The Coast News Group
Rancho Santa FeSports

Jay Paris: Bolts say hello to bye, headed for unpredictable stretch run

The jockeying for postseason spots is heating up among prep football teams.

And are ponies really running again at the Del Mar?

Some things don’t make sense locally and if you’re going to bring up the Chargers, here we go.

Like a pile-up one can’t peak away from, the Chargers remain a topic on their bye week.

Coach Mike McCoy wants to veer everyone’s attention to playing Oakland and can you blame him after the Miami Meltdown?

Absorb a haymaker like the listless Bolts did on Sunday against the Dolphins and suddenly everything is askew.

The Chargers (5-4) put their feet up, but it’s on an ottoman with a three-game losing streak.

Their jolt from the gate that included a five-game winning streak has vanished.  What began as “oh my” became “on no” and which way the season turns is debatable.

What was clear in getting blanked and embarrassed by the Dolphins was the Chargers’ lack of want-to.

The question is have they hit “RB” and we’re not talking about Rancho Bernardo.

Rock bottom can be a bummer, but once the backside makes contact, there can be a rebound.

The Chargers could be in line for that and here’s the positive spin.

When the Chargers welcome Oakland on Nov. 16 — that just doesn’t sound right — they’ll likely look different. The ailing will have benefited from the down time and could be good to go.

Hello, running back Ryan Mathews? What’s up linebackers Manti Te’o, Melvin Ingram and Jerry Attaochu?

Cornerback Jason Verrett probably won’t be available, his balky shoulders being just that.

But the Chargers could hoist a bugle and just maybe the cavalry gallops over the Mission Valley vista.

Mathews is the key, his knee willing.

Among the reasons the Chargers are in this muck is their ground game. A running attack is something for other teams as the Chargers consistently have trouble collecting yards the old-fashion way.

That plops quarterback Philip Rivers in damning dilemmas and the results are predictable.

Mathews, though, can’t run-block, which might cloud his contributions.

Te’o’s feet have been his Achilles’ heel. Maybe they find cleats again and he returns to assist a leaky run defense.

Te’o’s biggest feat could be helping fellow inside linebacker Donald Butler from his rut. Butler, once a Pro Bowl type player, has morphed into a shoddy tackler taking shaky angles.

Ingram’s return from his hip woes isn’t a given. His absence is among the reasons the pass rush disappeared

Veteran linebacker Dwight Freeney gets close to quarterbacks, but that only counts in drive-in movies — kids, ask your parents.

Freeney hasn’t had a sack in nearly two months. So the secondary sings the blues and even Mr. Sunshine, Eric Weddle, is clearing his throat.

He eyes others pulling the rope and questions their fortitude.

“If they don’t respond they won’t be on the field with me,’’ Weddle said.

The bearded one isn’t the general manager just yet so we’ll let Tom Telesco pull rabbits from the hat. But there’s no eBay site to click for help on both sides of the ball.

The Chargers won’t be getting assistance from their schedule. After facing the Raiders and Rams — teams, just like San Diego, once calling Los Angeles home — it’s no angels flight.

Games with the Ravens, Patriots, Broncos, 49ers and Chiefs await, which again underscores why Miami was so important.

Lose like the Chargers did there in a shocking fashion and the safety net disappears.

So enjoy the week off fellas.

We’ll track Oceanside, Mission Hills, San Marcos and Rancho Bernardo’s quest to stay in the top 10.

And maybe investigate the Del Mar horses at the top of the turn.

Hopefully McCoy earns his hay, devising ways to get the reeling Chargers ready for their stretch run.

Contact Jay Paris at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at jparis_sports. He talks Chargers football on XTRA 1360 AM on Monday mornings at 8.