Chargers host Packers on Their 12th Meeting

Chargers (3-5) hosting Packers (7-1) this Sunday on what will be the twelfth time the two face off.

The last and only time the Chargers beat the Packers was with Dan Fouts, Kellen Winslow, Charlie Joiner and Billy Ray Smith on the field October 7, 1984, a date that QB Phillip Rivers was 2 months shy of being 4 years old.

With the change of offensive play calling, this week,  shifted to highly regarded QB Coach Shane Steichen, the shift or wrinkle could create an edge for the Bolts just as an unseen quarterback with no or little film can potentially.

Coach Lynn on potentially an advantage with a new offensive play caller versus the Packers,

“It can be, a guy that’s never done it before.  Is he going to be conservative?  Is he going to be aggressive, you just don’t know.”

And of course on being the second Chargers in the history of the matchup team to beat the Packers, “It would feel good,…. real good!

An obvious sentiment for any win, but potentially more so becoming the second team at 3-5 and 3rd in the AFC West one trying to get back to 500.  With 4 Wisconsin Badgers in the locker room, more fuel as to prove to their home towns and to get a win from the team they grew up rooting for.

Derek Watt, although raised a Packers fan from Wisconsin, he is not a fan , anymore
and it was business focus on the next game. However it would be nice to let his hometown friends see him and his team beat the team he grew up rooting for.

“A lot of people from Wisconsin I’m sure are watching the Packers game,” Gordon says. “A lot of them that cheered for me probably don’t see a lot of the Chargers. It’ll be cool to watch those people that supported me since I was younger, because not many of our games get played back home.”

Connections:  Brendan Mebane played with Aaron Rogers his freshman and sophomore year at Cal, when Rodgers came as a redshirted sophomore.  Joey Bosa’s cousin on the Packers and many Wisconsin born players on the Bolts roster, looking for a dub with a little more fevor.  I searched and believe the only player on the roster whom has beaten the Packers is Thomas Davis when he was at Panthers.

Last time these two met in 2015 Chargers lost 27-20 in Green Bay however Phillip had 503 yards with 2 TDs, Keenan Allen had 157 receiving yards with Antonio Gates and Malcomn Floyd having 95 a piece.   The leader on tackles was Denzel Perryman with seven tackles and one assist on his first NFL start. One more tidbit, Woodhead and Oliver had a combined 103 yards on catch and runs.

Chargers defense has been in effect with 7 interceptions and 9 forced fumbles and 6 recoveries and 35 quarterback hits.  They also welcome back Mike ‘Money Badger’ Badgley and first time offensive player caller, Shane Steichen whom will be on the field for his debut, rather than the box.

Packers fans travel well, all over, who would not want to get out of Wisconsin for a trip to Southern California to see their team play, but as amplified vs the Steelers game, Chargers find themselves in an away environment with one bonus sleeping in their own beds.  This team has was able to respond well to those scenarios and come home after a win at Soldier Field to do the same a home-away game.

What I did notice at practice on Friday in the locker room  was a different feel, a lighter group, more at ease, perhaps with the focus after practice on the 25 families of the fallen soldiers. 25 Chargers players will honor and play for 25 Fallen Soldiers today and also be wearing a decal on their helmets with the initials of those soldiers. November in the NFL is a month to honor those that serve.

IMO:  This game could go either way, but I believe if the Chargers can come out with some tone setting pocessions, hits and pressure on Aaron Rodgers and an offensive rhythm I think they can win. Watch for a wrinkle shift with OC plays as well as, a successful staple with catch and runs for Austin Ekeler & Melvin Gordon.

Packers will have WR Davonte Adams, whom was a game time decision.

Side note:
Jaylen Watkins working at SS in place of Roderic Teamer.

LA Inactives of the game Easton Stick, Geremy Davis, Troymaine Pope, Roderick Teamer, Cortez Broughton< Brandon Mebane and Justin Jones.

