Monday night’s season opener felt all too familiar for Los Angeles Chargers fans.
With an opportunity to win or eventually tie, the offense stalled and the kick was blocked. It was another gut-wrenching loss for Los Angeles’ new residents, as the Broncos held on to win 24-21.
Going into the game, I expected a tough, close defense-oriented game in which the Chargers offense would overwhelm the Broncos late and win by two scores. As the match unfolded, it showed to be anything but. Denver’s offense, which I thought was near the worst in the league, was consistent, at least at chewing clock and grinding yards. The Bolts’ D finally stepped up late, but that’s where the offense sputtered. The team did show some promise, though, and I think the team will still be successful going forward. A few things stuck out to me as far as winners and losers in Monday’s late night divisional battle go.
Winner: Melvin Gordon
Melvin Gordon’s stat line (18 carries for 54 yards & 5 catches for 25 yards and a TD) wasn’t as impressive as I thought he was throughout the game. He ran with even more confidence and decisiveness than he did a year ago. He made hard cuts and accelerated into gaps nicely. There were still a couple runs that he could have made better decisions on (a run to the left in the 2nd quarter comes to mind), but I liked what I saw as a runner.
Another big part of Melvin’s game was him working as a consistent receiver. He had the touchdown reception where he leaped into the end zone, but more impressive to me was another play in the first half. Philip Rivers was scrambling to avoid pressure and Gordon noticed his quarterback in trouble. He came back to his QB and gave him a safety outlet. He made a nice snag on the boundary to pick up the first down. It just goes to show he is still improving toward becoming a more complete back in the league.