What if the Chargers never became enamored by a UDFA kicker from Georgia Southern White Corey Liuget Jerseys
, whose highlights lit up the imagination of team officials and fellow players, alike? What if his spiral, whirly-twirly field goal didn’t exist? Would the Chargers have fallen so hard for Younghoe Koo?What if the team decided it was the smarter, safer option to stick with the kicker who had been with the team the last several years instead of trusting a pivotal role, in a pivotal year with the unproven Koo? Recency bias aside, after seeing how early and often the kicking game caused the fans head-splitting frustration and agony, I knew it would be the perfect topic for the “What if?” articles. There are three specific games that ended in a loss with some pretty obvious ties to the kicker of the team, and we are going to relive each one of them.Sorry in advance, Charger fans.The first loss of the three may be the least affected directly by the cut of Lambo as you could argue the kicker at the time is irrelevant as the kick was blocked. However, I’m going to stretch this one and argue that a more experienced kicker in the NFL would have, maybe, purposely kicked the ball at a steeper angle in order to minimize the chance of it getting blocked.The way the Chargers fell to the Broncos on opening weekend likely hurts the most of this trio. It was a divisional rival, in a Monday night primetime match-up between two first-year head coaches. It had to be demoralizing. It’s tough to think of worse ways in which to start a season as both fan bases unsurprisingly had lofty expectations for 2017.In their second game, the Chargers faced off against the Miami Dolphins, the team that beat them in Qualcomm the prior season en route to them making the playoffs. In this game, the Bolts could hardly contain Jay Ajayi on the ground while simultaneously allowing recently un-retired Jay Cutler make too many clutch plays on money downs.All of the defensive frustration throughout this game led to a 19-17 Dolphins’ advantage late into the fourth quarter. With only mere ticks remaining on the clock, Philip Rivers and company were able to run a seamless two-minute drill to get within field goal range. For the second time in as many games Kyle Emanuel Jerseys 2019
, Younghoe Koo was brought out with the game on the line. Bringing about a feeling Chargers fans know all too well, Koo’s kick sailed off-target, and the Bolts fell to 0-2. Another blunder stemming from the decision to keep the young UDFA over Lambo.The downward spiral only continued from there as the Chargers dropped the next two games to the Kansas City Chiefs and the eventual Super Champs, the Philadelphia Eagles. The latter game was also another gut-wrencher as they fell 26-24.At this point, the Chargers had released Younghoe Koo and decided to resign a familiar face in Nick Novak. I assume the team was hoping the familiarity would maybe fix the lapses in special teams performance. This move would later be the equivalent to putting a band-aid on a bullet wound. Regardless, this move did jump-start the team on a path in the right direction as they went on to win their next three games before dropping a 21-13 bout against the New England Patriots.In their next match-up against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the error in the decision to cut Josh Lambo not only became more prevalent, but it might as well have materialized into a human form and smacked the Chargers between the eyes.The game itself was a defensive standoff between two teams that boasted ferocious pass rushers to go along with their own pairs of shutdown corners. By the fourth quarter, it was 17-17, and the Jags were currently driving deep into LA territory. For those of you who weren’t aware before this moment, the Jaguars were the team to scoop up Josh Lambo after he was released. And if you’re a fan of immense karma, you’ll love what happens next.With the clock running out, the Jaguars called a timeout and let their new kicker trot out to attempt what would be the dagger in this game. It was a picture-perfect revenge game, and you could not have scripted it any better. As time expired, the kick was up and in. The Bolts fell to 3-7, and the irony was not lost on anyone for quite some time.The hole that was dug for the team went on to be too deep for them to climb out of, even with the late surge to finish out the year. But just imagine…If those first two games go the other direction with Lambo as the Chargers’ kicker White Drew Kaser Jerseys
, if he wasn’t the kicker for the Jaguars in week 10, and the team’s record was upped from 9-7 to 12-4, we could all be talking about what a great first season that Anthony Lynn had. We would all be celebrating his NFL Coach of the Year honor. Maybe we would be looking back on the fond memories of playing in the AFC Championship Game, or even the Super Bowl itself? In the end, the “what ifs” in life can give us headaches or hope. I hope you all choose hope.What do you guys think of this “what if?” Do you think keeping Lambo would have helped anything or would it have not mattered at all?Top Ten Defensive Performances of 2017: #2 Desmond King v. WAS #X.) Week 14 Desmond King vs. Washington – 10 tackles, Sack, Pass DeflectionOur list of top defensive performances from the 2017 season kicks off with a rookie defensive back that fell to the Chargers in the fifth-round just a year removed from winning the Jim Thorpe Award for the nation’s best defensive back in college football.Desmond King started to make an impression before the season even again as he recorded his first professional interception in a preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks. While displaying a sticky tackling ability that’s rare among defensive backs, King quickly found his way to meaningful snaps just two weeks into the regular season.In the Bolts’ Week 14 game against the Washington Redskins, King enjoyed a standout performance as he accumulated double-digit tackles for the first time in his career and showed off some of the skills that made him a consensus all-american at the University of Iowa.For most of the game, the defense was in a Dime package that included six defensive backs on the field with Denzel Perryman being the only true linebacker on the field. King spent the majority of the game in the box and up on the line of scrimmage defending the slot/tight end while being one of the enforcers in run support.King made a dozen splash plays that included a tackle of 240-pound back Samaje Perine in the flat that resembled a pile-driver more so than a regular tackle. Towards the end of the third quarter, King made three-straight plays for the defense that went as follows:1st & 10: Cousins throws a short stick route to tight end Vernon Davis. King patiently reads the patter and sits on it before exploding into Davis as soon as the ball hit his hands, jarring it loose. Incomplete.2nd & 10: Perine takes the draw up the middle for three yards before King throws a shoulder into his lower-body, upending him and immediately halting all progress. Perine had a lot of space to work with on this play but King read the action before wide receiver Jamison Crowder could make the block, saving a potential splash-play.3rd & 7: King comes on a slot blitz from the left of the formation and corrals Kirk Cousins for a sack.4th & Long: Punt.It was the most fun I had watching a defensive player for the Chargers that wasn’t named Melvin Ingram or Joey Bosa. King was the real deal against the ‘Skins and I just hope the defensive backfield isn’t so crowded that the team loses out on getting him on the field as much as he should be.