1. The Bolts are winning on offense, defense and special teams
For years, Mike McCoy preached winning on all three phases. He just couldn’t execute that vision.
Enter Week 15 of a new year under a new head coach, and the Chargers legitimately might be solid on offense, defense, and now, special teams. And that’s a glorious thing.
Travis Coons had about the worst start to a game for a kicker, immediately missing a “gimme” field goal against the Cleveland Browns on the Chargers’ opening drive. Since then, he’s gone 7-for-7 and made every extra point. His “long” has only been for 40 yards, but for now, there’s stability at kicker.
In the return game, the Chargers have been getting big returns two weeks in a row now. Desmond King had a kickoff return to midfield for 40 yards against the Browns, and Travis Benjamin didn’t safety himself and actually had a good return of 47 yards against the Redskins, helped by this block:
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) December 11, 2017
On defense, what more can you say?
3rd in pass yards per game
2nd in points per game (17.3)
No 100-yard receivers all season
+11 turnover differential (thanks, Clemens)
That’s dominant. And they’ve looked dominant.
The offense contributes just as much to that fantastic turnover differential, having only given the ball away once in four games thanks to an incredibly terrible throw by backup Kellen Clemens. Say what you want about Melvin Gordon’s running ability, but at least he doesn’t fumble the ball. Rivers is playing smart ball, and not forcing the ball every throw. If the team can play as a team, they will be unstoppable. Look for them to win as a unit, in all three phases, on Saturday.
This is IT. With Jets quarterback Josh McCown breaking his hand, and the Oakland Raiders absolutely stumbling, the Chargers look to have an easy ride to the playoffs if they can win on Saturday. And I think they do. I believe in this team, and in many ways I always have, but now the Chargers are truly a darn good football team. I’ll take the 4-0 team outscoring opponents 131-46 the last four games over the 1-3 team being outscored 81-76 over the same span.