Green Bay Inactives Ryan Grant, Ka’dar Hollman, JOSH Jackson, Tim Williams, Cole Madison, Adam Pankey and Robert Tonyan.

Sunday Night Prime Time Did Not Shine Bright for Chargers

Dignity Health Sports Park
Carson, CA

Sunday night prime time did not shine bright for Chargers. 

Lights, prime time and yet a disastrous start almost a deja vu of last weeks loss to the Broncos as they found themselves down by 14 in the first quarter.  Turnovers, lack luster, many missed tackles, missed field goal, a lack of energy and any run game were no competition for a will imposed 1-4 Mike Tomlin led team. 

Steelers came to fight, and instilled their will on Los Angeles at Dignity Health Sports Park, which looked or felt like Heinz West or “a miniature Heinz Field” Al Michaels stated during the broadcast.  It was reported 22,000 of the 27,000 capacity, (as well as a comparison of 90% vs. 10%) were Gold and Black.  Steelers fans travel well, as the sea of terrible towels displayed for all to view, but tonight highlighted or amplified the lack of home field the Los Angeles Chargers have had since their relocation.   

On the field, Pittsburg was more prepared mentally, physically and imposed their will with a stout commanding defense and with a third string QB whom has duck calling qualities and almost immediately had Los Angeles on their heels or on the ground. 

“They played with more urgency “ Phillip Rivers 

Bolts looked lethargic the first half, with a lack of urgency.  It was actually a bit shocking as this team looked and felt ready to respond after last weeks showing, Coach Lynn was juiced, but something was amiss as they found themselves scoreless and down by 24 in the fourth quarter.

The desire or will just wasn’t visible, the extra effort to make catches by Benjamin, numerous uncharacteristic missed tackles by Jatavais Brown and a lax response to a tipped ball by Melvin Gordon all low lighted the first half.

They did fight back, found some rhythm in the 4th and were able to gain some of the deficit and contain the Duck whisper with 17 unanswered points, just not enough.  It is noteworthy to mention that also during the 4th quarter, the stadium played Styx Renegade and followed with rickrolling a stunt that left the players bewildered.

Chargers D was unable to finally bring down Conners, and although Keenan Allen was taken out of the equation, Mike Williams stepped up and yet despite an injury late in the 3rd or early 4th continued to play and with heart.  

Steeler players felt at home in Carson, and said so after their win for all to see.

 

Sunday Night Prime Time in Carson

 

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Sunday Night Football, Sunday Night Lights, Prime Time, there is nothing like it!!

Memories from Friday Night Lights, big college games and in the NFL you are front and center, no other games, you are it!

“It’s like a day party versus a night party….no comparison “ – Damion Square

A little haze, a little darker, some nostalgia, but Chargers players are focused on the task at hand, beating the Steelers.   Even though Isaac Rochelle and Uchenna Nwosu  didn’t agree with the outcome of their alma maters match up on Saturday, USC vs Notre Dame, they were definitely on the same page for Sunday’s match hosting the 1-4 Steelers at Dignity Health Sports Park.

 

With many teams fans rolling into Southern Cal to enjoy games, the Chargers players are accustomed to it having many visitor teams fans in attendance, it just doesn’t matter  regardless of how many Charger fans showed up as long as it was packed with fans.   Something that I think aided in their success last year no home field advantage, fan wise, but a home game is a home game, you go home after the game, not board a flight, you sleep in your own bed.

This is again a dangerous 1-4 team, their losses come from to 2 undefeated teams, San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots, and one with one loss the Seattle Seahawks.  Chargers have won two of the last three meetings.

“It’s just a matter of time before that group gets it together,” Coach Lynn said. “This is a dangerous football team.”

Friday in the locker room it broke that Mason Rudolph was ruled “out” for Sunday, although on LP throughout the week, not a big surprise it was hard to fathom that he would be cleared of concussion protocols after the hit he sustained from Earl Thomas.

