsed on Rivers to bring the sticks back to 2nd-and-17. After a neutral zone infraction by J.J. Watt, the Chargers convert on 3rd-and-12 with a pass to Mike Williams. Only two plays later, Rivers would hit Allen on a crossing route before Slayer would make a would-be tackler whiff on his way untouched into the end zone. That score would bring the Chargers lead back to 10 heading into halftime. The Texans received the opening kickoff of the second half but couldn’t muster much of anything before punting it right back to the Bolts. The Chargers found some more success moving the ball downfield into Houston territory. The drive stalled on the 27-yard line following a failed attempt at challenging a defensive pass-interference no-call. Once the call stood, Rivers dropped back, held the ball too long, and fumbled it away after J.J. Watt made contact with the signal-caller. The Chargers continued to rack up the penalties on the ensuing defensive stand, committing a roughing-the-passer and defensive facemask penalty. The depleted secondary finally started to come unraveled when a short slant pass to DeAndre Hopkins was taken for a huge gain. Watson followed that chunk-play up by finding a wide-open Jordan Akins in the end zone to finally take the lead for the Texans 21-17. Needing to move the ball and move it quickly, the Chargers started their next drive with a handoff to Austin Ekeler. However, the opening play of the drive was nullified thanks to another holding penalty by Dan Feeney (can I see some Forrest Lamp, please?) On the very next play, newly-signed tight end Lance Kendricks snags a pass of 12 yards on 3rd-and-11 to keep the chains moving. After failing to sustain yet another drive, the Chargers defense stumbled their way into an even deeper hole on the very next drive. After a pair of offsetting penalties nullified a Rayshawn Jenkins interception, Watson escaped a (God knows how many at this point) would-be sack and lofted a pass to a laughably wide-open Jordan Akins who rumbled 40+ yards into the end zone. This wasn’t the first, or second, or third time that Akins or Fells found themselves wide open and it was consistently a theme in the Chargers second-half implosion. Keenan Allen took it upon himself to put the team on his back by collecting back-to-back passes on the ensuing drive, including a huge gain down the left sideline to bring the Bolts deep into Texans territory. However, after failing to convert a 3rd-and-1 with a fullback dive, the Chargers settled for a 43-yard field goal by Long. The Chargers managed to limit the damage on the following Texans drive, getting to the quarterback for the second time on the day as a group of Chargers converged Watson, including Joey Bosa and Thomas Davis. Following the Houston punt, Ruvers started the drive off with two more passes to Allen. The second being another chunk play around midfield. J.J. Watt had other plans and sacked Rivers for a loss of two. The next two passes by Rivers fell incomplete and the Chargers were faced with a 4th-and-13 with just over two minutes left in the game. Allen was up to the task agaoin, converting on fourth down with a catch of 15 yards. The Chargers marched proceeded to March down the field again, but it was the same old story. On a big third down conversion put the Chargers within the Texans’ 15-yard line, left tackle Trent Scott was called for a holding penalty against Whitney Mercilus and the Chargers’ attempt at a tying score stuttered and stumbled as they turned it over on downs with 11 seconds left. After the kneel down, the Texans walked away with the victory.