Ignoring the Defensive Line Hurts in the End

This loss was heart breaking. The offense finally got going and scored 31 points. The defense still looks like the worst unit in the league. This defense must be the only one that would give up two TD's on drives that took 1:21 and 1:27. I could see it coming. When we got to crunch time, under 6 minutes left and the offense could no longer carry the load, it was up to the defense to get this win. At that point I knew we were in trouble.

After the first successful Raider drive, I knew if we didn't move the ball to kick a field goal or run out the clock, if we punted, we would go to overtime and lose. And naturally this happened.

The defense is still terrible and this latest showing makes me question the coaching.

Last year the obvious flaw in the defense was pass defense. The coaches said this offseason their main concentration was fixing the defense. From what I saw, the biggest problem in the defense was the non-existent pass rush.

Last year, I remember Bulger, Gannon and Hasselbeck all throwing for over 300 yards, standing comfortably in the pocket, and picking apart our defense. The coaches felt the problem was the guys covering the receivers who had extended time to get open. So the coaches get an entirely new secondary, more talented and faster. I don't mind this; I think we got some good players who will develop into an outstanding secondary.

But what is the point of having a good secondary if you cannot pressure the QB. You will never be successful. QBs in this league are just too good, and they will pick you apart. My problem with the coaches is not addressing the defensive line; not getting someone who can get to the QB.

Marcellus Wiley was an impact pass rusher in 2001 with the Chargers. Last year he played through an injury all year putting him around 70% in his effectiveness. The pass rush last year was the OBVIOUS problem. The coaches must have felt that a healthy Wiley this year would solve that. I will not bash the coaches here; I was optimistic about Wiley returning to form too. My problem is that through four games Wiley has no sacks, and we are not doing anything to get pressure on the QB.

The Raiders were able to score with ease on two consecutive drives when the game was on the line. Gannon was able to sit in the pocket and wait for Rice and Brown to get open, and they did. Why did the coaches choose to use such conservative defense, when it's obvious that Gannon WILL pick you apart if you give him time? The raiders were exposed twice, by the Titans and Broncos. Both these games showed us that to beat the Raiders offense, you pressure Gannon and don't give him a chance to pick you apart. You disrupt his timing. The Chargers don't have the players in the front seven to use such a conservative scheme and be successful.

Why do the coaches insist on using this shitty defensive scheme and not change it when it doesn't work. Isn't one of the biggest keys to football, to make adjustments when teams are exploiting a weakness?

Matt Langworthy can be reached at mattlangworthy15@hotmail.com

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