For the second game in a row, Chargers fans had to sit and peak through their fingers as they watched their team gut-out a last second stand on defense inside CenturyLink Field.
QB Philip Rivers must’ve beem feeling awfully generous as he chose to spread the wealth with RB Melvin Gordon and the wideout trio of Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Tyrell Williams all getting in on the action.
Thanks to a physical defense and defense that found it’s groove fairly early, the Chargers were able amass a lead they would never relinquish, no matter how hard Caleb Sturgis tried.
Personally, this game felt just like the Titans game in that, although the team won, I did not feel as jolly as one would expect following a victory. The final score made it seem closer than it really was, while the kicking woes made it feel WAY closer than it was. Honestly, I’m just glad it’s over with so the team can focus on the on-fire garbage can that is the Oakland Raiders organization.
I, for one, cannot wait.
So let’s get to it. Here are this week’s players that SURGED forward with their play and those who found themselves staying STATIC following the week 9 victory.
CB Desmond King II
Just like a caped-crusader, like the ones you only read about in the comics or see in the movies, Desmond King swooped in at just the right time to effectively save the day for the Chargers against the Seattle Seahawks.
On a 1st-and-10 with just under seven minutes left in the game, QB Russell Wilson attempted an ill-advised pass to WR David Moore on the far sideline. Although King was tasked with covering the slot receiver to that side, he showed no hesitation as he read the quarterback’s eyes all the way. Just as Wilson cocked-back to throw, the former Jim Thorpe Award winner stuck his foot in the ground and pounced on the pass, securing it en route to a 42-yard interception return for a touchdown.
It was King’s third interception on the year and arguably the biggest of his young career. n fact, by the end of the game, the turnover wound up being the difference in this one.
Following the absolute tear that King has been on during these last three games, Pro Football Focus now has him as their highest-graded cornerback in the entire NFL with an “elite” mark of 90.4.
WR Keenan Allen
At the half-way point of the season, many Chargers fans might think that Allen has found himself in the middle of some negative regression. While he may be on pace for less receiving yards and touchdowns, Allen is still right on track to cross that 1,000-yard threshold while also padding his stats with some rushing yards, for good measure.
Against the Seahawks, Allen hauled in six of his team-high 10 targets for 124 yards, his first 100-yard game since week 1. He also added 28 yards on a pair of carries. In all, the receiver has averaged over 10 yards per carry with 74 yards on seven totes.
The #Chargers had three ELITE (90.0+) grades in a game for the first time this season. Top 5 game grades vs #Seahawks:— PFF LA Chargers (@PFF_Chargers) November 5, 2018
1. Desmond King II - 92.1
2. Corey Liuget - 90.7
3. Keenan Allen - 90.4
4. Philip Rivers - 82.5
5. Casey Hayward Jr. - 80.3
For the year, Allen’s 630 receiving yards are good for 17th in the NFL. His 47 catches are tied with Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans for 21st in the league.
K Caleb Sturgis
For almost 24 hours, Chargers fans waited in fuming anticipation for the team to make any sort of announcement regarding the status of Sturgis and whether or not he would somehow get one more chance to prove his worth in the NFL.
Luckily, oh so luckily, GM Tom Telesco and his staff finally made the right move as they gave Sturgis the boot, albeit a tad late if you were to ask anyone else.
In a game that came down to the final play once again, the Chargers narrowly escaped following another gritty finish by the Bolts’ defense. However, if Sturgis would have made any ONE of his THREE missed kicks on Sunday, he could have save LA fans years on their lives.
A big thank-you to Coach Lynn and staff for finally (?) making the right choice with this one.
CB Trevor Williams
Besides the kicker, Williams found himself as the only player to find themselves in Coach Lynn’s doghouse. The former UDFA, just a year removed from having a spectacular season, did not record a single defensive snap against the Seahawks. He did, however, see 21 snaps on special teams.
Trevor Williams getting benched is something. The volatility at cornerback in the NFL is insane. Williams was terrific last season. He and Hayward took a step back this season and its easy to wonder if the lack of Joey Bosa's pass rush is a reason for that.— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) November 5, 2018
In his place, Michael Davis got the start opposite Casey Hayward, showing that Williams’ lackluster play is finally acknowledged by the staff.