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Random Thoughts on the Chargers after Sunday’s dominant victory

What can we take away from the Chargers trouncing the Jaguars?

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at San Diego Chargers Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Melvin Gordon continued to show everyone that week 1 was no fluke. Granted, you should have already known this if you watched him in practice or the preseason. I’ve seen some people including the head coach suggest that Gordon is not running any differently than he did last year. First of all, that’s simply untrue. Secondly, it is badly, badly underselling what Gordon has done.

Last season, Gordon was incredibly ineffective. Some of this was due to the offensive line because they were awful. Some of this was because of Frank Reich because he was terrible. And a lot of it was because Gordon was equal parts indecisive and impatient. Both of those were traits he had throughout his entire collegiate career (and probably longer, but I only watched him in college and the NFL).

This offseason, Gordon clearly put in a lot of work because he does not look anything like the player we saw at Wisconsin or in his rookie season. He is so much more comfortable running the ball. He lets the play develop and follows his blocks. When he sees the hole, he is hitting it immediately. He is trusting his vision and his vision is not letting him down.

If you are only crediting improved line play or play calling, you are doing Gordon a disservice. What he has done to improve his play needs to be acknowledged and praised.

John Pagano gets a lot of flack around here and honestly, he deserves it, but he also deserves credit for a great gameplan this week. He also deserves credit for getting his players ready to execute it because they did so beautifully. Blake Bortles is not very good, but the other skill position players on that offense are excellent. You wouldn’t know that from watching Sunday’s game and that’s because the Chargers defense shut them down completely.

Tyrell Williams is incredibly fun to watch and I hope he gets to play more in the two wide receiver sets. Dontrelle Inman is just taking up space out there. Every time Williams touches the ball, he runs like he’s trying (and expecting) to score. And watching him, I’m expecting him to score, too. It was obvious from the first week of training camp that he was going to make an impact this year, and he is off to a great start.

Hunter Henry is not showing up on the stat sheet and some people are wondering where he has disappeared to. To those people, I say go back and watch for him on running downs. He is doing significant work as a run blocker and he jumps off the screen when you’re not just watching the ball. The 12-personnel grouping with Henry and Sean McGrath is just a beast in the run game and I hope we see more of it.

As Chargers fans, I do not think we appreciate Philip Rivers enough. Every year, he loses major contributors and every year he’s one of the most productive and efficient quarterbacks in the NFL. There are guys we rightly regard as great who simply cannot do this. Rivers is special and we all need to enjoy his greatness while we still can.

One of my favorite additions to the team this year was Caraun Reid. He is a talented player and he was available for a waiver claim. He has already exceeded my expectations. He brings tremendous energy (in addition to his skill and physical ability) every play. On one drive, he made the tackle on two different receptions. And he made both rather quickly after said receptions. He’s a joy to watch and he is helping us forget how painful it used to be to watch #91.

There was some talk during training camp that Travis Benjamin was having issues learning his routes and suggestions were made that he was going to be another Robert Meachem. I think we can safely put that talk to bed now. The 45-yard touchdown where he signaled to Rivers before the play was amazing. The speed he possesses is unreal and if Rivers can find a way to lead him on these plays, he’s going to have quite a few more long touchdowns.