Alohi Gilman had his best game of the season thus far in the LA Chargers' Week 3 win over the Minnesota Vikings. Gilman was by no means perfect but he forced a key turnover in the first quarter and was one of the biggest winners on the Chargers roster.
Gilman stripping T.J. Hockenson was not the last time that he would help rip a football out of a Vikings player's hands. Late in the second quarter, Vikings running back Alexander Mattison was stood up at the line to gain on first and goal. Mattison wasn't just stood up, he lost the football with Gilman being one of the several Chargers that swarmed him.
The Chargers made a clear and concise recovery of the football to flip the script. Minnesota would get no points from its red zone trip and the Chargers had the chance to drive down the field and take the lead.
That is... if the referees made the right decision. The refs called that Mattison's forward progress was stopped before the fumble even though he had the ball for all of three seconds. The play went to review and was confirmed. No fumble happened on the play and Minnesota eventually kicked a field goal. Many Chargers fans felt like this was a blatant robbery and Gilman himself agreed.
Alohi Gilman responds to refs' blown call against the Chargers
Thankfully this penalty did not end up having a factor in the end result but there definitely was a world in which it would have. The Vikings were down four late in the fourth quarter with a chance to win the game. Kirk Cousins ended up throwing an interception in the endzone to Kenneth Murray to seal the game.
If Cousins had connected with a Vikings player in the endzone instead then Minnesota would have won by three points, which is exactly what the refs gifted the team in the second quarter.
While the Chargers ended up winning, it still had an effect on how the game was played late in the fourth quarter. If that would have been called correctly then the Chargers would have been up seven at that point in time. Maybe then Brandon Staley would not have gone for the controversial fourth down full-back dive.
Gilman knows it was a horrible call, Chargers fans know it was a horrible call, and hopefully the league realizes it was a horrible call and can fix the issue for the rest of the 2023 season.