Melvin Gordon was the star and the centerpiece of the Los Angeles Chargers offense today. He scored both of the team’s touchdowns, once as a receiver and once as a runner, diving over the goal line on 4th & 1. He was the team’s leading rusher and leading receiver for much of the day. While he wasn’t necessarily great or dominant today, Melvin Gordon took the ball a lot and mostly did positive things with it.
Hunter Henry, Starting TE
The Antonio Gates Era is officially over, despite a pretty catch from him in this one. Hunter Henry is finally getting the starter’s snaps and workload and he was an uncoverable force seemingly every time Philip Rivers looked his way, finishing the game as the team’s leading receiver. If you’ve noticed the offense improving at all, you can credit a lot of that to Henry finally getting the attention from the offensive coaching staff that he deserves.
El Capitan was not bad or ugly. Much like Melvin Gordon, he consistently did positive things and didn’t make any major mistakes (zero turnovers). He’s still not putting up the type of numbers we’ve come to expect from Rivers, but he outdueled young gun QB Derek Carr today.
A real, live 1st round draft pick on the field! Mike Williams got in the game and even made a crucial catch on 3rd & 6 to pick up the first down.
#Chargers DE Joey Bosa has 16 sacks in 18 games played. He has 5.5 this season. #LACvsOAK— Fernando Ramirez (@RealFRamirez) October 15, 2017
Look at this tweet. LOOK AT IT!!! Joey Bosa isn’t real.
I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few months bashing Gus Bradley and other members of the Chargers defense that I felt were poor choices to turn this into an elite unit. I was wrong. The Chargers’ defense isn’t perfect, but it is a force to be reckoned with.
Between Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, the Chargers have their first consistent pass rush since the days of Merriman and Phillips. In the defensive backfield, they have just enough talent to take advantage of the opportunities created by that pass rush.
The Chargers were even good up the middle this week, and finished their tackles, which has been a weakness of theirs. It’s entirely possible that it just took this long for Gus Bradley to figure out how to make this defense shine, and it took this long for Anthony Lynn to figure out that this was what the team was supposed to be.
Travis Benjamin, Punt Returner
If Travis Benjamin isn’t the worst punt returner in the league, I would be shocked. He is genuinely awful. He also added zero catches on the day for good measure.
That fumble was almost catastrophic. Almost. Protect the ball!
He can not cover anybody, but he ended up with an important interception, so I won’t spend any more time criticizing him.
Nick Novak hit a field goal to win the game in the final seconds, so that embarrassment goes away for a little while, but he missed a kick earlier and his kickoffs were atrocious. Kick coverage was bad and, well, I already mentioned Travis Benjamin helping Marquette King to look good in this one.