LA Chargers News

Chargers outlast Colts: The good, the bad and the ugh

By Dennis J. Hassell
CARSON, CA - SEPTEMBER 08: Running back Austin Ekeler #30 of the Los Angeles Chargers is congratulated by Justin Jones #93 and Melvin Ingram #54 after scoring the winning touchdown in overtime against Indianapolis Colts at Dignity Health Sports Park on September 8, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA - SEPTEMBER 08: Running back Austin Ekeler #30 of the Los Angeles Chargers is congratulated by Justin Jones #93 and Melvin Ingram #54 after scoring the winning touchdown in overtime against Indianapolis Colts at Dignity Health Sports Park on September 8, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
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CARSON, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 08: Austin Ekeler #30 of the Los Angeles Chargers runs over Clayton Geathers #26 of the Indianapolis Colts on a short run during the first half of a game at Dignity Health Sports Park on September 08, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
CARSON, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 08: Austin Ekeler #30 of the Los Angeles Chargers runs over Clayton Geathers #26 of the Indianapolis Colts on a short run during the first half of a game at Dignity Health Sports Park on September 08, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Overall game statistics reveal both promising and worrisome signs for the Los Angeles Chargers season ahead.

Casually watching the game might give one an impression of Chargers’ misfires on both sides of the ball, but the numbers add up to both dangers and opportunities ahead.

The good

You know what’s good? The Colts. The Luck-less Colts are good. If you had expected a dominant win by the Chargers, you forgot that the Chargers were not the only playoff team nobody wanted to play last January.

Here’s five stand-out good things about the Chargers in their first regular season game this season:

Philip Rivers: Yes, he was sacked three times, with a forced fumble, several passes swatted down and an interception. But he wasn’t rusty, he was Rivers. He had a 74percent completion rate, 333 yards and three touchdowns. So give a mulligan on the one endzone interception that was the result of a great play by the Indy defender.

The run game: In watching the entire game, it may have felt like the Chargers were squelched in the run game, but 125  yards isn’t shabby, neither is 5.9 yards per carry. If the Colts game-planned for Austin Ekeler, it didn’t work. Game ball to the super-charged mini-Austin. The offensive line generated the effective run game, and, as they did during the preseason, they showed push and speed.

Ekeler carried my fantasy team to a win in week one: 

did you start him on your team?  Comment below.

Keenan Allen: He had two memorable catches, but the tale of the tape shows he bagged eight receptions for a fat 123 yards — over 15 yards per catch on average! He calls himself “the Alien” for playing out of this world, and “Keenan Alien” is certainly “My Favourite Martian”

Ty Long: On this day, the Bolts’ punter, as a backup placekicker, was better than the best, legendary Adam Vinatieri. And a 49-yard punting average. Night and day difference from preseason willies. He also blasted the ball deep into the endzone on most kickoffs.

Oh, Henry: Just a few key catches, and when Hunter Henry got up favoring his reconstructed knee, Boltheads held their breath. The Good: Henry seems fine and his future is blazing bright. It’s star wide receiver Mike Williams’ leg that was a concern when this story was filed (see the following photo).

Only a few penalties: This is a big upgrade from last year. Penalties, or lack thereof, will win them or lose them a close game this season.

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