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Five Good Questions with Bolts From the Blue to preview Raiders week 5 match-up with Chargers

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For this week’s FGQ we speak with Richard Wade from SB Nation’s Chargers blog Bolts From the Blue

1. I heard someone say the Chargers could just as easily be 4-0 as 1-3 due to the blown leads late. How is it the Chargers keep collapsing late?

There's a tremendous combination of bad coaching and a lack of depth thanks to a string of season-ending injuries to some of the team's best players. Having a lead at the 2-minute warning of every game doesn't seem like a recipe for losing three of four, but the Chargers aren't your average football team. Mike McCoy is like a disease and his incompetence infects every level of the team.

2. I'm not sure I've seen a team more decimated with injury than the Chargers right now. How big are those losses and who has or will replace those lost including Jason Verrett and perhaps Denzel Perryman?

Jason Verrett is easily the biggest loss of the season thus far. At inside linebacker, the Chargers at least have rookies Jatavis Brown and Josh Perry. On offense, Tyrell Williams and Dexter McCluster provide some of what was lost when Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead were injured. At corner, though, Pagano will have to turn to the likes of Craig Mager and Trevor Williams. Neither player is someone you want to see on the field for more than a handful of snaps and Verrett was one of the best corners in the NFL. The dropoff will be immense and I'm not sure there's anything they can do to make up for it.

3. Some have suggested the Chargers should trade Philip Rivers. Do you agree? Why or why not?

I don't think you can afford to trade away Rivers. If the Spanos family hires a decent coaching staff at the end of the season, there's still time to make a run before Rivers retires. I suppose the concern is that you cannot trust ownership to do the right thing there, but if you can't trust them at all, it doesn't really make a difference what they choose to do with Rivers. On a personal level, I'd kinda like to see Rivers be able to play for an organization that isn't completely inept, but [on the other hand] I can't support the idea of trading away one of the three best players in franchise history when he can still play at a high level.

4. How in the world does Melvin Gordon go from zero TD's in 14 games as a rookie to 6 TD's in four games?

Well, Gordon has vastly improved his patience and decisiveness. So, that's a factor. Another is that Ken Whisenhunt is much better at developing a running game than his predecessor Frank Reich. Finally, the loss of Danny Woodhead has meant that Gordon is getting all of the red zone work. If you get enough carries from the one, you're going to score some touchdowns.

5. If this team as currently assembled were able to win this game and perhaps turn things around, how would they most likely do it?

Philip Rivers is going to have play at his absolute best for the Chargers to have any chance. He needs to keep the offense on schedule and on the field. He needs to put up points and keep the defense on the sideline as much as possible. Also, rookie Joey Bosa is going to need to make an immediate impact in his debut because the defense is hurting for playmakers right now. That said, I don't see those things happening. The Raiders should win this one fairly easily.

To see my answers to his questions, click here.