Epic collapse leaves Bolts with work to do


Epic collapse leaves Bolts with work to do

SAN DIEGO (AP) Norv Turner keeps saying San Diego can be a good team, and the Chargers keep responding with second-half collapses.

Monday night was epic: The Chargers blew a 24-0 halftime lead and lost 35-24 to Peyton Manning and the AFC West-rival Denver Broncos.

It tied for the fourth-biggest comeback in NFL regular-season history.

A week earlier, San Diego blew a 10-point third-quarter lead in losing 31-24 at New Orleans. They let the Saints score the final 17 points and then watched as the Broncos scored the final 35 points Monday night.

It was such an enormous pratfall that the normally vociferous fans didn't even boo.

The Broncos (3-3) tied the Chargers (3-3) atop the AFC West. Both teams have their byes this weekend.

The big culprit was Philip Rivers, who set career highs with four interceptions and six turnovers overall. Three of his pickoffs were in the fourth quarter, one of which was returned 46 yards by Chris Harris for the final score. In the third quarter, Tony Carter returned Rivers' fumble 65 yards for a score.

After committing 25 turnovers last year, including 20 interceptions, Rivers has committed 12 in the first six games this season, including nine picks.

``We're going to fix the issues that are keeping us from finishing games,'' said Turner, who once again has drawn the ire of the fans but is likely to survive at least until season's end.

``There's a lot of things involved,'' the coach said. ``It starts with the coaching and it starts with deciding what we're going to do, when we're going to do it. The things that we're having problems with, we may eliminate. It may mean we're a little bit more conservative, it may mean in some cases we do things a little differently. Any more detail than that, certainly it's going to show up when we play and I'm not going to sit here and talk about how we're going to change in terms of our game plans and what we do. We're letting those four or five plays change the entire game.''

Turner bristled twice at his weekly press conference Tuesday.

He said the coaching staff is as disappointed and frustrated as fans. ``But I believe there's a strong determination between the players and the coaches. That's what gives me optimism and belief that we will get this problem fixed,'' he said.

Asked where the determination was in the third and fourth quarters, Turner snapped: ``You're not listening. It's not how hard we're playing it the third and fourth quarter. If you turn the ball over four times, you're not going to win the game, OK? And that's the problem we have to fix. There was great effort and determination in the third and fourth quarter. If the ball is on the ground or you're turning it over, it doesn't matter.''

After Ryan Mathews fumbled at the Atlanta 4-yard line three weeks ago, Turner said he was going to limit the running back's exposure to certain situations.

Asked if he planned to do the same thing with Rivers, Turner said: ``I think if you're listening to what I'm saying, we're certainly going to look hard at the things we're having a tough time with. Yes, we are going to limit some of the things we're doing. I've got to do a better job in making sure we put things in there and that we're calling things that have less risk. They may not have as big a reward. We may not be quite the same big-play team, but we're not going to turn the ball over.''

Rivers wasn't alone in playing poorly. He's been forced to rush throws and even throw off his back foot the last two games because the offensive line hasn't protected him well.

While Rivers was under siege Monday night, San Diego's defense failed to sack Manning and had just one hit against the 36-year-old star QB, who's regaining his form after missing last season, his final year in Indianapolis.

Manning was magnificent in the second half, completing his first 13 passes before finishing the final 30 minutes by going 13 of 14 for 167 yards and three touchdowns. Manning finished 24 of 30 for 309 yards with one interception, which was returned 80 yards for a score by Quentin Jammer in the first half.

There is precedent for midseason coaching changes in San Diego. In 1998, GM Bobby Beathard fired Kevin Gilbride after six games because he'd lost the locker room and the fan base. In 1986, the great Don Coryell - whom some people believe belongs in the Hall of Fame - resigned after a 1-7 start, and owner Alex Spanos made no attempt to dissuade him. Alex Spanos ceded day-to-day control of the team to son Dean after the 1993 season.

