LA Chargers News

Los Angeles Chargers: More of these drives on offense, please

CARSON, CA - DECEMBER 09: Kicker Mike Badgley #4 of the Los Angeles Chargers kicks a field goal in the second quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at StubHub Center on December 9, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA - DECEMBER 09: Kicker Mike Badgley #4 of the Los Angeles Chargers kicks a field goal in the second quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at StubHub Center on December 9, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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The Los Angeles Chargers tried something last year they usually avoid, and it resulted in a big score in a very close game…

The Los Angeles Chargers were known to be conservative under the previous regime, but took a step forward last year in trying to be more aggressive. It paid off on a number of occasions, and most would think of the drives ending with two-point conversion plays. However, I’m thinking of a different series.

The drive specifically is:

  1. (0:10) 1st and 10 at LAC 32: Rivers pass to Benjamin for 11 yards
  2. (0:04) 1st and 10 at LAC 43: Rivers pass to Allen for 11 yards
  3. (0:01) 1st and 10 at CIN 46: CIN offsides, five-yard penalty
  4. (0:00) 1st and 5 at CIN 41: Michael Badgley kicks a 59-yard field goal

The score then becomes 17-12 in favor of the Chargers. Later in the game (and following more points scored), the Bengals score on a 79-yard drive to bring them within two points of tying the game. They attempt a two-point conversion, and it fails.

But what happens if the score was different? What if the Chargers had taken the ball with 10 seconds remaining in the first half, already playing with a lead, and taken a knee? Such a safe call had been made before many times with the Chargers. Had they not trusted their veteran quarterback to give a rookie kicker a shot at a field goal, the score would have been 20-21 with the Bengals leading. The Bengals may have still attempted a two-point conversion, but would have held a lead either way. The Chargers have folded under pressure before; who knows if the team would have rallied together to win a game they should have put away 45 minutes ago.

Instead, Badgley, clearly confident with the trust of his coaches following a franchise record-setting 59-yard field goal to end the half, hits a 45-yarder to close out the game. No upset, no regrets, no loss. That’s what this team needs more of.

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