Chargers should take a run at Titans by fixing red-zone failures

There have been two runs that netted only a single yard, a sack, a false-start penalty and a fumbled snap.

4 red-zone journeys every got here up wanting six factors Sunday for the Chargers towards Miami for 4 completely different causes.

That has been a theme all through 2022 for this group, an offense that options Justin Herbert’s arm and mind struggling to complete drives.

The Chargers have scored touchdowns on solely 47.9% of their journeys contained in the opposition’s 20-yard line. That ranks twenty seventh within the NFL. Final season, the Chargers have been fifth at 64%.

Getting into their sport Sunday towards Tennessee, the Chargers try to repair a problem that has been significantly troubling of late.

They scored touchdowns solely twice in six red-zone journeys towards the Dolphins and are simply two of 9 over the past two weeks.

Requested Thursday what wants to enhance, offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi stated, “Overall, running the ball better, calling better plays and executing better.”

Working the ball has been a shortcoming for this offense all season. The Chargers rushed for 238 yards in Week 5 at Cleveland. They’ve reached as many as 115 yards on the bottom in a single different sport.

Of their 4 failed red-zone journeys Sunday, the Chargers ran the ball 4 instances. A kind of performs picked up 12 yards. The opposite three gained two, one and nil.

The power to run the ball when deep within the opponent’s finish is essential due to the condensed nature of working within the pink zone. The nearer the purpose line, the much less room there may be to work.

“Running the ball is different, in terms of how people do it,” coach Brandon Staley stated. “Some people get in big groupings. Some people spread you out. To be able to hand the ball to your back, I think that is a great way to do it.

“Just finding that consistency, for us, in how we run the football down there, I think is important. We’re continuing to work hard at it, and it needs to improve for our team.”

The Chargers’ red-zone numbers in 2022 little question have been impacted by all their accidents. Broad receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams each have missed prolonged stretches.

Herbert’s mobility additionally was noticeably diminished within the weeks following the fractured rib cartilage harm he suffered in mid-September. With no probability of the quarterback working, an offense loses a big red-zone menace.

Williams returned from a high-ankle sprain Sunday and, early within the second quarter, caught a 10-yard landing move from Herbert for one of many Chargers’ two profitable red-zone journeys.

Donald Parham Jr., the group’s No. 2 tight finish, is ready to return towards the Titans after being restricted to 37 snaps all season due to concussion and hamstring points. At 6 foot 8, he could be a red-zone weapon.

“With the guys that we have, we definitely should be performing better there than we have been,” Lombardi stated. “It is certainly something we are working on, and it wouldn’t shock me if we go on a run and all of a sudden do really well in the red zone moving forward. We have to do it.”

With the Chargers making an attempt to play their manner into the postseason over the subsequent 4 weeks, scoring touchdowns as a substitute of subject targets may very well be the distinction in advancing deeper into January.

“I deserve as much criticism as anybody,” Staley stated. “We need to score the ball better down there. Last year, we were a top-five unit in the red area, and I was jacked about that. It’s something that’s very core to me, how we play in the red zone.”

And so forth.

Professional Bowl security Derwin James Jr. stays out due to a quadriceps harm. He hasn’t practiced this week and is unlikely to play Sunday. … Proper sort out Trey Pipkins III (knee), defensive sort out Sebastian Joseph-Day (knee) and cornerback Bryce Callahan (core muscle) every have been restricted in observe Thursday.