I know traffic in Los Angles can be bad, but I never thought it would take the Los Angeles Chargers 11 weeks to show up.
Last week we saw the Chargers team that many of us thought we would see at the beginning of the season. A team with a strong offense and an improved defense. And going into the game at Dallas, many of us were uncertain if that team would show up again because after you have sat at the station for 11 weeks waiting for someone to show, up when they do finally arrive it takes you awhile to believe it is happening.
But it is happening!
The biggest difference has been a mindset change for the Los Angeles offense. For the first 10 weeks it seemed like they were determined to put the offense on the back of Melvin Gordon. If they were going to be successful it was going to rely on the blocking of the offensive line and Gordon’s feet.
Now for the second week in a row, the Chargers have relied more on the passing game. And they are even throwing the ball on first down. The first play from scrimmage on Sunday was a pass. That has not happened much this year. The results have been impressive. Philip Rivers has thrown for 685 yards over the last two weeks with five touchdowns. Keenan Allen has put up video game numbers the last two weeks with 23 catches for 331 yards.
The other biggest change has been the return of Denzel Perryman. All year the Chargers defense has been soft up the middle, but Perryman has filled that hole. At the same time, the defense and coach Gus Bradley are finally starting to understand one another. This unit was dominant on Sunday. The Cowboys had only 84 yards of offense in the first half… 84 yards!
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Also, for the second straight game, the Chargers’ defense scored a touchdown and had multiple interceptions. At the beginning of the season, I didn’t think the defense would ever look as good as it has the last two weeks.
With the arrival in Los Angles finally complete, it appears over the last two games the Chargers were also finally able to leave some stuff behind. Stupid penalties, bad clock management and the inability to convert 3rd-and-short being just a few of those things.
Unfortunately with every long journey like this there is the possibility that things like luggage get lost. I fully expect the Chargers to be on the phone this week trying to find that lost bag that is carrying the special teams. If they are able to locate that, this team could find itself traveling to places where most of thought they would go when this journey began.