This weekends game was an absolute travesty. So much of the same ill advised decision making that has been on display thus far. With our season already looking gloomy at best, there honestly is not much positivity ahead in our future as long as we stick this game planning and coaching. None the less, we are going to identify some of the things that went wrong, and few things we have to look forward to.
POOR EXECUTION AND PLAY-CALLING
From the start of this contest we continued a disturbing trend of making costly mistakes in key situations, starting with the offsides penalty on our defensive back David Long Jr on a play that saw Maxx Crosby end the opening drive with a sack that was nullified. Habitual offender Jerry Tillery would later extend another drive by taking an unnecessary hit on the QB while obviously giving himself up on the sideline. This was beyond frustrating and he should not be allowed any more playing time or opportunity to put us in losing situations any further. Tackling as a whole was atrocious across the board from start to finish, including many attempts for a sack only to see the QB scramble for first downs or find open receivers down field with the extra time.
Midway through the 4th quarter with just over 10 minutes left the decision was made to punt the ball on the Chargers 38 yard line, instead of taking a shot on what would have been a 55 yard field goal attempt with our kicker more than capable of doing so. Lastly, and more importantly, was the mindless play call on first down of a “rub route” while on the 3 yard line with under 3 minutes left to tie the game, instead of sending our all pro running back up the middle as many times as necessary. Had we done this, we would have run a bit of clock and more than likely punched it in for the score with Josh Jacobs running with a full head of steam all game. Unfortunately we saw our rookie QB be put in a horrible position leaving the biggest play of the game on his shoulders when we just paid our RB $12 mil for these exact scenarios.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
I speak for all the Nation when I say this coach needs to shape up or ship out! Many of us have tried to let this play itself out and give this coaching staff the opportunity to correct their mistakes, but this has to be the line in the sand. Adjustments and play calling awareness has crippled this team along with the obvious lacking fundamentals this game of football requires to be successful. Week after week we repeatedly have to witness an arrogant coach that does not acknowledge he needs to do more to turn this season around. Not only that, but he also has no accountability and recently blamed our woes in this game at his half time report on the lone turnovers from our rookie QB that was harassed all day, without noting the missed tackles defensively or the lack of adjustments for Khalil Mack being a one man wrecking crew. We as fans are upset, but seeing the stars on this team show their distraught feelings in interviews and on the sidelines is more disturbing than the losses themselves. Who knows how much longer these guys will want to be a part of our franchise moving forward.
ON THE BRIGHT SIDE
We may have something in our 4th round rookie Aiden O’Connell, sadly we most likely will not get see it come to fruition. We should have a QB competition on our hands, but knowing this coach he will overplay his hand and prevent this kid from getting the reps he was deprived of prior to this game and ones he need to make the proper progress in his early development. Although he lost two fumbles, he showed grit and poise to stand in and make many clutch throws to a tune of 24/39 238 yards 6.1 per attempt with 0 TDs and the 1 INT that should be credited to the play call as much as it was on him. Still, Aiden kept us in the game which is more that what we have seen up to this point. Statistics would say he had a pedestrian game, but game film and the situations he was put in would show the true story. Being sacked 7 times in a game would be difficult for any QB to maneuver through let alone a rookie in his first start, yet O’Connell still gave glimpses of overcoming this. We finally got the ground game going late in this one as Jacobs started to see better running lanes and we have to wonder how much O’Connell’s play had to do with the defense respecting the deep ball.
Defensively we started to see some great coverage ability which saw Trevon Moehrig get his first INT and our first turnover this season, albeit being placed directly in his lap. Rookie Jakorian Bennett had a couple nice pass breakups and should have drawn a offensive Pass Interference call on an obvious push off at the end of the game (but enough abut the refs, we will never win that battle). There were a few things to build off of this game, however it remains to be seen if this coach will be able to capitalize on them to do so.
SIGHTS ON THE 2024 NFL DRAFT
With the way this season has started and the looming exodus of the current coaching regime, we would be lucky to finish in the top 20 of the league. Leading to the possibility that we may have a top pick in this years upcoming draft, with many eyes on the deep QB class including Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, Michael Penix Jr. and my personal favorite Shedeur Sanders, to name a few. I was in the stands for the CU vs USC game and was fortunate enough to witness two of these top options go head to head in a combined effort of 774 passing yards with 10TDs and 2 INTs along with 50 rushing yards and 1TD from Sanders. Needless to say the talent that was on display would have any coaching staff salivating at the opportunity to draft and develop one of these young stars. As there are few positives to cover so far this year, one could be the possibility of turning tings around with a full draft class and $100+ million in cap space for the likely new coaching staff if we indeed move on from the current regime.
I will always bleed Silver & Black, but this has become and embarrassment and tough to stomach. Something has got to change sooner rather than later. WE DESERVE BETTER!!