But fans who want Turner fired now are likely to be disappointed. After all, Dean Spanos, the team president, decided to keep Turner and general manager A.J. Smith in January despite the Chargers missing the playoffs for the second straight season. Part of the reason could be that Spanos didn't want to eat the money owed the two men. Turner is under contract through 2013, at about $3 million a year, and Smith through 2014, at about $2 million a year.

Four seasons ago, Turner fired defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell after a loss to New Orleans in London left the Chargers 3-5. Despite falling to 4-8, the Chargers won their last four that season, coupled with Denver's late-season collapse, to win the division at 8-8.

Turner said he doesn't anticipate any changes on his staff.

Smith didn't return a call seeking comment and a team spokesman said it was unlikely Spanos would be available.


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Redskins sign linebacker Jon Bostic to try and help make up for the loss of Reuben Foster

Redskins sign linebacker Jon Bostic to try and help make up for the loss of Reuben Foster

Two days after losing Reuben Foster for the year, the Redskins made a move to at least provide reinforcements to a weakened linebacker group.

On Wednesday, Washington announced that they have signed Jon Bostic, a six-year veteran. The 'Skins also officially placed Foster on injured reserve.

Bostic was a 2013 second-round pick of the Bears out of Florida. He's since bounced around to New England, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh, where he started 14 times for the Steelers in 2018 and posted 73 tackles. He's been traded twice in his career and missed all of 2016 with a foot injury. 

So, what does the move accomplish for the Redskins?

Well, Bostic — or any other free agent signing at this point — isn't going to have close to the level of talent and potential that Foster had. However, getting another option at linebacker was necessary for the Burgundy and Gold, and the 28-year-old has played in 30 contests over the past two years, so he's relatively established. 

Yes, he's far from a gamechanger, considering he has just one interception and 5.5 sacks as a pro. But he's regarded as a solid run defender and tackler and should at least push Mason Foster and Shaun Dion Hamilton. His presence also could alleviate some of the pressure that would've been on rookie Cole Holcomb. 

Signing a defender who's been with five franchises in six years isn't exactly inspiring, but Bostic has experience as a starter and could give the Redskins useful snaps on first and second down at a minimum. Now it's on him to take advantage of the opportunity he's been given.


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Landon Collins is thrilled to be with the Redskins and can't wait to get revenge on the Giants

NBC Sports Washington

Landon Collins is thrilled to be with the Redskins and can't wait to get revenge on the Giants

You may not know the exact dates of the Redskins' two matchups with the Giants this season, which will take place Sep. 29 and Dec. 22 in 2019. But Landon Collins sure does.

"I'm gonna circle it for the next six years," the 'Skins new safety told ESPN in a recent interview. 

No, Collins isn't circling those dates from now until 2024 because he wants to be very organized and ensure he doesn't have any scheduling conflicts. He's doing it because he's dying to get revenge on his former team, who let him leave as a free agent in part because of their "culture change," according to him.

"All we wanted to do was win, and we spoke up because we had to get them to listen to us," Collins told ESPN, referring to himself and other now ex-Giants like Odell Beckham and Damon Harrison. "I think we were too vocal, and that platform was bigger than the Giants... If it's not good media, they don't want that kind of media."

In addition to the organization wanting to go in a different direction culture-wise, New York didn't want to pay the amount of money the Redskins ended up paying for Collins because he wasn't an ideal fit in their defense. The 25-year-old pushes back against the idea that he's strictly a "box safety," though, as do current and former players.

Interestingly enough, Collins isn't the only member of the Redskins' secondary who's in D.C. thanks to a decision by Dave Gettleman. Gettleman was also the same guy who decided the Panthers needed to move on from Josh Norman in April 2016.

Collins, for one, doesn't sound like he'll miss Gettleman at all. The defender didn't love how the GM consistently failed to make an effort to connect personally with his players. 

"I don't know him, he don't know me, that's kind of how it just kind of was," he explained.

All that, however, doesn't matter anymore. Collins is going to be the foundation of the Redskins' defense for quite some time, and that's a challenge he's ready to accept.

"I'm on a team that loves me and wanted me here," he said.