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Mailbag: Where are the Takeaways?
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Q: How many 0-3 teams have ever gone on to make the playoffs? – Troy M.
A: According to NFL stats, five teams have started the season 0-3 and made the playoffs dating back to 1980. While the Bolts certainly have their work cut out for them, they are one of those franchises who have previously bounced back to make the postseason. In fact, in 1992, the Chargers started off 0-4 and ended up not only making the playoffs, but winning a Wild Card game. There is plenty of football left to be played, but I wouldn’t be focused on the postseason position just yet. We’re not even at the quarter mark of the season! The NFL is the ultimate “one game at a time” league. Just get a win against the Eagles and see what happens from there.
Q: What happened to the takeaways? – Harold Jepsen
A: The Chargers thrived on turning the ball over a year ago, leading the league in interceptions and ranking fourth with 28 total takeaways. Through three games, the Bolts only have forced just two turnovers, both coming in the fourth quarter of the season opener. It’s kind of crazy to me that the defense has struggled to force turnovers in two straight games. However, Head Coach Anthony Lynn cautioned there is no need to be concerned just yet:
“We emphasize turnovers all the time. We may have led the preseason in turnovers. (We) got a couple that first game of the season. Usually when they come, they come in bunches. So the turnovers, they will come because we emphasize it and we work at it.”
Q: What’s been lacking in the passing game in your opinion Ricky? – Jonathan Franks
A: That’s a good question. The passing game has certainly clicked at times while struggling to catch rhythm at other moments. What has surprised me most so far has been the lack of explosive plays. The team’s bread-and-butter under Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt has been high-percentage throws such as crossing routes. However, the big play has always been part of the arsenal. Just last year the Bolts had two players tied for the most receptions over 40 yards in the NFL (Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams). Throughout two games, Benjamin is the only player to catch a pass over 40 yards (44 against the Chiefs). In fact, the team doesn’t have a single play over 50 yards on the season. Even though the quick-strike approach is a hallmark of the passing attack, I thought we’d have seen a few more big plays to date. I expect them to come. Read