LA Chargers News

5 takeaways from a good, sometimes ugly, win over San Francisco

CARSON, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: Running back Melvin Gordon #28 of the Los Angeles Chargers runs the ball by cornerback Greg Mabin #26 of the San Francisco 49ers at StubHub Center on September 30, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: Running back Melvin Gordon #28 of the Los Angeles Chargers runs the ball by cornerback Greg Mabin #26 of the San Francisco 49ers at StubHub Center on September 30, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
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The Los Angeles Chargers get a much needed win versus the San Francisco 49ers in L.A., even if it was kind of ugly, with some standout performances from Melvin Gordon, Philip Rivers and Derwin James.

The Chargers needed a game against a depleted Niners team without Jimmy G, after falling to 1-2 last week vs. the depleted Rams. They got the win, but there’s still some cleaning up to do. But 2-2 is certainly better than 1-3. Let’s get to the game.

1. Buh-Bye, Sturgis

CARSON, CA – SEPTEMBER 30: Kicker Caleb Sturgis #6 of the Los Angeles Chargers hits a field goal to tie the score in the second quarter of the game against the San Francisco 49ers at StubHub Center on September 30, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA – SEPTEMBER 30: Kicker Caleb Sturgis #6 of the Los Angeles Chargers hits a field goal to tie the score in the second quarter of the game against the San Francisco 49ers at StubHub Center on September 30, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

It’s time to move on. It was never really clear in my opinion who “won” the Chargers’ kicking contest before the season. Caleb Sturgis has proven to be weak. Say what you want about a missed 54-yarder, but two extra point misses is inexcusable. This team has to fix this issue. It feels like we’ve been saying that since Nate Kaeding.

It’s not great that the Chargers are likely going to have to grab another kicker between weeks in the season again, especially with a huge divisional game versus Oakland next week. Is it a curse? Is it holding the kicks? I couldn’t tell you. Sturgis was an alright kicker in Philadelphia. He certainly wasn’t a reach like Younghoe Koo. It’s just time to admit unfortunately that it hasn’t worked. Cairo Santos? Kai Forbath? Bring back Travis Coons? Not great options. And that’s putting in lightly.

2. Melvin Gordon is a Top 5 RB in the NFL

I don’t think it’s a hot take. Gordon is now averaging 5.1 yards per carry, up big time from his first three  years in the league.

He’s a huge threat in the run game to get 80-100 yards on the average defense. In addition, he averages about six receptions a game and has become a huge target in the red zone for Rivers, with three receiving touchdowns this year. He makes the offense work, and I honestly don’t think it works at all without him.

He also allows players like Austin Ekeler behind him on the depth chart to break out and be dynamic. In a game where there wasn’t a receiver who really broke out for the Chargers and it was receiver by committee all day, Gordon led the way for the offense  He tied Keenan Allen in receptions with seven. The dude’s a beast.

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