LOS ANGELES, CA- Chargers Win By Game-Winning FG as Time expires 33-30
A great game from both sides that came down to the wire. A game-winning FG made by Rookie K Michael Badgley as time expires and that wasn’t the only special team play that played a big part in this win. Phillip Rivers was doin’ his thang all game passing for 299 yards and 2 TDs and with a passing rating of 115. With the absence of Melvin Gordon was no problem as Rookie RB Justin Jackson came thru to establish the run late in the game. Defense showed up Sunday with a INT from Rookie stud Derwin James and once again a sack from the one and only Joey Bosa.
Rivers is the most underrated QB in the NFL today. With a passing rating of 115 all season and on Sunday this man deserves some credit. Philip threw for 299 yards off of 26/36 attempts and 2 TD and 0.0 INT. Without a run game ealy that is pretty good in my opinion. Philip Rivers first TD was to his old reliable receiver in Travis Benjamin. Before the play RT Sam Tevi seem to false start but the refs didn’t call it and Benjamin was wide open for the 46-yard TD reception. The second TD was a amazing catch from star wideout Keenan Allen from 10-yards out. The Steelers were in position for the INT but the cornerbacks collided and knock the ball up for Allen to garb and secure for a TD. Allen finished the game with 14 catches 148 yards 1 TD and 1 2-point conversion. With that Rivers continues to show that HE IS THE MVP of the NFL.
The run game was absent while Austin Ekeler was running, but when 7th round Rookie Justin Jackson came in the game that turned around. Ekeler only finish the game with 21 yards on 13 carries averaging 1.3 per carry. While Jackson rushed the ball 8 times for 63 yards 1 TD averaging 7.9 yards per carry. There is a lot of potential in 3rd string back Jackson and his opportunities will continue while Melvin Gordon still listed as week-to-week. Jackson’s TD came off a shotgun snap and a amazing pulling block from guard Dan Freeny that led the way for Jackson to make the Steelers defense miss the tackle and go untouched for a TD.
Derwin James is my Rookie Defensive Player of the Year, with 3.5 sacks 3 INT and (team leading) 56 tackles. James got the only pick in the game coming off a blitz from the Chargers that led Big Ben floating one right into the hands of James. Derwin then returned it for 30 yards but got called back due to a holding call. Speaking of penalties, there was some big penalties that led to Steelers scores. The biggest one was a pass interference call on DB Michael Davis in the endzone that led to a 1-yard rush from James Conner.
Special teams did their job with making 1/2 FG and all XPs. Badgley did miss one FG early in the first quarter but made up for it by kicking the game winner as time expires. The funny thing is on the first attempt Badgley missed but the Steelers where offsides. The second attempt the kick was blocked but once again the Steelers where offsides. The third and final attempt Badgley made and guess what? The Steelers where offsides again! Chargers happily declined and won the game. The score that got the Chargers back in the game was the 73-yard punt return from CB/PR Desmond King II.
My conclusion is this, the Chargers are a Super Bowl contending team. A big challenge is gonna come Dec. 13th TNF vs the AFC WEST leading Chiefs. With this win LA is 9-3 this season and only got the Bengals, Ravens, Chiefs and the Broncos left on the schedule. If the Chargers keep it up I see them winning out getting the top wild card spot. All parts of this team is clicking with the explosive offense of Rivers, Allen, both Williams and a 1-2-3 punch at RB, a D that has young fast talent and finally a kicker we can rely on in Michael Badgley. Better press the SNOOZE button when it comes to LA. Don’t sleep on them!