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Mailbag: What Areas Need Most Improvement?
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Q: After playing so poorly last week, what are the areas my boys say need the most fixing?– Lavelle McCrae
A: At 2-5, the team sees a lot of areas that need “fixing.” However, immediately following the game, there were a few areas mentioned more than others. First, they lamented the inability to play for a full 60 minutes. Whether it’s slow starts or a lack of finishing down the stretch, the players are peeved at their lapses over certain stretches that have set them back each week. Meanwhile, explosive plays against the defense have routinely hurt the Chargers. Jason Verrett said the best way to fix that is to “wrap up and tackle” while Brandon Flowers believes each player must look themselves in the mirror to ask what he can personally improve on, which is what he says he is doing. One other area the team must improve immediately is field position. The Chargers have the worst starting field position in the NFL, which puts far too much stress on the offense and sets the defense up in difficult situations to overcome.
Q: If Melvin Gordon was healthy last week why didn't he get into the game until it was 37-6?– Jay Graham
A: Quite a few questions into the mailbag this week dealing with the rookie’s role last week. Many asked if he didn’t play due to injury or if it was because of his two fumbles against the Green Bay Packers that caused the Chargers to keep him on the sidelines in the second half the week before. Dealing with an ankle injury, Gordon did not practice last Wednesday and was limited on Thursday and Friday. The team explained how it had a plan in place in order to maximize Gordon’s usage. Here is what Head Coach Mike McCoy said after the game:
“That was our plan going in the game (with) what we were going to do early. But the way we got behind, we started doing things in the first half, we put him in…. We’re trying to win a football game. We went with the game plan. We told you guys from the first day I got here, we’re going to play by committee. And when there are certain things happening during certain games, you go into a certain game with a game plan. You have a philosophy on how you want to attack a team, who you want to play, how you want to rotate guys, how you practice during the week, things like that. We’re going to look at everything and we’ll make those decisions as coaches this week. That’s what we’re here to do.”
Q: I tune out all the haters. I ride Chargers til I die! I believe we will turn things around. What is your main reason why you think the Chargers can turn things around? - Bertrand Niccols
A: Philip Rivers. As has been said for a while, with Philip Rivers, the Chargers will always have a chance. What he has done this season is remarkable. Number 17 leads the NFL in completions, attempts and yards, with his 215 completions 31 more than Kirk Cousins, his 311 attempts 24 more than Joe Flacco and his 2,452 yards 398 more than Tom Brady. Rivers’ 215 completions are actually the most in NFL history through seven games, while his 2,452 yards are third most ever. The 5,605 passing yards he is on track for would also set an NFL record, while his 710 passes and 491 completions would shatter current franchise marks of 609 attempts, 379 completions and 4,802 yards.