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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Sorting the Sunday Pile, Week 2: Brandon Staley seat scorching scorching after 0-2 Chargers begin, Payments rebound huge Categorical Occasions

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The Chargers are both cursed or simply poorly coached. How else are you able to presumably clarify what occurs on a week-in and week-out foundation with Brandon Staley’s soccer staff? Each freaking week the Chargers discover a new, modern solution to lose soccer video games. Whether or not it is San Diego or Los Angeles is irrelevant — the Chargers have been disappointing us for some time now. The most recent was an extra time highway loss to the Titans which featured the Bolts as three-point favorites. In consequence, Staley’s seat is now scorching. 

Sunday’s Week 2 loss was a basic case of Chargering, with the Titans taking a three-point lead on a discipline aim with 3:38 remaining within the recreation. Austin Ekeler was out of the sport, however Staley’s squad nonetheless had loads of weapons for Justin Herbert, beginning with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams and transferring on all the way down to rookie Quentin Johnston, backup operating again Joshua Kelly and tight ends Donald Parham and Gerald Everett. That a lot time towards a questionable protection ought to have completely resulted in a few appears to be like to attain a landing.

As a substitute, the Chargers moseyed on down the sphere, coming into the crimson zone with lower than a minute remaining. Staley did not use his first timeout till it was third-and-3 from the Titans seven-yard line with 21 seconds remaining. I perceive you need to be sure you do not depart the Titans time to go win the sport, however the Chargers ought to have been attacking extra aggressively as a substitute of dinking and dunking and enjoying for extra time. Herbert promptly obtained sacked on third down, the Chargers kicked and we obtained free soccer.

Similar to towards the Dolphins, the Chargers promptly flipped their plan, dropping Herbert again on three straight snaps to start out extra time, all three ending as incomplete passes, giving the ball again to the Titans with Tennessee needing only a discipline aim to steal a win. Yada yada yada, the ball went by means of the uprights seven performs later and the Chargers fell to 0-2 to start out the season.

The Titans scored 27 factors on this recreation, the primary time Tennessee’s gone over 20 factors since Week 14 final 12 months and the primary time they’ve scored 27 factors or extra since Week 11, the one time the Titans did so all 2022 season. In opposition to the Saints final week, the Titans barely mustered 15 factors and seemed horrendous on offense. 

Why does this matter? As a result of Brandon Staley is a defensive coach and the Chargers persistently fail to play good protection. The Dolphins’ passing success from final week is properly documented and at this time’s efficiency may be worse given how unhealthy the Titans seemed in Week 1. 

Staley is an analytics coach who has modified his thoughts about utilizing analytics. Staley punted on a fourth-and-4 on the Titans 44-yard line. In extra time, he known as timeout on a third-and-2 with Derrick Henry on the sideline attempting to get relaxation as a result of his protection wasn’t set, solely to see Henry come again on the sphere and, with the advantage of the timeout, choose up a primary down. 

The Bolts simply signed Herbert to an enormous contract extension and it positive appears to be like like they’ll set one other one among his prime seasons utterly on hearth. Los Angeles, by all accounts, might have landed Sean Payton this offseason, however for numerous causes (cash, energy struggles, and many others) determined to remain the course with Staley. Now they’re 0-2 and with their backs up towards the wall simply two weeks into the season.

Final 12 months’s Bengals staff is the one 0-2 staff (out of 23) to make the the postseason for the reason that NFL expanded to the seven-team bracket. There aren’t many issues worse than blowing a large playoff lead, however lacking the playoffs with a wholesome Herbert completely qualifies. For the reason that Tremendous Bowl period started, 34 groups have scored 50+ factors with zero turnovers by means of their first two weeks. The Chargers are the one a type of groups to start out the season 0-2. 

Staley is the chief within the clubhouse for first coach fired proper now. That Week 5 bye is looming massive.

