The LA Chargers are coming off a gritty 19-16 overtime win over the Denver Broncos that moves their record to 4-2 on the season. Despite it being a divisional win in primetime that extends their winning streak to three and gives them the joint second-best record in the AFC, a lot of fans were not happy after Monday night.
The main point of contention for most fans was the offensive side of the ball, which did not look great in this contest. The 'fire Joe Lombardi' chants were extreme as fans questioned whether or not this offense was good enough.
It definitely wasn't perfect and I would be lying to you if I said that the offense was great on Monday night. But even the best offenses have bad days and this team did just enough to get a hard-fought divisional win, which is always easier said than done.
Fans should not be hanging their hats over this one game and worry about the offensive side of the football. In fact, the opposite should occur. Fans should be excited about the future of this offense in upcoming weeks.
Why Chargers fans should not worry about the offense after Week 6:
First, we have to consider everything that was going on in this game against the Broncos. The Bolts were without three of their four most important offensive pieces in Rashawn Slater, Corey Linsley and Keenan Allen. Most offenses would struggle without their franchise left tackle, franchise center and WR1.
Also, keep in mind that Trey Pipkins was maybe 60% of what he normally is because of an MCL injury. Josh Palmer and Donald Parham ended up entering concussion protocol after the game. Joshua Kelley, who has been a spark plug for this offense, was injured early on and did not play much. Justin Herbert, even though he doesn't show it, is still dealing with the fractured rib cartilage from Week 2.
Then look at the opponent. The Broncos are fourth in the league in points allowed per game and are second in defensive DVOA. As ugly as it was, the Chargers scored more points (19) than the Broncos allow on average (16.5) this season. And they did so with a patchwork offensive line and a bunch of practice squad receivers behind Mike Williams, who had to deal with a top-five cornerback in the league in Patrick Surtain.
Yes, it was ugly, but it was always going to be ugly with all of these extraneous factors. If you really expected the Bolts to hang 30 points on the Broncos' defense with all of this going on then you were always going to be disappointed.
Things are looking up in the future as well. Keenan Allen may not return for Week 7 against Seattle but he will definitely be back after the bye week to bolster the receiver room. Corey Linsley should be back from his bout of food poisoning and Pipkins will continue to heal, as will Herbert.
Week 7 may present a challenge with the injuries the team is facing yet again but this team has overcome these challenges this season. Why are we ignoring the fact that the Chargers scored a combined 64 points the previous two weeks? Why are we ignoring the fact that the team is 11th in points, seventh in yards, 10th in first downs and 12th in offensive DVOA?
Think about it: with all of the injuries that the team has sustained, this is realistically the worst the offense will ever look (assuming Justin Herbert is under center). The Chargers are still a fringe top-10 offense in the league at its worst.
Just imagine when luck starts to turn a corner and we see the best version of this offense. Don't worry about the offense. If anything, be happy the team has fought for a 4-2 record despite everything that has gone wrong.