LA Chargers News

Seven storylines that defined the Chargers 2018 season

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 06: Adrian Phillips #31 of the Los Angeles Chargers intercepts a pass by Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens during the second quarter in the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 06, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 06: Adrian Phillips #31 of the Los Angeles Chargers intercepts a pass by Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens during the second quarter in the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 06, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – DECEMBER 13: Defensive back Desmond King #20 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates after the Chargers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 29-28 to win the game at Arrowhead Stadium on December 13, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – DECEMBER 13: Defensive back Desmond King #20 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates after the Chargers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 29-28 to win the game at Arrowhead Stadium on December 13, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)

Rising stars

King belongs on this list for his special teams contributions alone, but as a defensive back, he vaulted into elite status as a First Team All-Pro and PFF’s second highest graded corner. Stud.

Mike Williams, 2017’s biggest letdown, was one of this year’s best stories. After a stellar training camp, fans were wondering if No. 81 could really transform into the guy the team drafted seventh overall. Williams responded with a huge bounce-back season, playing in all 16 games, accumulating 692 total yards, and scoring 11 touchdowns.

His year will be highlighted by many big plays, but none more glorious than the wide-open walk-off two-point conversion catch against the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday Night Football.

This next player cannot be praised enough, and it’s important to recognize what kind of journey he went on to get to First Team All-Pro status:

-Signed with the Chargers in 2014 as an UDFA -Released Sep. 23 -Re-signed Sep. 29 -Released on Oct. 1 -Signed to practice squad Oct. 7 -Promoted to the active roster and played in first game Nov. 2 -Released Nov. 3 -Signed to practice squad Nov. 4 -Released Nov. 29 -Re-signed Dec. 2 -Released by Chargers Sep. 5, 2015 -Signed to practice squad Sep. 6 -Released Oct. 12 -Signed to practice squad Oct. 14 -Promoted to the active roster Oct. 20

This is what defensive back/linebacker/special teams ace and do-it-all player Adrian Phillips went through just to make the roster. Not only is he the NFL’s 2018 leader in special teams tackles, but he’s third on the team with 94 total tackles on defense.

I can’t say I’ve ever been prouder of a player.

Chargers clutch in prime time

If I gave you two games, one being a trip to Pittsburgh and the other a trip to Arrowhead, which would you bet on being the win? If I told you that both would be played without Melvin Gordon, and without Keenan Allen for the second, would you bet on any as a win?

For more clarity, I even told you that the Chargers were down 23-7 in the first game after just one half, and down 28-14 with eight minutes left in the other game. You’d be crazy to bet on a win.

But if you did, you were right. Both times, in fact.

The Chargers did not “win it all”, and to many, that’s just not good enough. But in my book, those two wins, including road victories against the Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, and Baltimore Ravens, mean the world to me as a fan and to the organization. Still Super Bowl-less, these are not the same old Chargers.

One more, for good measure:

What a decision for the Chargers to go for 2 and the win over the Kansas City Chiefs. What a game by Mike Williams. pic.twitter.com/WYHVt58Z8y

— Clint Brakebill (@CBrakebill) December 14, 2018

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