Payments bounce again in a giant manner

Dropping to Aaron Rodgers would not have been a giant deal for Josh Allen and the Payments. However when Buffalo misplaced to the Zach Wilson-led Jets on Monday evening in Week 1, it induced a wave of panic across the Payments group. Lower than every week after Allen lamented the “identical shit” on a “completely different day” following the loss, the would-be MVP candidate uncorked on the Raiders with a three-touchdown efficiency in a get-right beatdown of the Raiders. 

The Payments had been nearly double-digit favorites on this recreation, so it was hardly a shock to see them win. However the efficiency was spectacular nonetheless and a stark reminder that first-week impressions might not at all times be agency and fast paced ahead. 

Allen completed the sport 31 of 37 for 274 yards and three passing touchdowns. It might have been a really outrageous efficiency if the Raiders had mustered greater than 10 factors. Las Vegas really got here out of the gates and scored first, taking a 7-0 lead on its first drive, however the Payments primarily locked down Jimmy Garoppolo and Co. for the remainder of the sport, not permitting a drive of longer than 46 yards the remainder of the way in which whereas piling up three touchdowns to take a 21-7 halftime lead. 

The Payments’ lead might have been even bigger if they’d transformed a fourth-and-goal from the Raiders one-yard line. Allen unfold the ball round, an particularly fascinating notion since Stefon Diggs apparently was the leader in the locker room handing out hype speeches all through the week. Diggs wasn’t a squeaky wheel — although he did catch all seven of his targets for 66 yards, it was Gabe Davis who led the staff in receiving and Davis, Dawson Knox and Khalil Shakir who caught the touchdowns from Allen. 

The speeding recreation for Buffalo was stout, too. James Cook dinner went for 123 yards on simply 17 carries and Damien Harris and Latavius Murray each plunged into the top zone for scores. 

Buffalo’s offense was environment friendly, diversified and explosive. It was an entire 180 from what we noticed the Payments do on Monday evening in New York after being gifted a free house with the Rodgers damage in Week 1. Nobody wanted to panic about Buffalo’s efficiency to start out the season, however it was a minimum of cheap to be a little bit nervous should you backed the Payments after seeing Allen’s turnover points final 12 months into the semi-drama of the offseason and the unhealthy offensive struggles in Week 1. 

Because it seems, the Jets would possibly merely be Allen’s Kryptonite and the Payments are simply high-quality for 2023. 

Regarding omens in Indy 

By way of two weeks of the season, Anthony Richardson’s been a enjoyable watch and he is making the Colts a compelling soccer staff together with his athletic ability set and tantalizing upside. However, man, how will you not really feel a little bit little bit of concern for the longer term in Indy when seeing Richardson additionally undergo a number of accidents in the one two regular-season video games of his profession, each sustained whereas operating the soccer. 

In Week 1 it was a left knee damage that wasn’t thought-about extraordinarily severe, with head coach Shane Steichen saying later Richarddson might have performed if the sport had been nearer. At this time’s damage was a concussion suffered after the rookie signal-caller rushed for his second landing. 

Richardson would really keep within the recreation for 2 extra sequence earlier than being changed by Gardner Minshew, a transfer that resulted in loads of confusion with the asserting sales space and anybody watching/masking the sport. Ultimately the Colts would reveal he was being evaluated for a concussion. Richardson had taken no extra photographs on the following two sequence and it is clear his head hit arduous towards the turf on that rating. So the timing a part of it’s a little regarding from a monitoring standpoint, particularly given the Colts current historical past of mismanaging well being conditions for his or her franchise quarterbacks. 

Once more: Richardson has insane, tantalizing upside and he is a enjoyable match on this offense. However whilst huge a bodily freak as he’s, he isn’t essentially constructed like Jalen Hurts (extra stout/squat/like a operating again). And Cam Newton was constructed like a defensive finish, too, however accidents clearly shortened his profession. 

