Top 5 takeaways from a Chargers’ Thanksgiving win in Dallas

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3. Nick Novak’s injury puts the Chargers in a tough spot


Nick Novak has really struggled with the Chargers. Maybe not as significantly as former Charger Younghoe Koo, but we can’t pretend his injuries and struggles haven’t been bad. He is kicking at a 9-for-13 clip and has made just 69.2 percent of his attempts. In four of six games with at least one field-goal attempt, he’s missed at least one field goal. And based on this, we’ll just say Drew Kaser is not an option. Sorry Drew, but at least you’re a terrific punter.

So, where do the Chargers go this late in the season with a fairly big injury on special teams? I’m really not sure. Some suggestions have been former Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Jason Myers, Dan Carpenter or Travis Coons. There’s also potential in the Cowboys releasing Mike Nugent now that Dan Bailey is back. None of those options are really great if we’re being honest. But at this stage in the season, you have to take what you can get.

4. Another fantastic performance in a growing list of fantastic performances for the defense

Give all the credit in the world to Gus Bradley. This defense is firing on all cylinders. They suffocated Dak Prescott all game and forced him into some bad decisions, resulting in two interceptions and a pick six. When a defense has as many touchdowns as the opposing offense, that’s when you know you are getting some great defensive play. Casey Hayward is showing himself to be one of the best corners in the league, just like last season. Joey Bosa was a force to be reckoned with all game, even with Tyron Smith returning.

The running game also failed to get anything going for the Cowboys. In a game where the offense was able to sustain itself, the defense stepped up and took the Cowboys out of the game completely. Even after a five interception game against the Bills, that was the most impressive defensive performance of the year to me.