The stars came out for the battle of Los Angeles. That’s what’s supposed to happen in Hollywood, right?
The Los Angeles Chargers could have made enough noise to send a ripple effect across the entire league on Sunday but instead, they ran into what is becoming a formidable buzzsaw in the Los Angeles Rams.
The Rams scored two first-quarter touchdowns, forcing the Chargers to play catch up all day. However, the key moment in the game came midway through the second quarter.
The Rams were in the midst of a 10-play drive that had covered over 60 yards. Facing a 3rd-and-5 from the Chargers’ 10-yard line, Jared Goff dropped back to throw but his pass was picked off by Derwin James. Unfortunately, James returned it out of the end zone and went out of bounds at the 1-yard line.
After playing it conservatively, the Chargers were forced to punt out of their own end zone and that’s when the Rams took their shot. The Rams blocked the punt and Blake Countess recovered it in the end zone, putting the Rams up 21-6.
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You don’t want to face that kind of deficit against a defense the caliber of the Rams.
Philip Rivers did what he could to get his team back into the game, throwing two touchdown passes to Mike Williams, who had a big day. However, the Chargers’ defense just couldn’t get a stop when it really needed one.
On the day, the Rams had 521 yards of total offense and 33 first downs while converting 8-of-11 third downs. That is a recipe for disaster.
The Chargers have faced perhaps the two best teams in the league in the first three weeks of the season and the schedule lightens up in a big way over the course of the next several weeks. But teams like the Chiefs and the Rams are on another level, a level the Chargers just simply can’t seem to reach.
The Chargers will return home next week to face the San Francisco 49ers. They likely won’t have to face Jimmy Garoppolo in that one.