For a team that needed to answer a series of serious questions heading into Week 2, the San Diego Chargers did so in a resounding way on Sunday. Like they did against the Kansas City Chiefs in the opener, the Chargers jumped up on the Jaguars early only this time, they never looked back.
The end result was a 38-14 win for the Chargers in their home opener, one that will leave a much better taste in the mouths of fans heading into the upcoming work week.
After losing Keenan Allen to injury last week, questions surrounded the offense. Could they maintain the same level of output without him? Who would step up to fill in for him?
Travis Benjamin had a huge game, catching six passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns. Tyrell Williams didn’t disappoint either, adding a 44-yard score in the third quarter in which he broke several tackles to get into the end zone. Philip Rivers finished the day with four touchdown passes.
Sep 18, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers running back Danny Woodhead (39) lays on the ground with an injury during the first quarter of the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
On top of that, the running game looked good as well. Melvin Gordon ran for 102 yards and a touchdown but Danny Woodhead left early in the second quarter with an apparent knee injury. The Chargers are hoping that it’s just an MCL sprain and not something that will end his season.
— Alex Marvez (@alexmarvez) September 18, 2016
But it wasn’t just an offensive display for the Chargers. The defense did its part too. The Chargers forced three Jaguars turnovers and Melvin Ingram finally showed up, sacking Blake Bortles twice.
The game was never close. The Chargers scored touchdowns on three of their first four possessions, jumping out to a 21-0 first quarter lead. That lead had ballooned to 35-0 at the end of three quarters. The Jags did score two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but they were less than meaningless.
If you’d like to play devil’s advocate and mention the things that the Chargers didn’t do so well, you wouldn’t have much material. The team allowed three sacks and Rivers did lose a fumble. The bad stuff ends there.
This was a great performance for the Chargers, a team that desperately needed a game like this. Up next for the Chargers is a trip to Indianapolis. It will make that venture far less stressful to go to Lucas Oil Stadium with a 1-1 record, rather than an 0-2 record.
Sep 18, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers wide receiver Travis Benjamin (12) celebrates with teammate offensive guard Orlando Franklin (74) after scoring a touchdown during the second half of the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Qualcomm Stadium. San Diego won 38-14. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
THREE STARS OF THE GAME
Philip Rivers: Rivers threw for touchdown passes and finished with a 138.9 quarterback rating. Outside of the fumble, he played a perfect game.
Travis Benjamin: He picked up the slack for Allen and then some, finding the end zone twice. He averaged 19.2 yards per catch on the day.
Casey Hayward: Gordon certainly deserves to be here, but the defense played a tremendous game too. Casey Hayward intercepted two passes thrown by Bortles in the game and really set the tone for a solid performance by the entire unit.