Chargers Appear Electric
After starting the season 0-4, the Los Angeles Chargers are back on track and playing playoff-caliber football. The team has won four straight games and has a record of 7-6, now tied in first place with the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West.
The Chargers have not made the playoffs since 2013, but this team appears to be well-rounded and possibly playoff-bound. Led by 36-year-old quarterback Phillip Rivers, who has 23 touchdown passes, only seven interceptions, and almost 4,000 passing yards, the offense has been firing on all cylinders.
Both their offense and defense have shown improvements. The Chargers' defense currently have an average of 37 sacks and 17 points allowed per game this year, while the offense scores an average of 23 points per game and 30 minutes of possession per game.
Their offense has been led by second-year running back Melvin Gordon, who ran for six touchdowns and almost 1,000 yards on 229 carries. Wide receiver Keenan Allen has also been putting on a performance, accounting for 83 catches, nearly 1,200 receiving yards, and five touchdowns.
On defense, the Chargers have arguably some of the best duo of pass rushers in the NFL in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. Bosa, a sophomore defensive end, has raked in 11.5 sacks and 45 tackles through 13 games. Ingram, who is in the midst of his sixth season, has nine sacks, 37 tackles, and two fumble recoveries.
Five-time Super Bowl-winning head coach Bill Belichick said the young Bosa has something special in him. "Every play he is all out, he's an outstanding pass rusher," he said. "He's got a great motor, running away from him doesn't work, he'll still make plays."
Despite the team's great post-game stats, Rivers told ESPN's Eric Williams after the Chargers' latest win, "You've got to be careful not to relax. There's that fine line of, Shoot, it's going good, you come on in there and I'm letting it rip to making sure you don't cross the line of, ok, I'm getting carried away."
With three games left in the NFL season, the Chargers play the New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, and Kansas City Chiefs. The game against the Chiefs is on Dec. 16, and it will decide the outcome of the AFC West. The winner of the game will reach the playoffs, while the other will most likely miss the postseason.
The regular season is winding down, and every game counts for the Chargers. They will need the Rivers and their offense to continue their stellar play - while their defense remains stout and gets pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
Anthony Lynn, in his first year as head coach of the L.A. Chargers, told The San Diego Union-Tribune “I like our chances. I’d like to be in a better position, but everything’s still in front of us. The whole division is still in front of us. We’re not out of this yet. Our guys understand that. The urgency that we have to have this second half, I think everyone’s on the same page.”