The Chargers and the Rams lost for the first time this season in the same week. The problem for the Rams is that they have to wait two weeks to react to successive defeats … and then they have to visit the powerful Green Bay. Meanwhile, the Chargers have a chance to answer at home on Sunday against the Steelers. Moderated by NFL Editor Athan Atsales, The Chargers, Writer Jeff Miller, Rams Writer Gary Klein, NFL Writer Sam Farmer, and Columnist Helen Elliot discuss the future of the teams:
49th Kyle Shanahan beat Sean McVeigh’s Rams five times in a row. Is his mentor outplaying McVeigh?
Farmer: The Rams beat and replayed on Monday night, that’s for sure. A week off couldn’t be the best time for the Rams to regroup for their stretch. McVeigh is undoubtedly a good coach, but his prick hasn’t gone away yet.
Klein: Sean McVeigh said again after his Monday night loss that each of these five games has its own story, its own narrative. And he’s right. But Shanahan and his team – with two different defense coordinators – have clearly dealt with the Rams. McVeigh is hypercompetitive and doesn’t like to lose to anyone. If you believe McVeigh, who always mistakenly says that it is his job to put his players in the right positions to succeed, then you must conclude that Shanahan has outsmarted him five times in a row.
The Tennessee Titans and San Francisco 49ers physically abused the Rams. Do you think this is a problem of mentality, size or scheme?
Farmer: Part mentality, part scheme. As always, the 49ers had an extremely physical game against the Rams and had effective ball control. As I mentioned last week, we see George Kittle, Dibo Samuel and Brandon Ayuk pick up speed again at the same time. This rapprochement is destructive.
Klein: Well, I don’t think the problem is necessarily in the circuit. McVeigh’s attack is considered one of the most creative in the NFL. But it only works if you can contain the pressure from Stafford and trust that Stafford will make the right decisions and that the recipients will not lose passes. The Titans and 49ers – as well as the Cardinals – all decided they weren’t going to enter the graceful game. The Rams’ defense did not give up on a lengthy game against the 49ers, but Shanahan continued to attack Elijah Mitchell. Their first possession lasted 18 games, the vast majority of which were quick. It was a statement, a way to control the clock, and a method to establish dominance.
Justin Herbert said after playing the Vikings, three defeats in four games, that this is a new team, new coaches, new instructions … so they don’t have that together yet. But how do you explain a 4: 1 start?
Elliott: I would say that in the first five games they showed pure talent. Then opponents read them carefully and found weaknesses that needed to be exploited. The Chargers failed to respond to changes in the way teams play with them. Staley undergoes on-the-job training to adjust the opposition opponents take against the Chargers.
Farmer: This is true of Herbert. New team, new coaches, new instructions. This also works both ways, because opponents get a new look and something new to adapt to, and this can benefit the team that made the change. But don’t discount the quality of the opponents they beat or the quality of the teams that beat them. Defeats last month went to teams led by some of football’s best defenders – Vink Martendale (from Baltimore), Bill Belichick (New England), Mike Zimmer (Minnesota) – and that would be a grief for a second. -year-old defender to decipher them with ease.
Miller: There is no doubt that the teams have adjusted to what the Chargers have been doing during the first five weeks of the season. It is impossible to overestimate the punch that Mike Williams received in that start and serves as an illustration. He ran 165 yards against Cleveland in week five and has since gone 137 yards. Chargers need to find answers to the question of how teams are protecting them now.
What do you think the opposing defenders are doing differently from the weekend to complicate matters for Justin Herbert and the Chargers attack?
Farmer: This is partly what the protectors did and partly what the chargers didn’t. The Chargers did not have a stable game and therefore lost the battle for possession. Herbert didn’t do well enough to pass the ball across the field. Again, consider protection. At times he looked confused and impatient. Still an exceptional quarterback, especially in light of his age and limited experience, these difficult moments had to come.
Miller: A common dominant factor seems to be that the attack was fought against three very good and respected defense coaching staffs – Baltimore, New England and Minnesota. Don’t forget, Attack Coordinator Joe Lombardi announced the NFL appearances just a year and a half before this season. There is still a struggle over how to make Herbert feel comfortable with the system. I expected to see them try to get him to move more with promotions and bootlegs, which was effective against Philadelphia.
After week 10, AFC West appears to be fully set to take over. Which divisional contender should the Chargers worry the most?
Miller: The leaders are clearly not as prepared as they seemed quite recently. It looks like it will be one of the most volatile NFL seasons on record, and I don’t think that will change. Each team can beat any other team. But Kansas City is still the losing team in the division. Check out how the Chefs’ defense have played over the past five weeks.
Farmer: Definitely the bosses. The raiders start circling the drain. The Broncos really don’t have an answer for the quarterback. But Kansas City is showing glimpses of who it has been for the past few years. This team is likely to start piling up in December and January. The good news for Chargers is that they usually play well with the Chiefs. They’ve already beaten them at Arrowhead this season and the rematch will take place Thursday night at SoFi. Difficult to win as a Thursday night visitor, especially when you have to cross two time zones. Be that as it may, the leaders should be defeated in the division.
Elliott: Of course they have enemies, but I think their biggest problem is themselves and how they can get more possession time and play at the pace they want to play. It doesn’t matter what others do if they can’t find some level of consistency at every stage of the game.
The Rams have a tough task ahead of them to end their two-game drift – away against Aaron Rogers and the Packers after a week’s hiatus. With one weak opponent for the rest of the match, what do you think the Rams’ record could be in the regular season?
Farmer: In this league, you have to keep your head above the water, and it gets hot in December and January. It sounds like Team 11-6 to me – the 17-game schedule still sounds weird – so that means they could lose three more games. Maybe they get hot and they don’t, but it seems right to me.
Klein: Sam has been doing this for a long time and knows what he’s talking about, so I’m not going to mind. But I’m not going to call it a number. Too much can happen – to the Rams and their opponents – to know how it all ends. Let me put it this way: The Rams defeated only one team with the winning record. A trip to Green Bay, Minnesota and Baltimore on a holiday weekend bodes badly. And the Rams are also playing the Cardinals away.