It absolutely was not pretty, but the Los Angeles Chargers defeated the Chicago Bears in a nail biter,17-16. School is in session as we hand out a report card for the team’s effort in the Week 8 win.
Simply put, the Chargers were out-Chargered on Sunday. Their opponent failed to convert red zone possessions, suffered from poor offensive line play, and ultimately missed a field goal to lose the football game. If that doesn’t sound familiar as a Chargers fan you haven’t been paying enough attention. Nevertheless, a win is a win is a win. The team is now 3-5 with a ten percent chance of making the postseason according to statistical analysis site FiveThirtyEight. While the game ended with a win, the Chargers were largely outplayed in the contest. They were out-gained in total yards (388-231), passing (226-195), rushing (162-36), and time of possession (38:00-22:00).
Let’s grade the coaching, offense, defense, and special teams and look at some standout performances, both positive and negative, from the narrow victory last Sunday.
Sometimes all you need to do as a coach is allow your opponent to shoot themselves in the foot while keeping yourself from doing the same. That is basically what Anthony Lynn and company did in Sunday’s win. Matt Nagy had quite possibly the worst coached game of his young career, highlighted by a baffling drive at the end of the first half that saw the Bears take nine offensive snaps inside the red zone, including two at the one-yard-line, only to settle for a field goal. Even more egregious was the decision to kneel down with 43 seconds left and a timeout remaining. Nagy’s seat in Chicago was already heating up with the disappointing start, and this game might’ve ignited the fire.
No stranger to the hot seat, Anthony Lynn coached a solid game of football. He continues to show belief in running back Melvin Gordon, and he rewarded that faith with a strong 19-yard rushing touchdown late in the second quarter. Lynn is a motivator and he has a deeply injured and flawed team playing decent football. The much-maligned offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt largely ignored Austin Ekeler for most of the game but found a way to continue to get Hunter Henry involved, while Gus Bradley commanded his defense into perhaps their most dominant performance on the young season.