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Surge or Static: Young players were a lone bright spot on Sunday

NFL: Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

So, uh....last Sunday kind’ve sucked, huh?

There isn’t really much to talk about (or rather anything I would want to talk about) so why don’t we just skip all of the formalities and get right into this week’s “Surge” or “Static”.


LB Drue Tranquill

Tranquill enjoyed a career-high in tackles on Sunday as he finished with seven total stops, good for second on the entire team.

Unlike past games this season, Tranquill got some run during meaningful snaps against the Broncos thanks in part to Gus Bradley wanting to create a bit of a rotation to keep Thomas Davis rested throughout the season.

Overall this is a big step forward in Tranquill’s progression into an eventual starter on this defense for years to come.

CB Desmond King

King almost single-handedly willed his team back from the brink on Sunday when he provided the spark they needed with a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown.

After forcing the Broncos to punt near their own endzone, King got to work with a short field. After starting up the right sideline, King burst through a pair of would-be tacklers as he cut towards the field and outraced the rest of the opposition to the end zone.

In back-to-back weeks, King has been a standout for the Bolts. He had 2.5 sacks against the Dolphins and followed it up with a huge play on special teams this week. At this rate, I wonder what Sunday night will bring.

LB Kyzir White

One of the biggest thing this team needs isn’t just players that can stay healthy, but players that can make big plays. While healthy for the first three games to start 2018, White recorded his first professional interception after winning a starting job as a rookie.

This year, he has been in and out of the starting lineup but managed his second interception on Sunday when he corralled a tipped Joe Flacco pass in the Broncos’ own red zone.

The Chargers were unable to turn it into points, but it was still another huge spark from the defense when the entire team needed one in a bad way.

White finished Sunday’s game with just two tackles to go along with a pass defensed and the aforementioned interception.


RB Melvin Gordon

It only took Gordon one game to end up on the “Static” list.

To be honest, I’m not surprised in the slightest.

Anthony Lynn was forcing Gordon into the gameplan from the opening kickoff and everyone could see that it was about to go downhill fast.

After his holdout became a waste of time and stating that he was going to prove his doubters wrong (a.k.a those who believe Ekeler is the better option in the backfield), Gordon finished with just 31 yards on 12 carries and caught another four passes for seven yards.

Yeah, he really proved them wrong.

Gordon looked every bit like a guy who hadn’t played any meaningful football in months. He was sluggish behind the line, indecisive in the hole, and couldn’t make anything out of the snaps given to him. At this point, any snaps he receives are just potential game-breaking snaps taken away from Ekeler going forward.

QB Philip Rivers

It was by-far the worst outing of the 2019 season for Old Man Rivers. He nearly chucked it 50 times, going 32-of-48 for just 211 yards and a pair of frustrating interceptions.

So many things standout here. The 32 completions would lead one to believe Rivers probably had a big day through the air. But 211 total passing yards? That’s insane. That’s 6.59 per completion.

It should come as no surprise that running back Austin Ekeler became the first player in NFL history to finish a game with 15+ receptions but less than 90 receiving yards.

WR Keenan Allen

It’s an absolute gut-punch to put Allen on this list in back-to-back weeks but he was a non-factor on Sunday. After the game, cornerback Chris Harris was asked how they managed to limit Allen through the air. Harris replied with, “C’mon, man. Look who you’re talking to.”

The fact that Harris played so well and was so confident after the game just speaks volumes about how little he views his bi-annual match-up with The Slayer.

He finished third on the team in both catches and receiving yards, catching four of six targets for a measly 18 yards. All were season-lows by a large margin.

In prior games where the Chargers have found themselves fighting back from a deficit, Allen was lock to be pelted with targets. In this one, he was nowhere to be found throughout most of the afternoon. Even with Mike Williams back on the field, Allen couldn’t find any daylight.