After a difficult and telling Week 3 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the injured and battered San Diego Chargers will hope to bounce back against the Houston Texans leaving them with a 2-2 season.
There was tough news from the Chargers camp regarding linebacker Joey Bosa today. He is stated to be suffering from a “significant groin injury” and is considered “week to week.” Head Coach Brandon Staley announced Bosa would be placed on IR. The second blow was perhaps the worst, the Chargers announced that left tackle Rashawn Slater’s injury will end his season. Slater suffered a ruptured bicep tendon. This is a devastating loss for a Chargers’ offensive line that has struggled since week 1. Does this worry anyone? It leaves me worried especially with the prospect of Storm Norton returning as a starter. Chargers’ fans will painfully remember the Raiders’ defensive end Maxx Crosby putting on a clinic against Norton in the Chargers week 18 matchup last year. On a slightly more positive note, Staley did comment that center Corey Linsley will be likely to return to practice this week.
However, just when fans thought the news couldn’t get any worse it did. The wide receiver room continues to be decimated by injuries. Jalen Guyton, who has been a good contributor the last two weeks, suffered a torn ACL in Sunday’s loss. He will also be out for the rest of the season.
Staley still has made no comment on the status of Keenan Allen. With wide receivers that only have three healthy starters, it is time to look for some additional help. I hope the team finally provides this opportunity to Michael Bandy. Bandy stood out during training camp and could provide some much needed consistency for this struggling offense.
The Chargers look to put all these woes behind them and turn things around against the 0-2-1 Houston Texans.
The Chargers’ run defense was able to hold its own in the first half against the Jaguars, but as in their previous games this season fell short in the second half. The emergence of defensive tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day as a solid run stuffer was definitely the positive sign this defense was looking for. With the loss of Joey Bosa, most likely for several weeks if not the season, the burden falls soley upon fellow linebacker Khalil Mack. If anyone is up to the task it is Mack. Entering the league in 2014, Mack is one of the top premier pass rush and run stuffing defenders in the Chargers’ lineup. Mack finds himself in a similar position as before. He will be the focal point of pressure on a decent defensive line without Bosa to draw coverage.
Looking back on their loss to the Jags, the Chargers focused on stopping the deep ball. This left the underneath and run game open for the Jaguars. I will be looking for the Chargers to correct this error and be a lot more aggressive against a mediocre Houston Texans team. They are considered one of the lowest scoring offenses in the league. The Texans’ defense on the other hand isn’t bad. The Texans are holding teams to 19.7 points per game. That isn’t great, but their defense is giving them a chance in these games. The Chargers need to find the flaws in the Texans’ defensive line and through the secondary, then exploit them.
The Chargers’ offense needs to ‘BOLT Up’ and make more of a contribution. There is talent in the line. It is about time the Chargers’ put it to the type of use it is meant for. Wide receiver Mike Williams might not be able to repeat his performance from week 2, but he can still contribute more than he has been. Is that on him or the coaching staff? In week 1, Williams recorded two receptions for 10 yards. In week 3, he recorded one touchdown reception for 15 yards. For a man who got paid this offseason, Williams needs to put up more. Joshua Palmer and DeAndre Carter have stepped up in an attempt to try and fill this void, but it still isn’t consistent. The Chargers need a more consistent performance from their offense and multiple weapons that will lead to ‘W’s.’ The Chargers’ defense needs to be kept fresh and turn up the heat on these mediocre offenses. This week will show us if the Chargers can overcome these bad habits or if the season will turn into one long disappointment.
Final Score: Chargers 21 vs Texans 10