Well, that was a rough one. The offensive struggles, playcalling and some missed calls by the refs are going to be in Chargers fans’ nightmares during the week. Even so, there are a few good things that happened today. Melvin Gordon was great, the defensive line played strong and Jatavis Brown had a big bounce back game. A few glimmers of hope shined through on a ugly day at the office for the Bolts.
Anyway, here are some positives to take away from the 27-19 loss to the rival Denver Broncos.
Yet again, Melvin Gordon put on a great performance. He was the only player on the offense that had an all-around solid performance. For one, he should have had another touchdown if the coaches decided to put the ball in his hands at the two yardline.
Gordon finished his day with 111 yards on the ground on 23 carries. That’s good for almost five yards per carry. He was also involved in the passing game. Snagging four balls for 44 yards. His longest catch was a 30 yard catch. This was a tremendous performance for Gordon especially coming against one of the best defenses in the league.
Did I mention that he should have had a touchdown today?
The Defensive Line
Man, did these guys play well today. They consistently got after quarterback Trevor Siemian and forced him to make some poor throws. If it weren’t for the secondary bailing him out time and time again, Siemian could have easily had three or more interceptions.
Although he didn’t add to his sack totals, Joey Bosa yet again had a solid game. He beat Denver right tackle Donald Stephenson plenty of times and it led to a key penalty late in the game. The refs didn’t do Bosa any favors on the day as he was held a few more times, but no penalties were enforced.
In what may come as a shock to many, Tenny Palepoi continues to find himself at the right place on the field. After Melvin Ingram sacked Siemian and forced a fumble, Palepoi pounced on it. It’s good to see a backup getting involved consistently, Palepoi has proven to be a key depth piece along the defensive line for the past couple of weeks.
If it weren’t for a late game injury, Jatavis Brown may have been the best player for the Chargers defense today. He recorded 10 tackles including one for a loss. Brown has become the play caller for the Chargers defense and changes the way teams attack them threw the air. When Manti Te’o was on the field, teams were prone to attack him and the other San Diego linebackers over the middle. That’s no longer the case with Brown.
Brown is extremely athletic and can cover running backs or quicker tight ends. He is still prone to rookie mistakes, but overall the additon of him and Joey Bosa have really transformed this defense.
The defensive unit as a whole played fairly well today. They did their job as the Broncos were awarded great field position on many occasions and the defense held strong. Some of that has to be attriubted to the man in the middle, Jatavis Brown.