LA Chargers News

Top 5 Takeaways From the Chargers’ first win of the Season

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 08: Melvin Gordon
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 08: Melvin Gordon
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The Los Angeles Chargers fought back to get the win they so desperately needed!

Hallelujah! The losing streak is now over. And to some, it may feel like it was just a bad four-game streak to start the season. But the Chargers had not won a game since November 27th in Houston last year. It was almost a full calendar year since they had won. It wasn’t the Chargers best game, but they got a crucial win to stop the skid and (maybe) spark a little optimism. And it was fun to finally go to a Chargers game for the first time

Here are five takeaways from the game.

1. Melvin Gordon is back with a vengeance

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – OCTOBER 08: Melvin Gordon
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – OCTOBER 08: Melvin Gordon

Melvin Gordon finally seemed like he had some holes to run through and he finally got an adequate number of reps. 20 rushes for 105 yards, two receiving TD’s, and 58 yards receiving is a huge workload increase from the past two weeks, where he had 108 yards combined in that time. Gordon has been dealing with a bone bruise even though there’s no structural damage with his knee. He played a big part in the Chargers’ offense, which was a great sign for the team all around.

We’ll have to see if Gordon maintains this level of quality with the same workload over the next few games, but it feels like he’s finally back to normal after a struggle to open the season.

2. We should still be using Hunter Henry more

Hunter Henry had a huge touchdown catch against the New York Giants to stay in the game and two other receptions, but it still feels like we should use him more. He’s got a great ability to get open for some big catches. Part of the problem, which is a good problem to have, is that the Chargers have so many weapons that there’s just too many mouths to feed on offense. I nearly forgot about  someone like Dontrelle Inman, who could be some teams’ number one receiver.

I’m curious to see what happens to Henry in terms of offensive touches and snaps if Antonio Gates does decide to retire this season. He’s been limited to a somewhat small role in the offense for now, but the dude has shown some great athleticism with some beautiful catches.

3. Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa are probably the most fearsome duo off the line in the NFL

What an amazing season Melvin Ingram has had. He’s proven to be worth the money. Ingram and Joey Bosa now have 12 combined sacks without being even halfway through the season. They seem to overwhelm offensive lines with just brute force. The Chargers’ secondary is still somewhat questionable, but it’s crazy to see just how quickly Ingram and Bosa are developing together.

4. The penalties are really sloppy and unacceptable

11 penalties for nearly 90 yards is a sloppy performance on both sides of the ball. That doesn’t even include four penalties the Giants declined during the game. Luckily, these penalties didn’t cost us the game, but they very well could have. I don’t know who to blame this on. Some of the players are somewhat young. Maybe you could blame it on coach Anthony Lynn and the staff. I don’t quite know where to go with blame.

But if the Chargers want a chance to get back into the playoff conversation by going on a winning streak, a lot of that starts and ends with penalties. Holding specifically is a really bad penalty on offense when it becomes 2nd-and-20 and you are already starting a drive in the hole.

5. Novak is back

DENVER, CO – DECEMBER 12: Nick Novak
DENVER, CO – DECEMBER 12: Nick Novak

Younghoe Koo was released midweek as the team agreed to a contract with former Charger Nick Novak. Novak was initially cut for Josh Lambo, who was then cut for Koo. After some changes at kicker that didn’t really work at all, it’s nice to have Novak back, who has an 82.9 percent field-goal rate in his career.

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He wasn’t really challenged to kick a field goal from deep, but he made two chip shots along with 3 extra points. The Chargers desperately need consistency at kicker, considering it cost them their first two games of the season. Novak isn’t the best kicker in the league, but he certainly provides more consistency and stability than Koo.

OVERALL

The Chargers finally got a win in a season that seems like it could get really ugly, really quickly. It wasn’t a pretty win, but they got some really good performances from Gordon, Bosa and Ingram to put them on top. This team has some potential to keep improving after a win, as winning tends to have a snowball effect, but they have to cut down on penalties that cost them some big yards and drives against the Giants. In the NFL, a W is a W. Now, the team heads to Oakland in a big divisional game with the status of Raiders’ QB Derek Carr uncertain.

However, it’s a start in a season that seemed totally lost.

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