Top Plays: No. 6-4
6. Derwin James ices the game vs the San Francisco 49ers
— Exavier Pope (@exavierpope) September 30, 2018
Rookie Derwin James deserves an entire “Top Plays” list, but this one play fits three points that tell you exactly what kind of player he’s been all season:
- The skill to line up all over the field
- The speed to get to any ball-carrier
- The ability to make game-changing plays
Needing a defensive stand against a San Francisco 49ers team the Bolts had no business being that close in score with, James was sent on a quarterback blitz on a 2nd-and-6 to create pressure. Well, he got the pressure…and the hit…and forced an interception in the process.
No. 33 is the most fun, yet consistent, player to watch on the Chargers on either side of the ball. The fact that he’s a rookie blows our minds. This is James, and he’s a Bolt for years to come.
5. Austin Ekeler’s touchdown vs the Oakland Raiders
I’m a sucker for the “story” behind the plays along with the play itself, and this one was as important as any offensive touchdown this season. In a surprising 3-3 tie with the awful Oakland Raiders with four minutes remaining, the Chargers needed something to happen in the biggest way.
Rivers takes the snap, barely hangs on, spins around, gets the ball out before he’s abused by two Raiders, and watches as the strongest kid on the team makes two defenders miss, outruns a third, and breaks the tackle of the fourth en route to a big touchdown. In nine seconds, the Chargers crush the souls of their division rivals and never look back, eventually winning 26-10.
Without the big score, the Chargers could very well have been stuck in a tight game with one of the least talented rosters in football. It was a great play, in an important moment, against the hated Raiders.
4. Philip Rivers makes it 25 straight completions to start the game
This was Philip Rivers' 25th straight completion!
He tied the all-time NFL record. ???https://t.co/KpA9Kq0usW
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) November 25, 2018
This game had it all, but nothing was more impressive than the day Rivers had chucking the ball. This was no “dink and dunk” single-game completion record; this was a 9.25 yards-per-reception, 259 yards and three touchdowns, toe-tapping and diving catches single-game completion record.
The record-setter was just as impressive as any throw he made that day. With 1st-and-goal, the ever-speedy Rivers rolls out to the right and hits Keenan Allen for the touchdown, who had everything but his toes hanging way out of the end zone.
How he ended up with a QBR of 88.3 is beyond me.