The game against the Miami Dolphins wasn’t the most spectacular, but it did give a few players the opportunity to showcase their talents and help San Diego leave with a win. The final score of 26-16 helped bump the Chargers up to the top of the AFC West. After this week’s victory, the Chargers have started the season strong (unlike years passed) and raised the record to 3-1. And from now on all we can hope for is that the Bolts’ performance doesn’t spiral down, especially when they go to the Mile High stadium to face the Broncos.
This victory for SD was a combined effort, but in my opinion there are a couple Chargers who stood out in this game.
Vincent Jackson: Once again we see the powerful Jackson- Rivers power duo as Jackson successfully caught deep passes straight for the end zone. He collectively received three passes for a total of 108 yd. With 1:35 left in the first quarter, Rivers threw a pass deep right to Jackson for 55 yards tying up the game 7-7. Jackson has always been a valuable player to the Bolts, but he continuously puts on his game face and tirelessly competes for the W.
Nick Novak: The newly signed kicker for the Chargers to replace injured Nate Kaeding. This former Jets player has been outshining himself this season! He accomplished a 48-yard career long field goal in the second quarter for 13-10. Throughout the game, Novak nailed all four field goal attempts. Even Norv Turner gave high remarks regarding Novak saying, “Our kicker is outstanding.” Turner said that he feels confident of Novak’s ability to successfully kick each field goal when given the opportunity. Novak has performed his tasks to a T, so does this mean that he is projected to have a future with the Chargers?
Philip Rivers: Good ole Philip Rivers! He’s our pride and joy despite all the times where he didn’t perform to top-notch capability. In the first few games of this season, Rivers alarmed the fan base when he threw a cumulative six interceptions. But against the Dolphins this past week, he did NOT throw one interception and he DID throw a total of 307 yards for an early SD touchdown.
Ryan Mathews: Our 2010 NFL Draft pick is spitting his game and rushing over 100 yd. of total offense for a fifth consecutive game. Similar to the Jackson-Rivers duo, Mathews works well with Rivers and completed 16 carries for 81 yards against Miami. He completed a short left pass from Rivers in the third quarter on 2nd and 18 for a whopping 42 yards. His quick feet and agility helped him to repeatedly gain those firsts with authority.
ROOKIE SPOTLIGHT: Marcus Gilchrist, the newly drafted cornerback from Clemson played a competitive game that paid off in the end. He has been nominated for the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week based on his performance. In Gilchrist’s career starting game, he had his career first interception as well as seven tackles against the Dolphins.
Of course there are plenty of highlights that can be laid out about the game on Sunday, but at this point all that matters is that SD is 3-1. And when they play against the Broncos this upcoming weekend, they will be fighting for 4-1 to maintain their number one position in the AFC West. The Chargers have overcome some speed bumps, but they have began to prove that this is their year to shine!