Saturday, December 4, 2021

Chargers no longer protect against running stalls.

They remain the last in the NFL, with the two closest teams – Detroit and Houston – combined 2-18-1.

But in all fairness, any discussion of the Chargers’ fast-paced defense throughout the season must include what’s recently happened.

The Chargers limited their last four opponents to an average of 3.7 yards per carry, which will come in 2nd for the season.

During this time, they lost 476 yards on the ground, but it took the enemy 129 attempts to get there.

“We’re just tired of all this noise, people say they can run into us everywhere,” said marginal specialist Uchenna Nwosu. “As a man, it only hurts your pride. At some point, you have to tense up and say, “We’re going to just start punching the guys in the mouth.”

Ever since they had a week, Chargers have been hitting more frequently. In their last two games, they have beaten Minnesota and Pittsburgh by 158 yards and 51 carry, averaging 3.1.

Defense Coordinator Renaldo Hill explained that the coaching staff emphasized the need for improvement over the run, re-teaching many of the principles the Chargers use in their circuits.

During the first six weeks of the season, defenses were often torn apart by misunderstandings or improper technique. The success of the Charger System depends a lot on the correct performance by each player of their responsibilities.

“This is not only the mental aspect of the game, but also the mental aspect,” Justin Jones said in defense. “You have to find time outside the facility to sit down and examine your position, study the guys next to you, understand your role in defense and understand how important your role is to our defense and how we can play in general. If everyone does their own thing, the protection will not be so good. “

The Chargers have done well against the Steelers – 18 carries by 55 yards – despite the absence of starting players Linval Joseph and Jerry Tillery along the line. Veteran substitute Christian Covington also dropped out.

Tillery returned to training on Thursday after being activated from the COVID-19 reserve list. Covington is expected to be activated from the roster on Friday. Both are due to play Sunday in Denver.

However, Joseph remains on the COVID list as he also has a shoulder injury. He won’t be playing this weekend.

A pair of second-year undrafted players – Braden Fehoko and Joe Gaziano – started against Pittsburgh and fared well, both finishing with three qualifiers. Gaziano deflected a pass after the third missed and hit Ben Rotlisberger’s penalty area.

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“These guys have shown real resilience,” said coach Brandon Staley. “Apart from intangible assets, they play well. … It’s not just that they were there and played hard and hard. These guys produced and directed plays. “

Forwards near midfielder Uchenna Nwosu fire Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Rotlisberger during his fourth quarter race at SoFi Stadium on Sunday.

(Robert Gaultier / Los Angeles Times) #

Told Nwos, “They didn’t flinch. … They did not retreat. At this point they were ready. They played as if they had played in the league for over 10 years. “

After the start of the fourth quarter with a 17 points lead, the Chargers were beaten by the Steelers 27-7 before Justin Herbert and Mike Williams were hooked up for the decisive touchdown.

Victory was not secured until they made more significant contributions to the Chargers’ defense, not least this time. Joey Boza and Kyler Fakrell fired Roethlisberger as Pittsburgh’s latest streak only went backwards.

Boza, who has sacks for three weeks in a row, leads the team with 6 ½. Fuckrell is in second place with three, followed by Tillery with 2½.

“I think it’s basically a way of thinking,” Boza said. “I think that [outside linebackers] Trainer [Jay] Rogers has done a great job. He came two weeks ago with a completely new attitude. At first I was a little annoyed, like, “What is this guy doing?” But no, that was great. He made us work really hard. “

On Sunday, this defensive front will face off against a 19th-ranked NFL running game and a 20th-ranked attack. Former loader Melvin Gordon III is the Broncos’ top player with an average of 52.2 yards.

The numbers suggest the Chargers’ running protection should continue to improve, especially with the anticipated return of Tillery and Covington. Denver has been capped under 100 yards on the ground in three of its last four games.

For the Chargers, this game represents a chance, perhaps even shaking off being the NFL’s worst defender.

“This goodbye week has been a big one for us,” Hill said. “It gave us a point at which we were in a bad position. Nobody wanted to sit in [No.] 32. We want to continue working from now on to get better. The biggest part of that was that everyone was willing to fix it. “

Etc.

Starting left-back Matt Feiler didn’t train on Thursday with an ankle injury. On Wednesday, he was restricted from training.

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