“Chargers–Prove Yourself Weekly”
They were dominant in the first half…gritty in the second half….and as a result the Chargers are in a 3-way tie for first place in the AFC-West.
These are not fluke wins, last week’s sizzling victory in Kansas City and last night’s slugfest win over the Raiders.
Justin Hebert’s big passing plays, Austin Eckler’s tough guy runs, and a fierce pass rush coming from everywhere, got the Chargers a not-so-easy win over the Raiders.
And they did that playing a road game at home, with over 80% of the fans wearing Silver and Black.
The nation is impressed…the media believes too…even if fans in Los Angeles don’t understand how dynamic this team has become under the new leadership of Coach Brandon Staley and his wild eyed coordinators.
The smash-mouth win over the unbeaten Raiders was accomplished by a defense, that sacked Derek Carr 4-times…pressured him 7-times, picked off a pass and blanketed his big play receivers for most of the night.
Yes Herbert threw 4-TDs in the win, and yes they had a (21-0) lead at the half, but it was the defense the crippled the Raiders, 1-first down in the opening half and just 49-yards in offense in 30-minutes.
The Raiders tightened up the protection in the second half, Carr got rolling and they picked on the Chargers young DBs in the second half to climb back in the game.. But 21-down is a long hill to climb, and when Carr missed a wide open Henry Rugg with what would have been the game tying TD in the 4th quarter, it was over.
Safety Derwin James put an exclamation point on the win with his 4th quarter pick while defending big tight end Darren Waller.
It wasn’t easy, and it never is. There are growing pains in the secondary. CB-Asante Samuel gave up 3-passes and took a bad 46Y-pass interference call. Nasir Adderly had a personal foul, gave up a TD and 4-completions in the game. But much of the damage came late in the game, and a 3TD defiicit is tough to come back from.
So the Chargers have beaten 2-of the best in the division. Next week they get the chance at home to do it again, before what will be a raucous Cleveland Browns crowd that will turn next weekend into another Chargers road game in LA.
But (3-1) is (3-1). The quarterback, the running back and the two wide receivers and the veteran tight end are making all the big plays to put this team where it is, first place tie in the AFC West.
The Chargers are proving themselves weekly on the field, even if the fans in LA aren’t supporting them.
Each Sunday is becoming a teachable moment for the Bolts and they keep passing the test Sunday-by-Sunday so far.
They are better than I thought they would be on defense. They are everything we believed they would be on offense. At this point they are winning and that is what counts.