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Los Angeles Chargers game ball in loss vs. Detroit

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 15: Kerryon Johnson #33 of the Detroit Lions runs the ball and is tackled by Joey Bosa #97 and Melvin Ingram #54 of the Los Angeles Chargers in the third quarter at Ford Field on September 15, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 15: Kerryon Johnson #33 of the Detroit Lions runs the ball and is tackled by Joey Bosa #97 and Melvin Ingram #54 of the Los Angeles Chargers in the third quarter at Ford Field on September 15, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
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The Los Angeles Chargers came up short in a frustrating loss at the hands of the Detroit Lions. Despite the end result, Keenan Allen and Joey Bosa put out spirited efforts to keep the team in the game.

The two star players each get game balls for Sunday’s game.

A lot went wrong for the Chargers in this game. Missed field goals, penalties galore and some very untimely turnovers cost them a game that they easily could have won. Many fans will tend to focus on the negative, but there were some positive things the team can use to build upon moving forward.

Aside from the goal line fumble, the run game was very efficient. Casey Hayward and Rayshawn Jenkins each came up with timely interceptions. All that being said, today’s main standouts were Allen on offense and Bosa on defense.

With Hunter Henry out and Mike Williams banged up, everyone knew that the Chargers would lean on Allen to lead the passing game. The star receiver delivered with eight catches for 98 yards on a whopping 15 targets.

Darius Slay is one of the best cornerbacks in the game and he was no match for Allen. The Lions switched game plans midway through the game and instead decided to slide coverage his way, often resulting in a double team. Even that couldn’t stop him as he consistently came down with contested catches in moments when the team desperately needed him. Regardless of the result, Allen poured his heart and soul into this game and his efforts deserve to be recognized.

Allen is off to a brilliant start to the season so far through two games.

Keenan Allen kicking up turf with this toe drag ? @Keenan13Allen pic.twitter.com/MsskigeIAV

— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) September 15, 2019

After getting gashed by Marlon Mack and Co. last week, the Chargers run defense really needed to step up in a big way and Bosa is a key player in order for that to happen.

If you were fortunate enough to listen to the Chargers radio broadcast, you likely heard Bosa’s name over and over again. Matt Smith and Daniel Jeremiah repeatedly called his name as he provided a strong presence by setting the edge and clogging running lanes.

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Although he didn’t record a sack, his high motor was definitely on display as he put together a dominant performance as a run stuffer. The defense as a whole was able to hold the Lions under 100 total yards rushing and 3.37 yards per carry and Bosa was a key part of that effort.

It has become very clear how much more of an effort he is making as a run stopper this season. So far through two weeks, he has 14 total tackles, a noticeable improvement from last season. If he keeps this pace up he would easily set a career-best for tackles.

While losing obviously hurts, it still is very early in the season. Head Coach Anthony Lynn chalked this game up as a necessary learning experience. Today, we learned that even in a losing effort the Chargers still have star players that can dominate at their respective positions.

Should they be able to clean up on the penalties and turnovers, they have plenty of talent to win lots of football games this year. Let’s all take a deep breath and move on to the Houston Texans.

Let us know who else you think deserved a game ball in the comment section below.

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