The San Diego Chargers 33-14 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday was another Bolo-Tie worthy performance for quarterback Philip Rivers. His 377 yards passing and 3 touchdown day has put him on almost everybody's MVP race through 4 games. Sunday was also the third straight game Rivers has completed over 70% of his passes.
Simply put, Rivers has been phenomenal and is arguably having the best start to a season in his 10-year career. And with the ease of which Rivers is making the offense run like a Bugatti Veyron humming along Interstate 5, it's hard to question all the praises being bestowed upon him.
But overshadowed by Rivers' big day on Sunday is a defense that is beginning to make people take notice. Sure, the Chargers defense allowed 14 points in the second quarter and seemingly kept Chargers fans on upset alert throughout the 1st half.
But then the defense applied the vise grips... and squeezed.
"Once we got comfortable and once we settled down, we really started playing some good football and that's what it takes," Safety Eric Weddle said. "The offense picked us up. As soon as they scored a touchdown on us, our offense came back and picked us up and scored to get us back. (It was a) great team effort. It was a big win for us. We put in a lot this week trying to get to 3-1 against a Jacksonville team that we have much respect for, and to finish a game like we did, bodes well for us moving forward."
Settle down, the Chargers did.
After allowing those 14 second quarter points, the Jaguars had the ball twice before halftime, but were only able to gain 4 yards on six plays. The second half would be much the same. On Jacksonville's first position of the 3rd quarter, cornerback Brandon Flowers stepped in front of a Cecil Shorts curl route and made a fingertip-diving interception. It was Flowers first INT as a Charger.
"You know, I let one get away last week," Flowers said after the game. "I made it my duty to come out here and try to get a turnover and just do what the owner and the staff need me to do, get the ball back to Philip Rivers so they can put up points. I'm just doing my job."
Linebacker Jarret Johnson was impressed by the display of talent Flowers displayed on Sunday.
"Brandon Flowers, that play was sick," Johnson said. "The guy is unbelievable. (I am) so glad he's here and then Eric Weddle obviously does what he always does."
The defensive turnaround in this game yielded just 141 total yards on 35 plays after those two second quarter Jaguar touchdowns. In total, the Chargers were able to sack Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles three times and force him to throw two interceptions.
Weddle, who also intercepted Bortles in the 4th quarter, was proud of how the defense was able to tighten down the latches as the game progressed.
"We made solid adjustments in the second half," Weddle said. "I think (it's) the familiarity of what they're trying to do in attacking us defensively and our offense is playing well in the second half. So if you combine all those things and you communicate and you keep everything in front of you. We didn't give up any big plays in the second half and kept everything in front of us and we came up with two picks. If you do that, you're going to give yourself a chance to win and that's what we did."
Johnson echoed that sentiment.
"So we had to regroup, kind of calm down, (we) made some mistakes early, but all-in-all the two stops before the half, the drive by our offense, and the drive coming out from halftime was what really kind of separated this game."
In the future, here's to hoping this offense and this defense will be able to separate from their opponents.