Regardless which quarterback was at the helm, the Bolts had prepared for both Mason Rudolph and Devlin ‘Duck’ Hodges whomever was a the helm for the Steelers,    “It doesn’t matter who’s playing QB”  Square stated on Friday.

On preparing for a third string quarterback making his NFL debut on Sunday Night with little film,

“There’s a little bit of an unknown with his skill set,” Bradley said. “What are they going to do with him? Do they trust him to be a read-option guy? … We really just have to play some of that stuff ‘rules ball’ and just go for it and probably make adjustments during the game as we see the personality that they take on.”

On Juju Smith-Schuster, I asked former Trojan teammate and friend  Uchenna if any smack talk had partaken, he said no we are professional.  When asked if he’s given some extra advice on Smith-Schuster, he said “definitely” has given his teammates the heads up.   DC Gus Bradley also very aware of Juju and the entire Defense.

Gus words on Thursday “He has really good strength at the point of attack,” Bradley said. “(He) played really well in those positions as far as setting the edge and stuff. That was impressive. He has always had the ability to find a way to affect the quarterback.”

Casey will be covering Juju per Coach Bradley from Thursday podium, much praise on Casey Hayward.

“He’s been very important, because you can count on him,” Bradley said. “You know what you’re going to get from him every game. He’s a pro. I know that he missed a practice last week, but he’s a guy that really studies and he’s in-tune to it even if he misses a practice here or there.”

Hayward acknowledging  Juju, “He plays hard, it’s hard to tackle him, he’s a good route runner, and he has strong hands. He does a really good job of breaking tackles and getting open.”

Nwosu will start for Melvin Ingram. When I spoke to him on praises from Coach Bradley  he gave credit to his DL Coach Giff Smith.

New Chargers C/G Ryan Groy, I spoke with GM Tom Tellesco on the connections, primary was similar offense with Tyrod in Buffalo and his versatility.  Will he play is unknown and Ryan was unclear if he will play when I spoke to him on Friday, but with the need for 8, makes it a likelyhood  possibility.  One more brother connections Derek Watt will see his other brother T.J. Watt.  On a side note Joey Bosa’s brother Nick is up the road at the Coliseum playing the LA Rams this afternoon.

 

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Game predictions IMO

Chargers will find a way to run the ball, in possible some creative ways with new lineman.  Aliviating pressure for Phillip Rivers, expect Keenan Allen to have a big night and Chargers defense to really have pressure on Hodges, and contain the run, or more so contain big explosive plays.

The will respond not just because its a Prime Time game, but because they are prepared and IMO using fuel from last weeks loss to division foe Broncos, on the Desiree show  on Wednesday my game prediction was at first a win by 7, I shifted to a final 30-10 LAC.

Although Chargers have been decimated with injuries this season perhaps worse than the last few years they overcome unite and fight to get this win.

*Dan Freeney in of Mike Pouncy and below the flip card.

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Game Day Flips

FLIP CARD CHANGES FOR THE CHARGERS:

3 Chase McLaughlin will handle the kicking duties for #4 Michael Badgley

42 Uchenna Nwosu will start at DE for #54 Melvin Ingram

44 Kyzir White will start at LB for #42 Uchenna Nwosu

Add #89 WR Jason Moore

Remove #82 TE Stephen Anderson

FLIP CARD CHANGES FOR THE STEELERS:

6 Devlin Hodges will start at QB for #2 Mason Rudolph

18 Diontae Johnson will start at WR for #13 James Washington

25 Artie Burns will start at CB for #22 Steven Nelson

55 Devin Bush will start at LB for #26 Mark Barron

Add #5 QB Paxton Lynch

Add #33 RB Trey Edmunds

Remove #74 G Fred Johnson

Remove #51 LB Jayrone Elliott

 

Chargers sign C/G Ryan Groy Whom Has Connections to their Offense.

Costa Mesa, 
Hoag Performance Center

Injuries continue to mount for the Bolts, today Pro Bowler center Mike Pouncey was placed on season ending injured reserve.  Coach Lynn told the media he will undergo neck surgery and is done for the year.

