Biggest Offensive Winner: Philip Rivers
It feels like we’ve been waiting all year for this game from Philip Rivers. Sure, he’s been fairly reliable and had a couple 300-yard games, but he hasn’t been the same stat-stuffing gunslinger as of late. It almost felt like he’s been more of a game manager this year. Well, he for sure managed the game on Thanksgiving.
Rivers finished 27-for-33 with 434 passing yards and three touchdowns. His QBR was 94.0, a vast improvement over his previous season-high of 79.1 in the loss to the Dolphins. Rivers was torching the Dallas secondary. Of course, Keenan Allen was also a winner, but we’ve seen this production from him this year. This finally felt like Rivers is back on track.
Biggest Offensive Loser: Kicking Woes
The Chargers are the only team in the NFL to not score on their first possession on offense this season. That could have been changed if Nick Novak made his 35-yard field goal to start the game. Unfortunately, Novak injured his back, apparently throughout warmups. This left the team with points off the board again. The next possession, instead of attempting a 33-yard field goal, the team went for it on fourth-and-13 and fell a yard short of a first down.
Novak would come back in and nail a 22-yarder, but he miss an extra point on the Chargers’ next touchdown, Coach Anthony Lynn made the decision to pull Novak for punter Drew Kaser, who didn’t fare well at all. This continues the team’s kicking woes, which have already cost the Bolts a couple of games. They need to get it figured out if they plan on making a run at and in the postseason.