With the second week of preseason in the books and the final day of Charger’s camp today, we are getting closer to the cuts for the 53 man roster. I wanted to share some thoughts and observations on the team thus far following last week’s victory over the Seahawks.
What we saw from running back Melvin Gordon looked great. His run up the middle for 14 yards and a 6-yard rushing touchdown was impressive. He continues to show his physicality by evading tackles and his eye for defensive line holes to run up the middle. I think Melvin Gordon has the potential to have a breakout year this season if the Chargers choose to focus a little more on their run game.
Quarterback Philip Rivers did what Rivers does by going 6 of 7 for 62 yards. In fact, Rivers first throw was a completed pass to wide receiver Tyrell Williams for a 21-yard pickup. Rivers only played in two series, but he had six consecutive completions. He also had an impressive across the body throw under pressure connecting with Melvin Gordon for a first down.
WR J.J. Jones made a lasting impression late in the first half of the game and showed fans and coaches what he is capable of, especially on special teams, when he ran back a 72-yard punt return.
QB Geno Smith had some impressive plays. He had a nice touchdown pass to WR Mike Williams in the third quarter and also threw several darts right into the receivers and tight end’s hands for big gains. He escaped pressure and got some crucial first downs for the team. These plays showed why he could be a good choice for Philip Rivers’s backup QB.
Defensive end Melvin Ingram has the potential to be truly dominant on the field and looked like he came to play. There were several plays where it looked like he should have come up with a sack, but that is not always an easy feat playing against a mobile quarterback such as Russell Wilson. Opposing teams should be scared once DE Joey Bosa rejoins him on the field.
While this team shows a lot of promise, there are still a few things that need to be ironed out before the season opener. For starters, the Chargers had a frustrating 14 penalties over the course of the game, which can not happen in the regular season. They should also find out soon who their kicker will be. Right now, it looks like K Caleb Sturgis is a little more reliable from 50+ yards. Coach Lynn does not want a repeat of last year, losing when a game is on the line because of a blocked or missed kick.
If anything, this game showed us that the team is fierce and that they came to play this season. It was nice to see the offense, defense, and special teams finally in sync with one another. This game left me wanting more as a fan and more excited for the season opener. It will be interesting to see how this team matches up with the New Orleans Saints when the Chargers host them August 25th.