If you’ve been a fan of the San Diego Chargers for longer than about a minute and a half you can remember a time when this team was regarded as an absolute abomination in the special teams department. Back in 2010 the Bolts notoriously had four punts blocked (and another deflected), allowed three kick return touchdowns, and one punt return touchdown to be the absolute laughingstock of the league. It’s funny how things have changed.
Week 9 against the Washington Redskins was arguably the best special teams performance in the memory backs for the Bolts. Everything on the punt team begins and ends with one of the most underrated punters in the NFL year after year in Mike Scifres. He put on quite the display in the first half with not one, but two punts downed at the one-yard line. He did his best to keep the field position battle in the Bolts’ favor even if the defense failed to hold up their end of the bargain.
It wasn’t just the punt team that had a successful outing for special teams coordinator Kevin Spencer’s group. The field goal blocking crew had quite the afternoon themselves as they cracked through the Redskins’ line not once, but twice themselves. The first block came from mid-season waiver wire pickup Lawrence Guy who has proven to be a valuable addition by general manager Tom Telesco, and the second block came from the big-time defensive line talent Corey Liuget.
Trying to remember the last time the Bolts actually blocked a kick was hard enough prior to this game, but the last time they blocked two in the same contest must have been eons ago. There’s no doubt this type of play from the special teams unit will be quite valuable down the stretch as the team tries to make a playoff push.
In addition to his outstanding special teams play, Lawrence Guy also got his hands on the football again, this time deflecting a Robert Griffin III pass from his own end zone that ended up in the arms of fellow mid-season Bolt addition Sean Lissemore who held for a touchdown. There’s no doubt Telesco’s stamp on this team’s personnel has made a serious impact already, and that only figures to continue as this roster trends in a younger direction.
The Bolts are going to need all of the advantages they can get in their Week 10 battle with the AFC West rival Denver Broncos. Look for these plays to just be the tip of the iceberg as far as impact is concerned for the special teams unit in San Diego.