The LA Chargers shocked many people on Sunday Night Football by not only defeating the Miami Dolphns, but dominating them. Justin Herbert proved that he and Tua Tagovailoa are not on the same level as he led the Chargers offensively while Tua could do next to nothing against this Chargers' defense.
This was projected to be an offensive onslaught by the Dolphins as well. The Chargers allowed the third-most points in the league heading into the game and were without three more starters in Derwin James, Bryce Callahan and Sebastian Joseph-Day.
The Bolts needed a great scheme (which Brandon Staley provided) as well as certain players stepping up. One of those players was Alohi Gilman, who was making just his third start of the season. Gilman more than stepped up to the plate in Derwin James' absence and was a key component in stopping the Dolphins' passing attack.
Gilman started the game with a statement as he defended Tyreek Hill one-on-one along the boundary and broke up Miami's first pass of the game. Cris Collinsworth made the comment on the broadcast that the Dolphins were attempting to "scare (Gilman) to death" by running Hill one-on-one at him. This didn't get passed Gilman, who made sure to respond to that comment on Twitter after the win.
This was the only time that Tua would target Gilman in the secondary. On top of locking down his assignments, Gilman also made the heads-up play of forcing a fumble to give the Chargers a chance to steal a possession. Unfortunately, it led to Tyreek Hill's circus touchdown, but it does not change the fact that it was a great play by Gilman.
Alohi Gilman has been the unsung hero of this Chargers defense this season.
After this kind of performance, it is probably time for Brandon Staley to consider giving Gilman the full-time starting role alongside Derwin James at safety. Nasir Adderley has not necessarily been the most productive at the position and would benefit more from being a nickel backer for the Bolts.
Staley previously gave Gilman the starting nod over Adderley earlier this season against the Cleveland Browns. And in classic Gilman fashion, he came away with the game-clinching interception, picking off Jacoby Brissett in the endzone late in the fourth quarter.
In his other start against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 12, Gilman finished the game with 10 combined tackles and a pass deflection. He has played 100% of the defensive snaps in each of his three starts.
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Alohi Gilman made it very clear that he is not scared of anybody both in this game and on social media afterward. It is time to give him a bigger role on the defense for the effort he has turned in this season.