Chargers off to hot start despite Week 1 loss to Texans

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“The Texans? That’s who the Chargers play week one? Ohh boy”… is my exact reaction when I saw the Chargers schedule for this season. As you can tell, I didn’t have a lot of hope for this game. I thought blowout after the end of the first half. Many of you other fans might have thought the same thing. A rookie head coach, rookie GM, a new offensive scheme, a declining quarterback and a defense that lost a lot of firepower and veteran leadership. Let’s just skip this weeks tailgate party and tell our “buds” we had a funeral to go to. Well, I have to say.. ¬†they sure proved me wrong.¬†

Within thirty seconds, two major plays had already happened. On the first play of the game, Texans QB Matt Schaub drops back for a quick pass to Tight End Owen Daniels. Schaub throws it but it is deflected by linebacker Jarret Johnson and intercepted by nose tackle Cam Thomas.

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Ryan Matthews catches a 14 yard touchdown on the second play of the game.

On the very next play Philip Rivers passes to Ryan Matthews for a 14 yards touchdown.

Right off the bat, the Chargers have all the momentum. Texans fans are in complete shock. Was that the Texans team that just went 12-4 and marched its way into a Divisional Playoff game last year?

The Chargers took a 21-7 lead at the break. They went up by twenty-one with ten minutes left in the third quarter. For a split second it would seem as if the Chargers were on the verge of pulling off the upset.

Experience was the key. Granted the Chargers bounced out to an early lead. They for some reason, however, were not able to close the game. The Texans just know how to close out ball games.

Schaub was able to bounce back from his first play interception. Completing 34 of 45 passes for 346 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. Andre Johnson finished the game off with 146 receiving yards.

The Texans went on to score 24 unanswered points winning the game by a score of 31-28. Mistakes and more dumb mistakes killed the Chargers. From Philip Rivers throwing a pick-six late in the fourth quarter to Cam Thomas’ unnecessary roughness penalty on the Texans long-snapper that would have given the Chargers the ball back after just a field goal. Instead it gave the Texans a brand new set of downs. They capitalized by throwing a nine yard touchdown pass to Owen Daniels the next play.

To finish off the come from behind win, Randy Bullock kicked the game winning 41 yard field goal with no time left on the clock.

Being a football player myself, I know the feeling the Chargers have right now and its not a good one. I am a junior in high school and have yet to win a high school game in my career. We have the ability to stay with teams in the first half, however, when the second half rolls around we are gasping for air, due to the fact that most of us players play both offensively and defensively.

Now I’m not saying the Chargers are getting dead tired in the second half. They are just making mental mistakes that can’t be made. Lack of experience has to do with that as well. Other than the mental errors the Chargers had a well rounded night. Shutting down the Houston offense is a challenge and they accepted that challenge during the first half, holding them to seven points at halftime. Over the course of the entire game Arian Foster only had 57 yards on 18 carries and Ben Tate had 55 yards on 9 carries.

Its an obvious fact that second half performances must be better during the course of the season.

Now to this Sunday’s match-up featuring: The Re-born Philadelphia Eagles.

The Philadelphia Eagles are coming off a victory against RGIII and the Washington Redskins. They played similiar to the Chargers but walked out with a win.

The Eagles held on to an early 26-7 lead at halftime. Within four minutes of the third quarter they had a 33-7 lead over the ‘Skins. They just got tired. The Eagles run a spread form of offense which is one play after another, no breaks. Offensively it was obvious how tired they were. Rookie NFL coach Chip Kelly said that he felt that his team was too slow. “I felt like it was slow, to be honest with you,” Chip said. “I’m not joking. We’ve got to do a better job. We left the ball on the ground too much. We didn’t get the ball to the officials. We could have sped things up from a process between plays. That’s something we need to continue to work on.”

LeSean McCoy ran all over the Redskin defense.

McCoy had 31 rushes for 184 yards. A game high in both categories. It will be interesting to see how the Chargers plan on stopping this high powered Eagle offense. It can be done though.

Ryan Matthews also has to have a more productive game. He started of red hot against the Texans and slowed back down after that. He finished with 13 rushes for 33 yards.

The San Diego Chargers play the Eagles tomorrow (Sunday the 15th of September) at 1:00 Eastern Time on CBS Sports.

 

 

 

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