 “Mike Pouncey is done for the year,” Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said. “We are going to miss him, his leadership and on the field, but we are tickled to death that he is OK with the injury he had —- he’s going to have neck surgery at some point and we wish him all the best”.

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In corresponding move Chargers sign C/G Ryan Groy.

He is a Wisconsin Badger, Big 10 Champion in 2011 and 2012.  An undrafted free agent whom signed with the Bears in 2014, played 4 seasons with the Buffalo Bills and has had short stints on the practice squads with the Patriots, Buccaneers, and most recently the Saints.  He has played 55 games with 17 starts, primarily at center.

The 6’5 Wisconsin product has some connections or familiarity to the Chargers offense,  with former Badger teammates Melvin Gordon and Derek Watt and having played every position on the offensive line as well as fullback in college. He joins another offensive Badger TE Lance Kendricks whom played prior to his college career.

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ORCHARD PARK, NY – DECEMBER 10: Ryan Groy #72 of the Buffalo Bills looks at fans before a game against the Indianapolis Colts on December 10, 2017 at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

In addition, a connection with Tyrod Taylor when he was at Buffalo and took them to their first playoff berth in 17 years.

Not a comparison to a Pro Bowler by any means, however the transition could be smoother than one would anticipate with some key familiar parts as well as his diversified experience.  Couple it with next man up mentality and the athletic and character players Tom Tellesco and company bring to the locker room.  One more noteworthy point, he can play in cold weather.

Broncos Buck The Chargers 20-13

Initial thoughts on Chargers loss to Broncos.

A dangerous 0-4 Broncos team came in to Dignity Health Sports Park with a fast fierce fire and Chargers found themselves down 17-0 in a blink.  Denver’s offense and Chargers lack of red zone conversion to points had them on there heels down 14 in the first 1st quarter.

Regardless of the countless injuries Chargers have endured, they fought till the end, but with 2 red zone turn overs, no offensive touch downs, a missed or technically blocked field goal they left at least 10 points off the scoreboard. Despite their fight till the end, just too much to overcome and Chargers fall to third in the AFC West and under 500 at 2-3.

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Uchenna Nwosu with the strip Photo Mike Nowak/ Chargers

At the end of the 3rd quarter Desmond King brought a spark back and it appeared that this 17 point deficit could be overcome, however too much to overcome on this 85 degree day in Carson. At the end of the fourth quarter Chargers were able to move the ball within field goal range for two Chase McLaughlin field goals.  Then with :10 left attempted an onside kick, but were unsuccessful.   Questions on their last procession or clock management as they appeared to have a lack of urgency down by 10 and less than 2:00 left in the game.

Division games regardless of record, coupled with a dangerous winless team with losses to a total of 10-6 records teams collectively.   Having zero turnovers and a hungry Von Miller added to their fire and yet one less mistake, and the Chargers find themselves in the w column.  

Coach Lynn post game opening statement, 

“Sorry for keeping you good people waiting. Sorry for [having to watch] that damn game. If we play like that, we won’t beat anybody. That team came here desperate for a win, played hard, out-coached us and it was disappointing — but we have a resilient group, I think. We will see how we respond next week but that was disappointing. This press conference will be really short, to be honest with you.”

Highlights of the game:  Desmond Kings 68 yard punt return touchdown, Uchenna Nwosu strip sack with assistance from Jatavas Brown, Kazier White with an INT,  Chase McLaughlin with a one partial block was 2 for 3 in his premier and despite “one of those games”  they fought and found themselves in reach. The defense also contained the Broncos to 20 points.  This was also the first game play back for Melvin Gordon since his return.

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Rivers to Gordon Photo Mike Now/ The Chargers

Lowlights;  although time of possession was nearly split Chargers 30:24 Broncos 29:36 and played close to penalty free with only 4 for 43 yards while Denver had 12 for 122 yards. Just too many mistakes, 2 red zone turnovers, 35 total rushing yards, balance in offense, defense unable to contain the run allowing 191 total rushing yards (6 yards a carry average) or primarily Phillip Lindsay with 114 rushing yards and one rushing TD.  Versus the pass Defense only allowed 182 in the air and 1 TD.  

