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Chargers earn ‘B-’ for surviving Browns on the road

It wasn’t perfect, but no one will complain about another road win.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Cleveland Browns Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

A win is a win. When those wins come on the road, it’s even better. By one point, two, or even three, that victory counts the same way in the win column as a blowout.

But analysts and media members will still have plenty to say. Calling it a victory and moving on without a second thought is not in the media playbook. It must be picked at and prodded. It must have context added to it, otherwise things such as CBS Sports’ letter grades that they dish out every week would be replaced with either a “W” or an “L.” And that just doesn’t sound as good, ya know?

The Chargers escaped victorious in Cleveland but their performance was once again lacking any type of shine or shimmer. It was ugly and came down to the final few drives of the game. This is why NFL analyst John Breech gave the Bolts a “B-” for their most recent performance.

“Brandon Staley made some baffling decisions in his game — most notably when he decided to go for it on fourth-and-1 from his own 46 with 73 seconds left to play in a two-point game — but the Chargers were still able to escape Cleveland with a win,” said Breech. “Staley got bailed out by Austin Ekeler (173 yards and 1 TD on the ground) and Mike Williams (10 catches for 134 yards), who both had HUGE games. Although the Chargers defense got steamrolled by Nick Chubb, the unit did come up with several big plays including a fourth-down stop in the third quarter and an interception by Alohi Gilman that came at the goal line late in the game. The Chargers weren’t perfect, but they’re going home with a win and that’s all that matters.”

The Browns were also given the a “B-” and that shouldn’t be a surprise, either. They were essentially a field goal away from swapping places with the Chargers as the victors of a game that included five lead changes. They likely deserved to win the game even more than the Chargers but the coin just happened to land on the wrong side. They played their tails off, but dropping an early 14-0 first quarter lead usually doesn’t bode well for the teams that allow them to disappear.

That was the story of this one. It was also the story of Monday Night’s game between the Raiders and Chiefs. This season — more than most seasons it seems — is one filled with blown leads and ever-so close games. Through the first four weeks, 49 games were decided by one score or less. That’s the most all-time through the opening month.

If this trend continues, you can bet the Chargers are far from having played their last nail-biter this season.