Hopefully Richardson is okay and these are simply early flukes, however struggling accidents so quickly into his professional profession whereas operating is unquestionably a crimson flag to regulate.

Return of the Rams?

Sean McVay’s squad misplaced on Sunday so suggesting the Rams are “again” after a one-year hiatus from being good is a little bit bizarre, however hear me out. For starters, they misplaced to the 49ers. With Brock Purdy enjoying at a excessive stage, the Niners may be one of the best staff in all of soccer proper now. We knew their roster was implausible, it was only a matter of whether or not or not the quarterback place can be a query mark throughout the season or not. Purdy has put that situation to mattress fairly emphatically. Kyle Shanahan additionally owns McVay, having received 9 consecutive regular-season video games towards the Rams. 

The Rams are actually fascinating, although, as a result of everybody buried them earlier than the season. Vegas gave them a 6.5 win complete, folks talked about this being McVay’s final 12 months, Matthew Stafford’s identify was floated in future hypothetical commerce rumors. The Rams had been mentioned as being one of many worst groups within the NFL and a menace for the No. 1 general choose. 

Two weeks in, that notion appears fairly ridiculous, as a result of the Rams appear like a robust playoff contender proper now. Puka Nacua and Tutu Atwell have emerged as legit receiving threats in Cooper Kupp’s absence. Kyren Williams has been a revelation within the rush recreation, with Cam Akers coping with some … stuff these days. Stafford threw a pair of picks on Sunday however he is seemed utterly wholesome for the primary time for the reason that Tremendous Bowl season and is making elite stage throws that the majority human beings cannot faux to contemplate throwing. Aaron Donald is a PROBLEM and can emerge as a contender for DPOY by midseason in my view. The Rams want to remain wholesome and discover a solution to go 2-2 or higher towards the Bengals, Steelers, Eagles and Cowboys (they get the Colts and Cardinals as properly, each should be wins clearly) between now and Halloween they usually’ll be proper there within the combine. 

Cowboys reply the opposite query

When Dallas skunked the Giants final week, there was little doubt the protection was going to be an elite unit below Dan Quinn but once more. However we did not be taught something in regards to the offense towards New York, primarily as a result of Dak Prescott and his teammates on that facet of the ball weren’t required to do a lot because of the overall gamescript. With Mike McCarthy altering offensive coordinators and taking up play-calling, it was vital to know if Dallas might be harmful on offense. Nicely, seems they will, as a result of Dak, CeeDee Lamb and Tony Pollard put a whipping on a Jets protection extensively believed to be elite. 

Pollard averaged simply 2.9 yards per carry, however he seemed very efficient late whereas piling up 25 carries within the recreation. It was a robust indication he is usually a legit bellcow for Dallas this season. Dak went 31-for-37 for 255 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He FED Lamb, focusing on him 13 instances for 11 catches and 143 yards. That is one thing price watching given how McCarthy’s earlier offenses in Inexperienced Bay usually featured an alpha receiver who soaked up targets. Lamb completely matches that profile. 

Zach Wilson and the Jets had been no match for Quinn’s unit, not that we would have liked extra proof the Cowboys are proficient on that facet of the ball. Micah Parson recorded the tenth multi-sack recreation of his profession. Solely Reggie White (16), Richard Dent (12), Aldon Smith (12), Shawne Merriman (12) and Dwight Freeney (10) can declare that … however Parsons is barely two weeks into his third 12 months. 

The Cowboys are actually the eleventh staff within the Tremendous Bowl period to get by means of their first two video games with some extent differential of 60 or better. (Oddly none of them received the Tremendous Bowl and just one, the 1976 Raiders, even made it to the Tremendous Bowl.) The Cowboys +60 web level differential is the second-largest quantity in franchise historical past.

By dropping 30 on the Jets, the Cowboys showcased a stability on either side of the ball that will very properly make them a legit Tremendous Bowl contender in 2023. 

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