It wasn’t pretty, but the Los Angeles Chargers will take it.
The Chargers had to find a way to escape New York with a win and they were able to do just that. Philip Rivers threw for 290 yards and a touchdown on the day and Melvin Gordon rushed for 81 yards and another score.
But the player of the game just may have been Antonio Gates. Earlier in the week, I wondered if he could step up in the wake of Hunter Henry’s season-ending injury, and old No. 85 did just that.
Gates made some tough, contested catches on the day, finishing with six grabs for 81 yards and a score. Rivers showed plenty of trust in him as Keenan Allen was the only player targeted more in the passing game.
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But the Jets’ ineptitude was the real reason for this win. New York was able to run the ball, but they couldn’t finish drives and had to punt nine times. Bilal Powell ran for 145 yards in the game, including a 57-yard touchdown run. But Matt Forte and Elijah McGuire each lost fumbles and Bryce Petty threw an interception as Gang Green turned the ball over three times.
Petty also threw for just 119 yards in the game and he was sacked three times.
The Chargers didn’t look great and if they’re going to make the postseason, their level of play will have to greatly increase. But those postseason hopes are looking pretty good, particularly with the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans each losing on Sunday.
The Chargers face the Oakland Raiders next week and if they are able to get a win over them coupled with a Titans loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Chargers will qualify for the playoffs.
Suddenly, it’s not that complicated at all.