In the wise words of Lloyd Christmas, “So you’re saying there’s a chance”. A team previously believed to be a shoo-in for a top 10 pick is now riding a two-game win streak and is a Thursday night win away from .500 for the first time since Week 2.
So what went right for the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 9? We grade the performance.
The phrase “Any given Sunday” was on full display at Dignity Health Sports Park (already missing the simpler times of StubHub center) as the previously woeful 2-5 Chargers claimed their second straight victory with a dominant effort against the previously 7-1 Green Bay Packers.
A final score of 26-11 doesn’t capture what a total beatdown this game was as the Chargers dictated the pace in nearly every facet of the game.
It was a whole lot of good, but it wouldn’t be a Los Angeles Chargers game if there wasn’t a little bad sprinkled in. Grading the coaching, offense, defense, and special teams in the Week 9 win:
Firing your offensive coordinator in the middle of the season is not an easy choice to make. All eyes were on this offense as it faced off against a top-15 defense in the Packers. For all intents and purposes, the Chargers offense passed with flying colors.
They simply attacked weak points in the Green Bay D. The Packers gave up 63 yards on four catches to tight end Travis Kelce last week? Let’s throw in a healthy dose of Hunter Henry (7 catches for 84 yards). Josh Jacobs ran wild for 124 yards on 21 carries two weeks ago? Fire up Melvin Gordon (20 carries, 80 yards and 2 touchdowns).
It is fair to blame coaching a little for the red zone difficulty, but the staff as a whole remains at an “A” for the game for limiting a potent Packers offense to a measly 11 points. Perhaps the biggest decision of the game was made when Anthony Lynn decided to bring the offense back onto the field after an offside penalty on a made field goal placed the ball at the 1-yard line.
CBS color commentator Tony Romo was vocally against the call, stating that a stand here gave the Packers a reasonable route to victory, while simply kicking the field goal would effectively end the game. Lynn decided to put faith in his team, and that faith was rewarded with a massive, morale-boosting 1-yard touchdown score from Gordon.
A play that might not matter in the football game, but could be a huge momentum moment for the season as a whole.