LA Chargers News

5 takeaways from a Chargers’ loss to the high-powered Rams

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 23: Derwin James #33 of the Los Angeles Chargers intercepts the ball in front of Gerald Everett #81 of the Los Angeles Rams during the second quarter of the game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 23: Derwin James #33 of the Los Angeles Chargers intercepts the ball in front of Gerald Everett #81 of the Los Angeles Rams during the second quarter of the game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 23: Antonio Gates #85 of the Los Angeles Chargers is tackled by Marqui Christian #41 of the Los Angeles Rams during the fourth quarter of the game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 23: Antonio Gates #85 of the Los Angeles Chargers is tackled by Marqui Christian #41 of the Los Angeles Rams during the fourth quarter of the game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

3. More Antonio Gates, please

Antonio Gates may be old. He’s not what he used to be. But he’s still a crucial target for Rivers.

Virgil Green has been decent this year, especially last week against Buffalo, but Gates is a huge security blanket for the team. One thing that’s interesting about all of Gates’ three catches Sunday was that they all came on third-down conversions.

This is not to say that Gates should become the number one tight end ahead of Green or that the Chargers should make it a priority to have him out on more snaps than he can physically take at his age.

But with the connection he has with Rivers and the security he provides for the entire offense, the ball should get thrown his way a few more times a game. He can extend drives with some crucial catches, as he did Sunday.

4. Why try the field goal?

With about 12 minutes left in the game, the Chargers were down 15 and decided to take a field goal with Caleb Sturgis from 26 yards on 4th-and-goal from the 9-yard line of the Rams. But why was that decision made? You’re down 15 to an offense that’s been gashing you with huge plays all day. You need to try to get a touchdown on that drive. Even if they had missed it, which maybe they would have, it still makes more sense than going for three.

Some people say Lynn and the staff were playing it “safe” or “conservative”. But, nothing is safe about going for three in that scenario. I view it as more dangerous than attempting and failing to convert the 4th-and-goal.

It doesn’t keep the team in the game in the game at the rate the game was currently going, and I think it was an ultimately poor decision by Lynn and the coaching staff in that scenario.

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