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Surge or Static: Defense helps turn ugly first half into a victory swan

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Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Hello, Everyone and congratulations on making it through this amazing regular season!

The Chargers finished 12-4 after their 23-9 victory over the Denver Broncos at Mile High, marking the team’s first 10-win season since 2009 and their first 12-win season since 2004.

It was an incredible season, to say the least, with plenty of ups and downs (slightly more ups this year than recent years) and we really couldn’t have asked for much better, if we’re being honest.

Coincidentally, this stressful week leading up to the team’s first playoff game in over five years also happens to line right up with my wedding, which takes place this Saturday.

(Shout-out to the NFL for scheduling the game the day after instead of setting kickoff while i’m supposed to be saying “I do”.)

So, understandably, I am a very busy man this week which means I’m going to go ahead and cut right to the chase.

I hope everyone had a Happy New Year and a spectacular start to 2019. Let’s kick this year off the right way. Here are your players from week 17 that finished the regular season on a high note and those who continued to regress into the postseason.

Surge

WR Mike Williams

Williams has been one of the brightest lights in a season full absolutely packed with things to be happy about from this season.

With his three-yard score in the third quarter, Williams upped his touchdown total to 11 on the year (10 receiving, 1 rushing). In their game against the Kansas City Chiefs on December 13th, Williams became the first Charger wideout with 10+ total touchdowns since Tony Martin in 1996. After yesterday’s score, he became the first Charger receiver with 10+ receiving since Martin from that same ‘96 season.

On the year, Williams has just 43 catches for 664 yards. For all you people who like to use math since they’ve graduated high-school, that means about every one in four catches has been a touchdown for the second-year standout.

With the Ravens on tap once again this weekend, this is no time for Williams’ efficiency to dwindle away.

S Adrian Phillips

Phillips finds himself on the Surge list again after another productive performance where he paced both teams in tackles with 12 to go along with a pair of passes defended and a pivotal forced fumble in the second half that set up the team’s first offensive touchdown of the day.

Ever since Phillips was nominated to the Pro Bowl as a special team member for the AFC, his play has taken a giant step forward. In the team’s first contest against the Ravens, he was asked to help contain Lamar Jackson from his linebacker position and I think he did a phenomenal job, all things considered,

Number 31 is peaking at the right time for the Bolts and I couldn’t be happier about it.

Static

S Jahleel Addae

(Every expletive in the dictionary.)

Of all the bone-head plays made by Addae this season. he really waited until the finalgame of the regular season to out the cherry on top of his career-bad season.

With the Broncos driving into the Bolts’ red zone, Addae executed a perfect tip-drill to pick off a deflected pass in the end zone and returned it about 20 yards before attempting to pitch the ball to Desmond King as he was being tackled. King, and everybody else, wasn’t expecting this.

The ball ricocheted off King’s hands as it bounced right back into the Broncos’ possession, giving Denver a fresh set of downs near the red zone, once again.

When asked about the incident after the game, Lynn called Addae “one of the smartest players he has been around” and that “it won’t happen again.”

I wouldn’t hold my breath, coach.

QB Philip Rivers

If someone were to tell you in early December that Rivers would finish the regular season by throwing multiple interceptions in his final three games, you would probably smack them in the mouth for throwing that bad juju around. Of course, at the time, Rivers had yet to throw multiple picks in a game all season and you wouldn’t want some d-bag running around potentially jinxing your quarterback into that kind of funk.

Alas, a clean finish to the regular season was not in the cards for the 37-year-old as he wound up throwing six interceptions in his final three games of 2018.

Rivers hasn’t played that well in Denver over the years and this outing wasn’t much different. He finished 14-for-24 for 176 yards with a score to Mike Williams and the aforementioned pair of interceptions.

His performance was still good enough to secure the team’s 12th victory of the season, even though they needed a little help from the defense to jump-start the rest of the team.

With another showdown against the Ravens coming this Sunday, Rivers needs to find the insta-fix to his turnover habit before the first whistle blows.