The Los Angeles Chargers get a big win to keep pace in the AFC West, setting up a big game with the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday.
After a now 4-game win streak, the Chargers are still tied for first in the division with the Chiefs. Before we get to the prime time Saturday Night Football showdown. Or, as it’s actually known, “Thursday Night Football: Saturday Edition”. But all that comes later. Let’s get into the game against Washington.
1. There’s a correlation between good QB protection and a good record
Last season, Philip Rivers was sacked 36 times. 5-11. The season prior? 40 times, 4-12. This season, Rivers is the least sacked quarterback in the NFL at 15 sacks. The Chargers are 7-6.
It’s been amazing to see what Rivers has done with proper time to throw from a clean pocket. He’s been able to pick apart defenses with the proper time and is also able to sling the ball deep as opposed to a more dink-and-dunk style of offense. Give Rivers time to get the ball to weapons like Keenan Allen, Hunter Henry, Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams, he’ll probably take you to the playoffs. If he doesn’t have time, your team’s in the bottom tier of the NFL.
2. Keenan Allen and Tyrell Williams can’t both be shutdown by most secondaries
It feels like in these last few weeks that most defenses can’t honestly stop both Allen and Williams. Maybe your secondary can shut down one, but usually not the other, which is clearly developing into an issue for other teams. And if you have an injury-plagued secondary like the Redskins do, they’ll both go for 100 yards on you.
Part of that is Keenan’s dynamic route running and catching ability, and part of that is teams not focusing on Williams as a threat because he’s on the same field as Allen. It also doesn’t help that Rivers is able to throw Benjamin and Henry in the mix when he wants to. And it certainly doesn’t hurt the Chargers that this is the most confident Rivers has played with the most time to throw.