LA Chargers: Biggest standouts from Week 5 loss to Saints
By Ryan Daley
Not everything was bad in the LA Chargers’ loss to the New Orleans Saints.
The LA Chargers lost to the New Orleans Saints in Week 5 by a score of 30-27. This game was a hard one to watch, but there were many players who stepped up this game.
While Justin Herbert had an amazing game, many other people will probably talk about him so I want to take a look at three other players who did well.
Isaac Rochell and Uchenna Nwosu
As Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram have been dealing with injuries this last week, both Isaac Rochell and Uchenna Nwosu stepped up this week against a strong Saints run game.
Rochell took most of the defensive snaps for Joey Bosa who was on the sideline most of the game with his injury. Even though his stats don’t show it, Rochell was a big contributor in stopping the run and putting pressure on Brees. He finished the games with five tackles with three of them being solo tackles.
On the other hand, Nwosu showed more improvement throughout this season. The defensive end finished the game with three solo tackles, one sack, and two quarterback hits.
Nwosu also played a bigger part in putting pressure on Drew Brees and also making sure that Alvin Kamara is limited on the ground. Even though he was injured near the end of the game, his impact on the field could be seen from the first snap.
Both of these guys stepping up can be shown from the lack of Saints offense seen throughout the game. Alvin Kamara, who is considered a top-5 running back in this league, was limited to 11 carries for 45 rushing yards throughout the whole game.
Even Latavias Murray finished the day with only 34 rushing yards for a total of 79 rushing yards between the running backs. This total was less than Justin Jackson and Joshua Kelley’s combined 100 rushing yards with an awful offensive line.
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Even Drew Brees was limited for most of the game. In the first half of the game, Brees threw for less than 100 yards and an awful interception. Most of that contributed to the pressure and lack of a ground game Brees had. They also limited the Saints to only 10 first-half points in a game that many thought was going to be a blowout.
Overall, these young defensive ends showed up to play on Monday night. This is a good sign for Chargers fans as the depth for this position can be very good if kept together for the future. While both of these guys still need things to work on and can improve, I can’t say I’m not excited to see these guys step up with the many injuries to this team.
While Keenan Allen was the highlight going into this game, Mike Williams coming back from his injury stepped up in a big way on Monday.
Mike Williams finished the game with some pretty impressive stats. The wide receiver had five catches for 109 receiving yards and two touchdowns over the course of the game. While these stats alone are pretty impressive, it was how clutch Williams was that kept the LA Chargers in this close game.
One play in the fourth quarter saw the Saints tie the game up at 20 with around five minutes left on the clock. Instead of playing slow and running the clock, Lynn and the Chargers decided to keep pushing the ball down the field.
Even though the offense slowed down in the second half, this play called worked as Herbert threw a dime to Mike Williams for a 64-yard touchdown pass. This gave them the lead and keeping them in this game.
The Saint’s second-half offense which was on fire would go to score another touchdown in eight plays to tie the game at 27. Herbert and the offense had 50 seconds to at least get in field goal range to win this game.
After a couple of plays, Herbert throws a 29-yard pass that looked almost non-catchable to Mike Williams. This saw the receiver make an amazing acrobatic catch to put them in field goal range.
Even though Badgley missed the game-winning field goal, it was still impressive how clutch Mike Williams could be in late-game situations. While for some it may not be a surprise that Williams was able to play at a high level, it should make fans excited for this healthy receiving core.
Without injuries, Mike Williams and Keenan Allen could be the best wide receiver duo in the league. Allen did get hurt early in the game, which hopefully is nothing major as having both of them healthy is key to an amazing LA Chargers’ offense.
As I said in my last article, this receiving core could be really solid if those younger guys can get better. Williams and Allen have already shown everyone that they’re elite receivers in this league. If the Chargers and Herbert can get that solid #3 and #4 receivers on this roster it could be scary for defenses around the league.
Overall, Mike Williams has always shown what a great receiver he is, but this game showed how much he can do even after an injury. Hopefully, Williams and Allen can fully recover from their injuries and we can see this amazing duo play the rest of the season.