Regardless this team will continue to fight as they have, and they will come prepared to host Steelers next Sunday night despite what adversities may be sent their way.  They always seem to shine bright in these scenarios and will have that opportunity in prime time next Sunday evening.

 

 

Chargers Win in Miami Comes with a Price

Chargers win in Miami comes with a price.

The Los Angeles Chargers have been busy on this first day of October. Sunday they brought home their first win in Miami since January 2, 1982,  the AFC Divisional Playoffs, the Epic in Miami, but as feared with more injuries, today was a busy day of roster moves. 

Normally Tuesday are “mellow days” in the NFL, players are out giving back on their day off, today was not so mellow.  Chargers announced many moves they have placed Sean Culken on IR, signed Stephen Anderson to the active roster and several practice squad moves. Waived Adarius Pickett (S), Chris Brown (G) and signed Jeff Holland (DE), Quenton Meeks (DB), Matt Sokol to the practice squad. 

Early this evening it was reported from NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero that The Chargers signed kicker Chase McLaughlin, a rookie UFA from Illinois.  Collegiately McLaughlin was a perfect 79/79 on extra points and 4/6 on FGs over 50 earning  Big Ten Kicker of the Year.  He has had short stints with the Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings this season.

Ty Long’s injury from Sunday may be worse than anticipated or the fear of an injury with the current lack of depth without Michael Badgley, a bit of panic or searching in Miami seeing him limp after a kick off early in the game.  However he did continue to play without an inclination that anything was wrong and was perfect 3/3 on FGs with a total of 12 points.  But the question arose for me as I watched, searching the roster for whom, if he was hurt, would take over on all kicking duties, punt and place kicking until Michael Badgley is back on the field.  Perhaps a precautionary move regardless it is being reported he will resume punting duties. 

Ty Long
Photo Ty Nowell/Los Angeles Chargers

An interesting thought was brought up by Tom Krasovic, Union Tribune reporter or questions regarding rookie QB Easton Stick and keeping him on the active roster with so many injuries with every  spot vital.  Potentially fearful to risk waivers to him on the practice squad where he can be picked up as pass rusher Chris Peace whom was impressive in Training Camp was claimed by the Giants.

 

In addition, this evening 9:48 PM PST Gilbert Manzano, beat reporter for the OC Register, reported via a tweet, that the Chargers are considering placing Dontrelle Inman on IR as well.  

Tomorrow  afternoon the Chargers will release the first injury report for week 5, Broncos week.  

Stay tuned and up to date make sure to follow The Desiree SHOW and Desiree Astorga on Instagram and Desiree on twitter.

Melvin Gordon back at Chargers Thursday?

Melvin Gordon’s hold out comes to an end, as it is being reported that he will be back at Chargers HQ’s tomorrow via NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.

It is also being reported that he will not play this Sunday in Miami.

Although during today’s press conference when Head Coach Lynn was asked about Gordon he stated,

“I have not heard from Melvin and right now, those are all hypotheticals. I’ll cross that bridge when it gets there. If he’s going to play, if he’s going to travel or whatnot but right now my focus is really getting this team ready to go to Miami on Friday and try to win a football game.”

Adding to the assumption, if he reports he will likely not play Sunday per Eric D. Williams, of ESPN.

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Phillip Rivers when asked about the status of Melvin,

“I have not heard any more than what you have. I know it would be good to see him.”

Although the Chargers have lost their last two games the run game has not struggled.

Gordon’s hold out possibly set to end, an agreement could not be met with the two commencing the season and he did not report to Training Camp. After much time Chargers granted back permission to seek a trade, but nothing materialized.

No official press release has been made by the Chargers, as of yet.

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First Downs and Flip Tricks, The Desiree SHOW