What a win.
That’s all I can say.
There was a whole lot of good that came out of this game and just enough bad to make sure the team can’t allow it to go to their heads.
It’s a new week and with the undefeated Raiders on tap for Monday night, it’s time to go to work.
Here are my biggest takeaways from Sunday’s 30-24 win over the Chiefs.
Mike Williams was really just the right system away from being a star
Removing Williams’ injury-plagued rookie season in 2017, these are his past three-game starts to each of the last three seasons:
Through three games this year, Williams has totaled 22 catches for 295 yards and four touchdowns. It’s been far-and-away the best start to any of his seasons as a pro and most-certainly the most productive three-game span of his five-year career.
When offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said that Williams would be playing the X-receiver role in the offense — a similar spot to how the Saints used Michael Thomas in the past — he was apparently telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Now it’s still just three games out of the season so let’s not hurry to name Williams the new WR1 of the Chargers, but holy smokes is he making it hard not to get incredibly hyped for what he can accomplish this year. He’s currently on pace for a final receiving line of 124-1671-23. While that’s super unrealistic, it just goes to show how amazing he’s been thus far.
Consider the red zone woes fixed
The Chargers scored a season-high four touchdowns on Sunday and all four of them came from within the red zone. That’s a heck of an improvement from the first two outings where they couldn’t buy a touchdown from inside the 20-yard line. The increased efficiency led to a season-high 30 points which is much more the speed the Chargers offense should be aiming for each and every time they take the field.
Aggressive, not reckless, decision-making key to putting Chiefs away
Going for it on fourth down, even after a false start? This isn’t your father’s Chargers team.
Tied at 24 with 48 seconds left on the clock, the Chargers faced a fourth-and-four from the Kansas City 30-yard line. The Chargers initially trotted out their field goal unit to attempt a 47-yard kick which would have given them the lead with under a minute to play. However, Brandon Staley called a timeout to rethink his decision and he ultimately sent the offense back out there to push for seven. Unfortunately, rookie Rashawn Slater jumped early, pushing the team back five yards and moving even further out of field goal range.
After watching Tristan Vizcaino miss an extra point earlier in the game, Staley was not going to let the game’s outcome rest on the foot of his kicker. The offense took the field once again and attempted to hit Jalen Guyton on a back-shoulder throw near the right sideline. The play drew a flag for defensive pass interference by the Chiefs and the Bolts were back in business with a fresh set of downs. You know the rest.
I love this new style of football being played by the Chargers. From the staff choices, to the analytics, to the players they’re putting in the correct positions to succeed, this is a well-oiled machine that’s only gaining speed with each week.
Drue Tranquill needs more snaps on defense
Tranquill played a season-high 34 snaps against the Chiefs. He finished with six tackles, a sack, and allowed just 19 yards in coverage. He also tied for the team lead with three “stops” or rather plays that constitute a “failure” by the offense, according to Pro Football Focus.
He has the same level of elite athleticism as Kenneth Murray and Kyzir White but he’s got a better knack for making impact plays when given the chance. Simply put, he’s naturally productive when he’s on the field and that’s the type of player you want on your team.
Great things happen when #Chargers LB Drue Tranquill is on the field.— Gavino Borquez (@GavinoBorquez) September 27, 2021
Despite all of the injuries he's sustained dating back to college, Tranquill competes at a high level with the athleticism, instincts and toughness to make plays vs. the run and in coverage. pic.twitter.com/rQ7CtOLtQH