Los Angeles Chargers 20, Tennessee Titans 19. No excuses, he Chargers should have won this game.
Oh, they did. We wrote before game one that the Chargers are better this year, and this kind of win supports our early claim.
- Chargers won a close game: The kind of game they have lost more than won over the last five years.
- Chargers Defense bent, bobbled and boo-boo’d but in the finale, did not break. Chargers’ D made just enough third down stops to win – but by a whisker.
- Philip Rivers de-pantsed a high-ranked pass defense, getting about 190 yards of his 300+ yards in four plays.
- Keenan Allen went 5 for 72, so we’ll forgive the tantrum in his play pen (kicking and screaming in the end zone)
- Tyrell Williams 5 receptions for 118 yards. Two great games in a row for this T-Rex with long arms and monstrous speed.
- No major injuries apparently — from this game — for the Chargers going into their bye week. In recent season’s past, the butcher’s bill was much bigger by the end of Game 7 of the year. Melvin Gordon, Joey Bosa and Joe Barksdale get another week to heal up.
- LBs Denzel Perryman and Melvin Ingram shone when they needed to.
Give Ken Whisenhunt a game ball for last-minute adjustments to the Chargers losing running back stud Gordon, and for some brilliant play calls exploiting the Titans’ pass defense.
- Time of Possession. Chargers lost that aspect 35-25 in terms of minutes, though improved in the second half. They only had the ball for NINE MINUTES (!) in the first half.
- Sloppy tackling. And not just on Titans running back Dion Lewis, who galloped for more than 100 yards. Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota embarrassed larger, strong Chargers by running through them. Example: Chargers’ defensive lineman Isaac Rochell tried to strip the ball from Mariota who skipped away for about 15 yards.
- Penalties are bad, but that’s an upgrade from ugly, where they were for the Chargers games prior this season. Four penalties for 34 yards and one in the end zone that extended the crucial 2-point conversion at the end of the game. Maybe head coach Anthony Lynn is finally making himself clear? Maybe cutting boneheaded J.J. Jones got people’s attention. Maybe Rayshawn Jenkins (a key roughing penalty in London) will get with the program.
Making it close: Needing the other team to fail with the game on the line — and giving them TWO chances due to a penalty.
Defense couldn’t get off the field from here to eternity.
However, winning ugly is better than losing beautifully.
In COMMENTS below, predict Chargers record for just their next four games (3-1, 2-2 etc).