Chargers optimistic they can turn season around after 0-2 start

Ric Tapia - The Sporting Tribune
The Chargers are not panicking they believe they can turn things around.

COSTA MESA, Calif. — After the loss on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans, Chargers head coach Brandon Staley said there are 15 games left, and they need to correct their mistakes.

The offense has scored an average of 29.0 points in their first two games, which is sixth in the NFL. The defense allows 31.5 points per game, the third worst in the NFL.

Make no mistake about it the defense has been bad, but it hasn’t been all sunshine for the Chargers offense. They have made mistakes, too, especially late in games.

Even after the 0-2 start, the locker room has no heads down after practice or frowns. This team is focused on turning this around.

“Definitely need to get going, keep playing and keep trusting it,” safety Derwin James said. “We’ll get the results.”

The team has lost the two games by a combined five points.

Against the Dolphins in week one, receiver Tyreek Hill turned the game into a track meet by racking up 215 receiving yards and scoring two touchdowns.

The loss to Tennessee was different. They gave up a 70-yard reception to Treylon Burks, had three personal fouls called, and, in the end, couldn’t stop Ryan Tannehill. So it was a mixed bag.

“Personally, frustrating just because I know how good the team is,” receiver Josh Palmer said. “It’s not showing up on the scoreboard, but we have a great team.”

Frustration will happen with this team, especially with their high expectations coming into the season. They know they are better than what they have shown on Sundays.

On the offensive side of the ball, they need to get back to running it more efficiently. Austin Ekeler didn’t practice on Wednesday after missing all of last week.

They also need offensive coordinator Kellen Moore to feature Palmer and first-round draft pick Quentin Johnston more in the offense. Teams will zero in on Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, so they need to start spreading the ball around.

“You have to come and take it for what it is,” quarterback Justin Herbert said. “We’ve lost two games. It’s up to us to answer that and not let these past two games affect our next one.”

One stat that pops out is that the Chargers offense has scored 58 points in the first two games without a single turnover and is still 0-2.

“I’m optimistic that things can be turned around,” cornerback Ja’Sir Taylor explained. “It’s only game two. Going into game three, and you have a long season. We go into the film room after tough games like that, fix the things that we need to do and come out better.”

This Sunday’s game against the Vikings will be challenging, especially when the defense faces Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, and KJ Osborn. They will need to be better than they have shown in the first two weeks.

After the mistakes that happened against the Dolphins secondary wise, Staley rotated Michael Davis, J.C. Jackson, and Asante Samuel Jr. as the two outside corners. Taylor is now the slot corner.

“As we continue to play these games and perform, then the competition is going to express itself,” Staley said Monday. “Then, two guys will emerge, and we’ll be able to settle on our starting two. Right now, it kind of is where it is, and we need to keep moving forward.”

The Vikings and Chargers seem like mirror images of each other as they sit at 0-2, but they could be 2-0 if they didn’t make certain mistakes.

“You have 17 games to play,” James explained. “We’ve got to line up and take it one at a time. We can’t think of 1-2, 1-4, 2-4 or 2-2. It doesn’t matter. We just have to worry about Sunday and take care of that one.”

There has been a lot of backlash against Staley because of how the season ended last year and how it is starting this season, but the players are behind him.

They trust that they can turn this around.

“We believe in everyone in this organization,” Herbert said. “Things haven’t gone our way the past couple of games, but panicking is never going to fix anything. It’s up to us to be able to fix that.”

There are still 15 games left in the season, but it starts in Minnesota this weekend. If they can slow down that passing attack, they may have a chance to get this season going.

They will continue to fight, especially because they have the leaders to hold players accountable and keep them focused on the game at hand.

“We’re not panicking,” James said. “We’re not quitting. We’re not turning our back on each other. We’re going to continue to get better each and every week.”