Bolt Beat Roundtable: What was the most encouraging part of Chargers’ first win?

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 08: Michael Hunter /

Encouragement is in the air. Positivity surrounds the Los Angeles Chargers.

That may be a bold statement for a team that is 1-4, but we’re finally able to talk about this team winning and we’re going to milk that for all it’s worth. The team has a winnable game this Sunday against the Oakland Raiders and getting to 2-4 could turn this team, and it’s fan base, around.

After the Chargers knocked off the New York Giants last Sunday, getting out of the talk for that No.1 overall pick (at least for now), the writers at Bolt Beat were pretty fired up.

Here are their thoughts on this week’s roundtable question.

Q: What was the most encouraging aspect of the Chargers’ first win of the season? The play of Melvin Gordon? Seeing Melvin Ingram make huge defensive plays? A kicker that can actually make kicks, or something else?

Matt Pagels: “I have to go with the Melvin’s. Gordon really stepped it up, rushing over 100 yards for the first time this season and scoring two total touchdowns, including the go-ahead TD in the fourth. Meanwhile, Ingram has set the tone on defense and forced a huge turnover that led to those aforementioned points.”

Alexander Insdorf: “For me the most encouraging aspect of the first win had to be Melvin Gordon. We already knew Melvin Ingram was on fire this season and that Nick Novak would be more consistent than Koo. But Gordon had performances this season that ranged from poor to mediocre this year. He really struggled in the last few games following his bone bruise injury, so him having a big game against the Giants with over 100 rushing yards, over 50 receiving yards and 2 receiving TD’s was massive. It gives me some hope that he can keep on this pace this season, and maybe that Lynn, Whisenhunt and Gordon have figured out how to make him a dangerous weapon this year.”

Scott Iger: “I think that the most encouraging aspect of the Chargers’ first win of the season was the play of Melvin Gordon. At times this season, it seemed that Gordon simply wasn’t able to move the ball out of the backfield (albeit likely due to poor blocking), but this past week Gordon made some explosive runs and was extremely effective in the pass game. Also, the injury that seemed to hinder Gordon throughout the first couple weeks seems to have mostly gone by the wayside, as Gordon played the majority of the game against the Giants without many breaks. I fully expect him to continue his strong play for the rest of the season, and hopefully it will carry the Bolts to some more wins throughout the year.”

Anthony Totri: “For me the most encouraging part of the Chargers’ first win was the play of Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa. These guys were both first-round picks and with that comes an immense amount of pressure. Bosa came out early last year without having to make any adjustment, he dominated from the start. Ingram on the other hand had a few rough seasons before finally cracking through as a top pass rusher. Now the two of them are together and firing on all cylinders. It’s great to see these young defenders complement each other the way they do. Last week’s win over the Giants was a testament to how far these players have come and the direction they’re going.”

Tyler Schoon: “The most encouraging moment of last week’s win was the energy in the locker room following the game. You could just see how fired up everyone was to finally win and let out so much withheld energy. After not having won since last November, it was encouraging to see a pumped up team. It’s a start, and a great feeling like that could carry over into some more wins this season. Playoffs are likely out of the picture, but a spark at least could make this season more fun! Bonus moment has to be that Gordon stiff arm. Nasty!”

Kade Dohmen: “All the above. Most encouraging was finding a way to win. Rivers completed less than half of his throws. Casey Hayward struggled. The run defense and offensive line continued to underwhelm. But, in the end, the team made enough plays (albeit, against a very weak Giants team) to come out in the end. They came back from a late deficit and held on to win. Lynn got the win-monkey off his back and hopefully the team took something from this. It wasn’t pretty, but it was necessary.”

Travis Wakeman: “Melvin Gordon is a popular answer to this question, but for me it’s Melvin Ingram by a wide margin. Gordon had a great game, but without what Ingram did, they lose that game to the Giants, a team that had nearly all of it’s major offensive weapons on the sidelines or in the trainers room. 

Ingram was franchise-tagged after last season and signed to a big deal this offseason. His play so far has shown the organization that it was money well spent as he is off to what will end up being the best year of his career.”